Scenes where people are having a hard time to have a conversation
November 13, 2014 11:00 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for movies scenes where protagonists don't understand each other, because of a lot of ambient noise or because the protagonists have to speak very low …people saying "what?", shouting, making weird faces, having a conversation based on a misunderstanding, etc. I'm looking for examples that happen face to face but also by telephone. Thank you in advance!
posted by anonymous to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This isn't quite what you're asking for but in The Fifth Element Corben Dallas is trying to get Baby Ray to throw a gun to him but Baby Ray is stone deaf.
posted by aubilenon at 11:35 PM on November 13, 2014

Hear is one from "The life of Brian" it has at least one other scene involving this sort of thing. https He's mad sir!
posted by boilermonster at 11:56 PM on November 13, 2014

Related TV Trope (somewhat overlaps with what you're asking about, but not 100%): I Can't Hear You
posted by phoenixy at 12:01 AM on November 14, 2014

The Jim Jarmusch film Coffee and Cigarettes consists of eleven vignettes of people talking but enduring various levels of miscommunication. The one with Iggy Pop and Tom Waits stands out in my mind as exactly what you're looking for. be fair...haven't seen the film in years.
posted by shibori at 1:10 AM on November 14, 2014

From American Psycho (the scene takes place in a loud nightclub):
Patrick Bateman: Ask me a question.

Club Patron: So, what do you do?

Patrick Bateman: I'm into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly.

Club Patron: Do you like it?

Patrick Bateman: Well, it depends. Why?

Club Patron: Well, most guys I know who are in mergers and acquisitions really don't like it.
posted by akk2014 at 3:29 AM on November 14, 2014

Almost every scene in Coffee and Cigarettes.
posted by mibo at 4:12 AM on November 14, 2014

The scene in Boogie Nights where Reed is doing a card trick for Buck at a loud bar.

Buck: That's my card! That is incredible! Doesn't it make you nervous dealing with those evil forces?
Reed: Horses?
Buck: No. Evil forces.
Reed: Evil? No, man. It's not evil. It's an illusion.
Buck: Yeah, it's confusing.
Reed: (florid magician gesture) Thank you.
posted by gnomeloaf at 4:39 AM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Not in a movie, but a TV show: Mitchell and Webb did a comedy sketch about this sort of situation, available here.
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:15 AM on November 14, 2014

Not quite face-to-face but this scene from Planes Trains and Automobiles has some of what you're looking for...
posted by cornflakegirl at 7:05 AM on November 14, 2014

This scene from BBC's Sherlock, starting at about 43 seconds.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:23 AM on November 14, 2014

This is a recurring theme of The Discrete Charm of the Bourgeoisie. Telephones, planes, wars, typewriters ... They all interrupt the most interesting dialogue.
posted by ExpertWitness at 7:45 AM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Hmm, it doesn't exactly fit since they mostly understand each other but in the Doctor Who episode "Partners in Crime" The Doctor and Donna have an entire silent conversation by mime. Here's a YT Link.
posted by kassila at 10:34 AM on November 14, 2014

Top Gun
posted by kookywon at 1:06 PM on November 14, 2014

Trainspotting has a pretty classic one in a loud club where the speaking lines are subtitled (by necessity) so the viewer can tell what is going on. I also remember McCabe and Mrs. Miller having a lot of dialogue with multiple conversations overlapping.
posted by Dmenet at 2:29 PM on November 14, 2014

This is more language barrier than ambient noise problems, but Rush Hour - Do You Understand the Words That Are Coming Out of My Mouth?
posted by kaspen at 2:45 PM on November 14, 2014

The Cone of Silence in Get Smart.
posted by brundlefly at 6:35 PM on November 16, 2014

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