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12 Most Iconic Movie Scenes of the ’90s

Relive the most iconic movie scenes of the 90s.

What’s your favourite and most iconic movie scene from the 90’s?

Not only are we making our way through the best movies of the 90’s, but to go one step further, below, we break down 90s cinema into the most iconic moments.

From leg crosses to cake face, fava beans to hair gel and of course never wanting to answer the phone home alone in case someone asked “what’s your favourite scary movie”.

Enjoy the list of the 12 most iconic movie scenes from the ’90s.

BASIC INSTINCT: The Leg Cross

It’s not surprising that Sharon Stone is a scene-stealer in almost every movie she’s been in with the level of magnetising screen presence she exudes, but the actress’ appearance in Verhoeven’s boundary-pushing erotic thriller was one that really made jaws drop when it hit cinemas and still has the same shock-factor today.

Funnily enough, the steamy investigation sequence led to a real-life legal feud following the film’s initial screening after Stone claimed she didn’t know that ‘the shot’ was going to be in the final cut, which then resulted in Verhoeven getting a cold hard slap across the face.

Talk about art imitating life, hey.

IMDb Rating: 7/10

Cast: Sharon Stone, Michael Douglas, Jeanne Tripplehorn and more

How to stream Basic Instinct

MISERY: Sledgehammer 

Never in a million years would anyone think that an idealistic, book-reading romanticist with a featherlight name like ‘Annie Wilks’ would be responsible for one of the most brutal acts of violence ever witnessed in cinematic history, but here we are.

It’s the kind of scene you could rewind to watch over and over again, and it would never lose its effect. With its combination of Kathy Bates’ terrifying performance, Stephen King’s masterful writing and Rob Reiner’s claustrophobic direction, nothing can prepare you for this scene’s bone-crunching power.

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

Cast: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth and more

How to stream Misery

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS: Fava Beans

Not only did Anthony Hopkins take home the Best Actor award for his chillingly-composed portrayal of the infamous Hannibal Lector, but The Silence of the Lambs itself was the third film ever in history to win the “Big Five” at the Academy Awards, which only reinforces how truly iconic it is.

However, the moment that really had audiences squirming in their seats and also cemented Hopkins as one of the greatest actors of all time was his dead stare into the camera while describing an experience of eating a human liver with fava beans and chianti, which is then followed by slurping sounds.

Now if that doesn’t stain your memory, nothing will.

IMDb Rating: 8.6/10

Cast: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney and more

How to stream Silence Of The Lambs

CRUEL INTENTIONS: The Kiss

So-called ‘teen melodramas’ of the ’90s are becoming more of a distant memory by the day – especially since the new wave of ‘cancel culture’ has cast a shadow over the art form that is storytelling – and this is probably the exact reason why Cruel Intentions will forever be appreciated for its trashy voyeuristic value.

It exists in a time when taboo subjects could be explored without having to worry about social backlashes and to be honest, it’s actually quite refreshing.

The movie itself is best described as a guilty pleasure, often walking a fine line between naughty and nice for the most part and then ‘BAM!’, this super awkward and oddly unsexy kiss between Sara Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair happens, which is surprisingly less memorable for its girl-on-girl action than it is for the extended string of drool it leaves behind.

IMDb Rating: 6.8/10

Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon and more

How to stream Cruel Intentions

MRS DOUBTFIRE: Cake Face

No one will ever nail physical comedy quite like Robin Williams could. Even if his time was cut short on this earth, it’s in moments like these that we’re reminded of how lucky we were to have such a vibrant soul in our lives to lift our spirits.

For those who are yet to experience this loopy little classic, Williams disguises himself as a female housekeeper in an attempt to spend more time with his kids after a divorce and goes to great lengths to not get caught.

The movie is full of comical gold, but this scene where Williams performs the simple act of dunking his face into a cake and greeting his nosy neighbour with a high-pitched “HELLOOO!” is a truly hilarious moment in cinema and will no doubt be cherished forever.

IMDb Rating: 7/10

Cast: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan and more

How to stream Mrs Doubtfire

SCREAM: ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’

Wes Craven’s subversive meta-slasher has become one of the most praised movie franchises in the horror genre and its opening sequence is more than enough proof of how it gained such a status.

