How’s it going guys? Today it is time for something I rarely do on the blog (this is the second time actually) and that something is a countdown/Top List. Why did I decide to do one now of all times? Well there is no other reason than me just feeling like making it. So please don’t be too harsh with me in the end since I am not overly used to these things. But enough of that! Time to introduce the list (Which I technically already did if you loked at the title of the post). So yes, my first real Top 10 will be about deaths in movies. But no just any old deaths, oh no! These are deaths of characters who played a fairly big/important role in a movie. So if you didn’t get it already, this list will be filled with spoilers for different movies. So read this at your own risk. And just to make it clear, this list is based on my opinion and is not representative of the entire population. So if there is some heartbreaking death you’d like to mention, make you own list and/or comment on this post. So without further ado, let’s get to it!
Ladies and gentlemen… My Top 10 Heartbreaking deaths in movies!
Starting off at number 10 is the fantastic 2011 crime-drama “Drive” (Which happens to be my 2nd favorite movie). In this movie we see Ryan Gosling as a stunt driver with a mysterious past and problems he gets involved with. And since I started the list with that you would probably assume I am gonna talk about Ryan Gosling dying (Which he for the record does not do). No, I am talking about a death that happened late in the movie. And while the death itself isn’t that shocking or too extreme for your heart, it is still worth a mention. I am of course talking about the death of the Driver’s mentor and father figure Shannon (Bryan Cranston). The reason the death affected me a bit is not only because the guy was played by Bryan Cranston, but also because he was a very likeable guy. Yes, he kind of used the Driver to get money and stuff, but he was still a witty and just likeable guy. And seeing him getting killed by Bernie (Albert Brooks) was kind of sad. And therefore he gets a spot on this list.
Next up is the black comedy “In Bruges” which is a movie that really shows how good of an actor Colin Farrell actually is. This movie is one that really surprised me with not only how good it was, but also how much drama there also was considering the trailer made it look a lot more comedic than it was. But in general I thought it was a great movie. But the death we are talking about today is the very last one in the movie where the character of Ray (Colin Farrell) gets gunend down by his boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes) in the movie’s climax. Why this is so heartbreaking is because just like Shannon in “Drive”, Ray is just a likeable guy. The reason he is being gunned down is because at a previous job he fucked up and basically is too guilt-stricken to be of use to Harry. And I admit, I didn’t really cry at Ray’s unfortunate death but it still got to me and is therefore on this list.
Number 8: Blood Diamond (2006)
The next death we have on the list is from the 2006 action-drama “Blood Diamond”. And this time, like the last entry it is the main character who dies. After aquiring the titular Blood Diamond (Explanation: A diamond which has gotten naturally colored red(ish) and happens to be worth a lot), our characters Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) runs toward a helicopter to get their asses out of there. But Danny feels that he will die soon and should stay behind. So Solomon gets to the chopper while Danny lies on a hill with a beautiful view and a final call to his love interest Maddy (Jennifer Connelly). And so Danny falls asleep on top of that hill, with a beautiful view, knowing he had done something good. This is a death that got to me a little more, not only because of Danny being a pretty awesome character, but also because his final scene was built up in such a way that made it a hell of a lot more beautiful. Great movie with a beautiful and heartbreaking death scene in the end.
At the number 7 spot is the kind of underrated early 1990’s western “Unforgiven”, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. Why do I call it “kind of underrated”? Because while it did get a lot of cred as a good movie, I feel like it was even better than most people says it is… both as a western and as a movie in general. But that is not the point. The point here is to see who died and made an impact on me doing so! And that is the character of Ned (Morgan Freeman) being tortured with a whip, killed and put up on display by the evil Sheriff Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman). This is not easy to take since he wasn’t just a well-written and great character, but also because he was tortured and put on display as his old friend William Munny (Clint Eastwood) sees his corpse. This really hit me because of all those things and yes, because I like Morgan Freeman. But this is so well set up and just shows how brutal the west (especially corrupt Sheriffs) could be.
Number 6: Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Oh yeah, you know what I’m talking about. That really heartbreaking death in the 5th installment in the “Harry Potter” franchise. The one that shocked everybody. That’s right… HARRY POTTER (Daniel Radcliffe)! Nah, just kidding. As you may have expected I am of course talking about the death of Sirius Black (Gary Oldman). Sure, he isn’t one of those characters that got super much screen time but he was still awesome! Especially since they gave him a little more development in this one and made him really fucking likeable. And then they had a really cool fight scene between Harry and his friends with the titular “Order of the Phoenix” against the Death Eaters. And then when Harry and Sirius got the upper hand against Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs), Sirius gets killed by Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter). This moment came as a surprise and really got me. This moment really pulled at my heartstrings and actually made me tear up a little bit.
