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NAME A FILM CHARACTER YOU REGARD AS TRAGIC


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Okay, this is an obvious variation on another thread here.

The movies have provided us with an array of memorable characters who, even If fictional, can still haunt us, a few even, dare I say, passing into cultural legend.

Here's one character that immediately comes to my mind. He was a king on his island until kidnapped and brought to civilization, where he was doomed by modern technology. Yet within his huge heart there beat the love for a woman. Twas beauty killed the beast.

1933 king kong GIF on GIFER - by Shakalar

King Kong - Monster cine fan Art (36996636) - fanpop

SwampThingy — King Kong (1933)

So anyone else have any nominations for tragic characters in the movies, some perhaps even bringing  tear to your eye?

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  • TomJH changed the title to NAME A FILM CHARACTER YOU REGARD AS TRAGIC

So many come to mind, but I’ll begin with Myra, portrayed by Vivien Leigh in Waterloo Bridge (1940).  Believing her love, played by Robert Taylor,  has been killed in battle, she becomes a prostitute to survive.  Upon learning he’s actually alive, she’s unable to live with the shame.  It’s absolutely heartbreaking.

image.jpeg

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Another character I find tragic is Alva Starr, played by Natalie Wood, in 1966’s This Property is Condemned.  She’s a small-town party girl in this film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s one-act play.  After meeting a good man, and starting a new life, her past catches up with her.  

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1 hour ago, darrylfxanax said:

So many come to mind, but I’ll begin with Myra, portrayed by Vivien Leigh in Waterloo Bridge (1940).  Believing her love, Robert Taylor, has been killed in battle, she becomes a prostitute to survive.  Upon learning he’s actually alive, she’s unable to live with the shame.  It’s absolutely heartbreaking.

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Very sensitive, poignant portrayal by Vivien Leigh, I agree, as well as tragic. A worthy followup for her on Scarlett.  Interestingly, I read that Robert Taylor called this his favourite film of his career.

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SPOILER ALERT:

SHANE had one of the most poignant endings of any western. A gunfighter living out of his time, now with an untreated bullet wound, he rides off towards the mountains, from which he originally came, with an uncertain future ahead. I have always found a haunting doom of tragedy about the final images in this film.

Listen for little Joey's last cry to Shane in the final seconds of this clip as the music builds (the image is far too dark, I know), and it adds to the tragedy. The little boy, at the end, realizes his hero is not coming back.

 

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Originating in the Steinbeck novel, and brought to life on film by Lon Chaney, Jr, the character of Lennie, in Of Mice and Men (1939) is certainly one that makes me weep.  He is a big, mentally-challenged man with a love of “soft” things, eventually leading to tragedy that even his good friend and protector, George (Burgess Meredith) cannot prevent.

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2 hours ago, darrylfxanax said:

So many come to mind, but I’ll begin with Myra, portrayed by Vivien Leigh in Waterloo Bridge (1940).  Believing her love, Robert Taylor, has been killed in battle, she becomes a prostitute to survive.  Upon learning he’s actually alive, she’s unable to live with the shame.  It’s absolutely heartbreaking.

image.jpeg

When I think of Vivian and a tragic character, I think of her Blanche DuBoise  from A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE.

And some might think it odd, but I long felt the monster that was crated by the mad doctor in FRANKENSTEIN  was a tragic character based on the idea he was created from various parts from dead men, and given life at what might be considered an "adult" age, with no previous "upbringing" to internally inform him of right from wrong and to not live all that long before dying in such a tragic and horrible manner.  (but really luckily living long enough to do all those sequels;) )

Sepiatone

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5 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

Frankenstein's Monster

tenor.png

That was such a sad scene 😞

I really felt sorry for Christopher Lee's monster in THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Peter Cushing was so abusive to him.

Christopher Lee | 10 Best Frankenstein's Monster Movies | TIME.com

PETERCUSHINGBLOG.BLOGSPOT.COM (PCASUK): #FRANKENSTEINFRIDAY: REQUESTED  BLAZING EXIT GIFS!

Peter cushing hammer films GIF on GIFER - by Bladebrew

 

 

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This is a great topic.  It's forcing to me to think about exactly what sort of life scenarios I most often find tragic.  So far, the answer usually seems to be helplessness--the loss of agency over one's own physical, emotional, or spiritual well-being.  For example...

--being rejected for your physical appearance:

John Hurt in The Elephant Man (1980)

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...or your age:

Beulah Bondi in Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

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Carlo Battisti in Umberto D. (1952) 

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--being trapped in an abusive relationship where one is routinely humiliated and belittled, never listened to or "seen":

Patricia Collinge in The Little Foxes (1941)

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--being emotionally disconnected from / unable to communicate with others:

Anthony Hopkins in The Remains of the Day

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Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea

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When the writing and acting is good enough, even characters I might recoil from in real life can become tragic:

Jackie Earle Haley in Little Children 

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Peter Lorre in M. (1931)

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Edited by Fausterlitz
re-adjusted spacing
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These two who seem to resign themselves into living out the rest of their lives in small dying west Texas town...

cloris-leachman-makes-an-advance-on-timo

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The three on the left foreground here in this pic easily qualify...

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(...the two on the right foreground here might qualify too, but for entirely different reasons)

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So many tragic characters/great movies in this thread. My favorites above, KING KONG, and Lenny Smalls in OF MICE AND MEN. I'm considering SON OF KONG for this list as well, I remember it ending very sadly, but the film itself I recall seeming uneven. My nomination:

The great Cagney as Rocky Sullivan in ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES (1938). I always weep during this movie. Sometimes early on, when the more light-hearted scenes focus on Rocky's innate goodness and his love and concern for others. At the end of the film I guess I cry 25% at the tragedy of his life, 25% because of the sadness of his death and 50% at the joy of his (possible) redemption. I got a lump in my throat and almost cried when I looked at this still:

See the source image

 

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19 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

George Eastman (and Angela Vickers and Alice Tripp) in A PLACE IN THE SUN ...(SHELLEY WINTERS underwater again - probably the first time her character winds up...) 

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On my PC all I got was a link to that image( I'm supposing)  but once clicking on it was informed that I didn't have "permission" :rolleyes: to see it!

Sepiatone

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36 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

On my PC all I got was a link to that image( I'm supposing)  but once clicking on it was informed that I didn't have "permission" :rolleyes: to see it!

I found it googling... and I guess it is not apparent to anyone today.  It's gone for me too.

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