Forget the remade Total Recall (2012) and stick with the classic of 1990. A film which shouldn’t need any introductions, nor should the scene below:
A satisfying thunk. Permission to enter Mars granted. The camera then focuses on a lady wearing distinctly different clothing conversing with a Mars Customs Officer – nothing strange or remarkable there. Only when we hear and see her response to an average question does the scene become memorable and impressive. Such a groundbreaking scene of Quaid’s (Schwarzenegger) infiltration into Mars steals the film entirely. From comic appeal (the Officer’s quizzical expression and reaction); audience confusion (why on earth is she pulling at her mouth?) and bad-guy realisation (Ironside is always sure to steal a scene in himself) all collaborate to make this scene the classic that it is.
And that’s without mentioning the special effects reveal and a talking, exploding head. All in one scene.
Disagree with the choice of scene? Do you think there’s a better one? Tell us in the comments below.
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Philip K. Dick (short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”; Ronald Shusett, Dan O’Bannon, Jon Povill (screen story)/Paul Verhoeven
STARS: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside