Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Film's Greatest Dream Sequences

BL_HERO.jpg
RUSHMORE_HERO.jpg
AMERICAN BEAUTY_HERO.jpg

Some things just go together. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar; Victoria’s Secret lingerie and Candice Swanepoel; Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister…

To that list you can add dreams and the cinema. Hollywood might be capable of amazing feats of schmaltz and cheese, but it’s also the greatest medium in which to express the hypnotic qualities of a dream or nightmare.

What follows are our top ten dream sequences in film. See, pantomime pirate popster Gabrielle was right when she said dreams can come true.

(Images: All Star, Rex Features)

The Big Lebowski

A dancing Dude, Saddam Hussein doling out bowling shoes, Julianne Moore as a Viking vixen and our eponymous hero swirling and twirling through the legs of elaborately adorned dancers to the sound of The First Edition’s Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In), the Big Lebowski’s dream is a thing of wonder indeed.



Spellbound

Alfred Hitchcock hooking up with Salvador Dali for the dream sequences in the former’s classic whodunit Spellbound, what could possibly go wrong? Nothing. Gregory Peck reliving his darkest moments for Ingrid Bergman is absurd surrealism in overdrive.



Fletch

Who in moments of quiet reflection hasn’t dared to dream what it would be like to score the winning goal in the FA Cup final; hit a double hundred at Lord’s and cop off with Marion Coutillard? Ok, maybe the last one is a different type of dream, but ace investigative reporter Chevy ‘Fletch’ Chase’s dream of turning out for the LA Lakers speaks to the fanboy in every one of us.



Lost Highway

It’s a David Lynch film; it has to have a lurid dream by law. Bill Pullman’s night-time sweats certainly echo the anxieties at the heart of Lynch’s creepy suspense thriller.



American Beauty

Perv alert. It’s probably not wise to lust after your daughter’s best mate, but, remember, this is the movies. They do things a little differently there. As long as Kevin Spacey doesn’t act upon his naughty dreams, eh?



Fast Times At Ridgemont High

Much like Fletch’s forlorn wish to turn out for the Lakers, Sean Penn’s Spicoli is never going to achieve the glory, or get the girls, that he dreams of in Fast Times At Ridgemont High. Teenage slackerdom still looks mighty alluring, mind.



Peewee’s Big Adventure

For creatures that are meant to transmit joy, clowns are more often than not harbingers of doom, the spooky little feckers. Pee-wee Herman’s devilish dream involving the butchery of his beloved bike, captures this disturbing dichotomy perfectly.



Rushmore

Max Fischer’s (Jason Schwartzman) dream of nonchalantly deciphering one of the greatest maths conundrums is one that chimes with us all. Who doesn’t want to stick one up at the boss/man/suit/teacher, while seeming to not give a damn, eh?



81/2

Federico Fellini’s is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest films of all time, and this dream sequence at the beginning of the film establishes the themes of memory and fantasy perfectly.



Papillon

Let’s face it; if you were serving life imprisonment on a remote island for a crime you didn’t commit, your dreams might be twisted notions of freedom too. Steve McQueen’s titular character certainly suffered from strange visions. Dark.



Related

clockwork.jpg

Greatest Character Entrances

Mr Creosote.jpg

8 terrible movie restaurants

zooey.jpg

30 movie girls who'll break your heart

Comments

More

Exclusive: Sam Neill confirms he's in Thor 3

23 Sep 2016

Chris Pratt is a big deal - and we couldn't be happier for him

Chris Pratt talks to Jimi Famurewa about stripping off, the pay gap and why he’s happy to be a piece of meat

22 Sep 2016

See the hilarious War On Everyone for FREE

ShortList Film Club gives you the chance to catch it first and for free

21 Sep 2016

Morgan Spurlock's 'Rats' documentary is the biggest horror of 2016

If you weren't already terrified of rats then you will be after this by Paddy Maddison

19 Sep 2016

Why does Bill Murray have no friends?

Is there are more sinister side to why Billy 'No Mates' Murray needs to be worshipped? by Tristan Cross

15 Sep 2016

Six reasons new thriller The Clan is unmissable

by Joe Ellison

15 Sep 2016

Daniel Radcliffe has issues in exclusive clip for new Neo-Nazi drama

He's come a long way since Harry Potter by Paddy Maddison

13 Sep 2016

Stylised Sci-Fi posters bring new life to your favourite films

Your favourite Sci-Fi films reimagined by Paddy Maddison

13 Sep 2016

Mad Max without special effects is still incredible

Those of a nervous disposition may wish to look away now. by Paddy Maddison

13 Sep 2016

Does this confirm Wolverine dies in the next film?

Boyd Holbrook hints it might be the end of Logan's run

13 Sep 2016