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Classic death scenes


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I know this subject has been tackled in years past, but it occured to me to start a new thread on it when I thought tonight of one in particular that I normally don't think of when I think of movie death scenes:


Margaret Hamilton in "The Wizard of Oz": "I'm melting!"


Here's another one:


James Cagney in "White Heat": "Made it, Ma, top o' the world!"


What death scenes do you believe deserve the title "classic"?

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After just watching Midnight Mary, when Loretta Young shoots Ricardo Cortez (and who hasn't), he slumps against a closed door, eyes open. His partners outside are banging on the door, which causes his head to bobble. Miss Young looks on and her head bobbles in rhythm. A most unusual scene.

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The last scene in Public Enemy when Donald Cook opens the door and James Cagney falls through is mind blowing dramatic. The butterfly scene in All's Quiet on the Western Front when Lew Ayers is shot. You see his hand reaching for the butterfly when the lone shot rings out and his hand falls limp - very moving. Reminding us, once again, how futile and distructive war really is. I Remember Mama has a interesting 'death' scene when Uncle Chris dies. It shows how the family gives in and lets him have his drink. Very touching how Uncle Chris introduces "the woman" to Mama as his wife and how they bond so quickly as they try to confort the dying man. Also, after his death it shows how the family comes to terms with the death and the revelation that the woman was his wife. It reminds us that the living have to continue.

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I have a ten.....


King Kong in King Kong


Sterling Hayden in The Asphalt Jungle


Elisha Cook, Jr. in Shane


James Mason in A Star is Born


Stephen Boyd in Ben-Hur


Joel McCrea in Ride the High Country


Paul Newman and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid


Shelley Winters and Gene Hackman in The Poseidon Adventure


Robert Shaw in Jaws


Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan

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That's a great death! But, I guess any Hitchcock death could be considered classic!




Janet Leigh in *Psycho*

Kim Novak in *Vertigo*

The spy who I just forgot his name in *Torn Curtain* (he absolutely WON'T die...;-D)

Harry in *The Trouble With Harry*


And pretty much every Hitchcock death!

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I've posted this before, but here it is again: 100 classic murders. Not included in this list, legitimate uses of police authority (Bonnie and Clyde, Chinatown), capital punishment arrived in good faith (I oppose it, but Dead Man Walking, I want to Live, arguably Breaker Morant) attacks by non-sentient creatures (Jaws, John Hurt in Alien), self defense or accident (Pulp Fiction). Beware of Spoilers, but no actual murderers are named:


1. Psycho -- Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) stabbed repeatedly in the shower.

2. The Godfather, Part II -- Frederico Corleone (John Cazale) shot while boating on a lake.

3. The Godfather -- Carlo Rizzi (Gianni Russo) garroted in car.

4. JFK -- President John Fitzgerald Kennedy (played by uncredited actor, and oddly, Kennedy himself) shot in the neck from the front, then shot in the back from behind and up, and finally shot in the head from the front.

5. Touch of Evil -- Rudy Linneker (Phil Harvey) and Zita (Joi Lansing) killed by bomb planted in their car.

6. Murder on the Orient Express -- Samuel Ratchett (Richard Widmark) stabbed twelve times in his sleeping car component.

7. Se7en--John Doe (Kevin Spacey) shot in the head in an open field.

8. The Usual Suspects -- Dean Keaton (Gabriel Byrne) shot in the head on a boat, along with a montage of other victims.

9. Angel Heart -- Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke) stabbed and heart removed and eaten before his eyes.

10. The Wicker Man (original version) -- Sergeant Neil Howie (Edward Woodward) burned alive in giant wicker costume.

11. Goodfellas -- Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) shot in the back of the head through the front in a residential home.

12. Sunset Blvd -- Joe Gillis (William Holden) shot three times and falls in a swimming pool.

13. Greed -- Marcus Schouler (Jean Hersholt) killed in Death Valley

14. Jules et Jim -- Jim (Henry Serre) killed when the car he is in is deliberately driven off a bridge.

15. L.A. Confidential -- Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) shot in his boss? kitchen.

16. Memento -- Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) shot in the head.

17. The Vanishing (original version) -- Rex Hofmann (Gene Bervoets) buried alive.

18. Ran -- Lady Kaede (Mieko Harada) beheaded with a long sword.

19. The Man who Would be King -- Daniel Dravot (Sean Connery) forced onto a rope bridge, which is then cut away.

20. Don?t Look Now -- John Baxter (Donald Sutherland) throat slit in Venice.

21. Goldfinger -- Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton) suffocated by skin being covered with gold.

22. 2001: A Space Odyssey -- Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood) has oxygen hose severed, while Dr Charles Hunter, Dr. Jack Kimball and Dr. Victor Kaminsky die when their life support/hibernation systems are turned off.

