5. Gandalf freeing Theoden from Saruman’s control. There are several things I love in this scene, but I especially love it first and foremost as a fantastic use of magic simply as a battle of minds between Gandalf and Saruman.
Other highlights include the reveal of Gandalf, as seen here, Wormtongue complaining about Gandalf having his staff (I find it darkly humorous), Wormtongue’s whispering in Theoden’s ear (actually, Brad Dourif is such an excellent actor, he can steal a scene even from Ian McKellan!), the look of shock and/or surprise on Christopher Lee’s face when Saruman is defeated, and Bernard Hill’s moments of regaining his sanity. This is one of those scenes I’ve watched three or four times in a row to relish both the story and the actors’ performances, much like hitting replay when I hear a song I really enjoy.