10 Most Powerful Movie Scenes Between Real-Life Spouses

It’s not that unusual for real-life couples, even spouses, to appear together in movies. Some of them often teamed up, like Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz or the late Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. What’s far more unique is when such couples so convincingly project together the kind of passion or hostility onscreen that makes us wonder if we’ve got a glimpse of what things might be next. behind closed doors. Here are 10 of the most powerful movie scenes between real-life spouses.

Related: Top 10 couples who met their destiny together

ten Far

Nicole Kidman and her first husband Tom Cruise co-starred in three very different films, including thunder days, Farand Eyes wide closed. Although there are several powerful scenes between the two in the erotic thriller Eyes wide closedthey are dominated by Kidman, who has very meaty monologues.

However, the scenes are much more balanced in the 1992 historical romance epic. Far. The love-hate relationship between Shannon (Kidman) and Joseph (Cruise), who are both fiery and strong-willed characters, brings considerable fire to the screen. Aristocratic Shannon is desperate to leave Ireland to start a new, independent life in America. Despite their clashes, she implores working-class Joseph to come with her as a servant and protector.

The couple’s most powerful scene is when jealousy of another woman drives Shannon to verbally taunt Joseph. His pride hurt, he in turn goes after Shannon, who ignores his warnings to drop the case and continues to encourage him. Joseph reacts by picking up Shannon and throwing her, fully dressed, into a bathtub full of water.[1]

9 The woman in red

Comedy actors Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner were about to be married when they worked together on the 1984 romantic comedy The woman in red. Wilder plays middle-aged would-be womanizer Theodore Pierce, who chases after gorgeous model Charlotte (Kelly LeBrock), hired for a campaign by the ad agency where Theodore works.

In between his shenanigans with Charlotte, he inadvertently offends a co-worker, Mrs. Milner (Radner), by appearing to play with her affections due to some misunderstanding. After standing up for the socially awkward and awkward Mrs. Milner one too many times, Theodore witnesses her wrath when she vandalizes his car right in front of him. Radner, typically sweet and lovable, is very good at managing to silently project her rage as she slowly hits his car, glaring at him, while Theodore looks genuinely terrified. [2]

8 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

As for the films featuring the greatest marital disputes of all time, the classic 1966 satirical drama from director Mike Nichol Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is right there with The War of the Roses. The difference is Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? features not only an actual married couple, but also a couple known to have a stormy relationship off-screen: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. If the characters they play, George and Martha, had enjoyed the romantic passion that Liz and Dick experienced, their marriage would have been much sweeter. However, George and Martha were not as appealing as the actors who played them.

It’s hard to say which scene in this big-screen adaptation of Edward Albee’s play is the most powerful. As the restaurant strangulation attempt draws closer, another less violent but more complex scene stands out the most. In the scene titled “Get mad, baby?” Martha continues to emasculate George and viciously humiliate him in front of their guests, describing what a failure he has been until a seething George finally explodes. Burton and Taylor pull off this very difficult scene beautifully.[3]

seven dark passage

Set in San Francisco, the 1947 romantic thriller dark passage, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, centers on Vincent Parry (Bogart), a man wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife. After escaping from prison, he is helped by new acquaintance Irene Jansen (Bacall), who believes him to be innocent and is especially sympathetic as his own father had been in a similar situation. Of course, a romance between Vincent and Irene develops like in all Bogart and Bacall films together, making maximum use of their on-screen chemistry.

One of the most unique things about this image, which is mostly taken from Vincent’s perspective, is that for the first 30 minutes, we only see his face after he’s had plastic surgery to disguise himself. The most powerful scene between Vincent and Irene is when the two actors portraying them don’t technically share the screen but talk to each other on the phone. On the run again, Vincent tells Irene of his plan to get them together. Bogie and Bacall have played it pretty cool as usual so far, but now they’re successfully conveying a range of emotions including anxiety, longing, sadness and tenderness.[4]

6 El Cantante

What could be a better vehicle to introduce former celebrity couple Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony than the 2006 musical biopic El Cantante about salsa legend Héctor Lavoe and his rocky marriage to the sexy and dynamic “Puchi”. This story, marked by so much tragedy and turmoil, offers many powerful scenes, but the most dramatic of them takes place right after their teenage son’s funeral when Hector tells Puchi he wants to break up.

