How many famous movie scenes can you think of that feature staircases? If you think about it for long enough, there’s a good chance you’ll come up with loads. Stairs can be used to great dramatic effect, so let’s take a look at some of those famous scenes that have wowed film fans for decades.
Home Alone – The classic comedy made a star of nine-year-old Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister he uses novel and ingenious methods to foil a pair of burglars, having been accidentally left at home by his family at Christmas. Stairs feature several times during the film – firstly as the burglars slip on the icy steps outside Kevin’s home but most notably once they’re inside as they are bombarded with paint cans dropped from the top of the staircase by the story’s hero. The scene was so popular, it was repeated in the sequel, with the burglars dodging the paint cans, only to be taken out by a large lead pipe.
Battleship Potemkin – Arguably the most famous stair sequence in cinematic history features thousands of people fleeing down the Odessa Steps as they vainly try to escape attack fro Tsarist soldiers in the classic 1925 silent film. The most memorable moment features a baby in a carriage rolling down the steps after its mother has fallen to the ground, with the viewer left to guess its fate. The baby carriage scene was echoed in the 80s crime drama The Untouchables.
Rocky – The original film won Best Picture at the Oscars and propelled Sylvester Stallone (who also wrote the film and its sequels) from an unknown bit-part actor to a global superstar. Its most iconic scene featured the gritty underdog running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and punching the air. The scene was so popular, a bronze statue of Rocky was erected at the top of the steps in 1982, and remains close to the stairs to this day. The sequence was repeated in the future Rocky films and has been parodied many times in other movies, including The Nutty Professor, which saw Eddie Murphy sprint up the steps in a fat suit.
Titanic – James Cameron’s 1997 epic includes a beautifully crafted staircase that features in many of the scenes on board the ship, including the film’s climactic sequence that sees Jack and Rose reuinted. The staircase symbolises the luxury and grandeur that was present throughout the vessel and was the centrepiece of one of the most ambitious interior sets ever captured on film.
Some other notable movie staircases include those seen in Gone With The Wind, The Exorcist, The Shining and Inception, but there are many more. If there are any you think we’ve missed out, let us know!
Written by David Chapman of UK Stair Parts