Great films appear every year and with them are potentially classic scenes that may become more famous than the film itself. The shower scene in Psycho, the chariot race in Ben Hur, the chest bursting moment in Alien, and the opera music sounding across the prison yard in The Shawshank Redemption are just some of the examples of the classic celluloid moments that we may be familiar with even if we’ve never seen the film. I’ll be sharing my favourite film scenes, some you will know others may be unfamiliar, but hopefully they’ll be moments you enjoy as much as I do.
Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers (1993) – The Train Chase
Wallace and Gromit are one of the UK’s best loved duos and their adventures often lead to Oscar success. While their debut, A Grand Day Out (1989), was pretty much creator Nick Park working alone, the follow up The Wrong Trousers gave Park a team to work with and the result was an animation masterpiece. I narrowly prefer A Close Shave (1995) as the best of Wallace and Gromit’s short films but The Wrong Trousers is brilliant from start to finish and I cannot imagine anyone disliking it. I’d happily devote this blog to the entire 30 minutes but if I’m pushed to choose one great scene there’s simply no competition.
The Wrong Trousers begins with Wallace lamenting the pile of bills that have arrived in the post. Gromit reminds Wallace it’s his birthday leaving Wallace to present his canine companion with a dog collar and a pair of mechanical techno trousers that will walk Gromit and free up time for Wallace. To deal with the duo’s bills, Wallace rents out the spare room to a sinister looking penguin that opts for Gromit’s room instead. After playing music till the early hours and bonding with Wallace, the penguin forces Gromit to leave home, while he begins work on the techno trousers, manipulating them for his own purposes. While sleeping rough on the streets Gromit finds a poster with the penguin on, donning a rubber glove, which has led the authorities to believe he is a chicken. The penguin is known as the notorious Feathers McGraw and as part of his plan to break into a museum and pilfer a diamond he puts Wallace in the techno trousers and, via a controller, intends to have him retrieve the priceless jewel.
The standout moment in the film is at the very end when the penguin has stolen the jewel and returned to Wallace and Gromit’s home. He locks both Wallace and Gromit in a wardrobe but Gromit hotwires the techno trousers Wallace is still trapped in and the duo burst out of their wooden prison and in pursuit of the penguin. Feathers McGraw lands on the front of a moving model train while Gromit manages to land on the middle. What follows is a thrilling chase around the house with the most amusing moment being when Feathers McGraw separates the front of the train from the carriages before switching the lines. Wallace and Gromit are sent down a different line which is incomplete but just when it looks as if they are going to crash, Gromit picks up a box containing spare track and proceeds to quickly extend the line to keep the train carriages moving. The animation in this particular scene is phenomenal and just as good as the hilarious motorbike chase in A Close Shave. Wallace and Gromit show no signs of retiring just yet and so long as they keep making classics like The Wrong Trousers you’ll find no complaints from me.
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