Scenes about forgetting, then remembering again
December 27, 2013 2:05 PM   Subscribe

There's a particular kind of movie scene I really like, where a character has forgotten their purpose (due to amnesia, magical fugue, etc -- not absent-mindedness), then remembers it and sets themselves back to the task at hand with a renewed sense of urgency. Please recommend me movies with scenes like this? Examples below the fold.

Some examples: Sarah at the ball in Labyrinth, Kermit's storyline in The Muppets Take Manhattan, the end of The Last Temptation of Christ, Hercules drinking the waters of forgetfulness in Hercules Unchained.

While I'm flexible on the particulars, scenes like this generally hit the sweet spot for me if the amnesia is externally imposed upon the character in some way, and if the thing forgotten is, specifically, some important task or purpose, not just their identity.

And, if you please, no spoilers.
posted by prize bull octorok to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The Bourne Supremacy is built upon this very conceit. You might enjoy the original novel by Robert Ludlum.

The Matt Damon remake from a few years ago wasn't bad, but I thought the novel did a better job of dealing with the memory stuff. It was also made as a miniseries starring none other than Richard Chamberlain as Jason Bourne.
posted by jquinby at 2:10 PM on December 27, 2013

eternal sunshine of the spotless mind?
posted by bruce at 2:10 PM on December 27, 2013

I'm not sure if Memento is quite what you're looking for, but it is a fantastic movie nonetheless.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 2:15 PM on December 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

The Long Kiss Goodnight.
posted by LynnDee at 2:16 PM on December 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

The poppy field scene in Wizard of Oz.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:16 PM on December 27, 2013

I think Dora in Finding Nemo fits the bill?
posted by freezer cake at 2:20 PM on December 27, 2013

Not a movie per se, but the pilot episode of Quantum Leap.
(And "swiss cheese" amnesia is a theme throughout the whole series)
posted by jozxyqk at 2:27 PM on December 27, 2013

Best answer: A Little Princess has that type of scene as its climax. Sobbing every time.
posted by therewolf at 2:27 PM on December 27, 2013

Desperately Seeking Susan?
posted by Melismata at 2:46 PM on December 27, 2013

The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon two parter of Doctor Who.
posted by Ruki at 4:19 PM on December 27, 2013

The Muppets version of The Frog Prince has a variant of this with a linguistics bent.
posted by softlord at 4:20 PM on December 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

The scene in Monty Python's The Life of Brian in which Brian is uniquely distracted while being chased by centurions?
posted by 1367 at 5:20 PM on December 27, 2013

Overboard with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
posted by pkropfl at 7:15 PM on December 27, 2013

Unknown (2011) with Liam Neeson. Start with this one - it's great!
posted by lizzicide at 7:26 PM on December 27, 2013

Best answer: You might find TV Tropes: Forgot The Call useful.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 8:34 PM on December 27, 2013

Source Code maybe?
posted by gudrun at 9:36 PM on December 27, 2013

Best answer: Mirrormask has this type of scene in the second half.
This idea is also the plotline of Buffy the Vampire Slayer S6 Ep8: Tabula Rasa, although it's an example of lost identity rather than purpose.
posted by copperdrake at 4:43 AM on December 28, 2013

Vanilla Sky
posted by Pfardentrott at 11:41 AM on December 29, 2013

« Older What should I title my porn-related art project?   |   My tub! It cannot be cleaned! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.