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Oscar Romances: Fave scenes & heartbreakers

Showbiz personalities relive their most memorable movie moments

“I guess it would have to be the scene at the end of ‘Wuthering Heights,’ when Merle Oberon dies and Olivier carries her to the window and says ‘She’s mine now,’ and then they go off together as ghosts. I just thought it was very, very sad, and it had an elegant, non-self-indulgent quality which Olivier seemed to carry with him in all his work.”

— Actor Nicolas Cage, who won the best actor award for “Leaving Las Vegas” in 1996.

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“When one of our heroines in Ang Lee’s ‘Eat, Drink, Man , Woman’ spots her potential love interest napping on a couch, she just kind of watches him for a second while he’s asleep. Of course, the minute she walks away he opens his eyes.

“It’s kind of weird when you think about it. Watching people sleep is kind of creepy. But in the movies if you have somebody watching you go to sleep, it’s quite romantic. It works on the screen, but don’t try it in real life.”

— James Schamus, Oscar-nominated writer for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and co-producer the Oscar-winning film “Sense and Sensibility.”

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“My first impulse would be to say the departure scene in ‘Casablanca,’ where Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman look at each other and he’s going to leave, because you can just feel it. But, actually, I should say ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,’ I was there and I really had to feel it, that sense of loss between the lovers.”

— Michelle Yeoh, star of this year’s Oscar nominee for best picture, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”

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“My pick is ‘Roman Holiday,’ for which Audrey won the Oscar.”

— Gregory Peck, Oscar winner, best actor, “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962)

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“In ‘Carousel,’ when Gordon MacRae’s character dies, and I’m leaning over him. He tells Julie to make sure to take the baby to San Francisco, and he says, ‘I always loved you, Julie.’ I was still new to movies. It was my second film and I had never done a crying scene before. It was very difficult for me to do at that time. The thing that made me cry was Claramae Turner singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ — that really got to me.”

— Shirley Jones, Oscar winner, best supporting actress, “Elmer Gantry” (1960)

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“There are so many — ‘Titanic,’ of course, ‘Terms of Endearment,’ ‘Gone With the Wind,’ ‘Casablanca,’ ‘Forrest Gump.’ But I would have to go with ‘Casablanca.’ That scene at the airport is so indelibly etched in my mind. In a different way, ‘Gone With the Wind’ is just as memorable a parting scene. Toss a coin.”

— Janet Leigh, Oscar nominee, best supporting actress, “Psycho” (1960)

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” ‘The Sixth Sense’ scene in which Bruce Willis whispers a final farewell to his wife. It’s Bruce at his most tender. And love, life, death — the archetype equation, each transcending the other.”

— Ben Kingsley, Oscar winner, best actor, “Gandhi” (1982)

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“‘Brief Encounter’ is my favorite. Celia Johnson has a fling with a darling man and, of course, goes back to her husband. It’s done in such human terms. And there’s that sense that he knew, he glances up from reading his newspaper. It’s that kind of film, leaving so much for the audience to fill in, and it’s in good taste.”

— Eva Marie Saint, Oscar winner, best supporting actress, “On the Waterfront” (1954)

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“I don’t know if it’s in good form to pick one of your own pictures, but the parting scene in ‘Lolita’ merits mentioning. James Mason finally finds Lolita and pours his heart out for her to forgive him his transgressions and she has no idea what he’s talking about. The other one would be ‘Doctor Zhivago,’ where Julie Christie is going away with no chance of meeting up with Omar Sharif again.”

— James B. Harris, producer, picture nominee, “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964)

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“My very, very favorite, which comes from watching it as a kid, is ‘Wuthering Heights.’ It treated love as if it were a life-or-death passion. A more modern choice, where love is treated more as a sweet ache, that I like is ‘The Way We Were.’ But ‘Wuthering Heights’ came across like one’s dream of what love is supposed to be.”

— Lee Grant, Oscar winner, best supporting actress, “Shampoo” (1975)

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“At the end of ‘West Side Story,’ after he’s been shot, and Natalie Wood is holding Richard Beymer in her arms — that would be my favorite from my own films. I have the picture on my home office wall of them doing the scene in front of the camera. That’s my most memorable one.”

–Robert Wise, Oscar winner, best director, producer, best film, “West Side Story” (1961); Oscar winner, best director, producer, best film, “The Sound of Music” (1965); recipient, Irving G. Thalberg Award, 1966

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