In the proud tradition of the 100 Greatest Songs of the Last Twenty Years thread, I’ve succumbed to my morbid sense of humor and decided to post this thread for the greatest, funniest, goriest, most shocking or most touching deaths in cinema history. To get the list rolling…
#100: Anonymous swordsman in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Reason: In probably the greatest scene in the mediocre ending to the great action series, a weary Indiana Jones is confronted by a whirling dervish of a swordsman in a Cairo marketplace. Instead of a protracted fight scene, Indy just pulls out his gun and blows him away. Priceless.
Terminator 2 in that vat of molten whatever it was.
Irene Walker (Kathleen Turner) in Prizzi’s Honor - thrown knife through the throat. Ouch.
Lady Jane Grey (Helena Bonham Carter) in Lady Jane - the worst execution in film history.
The badguy splattering all over the hood of an oncoming car in “Robocop”…GROSS!
Sonny Corleone in GF1
There’s an old movie I saw as a kid with a title something like “Yellowbelly” that had this bunch of Confederate soldiers trying to make their way across the Everglades to a ship that would get them away from the war. Anyway, one guy was bitten by a water mocassin and another died in quicksand. Has anybody ever seen that flic? (just curious) Grim deaths but unlikely to make the list if nobody but me saw the movie.
In Nevada Smith, McQueen’s character (title role) shoots Karl Malden in both elbows and knees and leaves him in a stream. We don’t get to see Malden die, but it’s hard to figure him getting out of there.
In the Rutger Hauer “Wanted Dead Or Alive” movie (he plays the great-grandson of the Josh Randall character that McQueen played on the TV series of that name) Hauer sticks a grenade in Gene Simmons’s mouth and yanks the pin. Quite effective.
In “Dead Calm” Billy Zane gets disintegrated with a flare from a flare gun.
The final fight scene in Gladiator - The world loses both an evil crook and a hero, and Maximus does out the “Emperor” in style despite his handicap.
In Silence of the Lambs, though it isn’t quite a death scene, but rather the aftermath; as Hannibal has been confirmed escaped, and the cops run into his former room to discover a guard hanging from the roof, giving off the image of an angel with a brilliant light in the background. This truely shoes off Hannibal Lector’s madness. Another great Lector death scene takes place in the second film, Hannibal, goes to the Italian detective who is thrown off the balcony and hung, as his inaards carry on with enersia to fall to the ground in a pile of blood and guts.
I’m sure I’m missing alot already.
I couldn’t just let it rest and trotted off to IMDB for this about Yellowneck which I had remembered as Yellowbelly. Same basic idea.
Boromir’s touching death scene, of course, in The Fellowship of the Ring. Sure to be a classic.
Little Bill’s (Gene Hackman) death in Unforgiven. As Clint Eastwood points a rifle at his face, Little Bill says, “I can’t die. Not like this. I’m building a house.” BLAM!
Brad Pitt’s death in Fight Club.
Marvin in Pulp Fiction.
Christian Slater in Heathers
The lawyer in Jurassic Park who runs and hides from the T-Rex in the outhouse. Then the building is knocked away and it’s just the lawyer sitting there on the toilet, wiping his glasses and looking up at the T-Rex and then CHOMP!
Say no more.
Also, to add to the OP, I could be wrong, but I believe that the scene described was in “Temple of Doom”. And it was SUPPOSED to be a long, drawn out sword battle, but Harry Ford was tired and sick and feeling like crap, and pulled his prop gun out to shoot the guy as a joke. Spielberg loved it. It stayed. (Or so I’ve heard)…Timmy
After further thought I’d say that rather than cut down the total number still available to fill in the Top 100, it would be best to lump into one item “all the deaths in the Godfather trilogy” since virtually all of them are unique (or nearly so at the time the films were made) and grisly. Oddly enough, in Coppola’s biography he states his aversion to violence, but as a filmmaker he had to be creative. Man, was he!
Spock, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, although to get the full impact of it, you had to have seen the television show for years.
Fredo Corleone in The Godfather II
John Coffey in The Green Mile
Danny Vinyard in American History X
While I didn’t much care for the film itself, the “decapitation scene” in The Omen stands out for me as one of the greatest death scenes in history. It’s truly spectacular.
Clayton the hunter from Disney’s Tarzan. He gets vines wrapped around his neck and then falls, and we just see the shadow of his legs hanging.
RAM (or was it ROM?) from Tron. “Oh…! My User!”
The queen/shogun’s wife from Akira Kurosawa’s Ran. A whole bucketful of blood splashed on the wall.
Michael Ironside’s character in Scanners. I’d heard about that movie for years and I’d expected it to be non-stop heads blowing up, but when I finally saw it I was disappointed they held back so much. The finale was remarkable, though.
And John Hurt’s character from Alien.
I still find the scene where Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) is beaten mercilessly and left in a grave to die from ‘Casino’ disturbing. I always dread the death of Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro) at the end of ‘Heat’ because I so badly want him to escape. The way he holds Vincent Hanna’s (Al Pacino) hand just makes it more poignant.
Goldie Hawn’s husband at the beginning of Private Benjamin. I really hope I don’t die in a sink.
John Wayne in The Cowboys.
John Wayne in The Shootist.
(What can I say? The guy had a knack for death scenes.)
Donnie in ‘Donnie Darko’. Laughing his ass off seconds before being crushed by a plane engine.
Sal Mineo in “Rebel Without A Cause”.