Reflecting on their toxic lifestyle, he points to their constant drug use and lack of communication as reasons for ending the marriage. Puchi reacts by railing against Héctor for choosing to end things at a time like this, accusing him of being “selfish” and then telling him that he can never leave her. Anthony’s performance is sad and subdued, while Lopez’s is explosive, providing a stark contrast.[5]

5 A lot of noise for nothing

Former spouses Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh co-starred in a number of films together, including the paranormal thriller dead again and comedy Peter’s friends. They also found themselves paired up in a 1993 adaptation of Shakespeare A lot of noise for nothingwhich features very difficult scenes in which reluctant lovers Beatrice and Benedick clash in acerbic and often fiery exchanges.

A particularly dramatic scene is when the two characters, who have been bickering from the start, finally proclaim their love for each other. Just a moment after this revelation, the tone of the scene changes quickly when Beatrice asks Benedick to show her his love by killing her enemy Claudio. When Benedick refuses, Beatrice not only doubts his love, but bursts into fury, recounting how Claudio hurt her. All the joy and tenderness of the scene are quickly replaced by bitterness, anger and cynicism.[6]

4 Ali

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith display their passion onscreen in several scenes from the 2001 biopic Ali, but probably the most compelling is the slow-dancing scene in which the iconic Muhammad Ali (Smith) and future wife Sonji (Pinkett Smith) get to know each other. Although it’s understated compared to the spicy bedroom scenes and dramatic arguments, it’s a fascinating moment in its magic between the two as we see so clearly how enthralled they are with each other, almost as if they were charmed.[7]

3 Loving Pablo

Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem have starred together in nine feature films since the early 1990s, including three since the couple married in 2010. However, the volatile 2017 crime drama Loving Pablo features arguably the most powerful scene between Cruz and Bardem. The film is based on real events from the memoirs of journalist Virginia Vallejo Love Pablo, hate Escobar about her romantic relationship with notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar.

The scene that stands out is when a desperate Virginia goes to visit Pablo in his private prison to ask for financial assistance so that she can flee the country and start a new life following threats due to her well-known association with him. When he cruelly responds, Virginia breaks down crying and talks about how vulnerable she is with no one to protect her. In an interview with entertainment tonightCruz pointed to this scene when asked which scene from Loving Pablo was the most moving. The actress said it was “the hardest part” for her.” She went on to say, “I was still very, very worried about that scene.” [8]

2 The long hot summer

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward starred in seven films together, including such memorable films as Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, Paris Bluesand The drowning pool. Married for 50 years, the couple were a strong team both off and on screen. Their first photo together, The long hot summer (1958), featured some particularly powerful scenes, as the title suggests. This romantic drama set in Mississippi and based in part on three works by William Faulkner centers on Ben, a charming and devious young man accused of burning down a barn who becomes involved with the wealthy and powerful Varner family. Woodward plays one of two girls, the straight-laced but intense schoolteacher, Clara. Her father, Will (Orson Welles), identifies with Ben and wants her to marry him.

Although the pretty and intelligent Clara is visibly attracted to Ben, she is very opposed to his marriage. While alone with Ben at a picnic, she makes it clear that she values ​​herself too much and all she has to offer to be used as a pawn by Ben and his father. Woodward is very persuasive in delivering her impassioned speech. However, despite his relatively minimal dialogue, Newman holds his own, exuding a cold force and assurance.[9]

1 The Taming of the Shrew

The 1967 adaptation of the Shakespearean comedy The Taming of the Shrew, bringing together Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, has a much lighter tone than most of their other projects together. Yet even this mostly humorous film features some of the couple’s most powerful scenes. It might have something to do with the fact that it was run by opera director Franco Zeffirelli. There are a lot of fights in this movie, as the title suggests. Taylor plays the shrew Katharina, and Burton is cast as her fortune-hunting fiancé, Petruchio, who struggles to tame her.

Although there are a few emotional scenes later in the film, the most powerful is near the beginning when Petruchio chases Katharina to his father’s house, as she violently refuses to marry him. Persistent and intelligent, Petruchio proves he just might be his match. Along with bold performances from both actors, there’s plenty of great physical comedy, including a shot of Burton and Taylor falling through a roof.[1]

Andrea G. Henderson