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favorite film deaths

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Here's one I don't see being done in any thread...what are you all-time favorite film death scenes? I'll start with some of my favorites:


Lillian Gish's Lucy in Broken Blossoms...it's just sooo sad!

Maria Falconetti's Joan in The Passion of Joan of Arc...see the above comment

King Kong in, well, King Kong (the original of course)...I'd have hated to be working street clean-up that week!

Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove....all I can say is YEEE-HAAWWW WHOOO-HOOOO!

Bonnie and Clyde in movie of same name....there must've been 20 machine guns that opened up on them for about 30 seconds...they were dead in about 2 seconds, after that their bodies just kept twitching and jumping, how cool!

Captain Quint in Jaws...you just know that tough SOB had to have been giving the shark indigestion.


That should be enough to get the ball rolling.

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Yes Helen, I was thinking of that one with James Cagney too.....


So I'll mention another great Warner Bros. death scene -- Edward G. Robinson in "Little Caesar" ---- he is shot and utters that famous line - "Mother of God, is this the end of Rico?"...




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Both Louise Beavers and Juanita Moore in the two versions of the movie "Imitation of Life".

Luise Rainer as Olan in "The Good Earth".

And for blood and guts, James Caan as Sonny Corleone in "The Godfather" and Janet Leigh as Marion Crane in Hitchcock's "Psycho".

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I agree, helenwheels, I love Cagney's end in White Heat. This got me to thinking of other great Cagney demises: Public Enemy (delivered to his mother's doorstep), Angels With Dirty Faces (Did Rocky Sullivan really die yellow?), Roaring Twenties (on the church steps). One thing about Mr. Cagney, he knew how to make an exit!

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In the novel version of Jaws, there a beautiful description of what's left of Quint's body cascading through the waters while Hooper's still down in the cage. I always loved Shaw's demise but---Spoiler---as Hooper dies in the book (my memory might be failing, but I do seem to remember the shark getting to him), I'd love to have added Hooper to my list of favorite deaths, coz I always found Hooper much more annoying than Quint, but I suppose Spielberg couldn't bear to see his buddy croak! Too bad.


The funniest death, I think, was James Mason's in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Again, my recollection might be confused with so many other films, but I do remember it taking FOREVER for him to finally collapse. I saw it when I was a kid and thought, What gives here?


Hard to think of a favorite death but practically one in Leone's trilogy with Eastwood is amazing, particularly the big guy who's handcuffed and in charge of Tuco in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Little Eli takes him down, jumps off a train with him, smashes his head against the tracks then positions his body in the middle of the tracks to sever the cuffs. Very original.

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Orson Welles in Citizen Kane, The Third Man, and especially The Stranger, where he's killed by the rotating figures in the town clock.


Robert Walker ... Strangers On A Train


Joseph Cotton ... Shadow Of A Doubt


James Cagney ... The Roaring Twenties


Edward G. Robinson ... Little Caesar


John Hurt ... Alien


Lon Cheney Jr. ... The Wolf Man


Jason Miller ... The Exorcist


Willian Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Ben Johnson and Warren Oates ... The Wild Bunch

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Greta Garbo's in Camille,Anna Kerenia and Mata Hari.

Butch and Sundance in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Norma Shearer in Marie Antonette

Kane in Citizen Kane

Lesilie Howard in Petrified Forest (Even though they do not show him die,you know

that he dies.

Errol Flynn in Charge of the Light Brigade

King Kong in the original

Dracula in the original.

Frankenstein in the original

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Paul Newman in COOL HAND LUKE


Chow Yun-Fat in CITY ON FIRE




Raphael Fejto in AU REVOIR, LES ENFANTS (you don't see him die so this may not qualify, but just as compelling a scene)


Suh-kyu-han in CHRISTMAS IN AUGUST (you also don't see him die, but the scene at the end reveals it)


Jeff Bridges (dying as he rides off with George Kennedy) in THUNDERBOLT & LIGHTFOOT


John Cazale (in the boat) in GODFATHER II


and completely agree with just about all the ones previously mentioned by others, especially BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID.

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How about Joan Fontaine as Dr. Susan Hiller in "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"? You have to love a radiation-riddled villainess being devoured by a shark, especially when she is the elegant Ms. Fontaine.


Kevin Spacey's death in "L.A. Confidential" always freaks me out because it seems so dang real.


But I agree with many posters that the greatest filmed "big adios" is James Cagney's in "White Heat."

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Classic films:


Spencer Tracy going down with the ship in "Captains Courageous"


Gunga Din clawing his way to the top of the tower to blow the bugle and save the British army from the rebels in "Gunga Din"


In GWTW the scene where Scarlett shoots the Union soldier and Melanie says, "You killed him. I'm *glad* you killed him."


Margaret Hamilton in "Wizard of Oz" "I'm melting! Me-e-e-ellllting!"


Dietrich checking her lipstick before the firing squad in "Dishonored" And dying with a tacky fake butterfly on her head in "Destry Rides Again" (was that just *wrong* or what?)


Orson Welles dying in "Touch of Evil" and Dietrich's two sentence eulogy


John Barrymore in "Dinner at Eight" arranging himslef so that the light hits his profile just so...



More modern films:


ObiWan Kenobi allowing Darth Vader to cut him down so the others can escape in "Star Wars"


The Emperor falling down the power core of the Death Star, still giving off sparks

in "Return of the Jedi"


Eowyn ripping off her helmet on the battlefield and declaring "I am no man" before finishing off the evil Ringwraith (who couldn't be killed by hand of man) in the last Lord of the Rings movie


Paul Reubens prolonged death by stake through the heart in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" "Oo-Oo-Oo-Oo! OOOOOOWWW! Ah-ah-! Owowowowo!"


In "Raiders of the Lost Ark" the shooting death of a macho-sword-weilding guard by an annoyed and disgusted Harrison Ford

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I am always absolutely wrecked, crushed and otherwise devastated in the movie Beaches when CC and Hillary are in then deck chairs facing the beach and they look at each other and touch hands ( Hills' back to us, CC facing us) and CC smiles, then she looks over again a moment later and her face just sort of freezes almost unperceivably and you know that Hill must have passed. That one gets me every single time I don't care how many times I have seen it.

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