10 Best Film Deaths

Thursday, February 24 by Stephen Lloyd

The 10 best film deaths are either sad, epic or funny. What makes these scenes noteworthy is they illuminate death as part of life and also the unique way each character deals with it.

  1. "Raiders Of The Lost Ark." The firs Indiana Jones movie has two best film deaths. Indy casually shooting the man with the flashy swordplay is funny while Nazis exploding and melting is campy gore. Both types are perfect for a swashbuckling adventure tale. 
  2. "The Fellowship Of The Ring." Boromir falls prey to the lure of the ring but he dies a hero, attempting to protect the hobbits in one of the most emotionally-charged, best film deaths in the trilogy. He defeats multiple monstrous orcs even after being struck by several arrows. The sound layering technique expertl mirrors the mental states of the characters. 
  3. "The Return Of The Jedi." The film death of Darth Vader is a important climax to the Star Wars series. Luke Skywalker become a full Jedi and makes peace with his father. Sebastian Shaw's wonderfully nuanced performance as Vader shows a man in pain but at peace. The film death of Yoda is a passing of the torch scene and so well done that the fact he's a puppet is forgotten.
  4. "Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan." Both the death of Khan and Spock are epic in tone. The villain Khan spouts a vitriolic Shakespearean monolog against Kirk as his ship is breaking up around him. Spock endures fatal radiation exposure to save the Enterprise from similar destruction. His funeral causes Kirk to cry, something not usually seen.
  5. "The Lion King." Mufasa's film death sets Simba on his journey to adulthood. The scene of Scar digging his claws into Mufasa's paws before letting him fall into the wildebeest stampede is also Shakespearean in a way. Simba nudging his father's dead body, wanting him to get up, is a sad but memorable part of the movie.
  6. "2001: A Space Odyssey." The best film death scene in this movie is of the HAL9000 computer. But its no less powerful than a human death. HAL has been malfunctioning and endangering the ship's crew so they have to shut him down. It's a long process and HAL loses his memory and functioning in degrees. This scene really shows that HAL is sentient with the emotional depth of a child. He is afraid to die and sings a song about daisies. 
  7. "Jurassic Park." One of the most famous scenes in the movie is of the guy getting eaten off a toilet by a T-Rex. This best film death is humorous for a couple reasons, one being that the character is a wimpy, annoying lawyer and simply for how he snuffs it.
  8. "The Hudsucker Proxy." This is one of the few movies to show a happy suicide. It's the 1950s and Mr. Hudsucker owns a large corporation. After being told in a board meeting how great things are going he runs across the table and through a plate-glass window. All the while he's smiling. The small details are the best part of this film death, from timing his suicide with a stop watch to taking one last puff on his cigar.    
  9. "Lars And The Real Girl." Lars is socially awkward and acts like a life-size love doll, Bianca, is a real person and his girlfriend. He has the relationship with her he hasn't had with real people. Bianca eventually gets "sick" and "dies." But she becomes such an important part of the lives of Lars and others that her death might as well be real. This film death happens because Lars is ready to live a normal social life.  
  10. "12 Monkeys." Cole is given a mission to travel back in time to stop a worldwide plague. He is continually haunted by seeing, as a child, a man gunned down in front of him. It turns out that he was witnessing his own death. The emotional punch in this climactic film death is delivered by the close-ups on the faces of young and adult Cole. 
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COMMENTS

  1. February 24, 2011 5:36 am

    Michal

    Where is Blade Runner and Hauers death??!