Top 10 Most Powerful Movie Scenes with Minimal Dialogue
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Top 10 Most Powerful Movie Scenes with Minimal Dialogue

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Shane Fraser

This list shows us the best movie scenes without dialogue! Emotional movie scenes don't always need a lot of talking. Famous movie lines are fine and but powerful movie scenes without talking are better! This countdown covers the likes of the showdown scene in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the silent cell phone call from The Departed featuring Leonardo Dicaprio and Matt Damon, when Michael Corleone becomes the don in the Godfather, featuring Al Pacino, the miracle cease-fire baby scene in Children of Men, The Elevator Scene in Drive, the Final Scene in Titanic, the Pitch Black Silence of the Lambs scene where Clarice kills Buffalo Bill, the opening scene from There Will Be Blood, and the Pianist.

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Transcript
Script written by Shane Fraser

Top 10 Most Powerful Scenes with Little to No Dialogue


You don’t always need dialogue to generate emotion, and these scenes prove that. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 most powerful scenes with little-to-no dialogue.

For this list, we’ve chosen scenes that will leave you emotionally drained in one way or another. The only catch is that there’s no dialogue, or the dialogue is brief and inconsequential. Silent movies and TV shows are not eligible, as well as scenes that are montages– so, Sorry “Up.” And yes, a spoiler alert is in order.

#10: The Phone Call
“The Departed” (2006)

In this Scorsese crime drama, a cop has infiltrated the mob, and a mobster has infiltrated the police force. Much of the movie consists of the two trying to discover each other’s identity, and the revelation would spell certain disaster for the loser of the hunt. That setup leads us to this scene, where the mobster posing as a cop—Matt Damon—and the cop posing as a mobster—Leonardo DiCaprio—finally communicate. The intensity with which the two delay speaking is almost too much to handle.

#9: The Ending
“Titanic” (1997)

“Titanic” has all the elements of a powerful movie: it’s not enough that a gigantic and famously doomed ship sinks and kills 1500 people, but throw in an equally doomed love story, a nostalgic old lady, and an aristocratic villain, and you’ve got one emotional thrill-ride. Of the many poignant scenes, we’ve chosen the one that has no dialogue, yet is incredibly moving. We get to see that doomed love story reach its relatively happy ending when present-day Rose drifts into an eternal slumber and reunites with Jack on the grand staircase of the Titanic. 

#8: The Tiptoe Scene
“12 Years a Slave” (2013)

Solomon Northup, a free man sold into slavery, beats his white supervisor after a disagreement. This predictably does not bode well for Solomon, as he is captured and hanged by the vindictive overseers. The plantation owner, seeing this unapproved act of revenge, stops the execution before he is killed. The owner does not untie Solomon, though; he leaves him hanging for a brutally long time, only grounded by his tiptoes as he tries to keep them above the muddy ground. The visual of a hanging man against the backdrop of calm indifference is what makes this scene so painful yet so powerful.

#7: The Piano Scene
“The Pianist” (2002)

After hiding for years amidst the rubble of war-torn Poland, Jewish pianist Władysław Szpilman is found by a Nazi officer in an abandoned house. This would mean instant death for any other Jewish fugitive, but, after divulging his profession, he is directed by the officer to a grand piano in the next room. Szpilman is asked to play something, and he does—beautifully. Every tragedy that has befallen the pianist comes to the surface in his rendition of Chopin’s Ballade in G minor, as he literally plays for his life in front of the Nazi captain.

#6: The Night Vision Scene
“The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)

In this Oscar-winning thriller, Agent Starling finally discovers the identity and location of serial killer Buffalo Bill, but he evades her capture and hides in his basement. What follows is a chilling hunt through the depths of Buffalo Bill’s house of horrors, which culminates in a scene where he kills the lights and puts on night vision goggles. The viewer adopts the eyes of the serial killer, as he stalks Clarice in complete darkness. The look on her face says it all.

#5: The Opening
“There Will Be Blood” (2007)

Daniel Plainview is a single-minded, a fact that is plainly detailed in the opening scene. For over six minutes we watch Plainview’s genesis as a prospector. He is completely alone, and digs for precious minerals in the middle of the desert. After discovering a silver deposit, he dynamites the well, but falls and breaks his leg upon retrieving the yield. This doesn’t stop him as he crawls to the next town with a block of silver to claim his money. The scene is almost entirely without dialogue, and the ominous music foreshadows Plainview’s descent into manic greed. 

#4: The Elevator Scene
“Drive” (2011)

Almost all of “Drive” lacks dialogue and exudes power, including the opening getaway scene, but we’ve chosen one that has a certain intensity that can’t be denied. The scene in question takes place in an elevator, where Ryan Gosling’s character accomplishes much in one silent, slo-mo sequence. He spots the gun in the hitman’s coat, shields Carey Mulligan, lays a passionate kiss upon her, and stomps the gunman to death. The scene is shot so stylishly that you can’t look away.

#3: The Showdown
“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966)

If any scene will give you goose bumps, it’s this one. The music, the setting, the camerawork, and the acting make this showdown one of film’s most iconic events. The tension builds as Blondie, Angel Eyes, and Tuco come together in the graveyard to determine who will get the riches they sought throughout the entire movie. Good, Bad, and Ugly separate in the circle, eye each other, and then draw their weapons in the duel to end all duels. Not one word is spoken in the nearly six minute-long scene, and that only adds to its magnificence.

#2: Michael Becomes the Don
“The Godfather” (1972)

Michael Corleone was a meek college boy before the events of “The Godfather”; one who was destined for a career outside the mafia. But, after the deaths of his loved ones, with the taste of revenge fresh in his mouth, Michael begins a transformation that is the pinnacle of cinematic storytelling. In the definitive final scene, his embittered wife Kay gazes into his room as the transformation is completed, and Michael becomes the Godfather.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

- The Ending
“Ex Machina” (2015)

- The Train Scene
“Spirited Away” (2001)

- The Bus Ride
 “The Graduate” (1967)

- The Tribute
“Schindler’s List” (1993)

- The Movie Viewing Scene
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” (2015)

#1: The Baby Scene
“Children of Men” (2006)


When humanity becomes infertile, Earth becomes a tense and gloomy place. This dystopian world is full of wars, carnage, and brutality, as civilization crumbles and humans face extinction. Then, a woman becomes pregnant for the first time in 18 years, and her survival is in the hands of a small group of protectors. This team is slowly whittled down to one, and the last remaining defender helps the woman find her way to the volatile access point that lies in the heart of a warzone. They become trapped amid the fighting, and their chances of reaching the boat will take them to safety fade almost completely—until the miraculous happens. We can’t help but stare, either.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite dialogue-light scene? For more great Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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what about the gun twurling scene from tombstone?