Thursday, September 24, 2009

DYING ON SCREEN

Obit magazine has a peculiar little story on the top ten deaths on celluloid. You can read it here.

Thoughts on what they missed? My immediate thought was that they missed Willem Defoe's death in Platoon, which still haunts me. I watched Million Dollar Baby for the first time last night, and agree with the writer that it belongs on this list.

8 comments:

Leida said...

it seems the author didn't miss wilem defoe dying in platoon, he just didn't like it. poor, deluded soul... that scene has haunted me since i was 12 years old.

i agree with the few on the list from the movies that i'd actually seen. the ones i find particularly gut-wrenching that didn't make his list are as follows:
1. michael clark duncan in "the green mile." the most tragically-innocent moment is when john coffey begs to have the lights turned back on, after the black hood is drawn over his head. i sobbed until my friends dragged me out of the theater after the credits.
and 2. roberto benini in "life is beautiful." the moment when he's being dragged off to die while his son looks on and he decides to clown it up so his son won't know what is going on, running away from the guards and making him laugh, is so sadly and sweetly sophoclean. he played out their father-son fantasy until the very end, out of love. i might have cried until the end of the movie on this one, too.

myleswerntz said...

good call on those. Life is Beautiful's ending was magnificent.

the hamster said...

leida loves crying.

other good deaths:

1) is anyone going to mention the massive tension of a bound-hand kevin spacey on his knees in front of a freshly widowed brad pitt? the ending to SEVEN jacked me up something fierce. the entire film hinged on that moment.

2) and what about anton chigurh sitting in that pretty little widow's bedroom when she comes home from her momma's funeral? and what about the way she refuses to call the side to the coin? and what about the way chigurh looks at her like, "well, damn, this is the first person to ever give me a run for my money"? and what about the next scene featuring chigurh wiping his feet on the porch? genius.

3) i plum loved it when the jabbering blonde stepped out in front of the speeding bus on the first FINAL DESTINATION. jabber, jabber, jabber, WHAMMY!

4) and i got all kinds of choked up and burn throated when will smith had to squeeze the life out of his german shepherd in I AM LEGEND. crap, i nearly broke down in the theater. tough scene.

5) rocky dennis in MASK. enough said.

Leida said...

it's true, hamster: i do love me a good cry. 'seven's' ending was brilliant, i'll agree, but if i have to choose a will smith death, i'll take 8 pounds in the tub w/the jelly fish ANY day, over "i am legend." i started crying when he holds rosario dawson after she falls asleep in his arms and whispers, 'i love you,' then leaves her. i knew what he had planned from the opening credits, but i didn't care; it was that good. they could have ended the movie, there, though. the impact was only lessened in my mind after we see all the people he helped perfectly happy and well-adjusted with their new body parts. still and all, i did cry at 'i am legend.' i'll admit it.

in 'legend's' vein (if you're willing to stretch, a little), i call tom hanks' to the fore. he played losing his volley ball, spaulding, in 'cast away' brilliantly, i think. i'll never be comfortable having cried that hard over a lost ball, but it's true, nonetheless.

the hamster said...

yes, yes. the jellyfish. the poor innocent jellyfish. i forgot to mention the sacrifice of the jellyfish at the hands of will smith the executioner. what a jerk.

myleswerntz said...

a few others that get me, in no particular order:

1) THE DIRTY DOZEN, Jim Brown. When Jefferson bites it moments from freedom, I felt my heart sink.

2) MALCOLM X, Malcolm. The way they build up the scene prior to his assassination is almost biblical, as if he knows what awaits him on stage.

3) DROP DEAD GORGEOUS, tractor girl or Deniese Richards. Both are equally parts shock and humor.

but the one that trips the line and makes me feel the worst about it is Brad Pitt in BURN AFTER READING. I about fell out of my chair when that happened. If you haven't seen it, I won't spoil it any more than I already have, but it's just shocking. I felt just dirty.

the hamster said...

spoil it anymore?

way to go, mpm-w. i haven't even seen it yet. and now i don't have to. you have totally spoiled it for me!

are we counting macaulay culkin's death via bee stings in MY GIRL, since it was the event that triggered better than "ode to ice cream" poetry in anna chlumsky and reconnected her with a good and glorified grief for her own mother? because if we're not counting that as a killer movie death, then i just don't know what we're doing here.

John Barber said...

I've been thinking about this one for a few days. And I've come up with the best one! I had to go back and check to make sure nobody mentioned it (maybe someone did in the OP comments, but I didn't check there).

Best. Movie. Death. Ever.:

Spock in STAR TREK: THE WRATH OF KHAN. Hands down. "You have been... and always shall be... my friend..." Then they eject the coffin out into space! Best one ever. I don't care how geeky it makes me look.