Tuesday, August 28, 2012

List: 10 Favourite Interrogation Scenes

After a real hectic couple of weeks for me at both work and home, I finally got a break during the past few days to recharge myself. This also means that at long last I've managed to see a few movies and work on this particular post that I've had in mind for quite a some time. So here it is, My 10 Favourite Interrogation Scenes.

Since some films have quite a few numbers of interrogations, I'll be limiting my list to just one scene per movie. I'd like to say in advance that they'll be no scene from The Usual Suspects [1995] here since I'm from the minority of people that didn't enjoy the film. I predicted its "twist" very early on too. Furthermore, I regrettably confess to not yet seeing L.A. Confidential [1997], although I do hear that it has a good interrogation sequence.

#10 "You're Abusing This Exercise!" ~ The Recruit [2003]

CIA trainees at "The Farm" are put through an interrogation exercise by instructor Walter Burke (played by Al Pacino). "A good interrogator can also soften a subject", Burke says. "Knock 'em off balance, make 'em vulnerable. Never know what you might get. So... fire at will". He then pairs trainees Clayton (played by Colin Farrell) and Layla (played by Bridget Moynahan) together. Clayton who was still upset by being deceived by Layla the previous night at a club, asks some very damaging questions (see below):

Selected Quote: "You said you wanted to go home and have comfort sex. Did you?"

#9 "Hit The Pause Button, Quick!!" ~ Basic Instinct [1992]

Catherine Tramell (played by Sharon Stone) is a suspect for a murder. During the interrogation, she makes one of the most popular leg-crosses in cinematic history. Manipulative? Certainly. That's why she was in my 15 Favourite Female Villains list.

Selected Quote: John Correli: "Have you ever engaged in any sadomasochistic activity?" Catherine Tramell: "Exactly what did you have in mind, Mr. Correli?"

#8 "I Guess He Won't Be Having Children Then..." ~ Casino Royale [2006]

The captive and tortured James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) is being questioned by baddie, Le Chiffre (played by Mads Mikkelsen). To get Bond talking, Le Chiffre uses an *ahem* unconventional technique = whipping Bond in the balls!

Selected Quote: (Laughing) "Now the whole world will know you died scratching my balls"

#7 "Torture You? That's A Good Idea" ~ Reservoir Dogs [1992]

"I've already told you I don't know anything about any fucking setup. You can torture me all you want." <-- Extremely poor choice of words there. Left alone with the cop, that is exactly what Mr. Blonde (played by Michael Madsen) did. The cop lost a part of his body as Mr. Blonde enjoyed the tune of Steelers Wheel - Stuck In The Middle With You.

Selected Quote: "I don't give a good fuck what you know, or don't know. But I'm gonna torture you anyway, regardless. Not to get information. It's amusing, to me, to torture, a cop"

#6 "Weapon Of Choice? A Hammer!" ~ Drive [2011]

The first time I saw Drive [2011], I thought it was a completely awesome movie and also one of my favourites of that year. Having said that, my fondness for the film has grown with time and it is now in my best ever list. The unnamed driver (played by Ryan Gosling) is just so cool. In this scene he confronts middle-man, Cook (played by James Biberi) armed with just a hammer and single bullet.

Selected Quote: (Shows bullet) "Do you remember this?"

#5 "Oh, I'm Sorry. Did I break your concentration?" ~ Pulp Fiction [1994]

Come on, how many people are not familiar with this scene? With the many parodies and fan-arts, you're probably familiar with it even if you've never seen the film. Jules Winnfield (played by Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (played by John Travolta) go to retrieve a briefcase from Brett (played by Frank Whaley) in his apartment. Leave it to Quentin Tarantino to come up with a scene like this.

Selected Quote: " 'What' ain't no country I've ever heard of. They speak English in 'what' ?"

#4 "Where Is The Rabbit's Foot?" ~ Mission: Impossible III [2006]

Extremely intense opening scene of the film. Owen Davian (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) threatens to kill Ethan Hunt's (played by Tom Cruise) newly-wedded wife, Julia (played by Michelle Monaghan). Knowing there's nothing he can do, Ethan starts by bargaining, then lying, then threatening, and then finally pleading. Awesome performance by both the always impressive Hoffman, and also by Tom Cruise.

Selected Quote: "Listen to me. Listen to me. I want to help you. I want to help you get whatever you want. But you got to do what's right. What you know is right"

#3 "You're Part Eggplant!" ~ True Romance [1993]

You've probably noticed a recurring theme on this list. Although this movie was directed by the late Tony Scott, it was written by none other than Quentin Tarantino. Not his first work on the list and also not his last (see #2). Consigned to defeat, Clifford Worley (played by Dennis Hopper) tells the story of how Sicilians were spawaned by niggers to Vicenzo Coccotti (played by Christopher Walken). Only Tarantino could have written what started out as an intense and brutal interrogation with lessons on lying into thoughts to ponder on. Great acting is on display as we watch the facial gestures on Walken as he reacts to the story.

