ET finale voted most powerful cinematic moment

Survey ranks moving denouement to Steven Spielberg's sci-fi blockbuster ahead of Toy Story 3 and Rocky

A new poll has identified the spine-tingling denouement of ET, in which the alien visitor bids farewell to Elliott and sets off for home in his spaceship, as cinema's most powerful moment.

The concluding scene of Steven Spielberg's 1982 blockbuster beat off competition from Toy Story 3, Rocky, Bambi and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in the survey for education charity Filmclub and LoveFilm. More than 30% of correspondents named it their favourite movie moment.

Toy Story 3's second place came thanks to the climactic scene in which Woody and the toys hold hands in expectation of imminent death by garbage furnace. More than 16% of people voted for the sequence.

Rocky's fight for the heavyweight championship of the world was responsible for Sylvester Stallone's film taking third spot, while the death of Bambi's mother and the final stand of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid rounded out the top five.

The poll was carried out as part of Filmclub's new campaign, which will involve the charity hosting screenings in schools around the UK, followed by discussions about the "power of film". To find out more, visit or call 0207 288 4520.

The 10 most powerful movie moments

1. ET: the Extra-Terrestrial (PG, 1982): ET says goodbye to his friends and heads home in a spaceship, leaving a rainbow trailing across the sky.

2. Toy Story 3 (U, 2010): The toys hold hands and face their fate.

3. Rocky (PG, 1976): The emotionally-charged climactic fight.

4. Bambi (U, 1942): The moment when tragedy touches the young life of Bambi in the shape of his mother's death.

5. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (PG, 1969): The scene in which the besieged cowboys leap out of their bunker, all guns blazing.

6. The Wizard of Oz (U, 1939): When Dorothy opens the door of her grey house to behold a world filled with colour.

7. Battleship Potemkin (PG, 1925): The influential "Odessa steps" massacre scene.

8. Mr Smith Goes to Washington (U, 1939): The filibuster scene makes a powerful case for justice: "I'm going to stay right here and fight for this lost cause."

9. Network (15, 1976): When news anchor Howard Beale announces: "I'm as mad as hell."

10. Miracle in Milan (U, 1951): Final scene when Toto and his friends rise into the sky on brooms.


Ben Child

The GuardianTramp

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