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Movie Death Scenes that really got to you...

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#21 of 75 OFFLINE   ChuckSolo



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Posted December 11 2003 - 08:47 AM

Check out Bette Davis' performance in "Dark Victory" and also Gene Tierny's death scene in "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." My mom and sister blubber on those two everytime.

#22 of 75 OFFLINE   Scotty_McW


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Posted December 11 2003 - 09:00 AM

Return of the Jedi
Anakin/Darth Vader. Before the prequels, I never really cared too much that he died. Now that I have seen who he is, I care a lot more.

Cast Away
Wilson. Even though it is a volleyball, still very sad.

#23 of 75 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted December 11 2003 - 09:26 AM

HAL-9000's disconnection scene.

#24 of 75 OFFLINE   Scott McAllister

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Posted December 11 2003 - 09:45 AM

The Shawshank Redemption -
Brook's death, and Red's subsequent visit to the half-way house. Absolutely remarkable.

Legends of the Fall -
Many here to list, but Samuel's death in the war and Tritian's new wife at the hands of the bootleggers stand out in my mind.

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#25 of 75 OFFLINE   Richard Travale

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Posted December 11 2003 - 09:50 AM

Robert Downey Jr. in Less Than Zero
Scott beat me to it. For some reason this really affected me. Not just at the theater but for a while afterwards too. I was so glad when his next movie with Molly Ringwald (can't remember the name) came out because then I knew he was alright. I know... Crazy! Posted Image
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#26 of 75 OFFLINE   Tim Abbott

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Posted December 11 2003 - 09:58 AM

I can't believe no one has said this one.....

American History X

Two deaths in this actually. The first when Ed Norton has the guy place his head on the curb and stomps on him. That was a gut punch to me like I've hardly ever felt from a film.

The second was when Edward Furlong was killed at the very end of the movie. I should have seen it coming but I didn't until the very end. Two deaths from a very powerful movie.

#27 of 75 OFFLINE   MatthewLouwrens



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Posted December 11 2003 - 10:10 AM

A Simple Plan
The death of Billy Bob's character, where he asks his brother to kill him, and the brother hates to do it, but he pulls the trigger. I haven't watched the film since the cinema release, but this was one scene that really stayed with me.

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#28 of 75 OFFLINE   Sean Campbell

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Posted December 11 2003 - 11:09 AM

Watership Down, When the Wind Blows and Grave of the Fireflies - three animated movies which prove that you can get just as upset watching cartoon characters die as you can humans. The ending of The Iron Giant is a killer too, or would be if it wasn't for another scene right before the end credits ( bad mistake IMO ).

#29 of 75 OFFLINE   Derrik Draven

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Posted December 11 2003 - 11:37 AM

Joe Pesci and his brother getting beaten to death with baseball bats at the end of "Casino".

BRUTAL!!!! Posted Image Posted Image Shocked me 1st time I saw it.
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#30 of 75 OFFLINE   Brian W.

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Posted December 11 2003 - 12:41 PM

Melanie Hamilton's in "Gone With the Wind."

Boromir's and Gandalf's in "Fellowship of the Ring."

Sophie and Nathan's suicides in "Sophie's Choice."

The man in the wheelchair dumped over the balcony in "The Pianist."

Emilia's murder in the Laurence Olivier version of "Othello" -- absolutely heart-rending: "So speaking as I think, I die, I die."

Oh, and let's not forget Charlotte's death in "Charlotte's Web." Posted Image

#31 of 75 OFFLINE   DustinDavis


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Posted December 11 2003 - 01:13 PM

Trying to pick ones not already mentioned...

The "moider" of Honora in
Heavenly Creatures.

death/resuscitation of Lindsey Brigman in
The Abyss.

Wolfgang in

Though you never really see it,
in Donnie Brasco.
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#32 of 75 OFFLINE   Rob P S

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Posted December 11 2003 - 01:31 PM

What's Eating Gilbert Grape:
the mother

A Midnight Clear:
Frank Whaley's character

Rudy's best friend Pete

The Mighty:

Simon Birch:

We Were Soldiers:
Chris Klein's character

Jack Gilford's wife

A Simple Plan:

Pay It Forward:

Radio's mother

#33 of 75 OFFLINE   Darko


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Posted December 11 2003 - 03:10 PM

For some reason, Haldir in The Two Towers.

Also Boromir's death in Fellowship, and Grave of the Fireflies

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#34 of 75 OFFLINE   Sean Moon

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Posted December 11 2003 - 03:53 PM

The key to a successful death scene is in the acting of it. If it is overplayed, it loses its impact a lot I think. But with the right ammount of subtlty it can be unforgettable.


Lord of the Rings:Fellowship of the Ring
Boromir. The fact of how valiantly he fought to defend the hobbits and redeem his soul makes this scene so hard to watch for me. And Sean Bean's amazing acting in that scene...the gasping for breath, the clenching in pain...just amazing, and the most understated actor in that film I believe. The way Aragorn reacts too sells it. I believe this to be the moment he finally starts to step into his kingly role...that he will accept his destiny to make it up to this man that dies before him. The sight of his countryman dying before him made him realize how much it really meant to him. The extended cut gets me harder though because of the one new line in the scene, "They will look for his coming from the white tower, but he will not return." That added so much more emotion to it for me.

And of course, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Chow Yun Fat. His raspy words and how Michelle Yoeh is sobbing during it. The one time you see her lose her resolve makes it that much harder to watch. But his speech to her is what drove me to tears. "I would rather spend eternity as a ghost by your side, than to enter heaven without you. Because of your love, I will never be alone." That this proud warrior has squandered his entire life hiding his emotions, that he can finally set himself free in the moment of his death. Amazing stuff.


