Sunday, October 21, 2012

Memorable Movie Diner Scenes

TOM WAITS - Nighthawks at the Diner

Eggs and Sausage from Jackie Lay on Vimeo.

1.  LOOPER (2012)

The face-off between Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Leavitt (older and younger selves, respectively) from writer-director Rian Johnson takes place in that cinema-honored setting of the diner.  It's perhaps the best scene of the movie (SPOILER ALERT:  If you haven't seen the film, you might want to skip the video), with Willis delivering the film's most satisfying comeback line:

2.  HEAT (1995)

The scene from Looper immediately brought to mind Michael Mann's film, in which the antagonists, played by Pacino and De Niro--cop and criminal, respectively--take a coffee break together in the midst of their cat-and-mouse game.  (If this video is taken down by Warner Bros., try this link.)

Heat is actually Mann's remake of his 1989 pilot, which aired as an MOW called L.A. Takedown and starred Scott Plank and Alex McArthur.  Watch it, and you'll appreciate what great actors brought to the reboot.


And from the same year as Michael Mann's MOW, the classic faked orgasm scene between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in Katz's Delicatessen:


Then there's the classic antagonistic customer-waitress scene with Jack Nicholson (director Bob Rafelson):


Speaking of waitresses, below is the excellent tipping philosophy scene from Quentin Tarantino's film:

6.  PULP FICTION (1994)

Tarantino loves diner scenes.  This film has one at the beginning and the end.  Here's the latter, a conversation about bacon, swine, and dogs:


More bacon antics from Seth Rogen (who co-wrote) and director David Gordon Green.  Highlight:  "We kind of dipped our toes into murder."

8.  DINER (1982)

Clearly, Tarantino was influenced by Barry Levinson's seminal film.  Here's the famous sandwich scene:

9.  SWINGERS (1996)

The "All Grownsed Up" scene from the movie written by Jon Favreau (who also starred) and directed by Doug Liman:


One of my all-time favorite films (written by Tom Jankiewicz, directed by George Armitage), and a brilliant scene between John Cusack and Dan Ackroyd:


And to crank it up to 11:  the coolest diner scene ever, bringing us back to Tom ("It was a medical morning") Waits, with Iggy Pop in Jim Jarmusch's film (this is the full sequence):

To contribute your own favorite movie diner scenes, click the comments link below.

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