23. A Man for All Seasons -- Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) judicially murdered by beheading.

24. M -- Elsie Beckmann (Inge Landut) murdered off screen while her toy balloon floats away.

25. The Manchurian Candidate (original version) -- Senator Thomas Jordan (John McGiver) shot through the heart, the bullet passing through a milk carton

26. Jeanne Dielman, 2300 Quai du Commerce -- a john (Yves Bical) abruptly stabbed after sex.

27. Tess -- Alec D?Urbeville (Leigh Lawson) stabbed with the carving knife he had just been using.

28. Once upon a Time in the West -- Timothy McBain (Enzo Santienello) shot shortly after the rest of his family, with the exception of his absent stepmother, and after the arrival of Frank (Henry Fonda).

29. Double Indemnity -- Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) shot, and dies slowly enough to give a full confession.

30. Bound -- Caesar (Joe Pantoliano) shot and falls into a puddle of white paint.

31. Les Diaboliques -- Christina Delassalle (Vera Cluzot) from an elaborately manipulated heart attack in her bathroom.

32. Gandhi -- Mohandas K. Gandhi (Ben Kingsley) shot at point blank range before prayers.

33. The Crying Game -- Jude (Miranda Richardson) shot.

34. L'Argent -- An entire family is murdered in the last minutes of the film.

35. In the Bedroom -- Richard Strout (William Mapother) shot.

36. Monty Python's Life of Brian -- Brian (Graham Chapman) judicially murdered by crucifixion.

37. The Confession -- Smola (Michel Vitod) and ten others, judicially murdered by hanging during the Slansky Trials.

38. Salo, or 120 Days of Sodom -- Assorted victims (including Franco Merli) are scalped, mutilated and otherwise disposed of.

39. Ivan the Terrible, Part Two -- Vladimir Staritsky (Pavel Kadochnikov) stabbed while being dressed as the Tsar.

40. The Passion of Joan of Arc -- Joan D?Arc (Maria Falconetti) judicially murdered by being burned at the stake.

41. Dead Man -- William Blake (Johnny Depp) shot in bed with a prostitute, it will take the rest of the movie for him to actually die.

42. There will be Blood -- Eli Sunday (Paul Dano) bludgeoned with a bowling pin.

43. Badlands -- Kit?s father (Warren Oates) shot in his home.

44. Kiss of Death -- Ma Rizzo (Mildred Dunnock) pushed down a flight of stairs in her wheelchair .

45. Richard III (Loncraine version) -- George, Duke of Clarence (Nigel Hawthorne) stabbed and drowned in a prison bathroom.

46. Doctor Zhivago -- Army Officer shot by a rifle, after his appeal to his mutinous troops is fatally undercut when the cover of the barrel he is using as a soapbox gives way.

47. The Rules of the Game -- Andre Jurieux (Roland Toutain) shot at a country estate at midnight while mistaken for someone else.

48. The Conversation -- The Director (Robert Duvall)?s fate revealed when Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) flushes a toilet and blood flows into the basin.

49. Strangers on a Train -- Miriam Joyce Haines (Kasey Rogers) strangled at amusement park.

50. A Brighter Summer Day -- Ming (Lisa Yang) stabbed after telling her friend she won?t change.

51. Apocalypse Now -- Colonel Walter Kurtz (Marlon Brando) killed with machete.

52. North by Northwest -- Lester Townsend (Philip Ober) killed by a knife thrown at him at the United Nations.

53. The Silence of the Lambs -- Two Police Officers guarding Hannibal Lecter, bludgeoned and eviscerated.

54. The Wild Bunch -- Angel (Jaime Sanchez) throat slit after being tortured.

55. Bram Stoker?s Dracula -- Lucy Westenra (Sadie Frost) first killed by vampiric attack, then decapitated after becoming a vampire.

56. The Pianist -- Anonymous victim (Joanna Brodzik) immediately shot after asking question.

57. Rashomon -- Takehiro Kanazawa (Masayuki Mori) stabbed with sword, in a variety of circumstances.

58. McCabe and Mrs. Miller -- a Cowboy (Keith Carradine) is shot on a bridge and falls into a frozen river, after being tricked into taking out his gun.

59. Weekend -- Roland (Jean Yanne) murdered, and later eaten by his wife.

60. No Country for Old Men -- Carla Jean Moss (Kelly MacDonald) almost certainly shot after refusing to play coin games with her pretentious and conveniently indestructible murderer.