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#35 of 75 OFFLINE   Chad A Wright

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Posted December 12 2003 - 05:31 AM

I didn't cry during all of these (some though), but they still had an impact.

The Last Samurai
The end was very sad. And I had actually expected Cruise's character to die. The final death of Katsumoto was where I almost lost it. Such a noble people. I could probably tear up right now without much effort.

Fellowship of the Ring
Boromir's death didn't bring tears, but it still hits like a ton of bricks everytime I see it.

The Two Towers
Haldir's death really hit hard. No tears, but to see someone so majestic die was rather sad. You could see it when he fell, the final realization he had about what death was. He did a great job conveying that. Death is such a foreign idea to the elves, that that scene is very sad.

Saving Private Ryan
All the deaths were sad, but I finally lost it with Hanks at the end.

I cry everytime Maximus dies.

Cried like a baby. I hate that movie for that very reason.

Forest Gump
Jenny's death always gets me.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Chow Yun Fats character has that same nobility of Katsumoto in The Last Samurai. That kind of death always saddens me.

The Lion King
Mufasa's death scene is one of the most powerful ever. It's a great marriage of pictures and music. I think I cried at that scene the first time I saw it. It still hits me when i see it now, though.

I'm sure there are a lot of others that I can't remember right now.

#36 of 75 OFFLINE   Scott Burke

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Posted December 12 2003 - 05:54 AM

The scence with the sheriff's mother always makes me lose it.

I'll second We were soilders, but not only the movie...
In the extras, they show one of the actual wifes of the soilders watching a scene when they are talking about her husband and she breaks down. It is heartbreaking!

There are lots of others, some mentioned above.

#37 of 75 OFFLINE   Rob Gillespie

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Posted December 12 2003 - 06:19 AM

Boromir's death is the most moving and heartfelt I've ever seen. The mixture of the acting, music and editing is just perfect. Mind you, I haven't seen Return Of The King yet, so that may change.

And also - almost any death scene in The Godfather films, especially the first one. They get to me because they look so ridiculous. When Sonny gets it - exactly how many bullets can a human body take before the person falls over? The ones in the restaurant always make me laugh too.
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#38 of 75 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted December 12 2003 - 07:22 AM

Many, many great ones already listed here.

I'll second the
Gandalf "death"...and to a lesser degree Borimar's death in FOTR. Especially in the EE when his character has more depth.

Crouching Tiger
Chow Yung Fat
maybe one of the most underrated performances in recent film history.

Jack's death. Yeah, I'm a sucker.

Gone With The Wind
Melanie's death. Outstanding performance too.

Return Of The Jedi
Darth Vader/Anakin's death. For me, still the most moving scene in film history, when weighing all that came before. Seeing Luke's reaction to his father dying, the music...wow.

Finding Forrester
Sean Connery's death is told to the young man. (forgot his name)...very moving.

Rocky III
Rocky's Manager dying. This hard-ass, irish manager, pushed Rocky to greatness.

Saving Private Ryan
Tom Hanks. I was thinking, Tom Hanks can't die, can he??

City of Angels
Meg Ryan's death. I was madder than hell...but understood.

John Travolta dying in bed, lying next to Kyra Sedwick (sp)...extremely moving scene.

I'm sure there are more. Posted Image

#39 of 75 OFFLINE   Darrin W-G

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Posted December 12 2003 - 03:36 PM

Willem Defoe death scene in Platoon.

#40 of 75 OFFLINE   Jason_Els



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Posted December 12 2003 - 09:01 PM

WARNING!! Spoilers!

Chow Yun Fat in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. The look of pain on Michelle Yeoh brings me tears.

Isn't that the truth? In a movie like this you expect the girl to rush in with the antidote just in time and you keep expecting it yet it doesn't happen and then Michelle just stops urging him to live and with just the slightest indication of desperation begins to remind Li Mu Bai how to die. And then you know the girl's not going to make it. It's desperately sad.

The World According to Garp - I don't know if Garp dies in the end as I've never read the book but his wife beside him, dropping all the difficulties, releasing all her anger with him, putting aside any sense of reticence just repeating, "Yes, my love." Isn't that all any of us can hope for at the end?

Bambi - The death of Bambi's mother has haunted millions of children in ways I find very disturbing. I won't let my kids watch it. It's somehow too close to home.

The Seven Samurai - Each death takes a terrible toll since we come to know these characters so well but the death of Kyuzo (the master swordsman) made me say, "Oh not him!" I admired him very much.

The others are already mentioned from Gone With the Wind to The Ghost and Mrs. Muir to Donnie Darko.

Haldir's death really hit hard. No tears, but to see someone so majestic die was rather sad. You could see it when he fell, the final realization he had about what death was. He did a great job conveying that. Death is such a foreign idea to the elves, that that scene is very sad.

It isn't though. Haldir, like all other elves except those who are privileged to make the choice, and choose, the fate of Luthien, do not die. Elves are immediately re-created in the Halls of Mandos in Valinor where they may stay for a time and then either remain in Valinor or return to Middle Earth. The elves know this. It is possible that Glorfindel (Sir Not Appearing in this Movie) is one of those elves. Tolkien never resolved his fate. So in a sense death for the elves is like going to jail in Monopoly. You just go back for a while and then continue on your way.

The final fate of men is not known to anyone but Iluvatar and that is why death is so painful for humans but not so much for elves. The elves know where they go, humans no not if they shall be reunited with their loved ones or return to Middle Earth or pass beyond all known realms.

As to the elves' reaction to the death of Gandalf, no elf but Cirdan knew from where the Istari (the wizards) came or their full power or purpose in Middle Earth so they did not know their fate and thus mourned.
For beauty is only a step removed from a burning terror we barely sustain, and we worship it for the graceful sublimity with which it disdains to consume us. - Rainer Maria Rilke

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