Vintage Movie Scenes That Should Have Been Paused At This Exact Moment

By Sarah Norman | August 24, 2023

Hit Pause Fast Enough And You'll Find E.T. in 'The Phantom Menace'

Are you ready for the ultimate list of the most paused movie scenes of all time? Get ready to hit pause on your own movie nights, because we've scoured the internet and compiled a list of the most iconic, jaw-dropping, and just plain bizarre movie moments that have viewers hitting pause to catch every detail. From heart-pounding action sequences to mind-blowing plot twists, these are the movie scenes that have left audiences pausing and rewinding for decades.

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(20th Century Fox)

In 1999's Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, E.T. (or three of E.T.'s family members) can be seen in the Galactic Senate during Princess Amadala's speech. This payback to Steven Spielberg including R2-D2 and C-3PO in Raiders of the Lost Ark is not only unexpected but it adds an extra layer of whimsy and humor to the scene if you know when to pause.

Some fans have speculated that E.T. may be a member of a previously unseen alien species, while others have speculated that he may be a force-sensitive being. Regardless of the reason for his appearance, E.T.'s cameo in the Galactic Senate has continued to intrigue and delight fans of the film.

This Scene From 'The Shining' Remains One Of The Most Surreal Paused Moments In Film History

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(Warner Bros.)

The famously paused bear suit scene in The Shining, a horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick and released in 1980, has become one of the most iconic and memorable moments in cinematic history in spite of its brevity. In the scene, Danny Torrance is running away from his father, Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson), and as he takes a hard turn through the Overlook Hotel's many corridors Danny comes face to face with a man wearing a bear suit on his knees in front of one of the Overlook's many apparitions.

The scene became so popular due to its unexpected and surreal nature, as well as the intense performance by Nicholson. The Shining was released in the era of postmodernism, a time when traditional narrative structures and conventions were being challenged and subverted in art and culture. As a result, the bear suit scene perfectly exemplified the themes and stylistic choices of the film, which blended horror and psychological thriller elements with a surreal and dreamlike atmosphere. The scene's lasting impact can be seen in its numerous parodies and homages in popular culture.