Selected Quote: "Sicilians are great liars. The best in the world. I'm Sicilian. My father was the world heavy-weight champion of Sicilian liars. From growing up with him I learned the pantomime. There are seventeen different things a guy can do when he lies to give himself away"

#2 "Rats, Squirrels, & Delicious Milk" ~ Inglourious Basterds [2009]

Col. Hans Landa (played by Christoph Waltz) confronts Perrier LePadite (played by Denis Menochet) and his family in a calm manner. Once again excellent writing from the great auteur know as Quentin Tarantino while Christoph Watlz puts up a performance that completely dominated (deservedly so, too) at the awards season.

Selected Quote: "Monsier LaPadite, to both your family and your cows, I say: Bravo!"

#1 "I'm Just Ahead Of The Curve" ~ The Dark Knight [2008]

One of the best performances by any actor in history is on display here in the form of The Joker (played by Heath Ledger). First confronted by Commissioner Gordon (played by Gary Oldman) and then Batman (played by Christian Bale), The Joker shows that they have nothing to leverage him on. A truly majestic scene!

Selected Quote: "Don't talk like you're one of them. You're not! Even if you'd like to be. To them, you're just a freak. Like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, its a bad joke. Dropped at the first sight of trouble"

**********HONOURABLE MENTION**********

# "The Power Of The Force" ~ Star Wars: A New Hope [1977]

I'm a Star Wars geek so I just had to include this one. Confronted by stormtropers about the droids (R2-D2 & C-3PO) they were carrying, Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness) uses his Jedi mind-tricks on the stormtroopers, much to the amazement of the watching Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill).

Selected Quote: "These are not the droids you're looking for..."


  1. Interesting list, Asrap! I agree with most of your choices, well the ones I have seen anyway. Basic Instinct, Casino Royale, The Dark Knight, and especially Inglourious Basterds are all memorable scenes. The IB one was sooo intense I actually had to take a short break before I could continue watching the movie!

    1. Thanks. The great thing about that scene in IB was it managed to be intense without Christopher Waltz ever having to be hostile.

  2. Terrific list! Love that scene in The Recruit, the film was really good too. PF and Basic Instinct are classic and those scenes are just unforgettable. Your number 1 pick would probably be number 1 for me too, such a great scene.

    1. I agree. I enjoyed The Recruit. The ending especially when Collin Farrel trapped Al Pacino was great.

  3. Great list, Asrap. Joker indeed have a 'chilling' effect. I don't know whether I should laugh or be frightened when I saw that scene. I just saw Pulp Fiction, have never seen a bouncer quoted a bible before murdered someone.

    1. True. Heath Ledger's Joker must be one of the best cinematic characters ever!

      I love that scene in Pulp Fiction and always laugh at the end when thinking about the "miracle" that happened to Jules.

  4. My favourite is your number two... Inglorious Basterds... Hans Landa talked and smiled so casually but the intensity made my heart stop

    1. Yup. That's what made it great. I was excited going into the movie, but after that scene, this is gonna be one big treat.

  5. This is a great list! I remember #4 very well - it was so intense and a perfect beginning. As I scrolling down I was saying to myself, "I hope she has MI:3 on here...", haha.

    1. Thanks. I love the different stages Tom Cruise (bargaining, threatening, lying, pleading) went through to get his wife to safety. And Philip Seymour Hoffman never disappoints!

      BTW, I'm a 'he' not a 'she'. Just wanted to clear that out. Haha.

  6. silang kaki tu...will always be a favorite of mine..and aku guna juga adengan tu in real life..ahahah...tapi aku x lah pakai short skirt kan.

    and Usual Suspects kor tak suka??? yg tu aku terkejut siap jatuh kerusi

    1. haha.. ko silang kaki in real life tjk kat sapa?

      aku tau aku dlm minoriti pasal Usual Suspects tuh...

    2. time nak interview keje..aku silang kaki..terus terbayang sharon ston, nasib tak LOL on the spot..mau kena reject

  7. Great list! I knew True Romance and Dark Knight would have to be high up in there! Great to see Pulp Fiction as well, that's a brilliant scene!

    1. Thanks. What was uncanny to me was just a few days after re-watching True Romance as research for this post, Tony Scott died.

  8. This list is badass. I appreciate the time that goes into something like this - well done!

    Though I like almost all of them, the one that stands out, for the sheer oddity of it, is the one from Casino Royale. I saw that flick years after the fact and that scene left me delirious!

    I was like why didn't anyone tell me about this? I mean, What lengths! Strip a guy down. Tie him to a chair. Buy huge rope. Tie knot on the end. And then...swing away, Merrill. Goodness! How is this not legendary?

    1. This is why Daniel Craig is my favourite Bond. Pierce Brosnan to endure this? Not a chance!

  9. OMG, i LOVE ur list, im in love with this blog!

  10. Replies
    1. Regretfully, I haven't seen Marathon Man yet. I do realise that it held in high regard though.


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