When Robert asked if I'd be interested in writing another Favorite Scene Friday, and during the month French Toast Sunday is celebrating the work of Steven Spielberg no less, there was only one possible film I'd be talking about. Jurassic Park is hands down my favourite movie of all time, and I talk about it as often as possible, so here I am talking about it again. I'm aware that Robert has highlighted a scene from Jurassic Park before - when Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler first clap eyes upon some dinosaurs - but that isn't my favourite scene. I could quite happily do a whole series of posts on this movie, with my top 5, 10 or maybe even 15 scenes in the film (20, if you include the rest of the franchise), but I'm going to stick just with one, the opening.
After the Universal logo, and over the opening credits, we get the start of John Williams' awesome score, but here it isn't in rousing mode, it's ominous. There's something coming, something deadly, something the crowd of hard-hat-wearing workmen are equally anticipating and dreading. I love how the trees rustle, and everyone is looking up in expectation, and we're supposed to think a T-Rex is going to come crashing through the trees. No, that's later. For now, we get a fork lift truck carrying a crate, big enough for a large horse, or a six-foot turkey, if you will. The most we see of what's in that crate is a couple of shots of its terrifying eyes through the slats in the side, yet with the use of some great sound design, terrific reactions from the men unloading the cage, and some animatronic flailing from the crate, we completely believe there's a dinosaur in that cage.
Of course, it helps when said dinosaur actually kills someone, which is what happens, less than four minutes into this film. Bearing in mind this is a movie entirely based around dinosaurs as being a theme park attraction, the concept of them killing and eating the customers or staff at said theme park may not have been forefront in the minds of the movie's audience upon that first viewing. It's understandable that the workmen in the film are apprehensive of this large, unknown creature before them, but do any of them think their lives are really at risk? Probably not, other than Muldoon, the only guy who can make tight khaki shorts look badass, even at night, but maybe these workers should have been a bit more wary, especially the gatekeeper, whose job it is to climb on top of the cage containing a live velociraptor and pull up the rather heavy-looking door, releasing it into its enclosure. I'll say that again. He gingerly mounts a cage, holding a LIVE VELOCIRAPTOR. It's not sedated (why the hell isn't it sedated? WHY?), it's not unconscious, it's a giant, carnivorous, eating machine, surrounded by a walking buffet. Of course, it all goes a little awry and we're left with Muldoon desperately trying to hold on to the man being dragged into the cage, the doomed man's arm gradually slipping through Muldoon's grasp as he bellows "Shoot her! Shoot her!" whilst the beast shrieks and screams in a blood-lusting frenzy.
If you didn't know dinosaurs were dangerous before this point, you bloody well do now.
What's your favourite scene from Jurassic Park?