North by Northwest: Grace Kelly is actually an FBI informant who is found out by bad guys (James Mason and Martin Landau). Easter egg, in the shooting scene at the Mt. Rushmore restaurant, watch the young boy in the background cover his ears just before the gunfire occurs. Priceless.
Usual Suspects: Limping runt ends up being top dog.
Marathon Man: Diamonds thrown away at end.
Spellbound: Gregory Peck killed a man. But, he didn’t do it. But, he did do it. But, he didn’t do it.
Treasure of the Sierra Madre: Gold dust blows away in wind storm at finale.
Zulu: Final scene – you think 20,000 Zulu warriors are amassing for the coup de grace, but they pay their respects to the few remaining British soldiers and leave.
Charade: 1) Cary Grant is actually a government agent. 2) Hum-drum belongings contain an envelope with 3 stamps worth $250 thousand.
The List of Adrian Messanger: 1) Lots of disguised actors is loads of fun – Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, and Burt Lancaster. 2) Final scene of a fox hunt: George C. Scott outwits Kirk Douglas – it is Douglas, while escaping, who gets impaled on tines of repositioned farm equipment.
Sixth Sense: Bruce Willis is a dead man walking.
Bedford Incident: After Navy Captain (Richard Widmark) destroys a Soviet submarine with a tactical nuke there are a few stunned seconds of silence. Then the sonarman cries out: “Incoming torpedoes!” The ship has no defenses and everyone is doomed. No winners here. The look exchanged between Widmark and Sidney Potier when they know they are about to die is chilling and one of the greatest scenes in film, IMHO.
Failsafe: Quid pro quo for blasting Moscow to eternity, President Henry Fonda gives the order to nuke New York, even though he knows his wife is there.
A Few Good Men: One of the Marines on trial did not actually hear the order for “code red” from an officer – he heard it from his Marine friend who told him about it. Devastating to the defense, it sets up a great scene between Tome Cruise and Demi Moore (“the galactically stupid”). Don’t get me wrong, I love Demi Moore in this movie – nobody ever looked so good in Navy dress whites.
12 Monkeys: Too many twists to enumerate. But here’s one: Madeline Stowe thinks everything falls into place after she makes a phone call alone in Times Square. But when she chats with Bruce Willis about it afterward, he is able to repeat word-for-word what she said in the phone conversation. He has heard a recording of the conversation (from the future) – Gotcha!
Dr. Strangelove: All the thermonuclear explosions at the ending, starting with the one in the War room. BTW (Easter egg), towards the end of the movie, watch the actor, Peter Bull, in the background breaking up laughing as actor Peter Sellers, as Dr. Stranglove, bites his own hand, trying to prevent his own arm from doing a Nazi salute.