Besides Forrest Gump, other memorable movie bench scenes
February 9, 2014 6:20 AM   Subscribe

I want to generate a list of movie scenes where character(s) sit outdoors on a bench and talk, either to themselves or to other characters. From any time period. I already have Forrest Gump. Extra credit if you can summarize the scene to help me get a sense for what it's about and to locate it in the film.
posted by xo to Media & Arts (41 answers total)
The bench in Notting Hill comes to mind.
posted by Ms. Next at 6:27 AM on February 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

(500) Days of Summer has a scene where the two main characters sit on a park bench, look at the view and talk.
posted by shelleycat at 6:28 AM on February 9, 2014

Oh, it's near the end and is the sad scene where he realises he's not going to get the girl. youtube
posted by shelleycat at 6:31 AM on February 9, 2014

Re: Notting Hill: this article in the Guardian gives some context, under 'the garden'.
posted by Ms. Next at 6:31 AM on February 9, 2014

There are a few examples of this in the TV Tropes entry for Overt Rendezvous.
posted by googly at 6:37 AM on February 9, 2014

Costner's character meeting Mr. X in JFK sticks out in my mind as an archetypal bench scene.

It's not a movie, but the entire play The Zoo Story by Edward Albee is a bench scene.
posted by graymouser at 6:43 AM on February 9, 2014

Good Will Hunting had a nice bench scene between Matt Damon and Robin Williams.
posted by duffell at 6:53 AM on February 9, 2014

I remember a park bench scene in the horror-tragedy May.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:02 AM on February 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh man, Notes on a Scandal has some great bench scenes with Judi Dench (Dench-on-a-bench), especially effective at the end.
posted by thinkpiece at 7:08 AM on February 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

The movie Afterlife has people talking to each other on benches as crucial parts of the film, even though the actual bench sitting parts are kind of mundane.

A detailed summary of the entire movie is up here.
posted by keeo at 7:28 AM on February 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

There's a lot of great bench scenes in Rudy, both before and after he gets into Notre Dame. Kid did a lot of sitting.

ETA - just reread the question and see you want dialogue / monologue. Not sure if this applies or not (I only remember the image of him there)
posted by Mchelly at 7:31 AM on February 9, 2014

Some good lists about Central Park settings here, here, and here. My favorite: Muppets Take Manhattan!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:45 AM on February 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure that The Pelican Brief and All the President's Men both had scenes sitting on a park bench at the National Mall. I'm not able to find the right keywords to pinpoint the scenes, though.
posted by Houstonian at 7:46 AM on February 9, 2014

Annie Hall-- Alvie comments on passers-by
Good Will Hunting
Burn After Reading
posted by Ideefixe at 7:50 AM on February 9, 2014

Annie Hall: Alvy & Annie sit on a bench, Alvy riffs on people walking by.

The Limey
: Stacy & Uncle John sit on a bench, staking out an apartment, Stacy riffs on people walking by. Can't find a clip, but CTR-F "Stacy and Uncle John sitting on a bench in a beach setting"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:51 AM on February 9, 2014

Solitary Man

The scene is near the end of the movie when the ailing philanderer played by Michael Douglas encounters his ex-wife and they discuss the possibility of their reconciling.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:55 AM on February 9, 2014

Hancock - "What boy, you want a cookie?'
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:25 AM on February 9, 2014

A bench conversation figures significantly in Oslo, August 31st.
posted by suprenant at 8:30 AM on February 9, 2014

In "The Day of the Jackal" there's an early scene where a high official in British Intelligence meets the French inspector and gives him some info the Brits have collected about the assassin, and I'm virtually certain they're sitting on a park bench when they have that conversation.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:36 AM on February 9, 2014

JFK - at 2:00 they sit on their bench.
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:39 AM on February 9, 2014

The Internship - Bench Talk.
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:43 AM on February 9, 2014

W. (with Karl Rove)
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:51 AM on February 9, 2014

The Borne Identity - no papers.
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:54 AM on February 9, 2014

Cleo de 5 a 7. Two strangers fall in love sitting on a bench.
posted by stinker at 8:54 AM on February 9, 2014

I'm not Rappaport is set mostly on a bench.
posted by brujita at 9:26 AM on February 9, 2014