Between the clever balance of Hitchcockian suspense and utilisation of horror movie trivia, Craven conducted one hell of an anxiety-inducing situation out of a very simple concept and it ramps up the tension from 0 – 100 more than any other horror film in recent memory.

In addition, Drew Barrymore playing the tormented victim with a blonde bob cut and covered head-to-toe in blood is an image that is undeniably impossible to forget.

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Cast: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette and more

How to stream Scream

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY: Hair Gel 

In life, it’s expected that sometimes we’ll find ourselves in sticky situations every now and then, but this movie takes that unfortunate theory a little too seriously, which is not so much a complaint as it is an admirable criticism of how well this lowbrow gag plays out with such a charming innocence.

The movie as a whole might not be one of the era’s strongest contending comedies, but we’d be lying if we said Cameron Diaz’s radiant smile didn’t make up for it of course.

Oh, and about that hair gel…well, you can only guess what that is if you don’t already know.

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

Cast: Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon, Ben Stiller and more

How to stream Theres Something About Mary

PRETTY WOMAN: Big Mistake

They say revenge is a dish best served cold and if that’s the case, then Julia Roberts quite literally embodied that age-old saying in this very scene.

After being denied service at an upmarket fashion retailer because of her scrubby appearance, Roberts’ character returns later in the film to the same store and (metaphorically) gives the shop assistants the middle finger in the best way possible.

What makes it even better is that this fist-pumping moment happened almost three decades before the #metoo movement and was responsible for giving a voice to thousands of women from all walks of life, regardless of their social class or status. 

IMDb Rating: 7/10

Cast: Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Jason Alexander and more

How to stream Pretty Woman

HOME ALONE: Aftershave

Following shaving cream came…the shaving scream? Sorry! It had to be said. But let’s be honest, of all the funny traps and gags that happen in young Kevin’s adventures, the most memorable one from any of the ‘Home Alone’ films is when he slaps on some aftershave (because that’s what adults do) and suddenly screams wide-eyed into the mirror from its unexpected sting.

And because of his face, that look and the sound of instant regret in that hilarious reaction (which was improvised by Macaulay Culkin himself), this is the exact reason why we enjoy revisiting this classic every year at Christmas.

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

Cast: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern and more

How to stream Home Alone

PULP FICTION: The Dance

It’s no wonder that Tarantino’s kaleidoscopic gangster flick is still considered the director’s best film to date, because Uma Thurman and John Travolta performing this toe-twisting, hip-shaking dance in the middle of a Jack Rabbit Slim’s restaurant is as groovy as hell.

More to the point, the sequence had such an influence on pop culture after its release in 1993, even these days it’s not uncommon to see Vincent and Mia make an appearance at costume parties from time to time.

If not for the dance, then for those radical hair-doos.

IMDb Rating: 8.9/10

Cast: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson and more

How to stream Pulp Fiction

TITANIC: I’m Flying Jack!

The only thing more unforgettable in this ocean-bound tragedy than its tear-inducing finale followed by Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” playing over the end credits, is the dazzling scene where Jack leads Rose to the front of the ship and holds her arms out like an eagle as they sail into a tangerine sunset.

In any other romance, this would most likely be considered a real cornball moment, but James Cameron’s sweeping direction lifts the material above and beyond mediocrity and more importantly, Leonard Dicaprio and Kate Winslet’s chemistry was (and still is) irresistibly electric.

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane and more

How to stream Titanic

GHOST: Pottery

Ghost presents us with an unconventional romance no doubt, but that doesn’t mean to say that it’s any less powerful than other entries in the genre just because one of its central protagonists is invincible.

On the contrary, this scene where Demi Moore is embraced by the lingering spirit of her deceased husband (Patrick Swayze) while making pottery was the perfect balance between cheesiness and cinematic wonder, and that’s precisely why it’s so special.

Who ever said originality was dead? Excuse the pun.

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

Cast: Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze, Whoopi Goldberg and more

How to stream Ghost

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