61. Brazil -- Jack Lint (Michael Palin) shot in the head while wearing a mask. Shame it?s only a dream.

62. Vertigo -- Madeleine Elster (Kim Novak) already murdered before being pushed off the bell tower of a chapel.

63. Night of the Hunter -- Willa Harper Powell (Shelly Winters) drowned in her car.

64. Alphaville -- Several people are shot and fall into a swimming pool as Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constatine) watches.

65. A Short Film about Killing -- Taxi Driver Waldemar Rekowski (Jan Tesarz) bludgeoned while on duty.

66. Paths of Glory -- Corporal Paris (Ralph Meeker), Private Ferol (Timothy Carey) and Private Arnaud (Joe Turkel) judicially murdered by court martial ordered firing squad.

67. Z -- The Deputy (Yves Montand) struck by a club from a passing car designed to look like a hit and run accident.

68. The Omen -- Keith Jennings (David Warner) decapitated by a flying plane of glass.

69. The Untouchables -- Oscar Wallace (Charles Martin Smith) shot in elevator almost immediately after his key witness is.

70. Miller?s Crossing -- Mink Larouie (Steve Buscemi) murdered and found in the woods at the most convenient time.

71. Terminator 2 -- Todd Voight (Xander Berkeley) stabbed with a sharp metal arm that used to look like his wife.

72. Rope -- David Kentley (Dick Hogan) strangled in an apartment.

73. Clue -- The Singing Telegram Girl (Jane Wielden) shot on the doorstep after introducing herself.

74. Funny Games (original version) -- Anna (Susanne Lothar) tossed tied up into a lake.

75. Breathless -- Police Inspector Vital (Daniel Boulanger) shot while trying to stop a stolen car.

76. Easy Rider -- Wyatt ?Captain America ? (Peter Fonda) blown up when he and the gas tank on his motorcycle are shot.

77. The Parallax View -- Joseph Frady (Warren Beatty) shot while trying to escape assassins.

78. A Very Long Engagement -- Captain Favorier (? Tcheky Karyo) shot by guns that are activated by taking off ones glasses.

79. Throne of Blood -- Washizu Taketori (Tshiro Mifune) repeatedly hit by arrows by his troops.

80. Lolita -- Clare Quilty (Peter Sellers) shot after his murderer takes forever to try to get his attention.

81. Death on the Nile -- Salome Ottobourne (Angela Lansbury) literally shot between the eyes while trying to reveal the person behind the other murders in the movie.

82. Peeping Tom -- Vivian (Moira Shearer) stabbed with a tripod linked to a camera in such a way that she can see her own death.

83. Casino -- Nicholas Santoro (Joe Pesci) beaten, stripped to his underwear, and then buried alive.

84. The Matrix -- Apoc (Julian Arahanga) and Switch (Belinda McClory) killed when disconnected from the Matrix.

85. The Draughtman?s Contract -- Mr. Neville (Anthony Higgins) beaten, blinded and otherwise murdered as the end of his contract.

86. Europa -- Ravenstein (Holger Perfort) assassinated by Nazi ?werewolves.?

87. The Shining -- Dick Halloran (Scatman Crothers) stabbed with an axe

88. Last Tango in Paris -- Paul (Marlon Brando) shot after saying ?I love you.?

89. The Damned -- Sophia and Friedrich von Essenbeck (Ingrid Thulin, Dirk Bograde) are presented with poison capsules by their son/stepson on their wedding night.

90. Batman (1989) -- Anchorwoman (Kate Harper) poisoned by makeup.

91. Frenzy -- Barbara Leigh Hunt (Brenda Margaret Blaney) raped and strangled with necktie.

92. Pickup on South Street -- Moe (Thelma Ritter) shot after explaining why she?s not a communist.

93. Blow-Up -- a corpse found in the photographs Thomas (David Hemmings) is looking over.

94. Network -- Howard Beale (Peter Finch) shot as a ratings move.

95. Lawrence of Arabia -- Bedouin Guide shot for trespassing.

96. Full Metal Jacket -- Sgt. Hartmann (G.. Lee Emery) shot at close range at army barracks bathroom.

97. The Rocky Horror Picture Show -- Eddie (Meatloaf) bludgeoned and latter eaten after his big musical number.

98. Daybreak -- Valentin (Jules Berry ) shot at the hero?s apartment.

99. The Unfaithful Wife -- Victor Pegala (Maurice Ronet) murdered in his own home.

100. The Man with Two Brains -- Dolores Benedict Hfurruhurr (Kathleen Turner) injected with window cleaner in Viennese elevator.

