Whether it's a dramatic exchange between two talented actors, a montage done over a powerful rock song (typically the Rolling Stones) or a world-class beat-down, the 67-year-old Oscar-winning director owns some of the most memorable scenes of the last 30 years. Building this legendary resume through a sharp cinematic eye to tell stories filled with drama, music, comedy (often of the dark variety) and violence, he's also had the fortune to work with actors who are the gold standard of their craft: specifically Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio -- who teams with Scorsese for the fourth time in this week's 'Shutter Island.' Most directors hope that just one of their scenes can resonate enough with audiences that it stays with them long after they've left the theater. Martin Scorsese doesn't have to hope, he has multiple embedded in moviegoers' minds.
Whether it's a dramatic exchange between two talented actors, a montage done over a powerful rock song (typically the Rolling Stones) or a world-class beat-down, the 67-year-old Oscar-winning director owns some of the most memorable scenes of the last 30 years. Building this legendary resume through a sharp cinematic eye to tell stories filled with drama, music, comedy (often of the dark variety) and violence, he's also had the fortune to work with actors who are the gold standard of their craft: specifically Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio -- who teams with Scorsese for the fourth time in this week's 'Shutter Island.'
Needless to say, it wasn't easy to narrow down Scorsese's best scenes to only 10, but these are the cream of the crop. Check out the clips and let the discussion begin.
10. The Tracking Shot in 'Who's That Knocking At My Door?' (1967)
In this scene from his first feature, Scorsese plays with numerous themes that would become his calling cards -- highlighting music (in this case, the Ray Barretto classic 'El Watusi'), male camaraderie, slow motion and the tracking shot. You also see a young Harvey Keitel in the mix, who plays the lead in the film.
9. The Introductions in 'Goodfellas' (1990)
By the time he adapted Nicholas Pileggi's gripping exposé on the Brooklyn arm of the Lucchese crime family, Scorsese had become a master at his craft, receiving Best Director nominations for 'Raging Bull' and 'The Last Temptation of Christ.' In his third Best Director nom, he takes the introduction of the crew and makes what would normally be a throwaway scene a bona fide classic.
8. The Bar Scene in 'Mean Streets' (1973)
For his second feature, Scorsese revels in moments from his own life in this look at a group of friends in the gritty Little Italy section of New York City (though many of the scenes were actually shot in L.A.). With The Rolling Stones' 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' playing, Scorsese introduces us to the actor who will be forever linked with him for the rest of his life. Oh, and that's Scorsese doing the voiceover.
7. The Opening Monologue in 'Raging Bull' (1980)
We already knew of De Niro's all-consuming method acting style when he transformed into the psycho vigilante Travis Bickle in 'Taxi Driver' four years earlier, but here he takes it to another level playing tormented boxer Jake La Motta. De Niro packed on 60 pounds to play the troubled fighter after he retires, and in the opening scene we see a bloated La Motta at his lowest point: performing a one man show in a dingy club.
6. Costello's Entrance in 'The Departed' (2006)
In the film that gave Scorsese his long awaited Best Director Oscar, Jack Nicholson, his face cloaked in a veil of shadow, makes his grand entrance as Boston mob boss Frank Costello over the Stone's "Gimme Shelter" (the third time Scorsese uses the song in his films).
5. The Final Scene in 'Taxi Driver' (1976)
Having already spent close to 90 minutes in the twisted mind of Travis Bickle, by the time he decides to take it upon himself to save a teen prostitute (played by Jodie Foster) we can only imagine the type of "justice" the now-mohawked Bickle can dish out. Scorsese sets a camera on the ceiling to pan the aftermath, as his longtime editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, shows through dissolves the carnage that took place. The conclusion is topped by the haunting score from legendary composer Bernard Herrmann.
4. The 'Clown' Scene in 'Goodfellas' (1990)
You've probably recited the famous line in this scene a hundred times, but it never gets old when Joe Pesci says it. The way he delivers this whole scene is one of the reasons why he walked away with a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as bad ass Tommy DeVito.
3. The Mirror Scene in 'Taxi Driver' (1976)
DeVito's "How am I Funny?" line is pretty memorable, but Travis Bickle's is up there as one of the most famous ever uttered on screen. While putting on a quasi-dress rehearsal of the weapons beneath his attire, Bickle glances in the mirror and takes on the scum of the city.
2. The Opening Credits in 'Raging Bull' (1980)
Here, the sweet science of boxing is displayed in all its beauty, with the powerful Intermezzo from the opera 'Cavalleria rusticana' soaring as La Motta dances around the ring in slow motion. The two minute-plus credits highlight the splendor of the sport, but using the heartbreaking instrumental Scorsese implies the pain and self-destruction that's to come for his lead character.
1. The Club Scene in 'Goodfellas' (1990)
Henry Hill's (Ray Liotta) legendary one-take stroll through The Copacabana kitchen to skip the line outside, and impress his date (Lorraine Bracco), epitomizes the "Wiseguy" lifestyle that Scorsese glorifies and then crashes down by the film's end. Inspiring a generation of filmmakers, this scene is often imitated, but has never been duplicated.