The humble elevator, or lift as it’s known in the UK, might seem like an odd choice for a film setting. But, if that’s really the case, then why are so many memorable film moments set in them? Here we are taking a tour through some of the film world’s greatest elevator scenes which you would love watching for sure.
The Departed (2006)
Martin Scorsese’s gritty crime drama is a remake of Internal Affairs and sees a tale of two undercover agents pitted against one another, playing with dangerous criminal forces in the Boston underworld. The elevator scene provides a pivotal moment in the film.
- Time in lift: 22 seconds.
- Most memorable moment: The elevator scene is a crucial point in the film, as the tension between the two main characters reaches a peak as Leonardo DiCaprio’s character seems to have finally captured double-dealing agent Matt Damon. Suddenly, the elevator doors open and, a film-twisting surprise occurs.
Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995)
From crawling through vents to taking down criminals, Bruce Willis’ character John McClane is no stranger to getting his hands dirty. However, it’s within the confines of an elevator in the third Die Hard film that McClane has one of his most memorable fights.
- Time in lift: 82 seconds.
- Most memorable moment: After getting into a lift with a number of security guards, McClane quickly becomes suspicious and a fight occurs between the imposters and Willis. After a whirlwind battle, McClane comes out on top.
The Shining (1980)
The lift from The Shining is featured in a memorable scene when Jack Nicholson heads to the Overlook Hotel to act as caretaker through the harsh winter.
- Time in lift: 24 seconds.
- Most memorable moment: While the scene isn’t ‘inside’ the lift, the footage of blood spilling from the elevator when the young Danny Torrance has a psychic vision is a symbolic precursor of the violence yet to erupt.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
The Wonkavator in the original adaption of one of Roald Dahl’s most famous novels is a fantastic contraption that goes up, down, left and right – and flies!
- Time in life: 3 minutes
- Most memorable moment: When the lift bursts free from the roof after the good-hearted Charlie learns that he has won the entire factory. Things would have been different for sure had it been a Niftylift elevator; nonetheless, it served the purpose.
Keanu Reeves’ character Jack Traven has to make a daring rescue attempt to save an elevator car full of passengers who are threatened by a cable-snapping bomb. Here, the tension of being trapped in a lift becomes a focus.
- Time in lift: 4 minutes.
- Most memorable moment: A surprising ‘goof’ occurs in the film as Keanu’s character manages to rescue the passengers, but the underside of woman’s skirt is unfortunately flashed during the rescue.
A rare film set inside a lift for the majority of its running time, Devil sees strangers trapped in an elevator, exploring the claustrophobia and paranoia associated with being in close proximity to other people.
- Time in lift: Almost the entirety of the 80 minute film is set inside an elevator.
- Most memorable moment: After the lights first go out, the characters quickly discover that not all is as it seems and they are sharing the lift with Lucifer himself.
Spiderman 2 (2004)
Sometimes, the cramped conditions of an elevator can result in all kinds of humour. Spiderman, the web-slinging superhero, finds himself without powers for a scene in the movie and has to resort to getting into a lift to reach his destination.
- Time in lift: 1 minute 3 seconds.
- Most memorable moment: As Peter Parker finds himself riding the lift, the fellow passenger remarks that he is wearing a “Great Spidery costume.” No surprise there!
Ryan Gosling’s character in Drive is a near-silent figure, a stunt and getaway driver who takes a romantic interest in a girl living in his apartment block. The elevator scene is a pivotal tonal change.
- Time in lift: 2 minutes 15 seconds
- Most memorable moment: After sharing a tender, gentle kiss with the object of his affection, the driver launches into an incredibly violent attack. This sets up the shift in tone for the rest of the film.
Article Submitted By Community Writer