Nobody wants to work on a Saturday, but alas, needs must, cinema tickets don’t grow on trees after all. In order to celebrate my belated entrance to all things weekend related I did that very British thing of heading to the pub with friends once my working day was over. ‘Just staying for one’ soon escalated into a full-blown night out that would have made Oliver Reed proud. As I returned home I could already feel the swiftly approaching hangover and I was dreading Sunday more than Batman fans fear Joel Schumacher. Quick into action, I made some damage limitation decisions. These included devouring a plate of toast, taking two paracetamol, drinking three pints of water and two black coffees. I then decided a cooling shower would be my final act before slumber and it was during my towel dry off session that I thought that it would be wise to take a final pint of water to bed to get me through the night. Being close to 5am I ran downstairs in my birthday suit, safe in the knowledge that nobody else would be around to see me. I made it to the kitchen, grabbed a glass, when it suddenly flew out of my hands and shattered all over the tiled floor. In my drunken stupor, I was bereft of ideas of how to escape the predicament I had found myself in. Eventually I decided that all I could do was to stand and wait for some human contact to help me out of my debacle. Those four hours flew by and with my shame concealed by a tea towel, I was free to go, however in that time I got thinking as I always do about films. My mind turned to thinking about scenes in movies which had featured pivotal moments regarding broken glass and therefore, here is my Top 5 Scenes In Film Featuring Broken Glass.
#5 Spider-Man 2 (2004, Sam Raimi)
Brilliant nuclear scientist Otto Octavious (Alfred Molina) has been funded by Oscorp Industries to design and test a nuclear fusion power project. Whilst handling the equipment he wears a harness of powerful robotic tentacle arms with artificial intelligence. During his demonstration the power destabilizes and when Octavious refuses to switch off the power, Spider-Man appears and pulls the plug, not before a magnetic field pulls the windows from the walls, shattering the glass which then flies towards Octavious’ wife Rosalie (Donna Murphy). In a harrowing scene we see her reflection in the fatal shards as they fly towards her.
#4 Goldfinger (1964, Guy Hamilton)
The third James Bond installment and perhaps the definitive entry in the series as it sets up many of the tropes for future films. Sean Connery as Bond has foiled Auric Goldfinger’s (Gert Fröbe) plan to radiate USA’s gold supply at Fort Knox, in order to make his much more valuable. However once his mission is complete, Bond is invited to meet the President at the White House and whilst en route his plane is hijacked by Goldfinger. In a struggle for his gun, a single shot is fired which breaks a window causing an explosive decompression. Goldfinger is sucked out of the window and then Bond & Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman) manage to escape to safety and await their rescue.
#3 Home Alone (1990, John Hughes)
You know the drill, Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is accidentally left home alone by his parents as they fly to Paris for their Christmas vacation. Living in a wonderfully well to-do area of Chicago, The Wet Bandits, Harry & Marv (Joe Pesci & Daniel Stern) decide to go on a little robbing spree, however they didn’t count on Kevin defending his home in a manner which James Bond would later emulate in Skyfall. Marv, loses his shoes and socks in a trail of tar left by Kevin and when he finally enters the house barefoot, he steps directly onto an array of Christmas tree decorations which then shatter and tear his feet to shreds. Poor guy, it’s not even the worst thing he goes through either, tarantula on the face anyone!?!?!?
#2 The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997, Steven Spielberg)
The best of the Jurassic Park sequels, there I’ve said it. After bringing an infant T-Rex back to their trailer to help heal its broken leg, Mamma & Poppa Rex track Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore & Vince Vaughn down and pushes half of their trailer off the side of a cliff. As they climb to safety, Dr. Sarah Harding (Moore) falls and lands on a thin pane of glass, which slows begins to crack and she must then climb to safety before the window falls completely through. Easily the films best sequence and not just a standout scene in the franchise but also in all of 90s action film cinema.
#1 Die Hard (1988, John McTiernan)
“Karl, schieß dem fenster…Shoot the glass!” Now I’m not sure exactly why Karl doesn’t comprehend his instructions from Hans Gruber in his native tongue, but when he finally realises that shooting the glass is the name of the game you just know that the shit is about to hit the fan for the barefooted John McClane (Bruce Willis). To escape the terrorists exceptional thieves, he must run across a floor covered in broken glass to avoid capture. McClane manages to escape but the following scene still makes audiences squirm in their seats as we see the aftermath of his sprint to safety. John McClane, we salute you sire.
By Gary Lunt