This article won’t spend a lot of time explaining why “The Rocketeer” is one of the best Disney movies of all time and you should see it right away, but it is and you should. To understand the scene in question, you need to know that the hero of the film, pilot Cliff Secord (Billy Campbell), has stumbled across a jetpack and helmet that allows him to fly around Los Angeles, circa 1938, and was temporarily dubbed the Stoneman. Of course, in doing so, Cliff inadvertently gets into a big mess that endangers his girlfriend Jenny (Jennifer Connelly) and entices him with the FBI, Howard Hughes (Terry O’Quinn), a follower actor. Errol Flynn style is named Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton) who roams as a Nazi spy, and a gang of gangsters working for the aforementioned actor, led by Eddie Valentine (Sorvino). The film’s climax begins at night at the Griffith Observatory, when Sinclair and Valentine take Jenny hostage and say they will only free her if Cliff flips the jet.
By this point, Cliff, Jenny, and us viewers know that Sinclair is a Nazi in disguise, using his reputation as a mask to hide his dirty, Nazi actions. It should be noted that at no point prior to this scene were we aware of any actual character shading; whatever the appeal of “The Rocketeer”, and they abound, the character work is largely (and purportedly) one-dimensional. There are good people, and there are bad guys, and the two will never meet. So Cliff’s last gambit before the jetpack delivery seems destined to fail. See for yourself.
https://www.slashfilm.com/940523/paul-sorvinos-key-the-rocketeer-scene-is-one-of-the-great-movie-moments-of-all-time/ Paul Sorvino’s Key The Rocketeer scene is one of the great movie moments of all time