If you have not seen this movie yet then not only are you risking getting spoiled but it will also make me wonder why you have not seen this movie yet. It is pretty fucking amazing! Anyway, in this movie we follow gunslinger Wyatt Earp (Kurt Rusell) as he tries to bring law and order to the town of Tombstone. Sure, he gets help from his brothers as well but thoses are not the interesting ones here, oh no. The interesting character (and dying one) is Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer). I admit, I kinda saw the death coming the entire movie but still felt emotion when it happened. And how did I know he would die? Because the guy had tuberculosis and back then it was pretty incurable. But the reason it still left and emotional scar on me is because it was really well set up, really well-acted and just really got to me. In the final scene we see the friendship between Doc and Wyatt as they play cards as Doc is getting ready to leave this world. This scene realyl brought a tear to my eye and that is why it is on this list.
Number 4: Terminator 2 – Judgment Day (1991).
This entry on the list might seem a bit weird, but hear me out. The impact the death I will be talking about left is to me one of the most surprising impacts ever. I never thought I would be emotionally scared by a robot played by Arnold Schwarzenegger being lowered into lava after shooting Robert Patrick into the very same lava. Also, Arnold giving us a thumbs up as he is lowered is just fucking awesome. But when I saw this for the first time I cried like a little baby. The second time I cried a little less (maybe because I knew it was going to happen), but it still means it left an impact on me. And that is a thumbs up in my book!
Number 3: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
This is one of the most perfect movies ever made. I am not even kidding. This movie is fantastic in every aspect of the word. And maybe that adds to the sadness that is the death of main protagonist R.P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson). After going through a lobotomy and have gotten himself turned into a vegetable for being too rebellious. So since his friend “The Chief” (Will Sampson) can’t escape with his friend he decides to show mercy to him and choke him out with a pillow. This scene was not easy to watch, it really reached into me and just made me cry my eyes off. Seriously, I had to pick them up from the floor. But this scene really was well done and couldn’t be any better.
Number 2: American History X (1998)
This is most certainly one of my favorite movies of all time. There are few movies (in my opinion) that can be as disturbing yet so awesome as this movie. And no, I am not talking about the “Curb stomp” scene as the death for this entry on the list since that character only contributed to that scene but it wasn’t sad at all. No I am talking about the very last scene of the movie where Danny Vinyard (Edward Furlong) is suddenly shot by a black guy simply because he used to be a skinhead. But the tragedy lies in when his older brother Derek (Edward Norton) finds out and runs into the school bathroom where Danny lies on the ground, shot. Derek sits down next to his dead brother and just holds him, crying. This scene really broke my hearts in many ways. A lot of it thanks to Edward Norton being a fantastic actor and because it was just incredibly well done. The movie never lost momentum (in my opinion) and really ended on a high note. Fun fact: In the original script there was another part to the ending where after Danny had died, Derek would shave his head again. But Norton got it changed… and I think it was for the better. Because one more scene/part would have kind of made the ending less impactful.
Number 1: The Green Mile (1999)
This movie… this fucking movie. Great writing, great acting, great music, great drama… this movie is just great! You know which death I am talking about. That final execution of John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan). Throughout the movie we get to know this gentle giant and find out he is innocent when it comes to the murder of those two little girls. As we find out, it was actually Sam Rockwell who did it. But alas, they can never prove it and therfore poor Mr. Coffey gets executed in the most heartbreaking scene in any movie ever (my opinion). Not only that the scene is done in a way that makes YOU the viewer cry, but seeing the prison guards (Including Tom Hanks, Barry Pepper and more) cry as well just makes the scene so damn sad. I swear, this scene made me cry like a little baby. You might complain “UUUUH, The movie is too fucking long!”. But believe me, it doesn’t feel that long and the payoff at the end is worth it. This movie has the most heartbreaking death in a movie ever (My opinion). I should have also mentioned, animals are not fair game when it comes to this stuff.
And that’s it really. But what is a list like this without a few honorable mentions? First up we have the death of Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) in “End of Watch”. Then we have Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe) in “Gladiator”. Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) in “Godzilla”. Dan Evans (Christian Bale) in “3:10 to Yuma”. And that is it for this time! If you liked this post then maybe give it a “like” perhaps! If you have any ideas for Countdowns I can do in the future, please let me know, maybe I’ll use your idea and credit you for it! And with that, I leave you!
Goodbye my friends!