Originally conceived as a stage play, Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder was eventually released as a 3D film. The film is named after the infamous phone call featured in the movie. Hitchcock even constructed a gigantic hand reaching for a phone just to shoot the finger coming at the screen in 3D.
Stanley Kubrick’s satire of American politics, the military industrial complex, and the Cold War single-handedly made the idea of a War room conference call a staple in political thrillers. Kubrick gets a lot of love for his dramas, but the man had a real knack for sharp comedy.
Not many moviegoing experiences could compare to seeing Get Out’s tense phone call for help for the first time in a crowded theater. Plus, it makes for one of the most satisfying reveals in recent memory.
“Show me the money!” shout Cuba Gooding Jr. and Tom Cruise, speaking on endearingly ancient phones, in the classic sports dramedy Jerry Maguire. This quote still endures even after all these years, which only speaks to the memorability of this phone call sequence.
Instead of choosing just one call, let’s focus on the fact that Locke essentially operates solely because of phone calls that are placed throughout the film’s quick runtime. The movie is all about a man driving to meet his mistress as she gives birth to their child, placing calls to friends and family members and business associates as he goes.
Easily one of the most terrifying phone call sequences in this slideshow, David Lynch’s Lost Highway has a key scene early on where a character is approached by a strange man, picks up the phone, dials his house phone, and speaks to the man standing right in front of him. Not only is it one of the most effective Lynch sequences, but it’s easily one of the scariest phone calls to imagine.
Adam Sandler getting berated over the phone by a very angry Philip Seymour Hoffman will never not be funny. Paul Thomas Anderson never wastes an actor’s talent, even when the two leads aren’t even in the same room.
Wes Craven’s refreshingly self-aware horror-comedy Scream features one of the most memorable phone calls in the genre’s history. That iconic mask on the other line would likely stick in anyone’s mind for a long, long time.
Judging by just how many people are able to recite Liam Neeson’s iconic phone call from memory, even a decade after Taken’s release, it seems more than appropriate to feature this thriller here.
Crossing from the Matrix into the real world, the phone call sequence featured in the back end of The Matrix is one of the tenser entries featured here. As key characters are picked off one by one over the phone, which makes for something truly memorable.