The movies' most visceral DEATH SCENES...

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Dick, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    How about limiting this to other than slasher movies. I am talking about heart-rending death scenes that occur to characters you care about, or which are so disturbing and realistic that they cut right through any insensitivity you might have built up through years of watching violent screen deaths. AGAIN - PLEASE NO SLASHER FILMS.

    Some of my choices (spoilers ahead):

    1] (Most recent): The final assasination in MUNICH, in which home-made "pop guns" are used to kill a female who, practically naked, tries to talk her killers out of the act. Suddenly, two small spots appear on her neck and she wanders across the room as if in a trance. What does she do? She goes to her pet cat and silently cuddles it, as if to say goodbye. Then she goes to a chair and falls into it, at which time blood gushes from the neck wounds as she tries to breath. She is then killed with a final pop to the head. This woman was only onscreen for a short time, between an earlier sequence and this one, but the way this killing was filmed was terrifying to me - the victim (who was responsible for the death of one of the Israelis), reacted in such an unexpected way that it simply became immeasurably powerful.

    2] Jack Lemmon's death in THE CHINA SYNDROME. Here is a character we have come to care deeply about - his has been the sort of crisis of conscience we have all felt at times but which only a few of us have the guts to act upon. The suspense during the ending sequence, as Lemmon tries to articulate to the world (via news camera) that the nuke power plant he has worked in for many years has deliberately covered up evidence of compromised welds, even as a swat team is on its way into the control room to take him out (at the behest of one of the plant's owners), is excrutiating. The moment Lemmon is shot in the back as he runs toward the camera caused me to literally jump out of my seat in the theater and shout (the only time I ever did this).

    3] To state the obvious, the mother's death in BAMBI - off-camera, yet.

    4] Kevin Spacey's horrifying and convincing death in OUTBREAK.

    5] SPARTACUS' death - Kirk Douglas crucified and not even able to speak to his lover. Alex North's gorgeous score helped to make this pretty powerful.

    I'll think of more and add them later...

    Your choices?
     
  2. Michael:M

    Michael:M Supporting Actor

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    While it does feature the cheesiness of his "Freeeeeeeedoooooom!" cry, the torture and death of William Wallace in Braveheart always gets me squirming.

    We may want to categorize these a bit, as I am sure many horror movies have some incredibly visceral death scenes that other movies (especially mainstream action and drama films) can't compete against.

    I know that I find any depiction of death that is primarily about sound - as when we hear the person dying screaming or breathing funny, etc. - extremely disturbing.
     
  3. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    1) Boromir - FOTR
    2) Earth - Return to the Planet of the Apes - also off camera
     
  4. Greg Kettell

    Greg Kettell Screenwriter

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    Mellish having the knife slowly eased into him in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN.
     
  5. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    The killing of the female assassin in Munich was definitely unsettling and very disturbing.

    I'd also like to add the "curbing" scene in American History X.
     
  6. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    This to me is the worst.
     
  7. Todd Terwilliger

    Todd Terwilliger Screenwriter

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    Another vote for that scene. It's the first thing I thought of when I read the topic of the thread.

    One more: HAL's "death" in 2001.
     
  8. DavidPla

    DavidPla Cinematographer

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    Forrest Gump - Bubba

    The Fellowship of the Ring - Gandalf and Boromir

    Scream 2 - Randy
     
  9. Simon Massey

    Simon Massey Cinematographer
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    I would say one of the most disturbing deaths I have scene occurs to a character in Haneke's Funny Games (1997). It would do a disservice to the film to describe what happens, suffice to say that all of the violence takes place offscreen and is only heard through sound. It is this plus the apparent mundanity of what the camera is focused on, as well as the aftermath that make this extremely difficult to watch.
     
  10. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    Same here. I sold my copy because I just couldn't handle that scene anymore. It got worse after each viewing.

    The other death scene that leaves me shaking is the "Cleaner" scene in "Nikita" (the original European version, not the hack-job American remake).
     
  11. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    That was the first one that sprang to mind for me too Simon.

    For something that happens onscreen, Fox and His Friends , a total violation of the peace we like to hope that death brings.

    Or for something people might actually have seen [​IMG] , Pvt. Pyle in Full Metal Jacket and the girl in Grave of the Fireflies
     
  12. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    As with others, this was the first thing I thought of when I saw this thread. I find it very difficult to watch and my wife cried when she saw it the first time.
     
  13. David Hobbes

    David Hobbes Stunt Coordinator

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    THE most horrifying death in all of cinema...

    Old Yeller...

    The author of the book, Fred Gipson, makes me so angry.....

    did Old yeller really have to die? No...

    just brutal...
     
  14. Brett_M

    Brett_M Screenwriter

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    Mellish dying in SPR is right up there, definitely.

    I think what makes it so distrubing is how the German soldier is whispering to him...

    I had a friend who teaches German watch that scene and translate it for me...IT'S THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES. If you knew what he says to Mellish, you would not want to watch it anymore. Absolutely horrifying.
     
  15. Paul Padilla

    Paul Padilla Supporting Actor

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    Tears of the Sun...the woman in the hut dying after having her breasts cut off
    by the guerilla. You don't see the original attack, but that one was tough.
     
  16. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

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    Quint in Jaws. I can't believe I'm the first person to mention this one.
     
  17. George_W_K

    George_W_K Screenwriter

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    I've never liked the death in FIREFOX when the guy Clint Eastwood is supposed to be impersonating gets beaten to death. I always feel bad for the guy.

    Mellish for sure. I wanted to kill the wussy typist guy for that one. Thank God he comes around at the end and kills the German. Yeah right, jerk off.

    Kevin Costner in The War.
     
  18. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    A few more from me:

    CASUALTIES OF WAR: The truly heartbreaking gang-rape and murder of the Vietnamese captive.

    IRREVERSIBLE: The brutal attack of the innocent woman in the tunnel.

    SHIP OF FOOLS: For whatever reason, Oscar Werner's heart attack at the end is powerful - perhaps because it is so quick and sudden and could happen to any of us at any time, and this might be exactly what it would look like to an observer.

    Ditto Omar Sharif's heart attack at the end of DR. ZHIVAGO.

    Just watched AT THE END OF THE SPEAR and found Nate's death to be pretty frightening, dying as he does so far from home and while watching his comrades being slain as well.
     
  19. Bill Marsh

    Bill Marsh Agent

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    OK--OK---a positive Death Scene---if that's possible---in the Abyss when Ed Harris through sheer force of will calls back Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio---very powerful ----same with Lancelot calling the Knight he's just killed in Camelot. Disturbing because everyone has the wish to do this to someone sometime in their lives.
     
  20. Jason Adams

    Jason Adams Supporting Actor

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    I always liked that death scene in Moonraker when Corrine gets chased by the dobermans in the forest...very elegantly shot with those bells at the very end cutting to Venice. And that music...very very haunting John Barry cue.
     

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