There are some classic tragic heroes in movies from the 90's. In the 1990s, action and adventure films became more emotional, as directors tried to increase the audiences of their films and bring in all types of moviegoers, not just blockbuster action junkies. These tragic heroes in movies from the 90's added another dimension to the films in which they were a part of. Here are some of the most iconic tragic heroes in movies from the 90's.
Jack Dawson in "Titanic." Jack, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is perhaps the most well-known of tragic heroes in movies from the 90's; after all, "Titanic" was the highest grossing film of the decade, and of all time for a while. The lower-class love interest of the aristocratic Kate Winslet, he tragically meets his end as the ship sinks, giving added emotional weight to what could have been a typical disaster movie spectacle. The role made Leo a star and set the tone for other tragic heroes in movies from the 90's to follow.
William Wallace in "Braveheart." Mel Gibson directed this film and stars as this example of tragic heroes in movies from the 90's, a real-life Scottish revolutionary who led the commoners of his land against their oppressive British rulers. In the end, Wallace dies for his beliefs, executed in front of his people, and the execution spurs on the revolution to continue. This tragic hero did not die for nothing.
Jack Vincennes in "LA Confidential." All the heroes in this retro-noir have a dark side, but the sarcastic greed of Kevin Spacey's character is far from the worst, especially when, after he feels responsible for the death of a young actor, he moves into the light to try and solve the conspiracy at the movie's core. Like other tragic heroes in movies from the 90's, he does not die for nothing; with his final words, he sends a message through his killer as to who the bad guys really are.
Capt. John H. Miller in "Saving Private Ryan." Tom Hanks' lead character in this gritty World War II drama, about a platoon of soldiers sent to retrieve and protect a young private whose other siblings have all died in the conflict, is the final entry on our list of tragic heroes in movies from the 90's. He too dies for a cause, though in this case, the movie does not seem sure as to whether the cause is the right one, making it an even more powerful film death.
- Travis Petersen