It’s impossible to quantify iconicity. Nobody can really say one way or another what makes one image more iconic than the next. Fortunately, this supercut of the 100 Most Iconic Shots of All Time does away with ranking and just presents one incredible, familiar visual after another.
“Sometimes an image is committed to film that’s so emblematic that it takes on a life of its own,” says an announcer at the beginning of the clip. What follows next is just as much a film history lesson as a greatest hits reel. While the Twitter account One Perfect Shot has a knack for showcasing the immaculate composition that makes movies more memorable, the new video collects the scenes we collectively can never forget.
Created by the movie obsessives at Cinefix, 100 Most Iconic Shots is organized thematically more than chronologically. The great silent films are presented first, featuring precedent-setting shots from The Great Train Robbery and Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last, but then we jump around all over the place. There’s an excellent round-up of villain entrances, for instance, featuring Nosferatu, the possessed child of The Exorcist, and Hannibal Lecter; later on, there are other sections devoted to romance, fights, and creatures. Each movement is accompanied by appropriate music, and, yes, that means “In the Hall of the Mountain King” makes an appearance.
Of course, one person’s “iconic” is another’s “clown vomit,” so let us know in the comments which glaring errors you cannot believe were omitted.