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As far as gorillas go, The Son of Kong. lol


Cagney in Man of a Thousand Faces and The Roaring Twenties .


These are kinda cheating but, Veronica Lake in So Proudly We Hail and Barbara Stanwyck in Sorry Wrong Number.


But I know there are heartwrenching ones that make me sob everytime I watch them, but I just can't think of them at this moment. It's not easy growing older. lol

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Destry Rides Again- Frenchie takes a bullet for her man, wipes off her lipstick, then he kisses her into eternity while she's wearing a butterfly on her head


Gone with the Wind-Scarlett shoots a Union soldier between the eyes as he tries a little rape and pillaging at Tara. Melanie takes off her nightgown and wraps it around the guy's head, then helps Scarlett bury the body while presumably still naked. "You shot him. I'm glad you shot him"


Duel in the Sun--Pearl and Lewt shoot each other, then die in each others' arms


Buffy the Vampire Slayer--Paul Ruben's death scene as Amylin the vamp


The Lost Boys--"Death by stereo!"

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1 Jeanette MacDonald - as Moonyean Clare - the doomed bride..on her wedding day.- Smilin' Thru


2 Donald Crisp - Mr. Morgan - trapped in a mine cave in - with his son at his side - How Green Was my Valley


3 Spencer Tracy - trapped by rigging and mangled - saying goodbye to little Freddie Bartholomew in Captain's Courageous


4 Ruth Chatterton - waiting for execution by hanging (convicted by her own DA son).Just saw Frisco Jenny last night and was dying for her to tell him who she was..or her Amah to tell him!! But NO! What an ending!


5 Ronald Colman - blind artist - with his masterpiece destroyed he goes to the front, demands to be put on horseback and heads right into battle without another thought. THE LIGHT THAT FAILED.


6 Jack Palance - SHANE - because, man, it was so satisfying to see his character finally get his.


7 Edmund Gwenn - FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT - because it was such a wonderful moment t when murderous Rowley pitched out the window instead of Joel McCrea!


Message was edited by: erzbet

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Ah, yes, Spencer in Captains Courageous. How could I forget that one.


Lenny in Of Mice and Men, and Hooch in Turner and Hooch. Well, I like doggies. lol


Ethel Barrymore in The Spiral Staircase after killing her son.


I've named a few, but I know there are others out there that absolutely made me bawl my eyes out, and will do so every time I see them.

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Orson Welles in In The Third Man. His fingers reaching through the sewer grate before collapsing is great.

Orson Welles in Citizen Kane. A whole movie about a man's dying word Rosebud- a sled for gosh sake's.

John Wayne in The Shootist. Ron Howard's reaction to the scene- very poignant.

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The death scene of Katharine Hepburn's beloved son in "Suddenly, Last Summer".

"Danny's" drowning (the little brother of Cornel Wilde) in "Leave Her to Heaven" (evil G.Tierney)

Julia Roberts in "Steel Magnolias". Hearing the baby cry. OMG

Heathcliff carrying Kathy to the window in "Wuthering Heights"

Shelly Winters falling off the boat and M. Clift just sitting there waiting -"A Place in the Sun"

The execution of the two killers in the movie "In Cold Blood"

The suicide death of Jennifer Jones in "Madame Bovary"

The death scene of Wallace Beery, w/ little Jackie Cooper in "The Champ"

L.DiCaprio's death in the freezing water in "Titanic"

Mildred Pierce's younger daughter under the oxygen tent.



I hope I haven't repeated any.

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To Fxreyman, couldn't help but to try & contact you here-(replied to your inbox question of "Alt OSCARS" However not certain you got-it? Please do send again just in case. I saw you are a fellow list-maker of all things cinema as well. if you had an interest in that lil' project, you could submit just say the top 3 categories like that book you cited) & to the other that voted for J. Cotten's Uncle Charlie in "Shadow of a Doubt"-(Hitchcock's personal fav film) I know another fellow moviebuff & even a graphics designer-(posters,etc)-(Saul Bass is 1 of his Heroes) That lived in the actual town of (Santa Rosa, CALIF.) & sent photos of it & even the exact house from that classic.

As he said it's literally frozen in time

Cannot resist saying something about Shaw as Quint in "Jaws" TREMENDOUS!!! Though it did deserve an R-rating. His own premature death in 1978 was on the Dublin Bridge in Ireland of a heart attack at only 51.

Thank You & again, please do let me know

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