The Best Shots of All Time in Film (Part Three)

Carefully constructed shots and expertly engineered sequences can heighten suspense and communicate so much to the viewer, often with nary a word of dialogue. Here are more of the best shots in film.

If you enjoyed part one and part two of this series from Cinefix, I'm sure you'll like part three, which moves away from shots that focus on people and examines establishing shots, inserts, and cutaways. Such shots can be used to give information about a scene (or simply show the viewer where it's taking place), show increased focus on something contained within the master shot, or show action or the passage of time away from the main sequence, often to build suspense or evoke some sort of emotional response.

Perhaps my favorite set of such shots comes from Oliver Stone's "JFK." The film uses a masterful mix of historical and created footage, and the Zapruder film scene is a particularly effective sequence, with Stone's rapid-fire use of inserts and cutaways slowly coalescing around the Zapruder film's master timeline before everything comes to a grinding halt at frame 313. It's extremely precise chaos, and the tension it builds is palpable. (Beware the violence in this clip.)

Do you have any favorite such shots? Share them in the comments!

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Kyle Medina's picture

Roast me now. I've never seen the Godfather......and many more iconic movies, lol.

Alex Cooke's picture


I haven't seen the Godfather either, but in this scene, he'll get whacked.