3x3: favorite scenes in tents

Pretty self explanatory. We discuss our favorite scenes that take place in tents at the 47-minute mark of the Qt3 Movie Podcast of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Kelly Wand
3. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
2. Moonrise Kingdom: Sam’s abandoned tent in the Khaki Scout camp

  1. The Blair Witch Project: the one where Josh disappears

Tom Chick
3. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
2. The Apparition: the Costco tent scene

  1. The Blair Witch Project: Heather Donahue’s confessional

3. Dances with Wolves: a couple sleeping together in a tent with children and guests
2. Brokeback Mountain: Ennis comforted by Jack in the second tent scene

  1. The Royal Tenenbaums: Richie returns from the hospital to find Margot listening to records in his tent

This week’s listener submissions:

Paul Weimer
3. Jurassic Park: T. rex invades tent
2. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre: partners cheating each other every time one of them sacks out

  1. Brokeback Mountain: “A tent big enough for two…”

Scott Dobros
3. The Blair Witch Project: their first terrorized night
2. MASH: operating tent

  1. The Royal Tenenbaums: Richie’s tent

Jeff Sweet
3. Moonrise Kingdom: Scout Master Ward’s tent
2. Moonrise Kingdom: Sam and Suzy’s tent

  1. The Royal Tenenbaums: Richie’s tent

Now yours.

I knew there was going to be an abundance of Wes Anderson.

Richie’s yellow tent is my favorite as well…

…but how can no one mention the scene between Dustin Hoffman as Little Big Man and Richard Mulligan as General Custer? Man, that scene is awesome.

(Custer’s army has earlier killed Little Big Man’s native wife and child at the massacre at Washita Creek. Little Big Man, hired as a guide by the cavalry, goes to Custer’s tent to murder him and Mulligan’s Custer–shaving and with his back to Dustin Hoffman the entire time–shames him as a coward and a fraud who couldn’t possibly go through with what he intends.)

I’ve always been a little bit too charmed by the tents of Poppins proportions in the Harry Potter movies. But the scene that really stole the show was in Deathly Hallows (Part 1), when Harry & Hermione start dancing to the radio music. I recall it being so offbeat that the entire theater was giggling—in a good way.

My other favorite tent scene is in Return of the King, when Merry suits up & discovers his sword isn’t even sharp. It captures both his fierce, willing spirit and the relative ridiculousness of the small threat he poses. Jackson catches a lot of flack for the changes he made, sometimes rightly, but the changes that occur amidst the tents at the encampment were almost all positive.

So is it just me whose copy of the podcast goes haywire at the one hour mark?

Anyway, while The Royal Tennenbaums would certainly make my list, as soon as I heard the topic I knew what my number one would be: the magic tent in The Day After Tomorrow. Who knew that all you need to survive the worst, coldest snow-storm in the history of Earth is a flimsy little two man tent?

For shame, Qt3 movie podcast for not mentioning Hannah! (on listening, KellyWand mentioned it in passing near the end). Hannah escapes from the government facility, and hooks up with a British family. She shares a tent with the daughter, and gets to enjoy being a teenager for a few nights, gossiping about boys.

And how can you cite Little Big Man in this context without bringing up Little Horse?

“You look tired Little Big Man. Would you like to come in my teepee and rest on soft furs? Come and live with me and I’ll be your wife!”

God I love that movie. Pure comic genius (tinged with great sadness).

I realized as I was listening to the podcast that I had the topic slightly wrong and was just thinking of my favorite tents in movies–not favorite scenes that took place within tents. Granted, the two lists would be pretty much identical, but I was kind of focusing on the wrong part when describing what I liked about them. Oh well.

  1. The ladies’ shower tent with the walls rigged to fly upwards in Robert Altman’s MAS*H. Probably should have been a court-martial offense, but hey, those wacky doctors were at war. Or police action. Or OH GOD OUR GALLOWS HUMOR KEEPS US SANE IN OTHERWISE INTOLERABLE TIMES.

  2. The “Roustabouts” song in Dumbo as the big top comes up. Hardworking members of the underclass and beasts of burden make a superstructure spring out of the mud overnight. Do they get thanks? No, they just inject more troubled racial politics into a cartoon with a talking mouse and a big-eared elephant.

  3. Anthony Quinn’s tent in Lawrence of Arabia. I always loved how it held such wealth, yet it swayed in the wind.

Good calls on all the Wes Anderson movies.

Oh my gosh, you’re so right about the movie.

How about young Jack Crabbe and his sister and their first encounter with the Cheyenne, sitting in the teepee passing around a pipe?

“Any minute now, they’re going to…rrrrrrAPE me…” and she sounds as if she’s eagerly looking forward to giving it up, even though a moment ago it took a female Cheyenne checking down her shirt to tell the other perplexed braves that the sister, Caroline, wasn’t a dude.

I love the next line so, so much:

“I don’t think they’re gonna bother you, Caroline.”

The Ghost and the Darkness and the tent ripped to shreds. For some reason that scene and image stuck with me more than if the attack had been shown on camera.

Marion and Belloq having dinner in Raiders Of The Lost Ark.

Now that’s a classic.

There’s also the sex scene in Starship Troopers. It was in tents.

Maybe I skimmed all those Little Big Man references too fast, but the one I thought would be first on the list but didn’t seem to be mentioned was Hoffman banging everything under buffalo rugs…

Old Lodge Skins: Don’t worry my son, you will be back with us, I dreamed it last night. I saw you with your wives
Jack Crabb: Wives, Grandfather?
Old Lodge Skins: Yes, there were three… or four, it was hard to tell. It was very dark in your teepee and they were under buffalo rugs as you crawled among them. Anyway, it was a great copulation.

Or does a teepee not count as a tent?

I went ahead and set the precedent for that, citing this. So don’t let anybody give you guff.


“I’ll bet someone back East is going, ‘Now why don’t he write?’”

  1. Brokeback Mountain
  2. Blair Witch hands
  3. Lawrence of Arabia - hanging’ with Faisal