In Anything Else, the lead character played by, ahem, Woody Allen is a mentor to a young writer played by Jason Biggs and they have a number of scenes sitting on park benches in Central Park.
posted by jayder at 9:44 AM on February 9, 2014

The new Jack Ryan movie has a bench scene shortly after he arrives in Moscow. It's a pretty common spy movie trope.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 10:03 AM on February 9, 2014

Harry and Tonto has some good park bench conversation scenes.
posted by gimli at 10:04 AM on February 9, 2014

Jack Lemmon is forced to sleep on a park bench in the Apartment.
posted by Chenko at 10:12 AM on February 9, 2014

In an adorable scene in Love Actually, Daniel (Liam Neeson) and his young stepson Sam (Thomas Sangster) sit on a bench in London and discuss whether Sam's moodiness is because of something other than his mother's recent death. "Worse than the total agony of being in love?"
posted by teditrix at 10:21 AM on February 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ai zai bie xiang de ji jie (IMDB) (directed by Clara Law; starring Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung Ka-Fai).

Va gur ynfg qenzngvp fprar bs gur svyz Gbal Yrhat Xn-Snv qvfpbiref Znttvr Purhat nffvqhbhfyl pbaavat na ryqreyl jbzna bhg bs zbarl ba n cnex orapu. (ROT-13ed for lack of a better option.)
posted by yz at 11:07 AM on February 9, 2014

2010 has a scene on a park bench outside the White House, in which Dr. Heywood Floyd (Roy Scheider) tells Victor Millson (James McEachin) that he wants to go on a Soviet ship to see what happened to the Discovery.

It wouldn't be a particularly noteworthy scene...except that Arthur C. Clarke has a cameo in that scene, as an old man feeding the birds a few benches over.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:42 AM on February 9, 2014

Not sure how memorable it is, but the Oracle & Neo in Matrix Reloaded
posted by bluesapphires at 12:19 PM on February 9, 2014

Men In Black. Tommy Lee Jones explains aliens to Will Smith, asks him to join him on his mission, and explains that if he chooses to join up, he will have to completely abandon his old life and identity. According to this wiki plot description, it sounds like it's maybe the third scene in the movie.
posted by marsha56 at 2:00 PM on February 9, 2014

My favorites:

- The opening of Man's Castle (1933) wherein Spencer Tracy meets a starving Loretta Young on a park bench and impresses the heck out of her.

- The opening number of One Hour With You (1932) wherein the cops raid a park full of couples necking on park benches. But they can't stop our heroes (Maurice Chavalier and Jeanette MacDonald) because they're married!

TCM's database contains the AFI's catalog data, including the AFI's extraordinarily detailed synopses of many older films. You could formulate a Google search like so to pull out mentions of park benches in those synopses.
posted by bubukaba at 2:09 PM on February 9, 2014

There's a recurring bit about a bus stop bench in Ghost World. The protagonist Enid keeps sees an old man named Norman waiting at an out-of-service bus stop for days on end. Towards the end of the film, she sees him finally board a bus that arrives at his bench. The next day, Enid goes to the bench and gets on the bus when it arrives, fulfilling her longstanding dream of running away.(clip)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:09 PM on February 9, 2014

Two-thirds of the way through The Warriors, there's a scene where 4 of The Warriors are sneaking through a park and they spot a woman alone on a park bench. One guy, Ajax, lingers behind to try and hit on her - but discovers, after he makes a move, that she's an undercover cop who's there to try and catch sexual predators. She cuffs him to the bench and calls for backup. The others come back for him, just in time to see him being loaded into a cop car, and they abandon him to his fate.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:30 PM on February 9, 2014

I am shocked, shocked, that nobody else has mentioned the bus stop in Mr. Holland's Opus.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 2:43 PM on February 9, 2014

I think William Petersen and Dennis Farina have a chat on a log on a beach that is very evocative of a bench in "Manhunter." I can see his little bowlegs now....
posted by umberto at 8:00 PM on February 9, 2014

The Sweetest Thing. Here's a photo of the bench. Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate have traveled to "Somerset" from their home in San Francisco to track down a man they met at a club, and the bench provides them with a clue that helps them find him.
posted by candyland at 8:31 PM on February 9, 2014

Can't link, sorry, am mobile with bad wifi, but Google 'Carousel bench scene'.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 9:41 PM on February 9, 2014

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