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What Did the Five Fingers Say to the Face? A History of Slapping in Film

In the Heat of the Night
MGM

In the history of cinema, some things have transcended time to become an accepted part of the film lexicon. The kiss at the end of the movie. The vanquishing of the bad guy. And, judging by this new supercut, a full, hearty face-slap.

One gentleman has spent months compiling this 7-minute video of famous cinematic slaps, from "Waterworld" and "Full Metal Jacket" to "The Naked Gun" and "When Harry Met Sally" -- and of course, "The Slap Heard Around the World" from "In the Heat of the Night." As seen here, the slap in movies can be a playful tap, a retort to an insult or a "snap out of it" gesture.

Regardless, there's something so demeaning and humiliating about the act that it's hard for our voyeuristic schadenfreude not to kick in while watching this. Oh, spoiler alert: The video may or may not end with a slap.

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