For some reason…(I had just watched the season finally of The Walking Dead) I was thinking about memorable death scenes. Then while I was thinking of other movies/TV shows, it occurred to me that this topic would make for an interesting list.
Death scenes are often memorable, they invoke all sorts of emotions. Sometimes they cause us to be sad or angry or just confused. At times they are expected , but at other times they are shocking. Then there are the times when they don’t come soon enough. Several years ago, while travelling for work, I decided to rent “Bridge to Terabithia”. When I made it to the part in the movie where they reveal that Leslie had died, I ‘almost’ cried(note the word almost). After I suppressed the sadness, my next thoughts involved finding the author and punching her in the face. So like I said, all sorts of emotions.
So without further ado here are our top 5 most memorable death scenes.
1. Braveheart- William Wallace: Others will talk more about this so I’ll just say….Freedom!!!
2. Saving Private Ryan – Captain Miller: After getting shot and before he dies Captian Miller(Tom Hanks) whispers, “Earn this.”
3. The Lord of the Rings – Boromir: This scene taught us that it takes 3 giant arrows to kill a real man.
4. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – Professor Dumbledore: “Avada Kedavra!” Why, Snape? Why?
5. The Lion King – Mufasa: This has to be one of the most dramatic deaths in a children’s movie.
1. Signs – The Alien
2. Passion of the Christ – Christ
3. Star Trek II – Spock
4. ET – ET
5. Final Destination 2 – Tim
1. William Wallace (Mel Gibson) in Brave heart. He won’t back down to tyranny, he encourages all to continue to fight for their freedom, and as life leaves him, his murdered beloved wife comes to him.
2. Darth Vader (Sebastian Shaw) Return of the Jedi. Vader saves his son, repents of his sins, and has his son remove the mask that he lived his darkness inside of.
3. Russell Casse (Randy Quaid) Independence Day. All of the bombs are gone, but one, the one stuck/jammed in his plane. Russell has sobered up, he tells his children, whom he has often let down that he loves them, then he blows up the alien ship as a retribution for his abduction a torture from years before.
4. Maximus (Russell Crowe) in The Gladiator. He is set to fight the man who took everything from him, including his family. As he dies in the ring, he gets carried out as the true hero that he is.
5. Captain America (Chris Evans) knows he has to save America and ground the Red Skull’s ship. He finally makes a date with the lovely Peggy Carter, to now know he’ll never get his first kiss from her. He stays calm, speaks softly to her, and does what he knows is best for the country he loves.
1. A Nightmare on Elm Street: Isn’t Johnny Depp adorable when he’s sleeping? Answer: NO! As a child, I remember being scarred by this scene! Johnny’s character, Glen, is in his bed, listening to some tunes and watching TV. Then suddenly a hand with razor-sharp claws reaches up through the bed and pulls Glen through, along with some appliances (I hope his mother had insurance). Then blood spews out of the hole in the bed like a geyser and covers the ceiling, totally resistant to gravity. It still frightens me.
2. Fight Club: When Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) dies because Ed Norton’s character shoots himself, it is incredible. Ed Norton puts a gun under his chin and pulls the trigger. Then we see Brad Pitt with smoke coming out of his mouth right before he falls to the ground and disappears. If you haven’t seen the movie, you may not understand how this is possible, and I don’t want to spoil it (too much) for you. Clever end to a clever movie.
3. Jaws: When Captain Quint (played by Robert Shaw) slides into the mouth of the shark, he doesn’t give up without a fight. He is kicking and screaming, but loses that battle in the end. The shark has him at the waist and is shaking him like a dog with a squeak toy. The scariest thing is that the boat is now sinking, and you know the shark is still around for Brody (Roy Scheider). Quint should have taken Brody’s advice and got a bigger boat. However, Brody gave the advice way too late. Jerk!
4. The Other Guys: With the anthem “My Hero” by the Foo Fighters in the background playing, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson leap off of a building to save the day … but the sidewalk stops them dead in their tracks. It really is a pretty cool scene to watch, and hilarious. The Rock says to “aim for the bushes”. First of all, I didn’t see any bushes, and second of all, they are at least 20 stories up! Such a great parody of action movies.
5. Psycho: Janet Leigh’s character gets a sharp pain in the shower, thanks to Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), who is dressed up as his mother. One of the best scenes in cinema, period, from the master Alfred Hitchcock. You can see Bates’ silhouette get closer and closer to the shower curtain, and then when he flings the curtain open, it is just a flurry of knife thrusts and screams.
1. Braveheart (William Wallace): FREEDOOOOOOM!!! This scene came to mind immediately. His sacrifice for the freedom of his countrymen is so emblematic of Jesus’ sacrifice for the salvation of man.
2. Big Fish (Edward Bloom): In reality he is laying in bed struggling to breathe with his son at his side. In the tall tale (which is what the movie is about), he is being carried into a lake where he transforms into a Big Fish. Cue the waterworks.
3. 300 (Leonidas): A King’s death, a warrior’s death, a death that inspires generations to follow. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGSputg6n-g
4. The Godfather (Sonny Corleone): Dude takes dozens of bullets and keeps on tickin’.
5. Deep Blue Sea (Russell Franklin): Samuel Jackson has delivered some of the best speeches in all film history. Too bad a mega-smart, super-sized shark had to, uhhh… interrupt, this one.
1. Fargo: The wood chipper scene.
2. Alien: When Kane’s chest explodes.
3. Psycho: Marion Crane dies in the shower. (Classic!)
4. The Wizard of Oz: Wicked Witch of the West. She’s melting!
5. 300: Death of King Leonidas. What a guy!