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What are the most iconic images in film history?

What are the most iconic images in film history? (photo)

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What would you say to a blog post about a big honking topic from the world of cinema that’s impossible to wrap your head around in a single blog post? Would that be something you’d be interested in before you head off for the long holiday weekend? Good.

I enjoyed this list from that was linked to by IMDb today. It’s called “10 Most Iconic Images in Film History” and it’s pretty self-explanatory from there. The writer, Stuart Cummins, selected ten shots from ten films he considered to be cinema’s most iconic. Gene Kelly, swinging from that streetlight up there, came in at #8, and in my mind that is a very strong choice. You can find all of Stuart’s picks (and the images themselves) in his article but here’s the raw top 5:

5. Jack Nicholson peering through the broken bathroom door in “The Shining” (1980)
4. Robert De Niro talking to himself in “Taxi Driver” (1976)
3. Marlon Brando as “The Godfather” (1972)
2. Marilyn Monroe’s skirt flies into the air in “The Seven Year Itch” (1955)
1. Janet Leigh in the Bates Motel shower in “Psycho” (1960)

These are all unassailably iconic images. These are the images that come to your mind when you close your eyes and think of movies. No question. And the rest of the top ten is similarly solid.

Can you feel the but coming? It’s a blog post, people, there’s always a but coming.

BUT!!! I’ve got two main gripes with these iconic images. First, with the exception of #9 (Ursula Andress in her bathing suit from “Dr. No”), these are all American films, so they probably should have changed the title to “10 Most Iconic Images in American Film History.” The other problem: the most recent title is “Platoon” from 1986. I know that distance and time are the only things that can make a movie image iconic, but surely there have been memorable visuals in the last 25 years of movies. I think there are.

So here, by way of respectful rebuttal, are five more iconic images. They’re so iconic, in fact, I won’t even tell you what they are. But you’ll know them anyway. That’s what makes them iconic.






What do you think is the most iconic image in film history? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

[Additional images courtesy the Everett Collection]

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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