M's guide to our favourite film scenes

To celebrate the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, we at M have picked our favourite movie moments. Here are some timeless scenes in cinema history that have made us think, laugh or cry.

Powered by automated translation

To celebrate the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, we at M have picked our favourite movie moments. Here are some timeless scenes in cinema history that have made us think, laugh or cry, with a nod to some of the greatest actors to have graced the silver screen.

Titanic, 1997 I love the scene at the bow of the boat where Leonardo and Kate fly through the air. This scene is for me like a jewel, it's a perfect moment created by the combination of the sunset, the sea and the man she loves. I love the element of trust; it is so scary at the front of the boat but she surrenders to his arms and closes her eyes, trustig in him completely. It gives me a feeling of comfort and safety, which is what girls are looking for in a relationship. Fadwa Torbey, Office Assistant

When Harry Met Sally, 1989 This is a modern-day classic. When Harry tells Sally that "men and women can't be friends", it launched a thousand conversations about whether it is possible to have platonic friendships between the sexes without relationships getting in the way. It's the old Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus debate - can we ever really understand the complexities of the opposite sex? Twenty-one years on from this film's release, it has so many universal messages that still hold true, told in a gentle, humorous way, with utterly memorable scenes, from Harry's doctrine on high maintenance women to Sally's insistence on sauce "on the side", interspersed with the stories of real-life couples. It somehow captures the male and female psyche perfectly without alienating you from either character. The original script had the pair remaining friends but Nora Ephron and Rob Reiner decided to rewrite it with a romantic ending, while admitting it was completely unrealistic. Fantasy it may be, but it is still as fresh and relevant today as when it was first released. Tahira Yaqoob, Staff Writer

Jaws, 1975 The introduction of Robert Shaw's character 'Quint' in Jaws rivets the attention, as does every moment of his subsequent onscreen presence in the movie. Nails screeching down the blackboard followed by "Y'all know me. Know how I earn a livin" delivered with the brooding disdain that was his trademark, the rest of the (themselves excellent) cast are doing well to hang on to Shaw's coat-tails for the rest of this roller-coaster of a movie. A bad guy's bad guy... Rob Evans, Photo Editor

A Clockwork Orange, 1971 The opening scene of A Clockwork Orange is my defining movie moment. You know you're in for a strange Kubrickian ride as the camera dollies out from the eye of the charismatic delinquent Alex DeLarge to reveal the Korova Milk Bar in all its erotic and phantasmagoric glory. The eerie synthesizer music sets the mood for the dystopian tale of a not-too-distant "ultra-violent" future. Rick Arthur, page editor

Casablanca, 1942 The closing scene of Casablanca has all the elements that make a movie-moment great; tragedy, loss, hope, danger, love and even humour. When Rick looks lovingly at the weeping Ilsa and tells her huskily that if she stays she will regret it "maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life" we know that, however much we wanted them to end up together, he is right. And don't forget, they will "always have Paris". The line; "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship", is surely one of the most memorable exit lines ever. Helena Frith-Powell, Editor 

Lost in Translation, 2004 The final scene from Lost In Translation where Bob (Bill Murray) is heading to the airport to go home to the United States and sees Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) on the street is one that you just can't stop playing in your mind. He gets out of the car and goes up to her. They embrace and he whispers something to her. They kiss and say goodbye and that is the end. We never know what Bob whispered to Charlotte (despite rumors of a reveal swarming the internet), but as she starts to cry and and we hear the Jesus and Mary Chain's "Just Like Honey" cue, we feel her heartache. We are left wondering if there is a future for them. Kerri Abrams, Designer 

The Bicycle Thieves, 1948 This classic example of Italian neo-realist cinema is revered by film buffs for all manner of stylistic innovation, it's influence echoing right into the modern era. However for me, the beauty of the final scene is nothing more than good old melodrama, with the heartbreaking poignancy of the father being led away from his young son, simply for trying to redress the wrongs of others, his moral authority in tatters before his young charge, the son's innocence shattered. Happily there is ultimately the promise of redemption nevertheless, with the father receiving clemency for his crime for the sake of his child... Olive Obina, Photo Researcher

Thelma and Louise, 1991 Louise: "Are you sure?" Thelma nods. Thelma: "Hit it." Louise puts the car into gear and floors it. Who could forget the final "cliff scene" in Thelma and Louise with a freeze frame of the car in mid-air? A beautiful southwestern landscape, two courageous women, and those squad cars lined up like armored battalions aimed at the girls on the run. The ending to the film has been called by some too theatrical and unrealistic but this is Hollywood at its best; a striking, cinematically-beautiful image, an emotional ending with a dramatic exit. Plus great performances by Susan Sarandon and Gina Davis. When it comes to iconic scenes, job done. Jemma Nicholls, Commissioning Editor

A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951 Scene three although much parodied still remains one of the most powerful and obsessional displays of emotion on film to date. The scene revolves around the physical desire between the two iconic characters, Stella DuBois-a fading Southern belle and her husband Stanley Kowalski, a sensual yet primitive and brutish working class man. Following a furious row in which Stanley brutally hits Stella he turns up to the apartment shouting "Stella" in what can only be described as an animalistic howl.Stella slips down the rickety stairs in her robe, they stop and stare at each other before Stanley dramatically falls to his knees and presses his face to her stomach which is swollen with maternity. Unable to resist him Stella goes limp with submission. It is Marlon Brando in his finest hour. Katie Trotter, Fashion Director

On the Waterfront, 1954 The scene in the taxi in On The Waterfront is a masterclass in how to make one for the ages. The film, directed by Elia Kazan, portrays the violence and corruption that surround the docks of Hoboken, New Jersey. When Charley (Rod Steiger) a lawyer for mobster Johnny Friendly realises that simple-minded Terry (Marlon Brando) is no longer willing to keep quiet over his role as a stooge in a murder for Friendly, he pulls a gun on him. However, Terry, once a promising boxer, is tired of being used and reminds Charley of how he took a dive so that Friendly could win money by betting on his opponent. In a highly-charged and emotional exchange between the two brothers, Terry delivers a stinging rebuke on his elder brother: "You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which it what I am, let's face it. It was you, Charley." Who hasn't wondered what their lives might have been like had something gone in a different direction? Kevin McIndoe, Page Editor

The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001 Margot Tenenbaum has got to be the coolest character in film. She's the adopted child in a family of misfits who, all fur coat, wooden finger, eyeliner and cigarettes, makes boredom look like fun. The most memorable part is her soaking in the bathtub for hours, smoking continuously (fan at the ready to get rid of the smell), simply watching television. My favourite bathroom moment is when her mother Etheline comes to visit; "I don't think it's very intelligent to keep an electrical gadget on the edge of the bathtub," says Etheline. "I tie it to the radiator," replies Margot, who has a simple answer for just about anything. She makes me remember that being low-key is sometimes the best option. Nadia El-Dasher, Fashion Coordinator