Monday, 30 August 2010

Movie Meme, Day 30: Saddest Death Scene

Apparently I have too much of an affinity to films where the protagonists end up dead, so I’ve inevitably covered a number of them in the meme already. I didn’t cover Zeffrelli’s 1968 interoperation of Romeo & Juliet and though it’s as clichéd as it can be but it’s still sad because Shakespeare’s is as timeless as can be and Olivia Hussey and Leonardo Whiting give two of the best debut performances I’ve ever seen. And if the original Romeo & Juliet makes it, of course the musical version makes it too. I already mentioned how sad an ending it is, even though more than a few say they don’t care for Richard Beymer  in West Side Story (the moment is all Natalie’s though).
When American Beauty ends I’m not particularly sad that Lester has died because as excellent as Kevin Spacey is I have little affection for the character. But it’s implications of the death; it’s really pointless in so many ways and only underscores the banality of the characters’ lives.
And just because 1996-199 is one of my favourite Best Picture streaks I have to mention Jack Dawson and Katherine Clifton. I think I’ve dedicated enough space on this blog to Titanic and The English Patient – so I won’t tire you with more. But yes, I do consider the respective deaths of the protagonists to be sad.
It’s a bit of a loaded question, truly (considering all the films anyone has seen) but which character death stands out to you?
(Disclaimer: No films from the aughts make the list because that’s a separate post. Part One: HERE)
And yes, this is all for the MOVIE MEME


Luke said...

Well, I'm probably going to have to agree with you on these choices - I'd like to throw in a third-placer though... Bambi's mom! C'mon - everyone's got to agree that's one sad moment. :)

Tom Brown said...

I would agree with most of those, yeah, but Luke has a point. how could you miss Bambi's mom?
Also, I remember the [near] death scene from Cats and Dogs 1 nearly made my cry (however, I was 8 at the time)

Jess said...

I agree with the Titanic one. It's definitely sad.

Twister said...

This might not be a popular one, but the murder of Brandon Teena in "Boys Don't Cry" is devastating and its not really Swank's performance which makes it so sad, but Sevigny's acting and Pierce's slowly building of tension throughout. In fact, I really don't love Swank's work here that much at all -- love the movie, worship Chloe, but remain "iffy" about Hilary.

Nicholas Prigge said...

"Apparently I have too much of an affinity to films where the protagonists end up dead..." That's a funny line, and one to which I can totally relate. My favorite movie scene ever is Alice committing suicide in "Last of the Mohicans" and, well, movie deaths don't get much sadder than that.

Anonymous said...

Maybe not the saddest of all time, but Theo's death at the end of Children of Men was very affecting to me.

rtm said...

I was thisclose to include Jack's death in Titanic, that did make me cry. And Bambi's mother, absolutely. Still a tearjerker even today!

TomS said...

Andrew, Romeo and Juliet for sure!
For me:
Flag in "The Yearling"
Sophie and Nathan, "Sophie's Choice"
Ratso in "Midnight Cowboy"
Nick in "The Deer Hunter"
Jenny in "Love Story"
and the demise of "The Red Balloon"

Jose said...

You know I belong to the "will someone please leave them both in the cave to die so the movie will end" group when it comes to "Patient".
But I do shed a tear when Leo sinks in "Titanic", I'm also a big cry baby with E.T's faux death.

Castor said...

Ok I admit Leo dying at the end of Titanic did move me a bit (I was only a kid after all lol). Because we are doing this "I'm a softie" thing, I will admit the old couple dying at the end of The Notebook made me sob... uh I mean tear up a bit.

Other memorable deaths for me: Russell Crowe dying at the end of Gladiator. That girl in The Last of the Mohicans jumping off the cliff after her Indian boyfriend gets killed in front of her. Yea that's enough for today :)

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

luke apparently you're not alone with the bambi's mother love, but really i don't recall being very moved by that. but then i can't even remember the actual movie that much, i hated the book.

tom you're excused for being young with cats and gods, although your words did make me laugh.

jess "i'll never let go": seriously, i won't.

twister i haven't seen that in soooooo long byt sevigny is brilliant (right now snubbed egregiously for great work on big love). i'm moderately fond of swank there.

nicholas ugh, i still need to see that. and i call myself a ddl fan. shame. (granted i hated the book and thus never sought out the film.)

james oh, nice choice.

rtm seriously, what's it with the bambi love (no i'm not a cold hearted s.o.b....well, not too much.)

tom ah, tom, i was on the cusp of putting nick's death in but i decided not to. glad to see you mentioning it.

jose i thought you said you were trying to be LESS mean (re. the english patient. and e.t. makes you cry? i love how weird you are.

castor yeah, everyone's feeling all "share-y" showing the emotion beneath the men and whatnot (well except for ruth, she's a girl).