Tragic Movie Deaths

Movies have the unquestionable power of affecting us in ways beyond imagination. A death in movie is no less than a real life death for many. Here are some of the unforgettable deaths in movies.

1.Lion King: Mufasa’s Death

Scar instructs the hyenas to cause a stampede by scaring a pack of wild beasts. The wild beasts fail to recognize Simba in panic. Scar informs Mufasa of Simba’s trouble who rushes to save Simba. Mufasa rescues Simba but fails to save himself from the stampede after Scar refuses his request for assistance. Scar throws Mufasa into the gorge. This results in Mufasa’ death. This is the most tragic death in the history of Hollywood.

Mufasa's Death

2. The Libertine: John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester’s Death

John Wilmot, the Second Earl of Rochester (Johnny Depp) dies of syphilis. The movie is an amazing adaption of the Earl’s life and is one of the best works of Depp. He portrays the earl who lives a hedonistic life. The movie was supposed to make people fall in love with the Earl’s character, even though, his actions deserve hate. The Earl dies in the worst of conditions. His face becomes disfigured by a syphillitic gummata. He has trouble moving and urinating. The final scene shows the Earl dying at the age of 33 and finally accepting God before he dies. His wife Elizabeth Wilmot (Rosamund Pike), mother and a priest are present in the room when he dies.


John Wilmot Deathbed, Elizabeth Wilmot With Him

3. Titanic: Jack’s Death

Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) helps Rose (Kate Winslet) onto a raft. The raft will support only one person. Jack stays in the freezing water holding on to the panel. He talk to Rose assuring her of a promising future where they both will grow old together. Jack eventually dies from Hypothermia due to prolonged exposure to the freezing water. Ice crystals in their hair, both create one of the most moving scenes of Hollywood history.

Jack and Rose, Before Jack's Death

4. 300: King Leonidas’ Death

King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) is surrounded by the Persian Army after they learn of the goat path from Ephialtes (Andrew Tiernan). The Persian commander asks Leonidas to surrender and promises gifts of untold riches and glory to the King. What follows is probably one of the most moving scenes to have ever come out of the film history. Leonides pretends to bow down but uses the opportunity to throw a spear at Xerxes. The Persian’s unleash their arrows and moments later Leonidas is seen dead on the battlefield.

Leonidas Pierced by Persian Arrows

5. Braveheart: William Wallace’s Death

The Scottish rebel William Wallace (Mel Gibson) refuses to beg for mercy in spite of countless warnings. Instead, he yells “Freeeeeedddooooom” at the top of his voice despite the torture he’s going through and is beheaded for it. One of the most difficult scenes to watch in movie history.

William Wallace Freedom Cry
Braveheart Freedom Cry

6. Pay it Forward: Trevor’s Death

Trevor (Haley Joel Osment) tries to save his friend from two bully kids. He ends up being stabbed. The following scene shows Eugene (Kevin Spacey) & Arlene (Helen Hunt) at the hospital where the doctor is shown informing them of Trevor’s Death. Arlene breaks down and Eugene gets a hold of her before she can fall.

Trevor Right After Being Stabbed

7. My Girl: Thomas J. Sennet’s Death

I’m sure no one who ever saw this movie could have avoided crying at the funeral scene following Thomas’ (Macaulay Culkin) death. Thomas J. goes to the woods to find Vada Sultenfuss’s (Anna Chlumsky) mood ring. He ends up being stung by bees and dies due to the allergic reaction that follows. The funeral scene is very moving where Vada is seen crying over the coffin asking people to get Thomas his glasses.

Vada Breaks Down at Thomas' Funeral

8. Dead Poet Society: Neil Perry’s Death

Neil (Robert Sean Leonard) wants to be an actor and participates in a play at his school (Welton Academy prep school). He performs the role of Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This decision is against his father’s (Kurtwood Smith) will but Neil cannot muster the courage to talk to his father about it. His father shows up at the end of the play and brings him home. Neil is told by his father that he intends to put Neil in a military school to prepare him for Harvard University. During the night Neil’s father wakes up to gunshot noise. He goes around the house only to find Neil’s body on the ground with a gun right next to it. The precedence of the situation, along with Neil’s beautiful personality, makes this an unforgettably sad death.

Neil Right Before Committing Suicide

9. American History X: Curb-Stomp to the Car Jacker

The scene involves more brutality than tragedy. Racist Derek (Edward Norton) learns of three African American’s trying to steal the truck his late father gave him. Derek comes out with a gun and shoots two of the three African Americans and vows to teach the third one a lesson. Derek forces the black guy to put his mouth on the curb and then kills him with a curb stomp.

Derek Curb-Stomps the Black Guy

10. American History X: Danny’s Death

Danny (Edward Furlong) is seen using the urinal in the bathroom at his school. He turns around and is confronted by a black student who had previously exchanged offensive advances with Danny. The black student kills Danny. Derek (Edward Norton) is seen running into the bathroom after arriving at the scene. He is in tears and is seen cradling his brother’s body.

Danny's Earlier Confrontation With the Black Guy

11. Mystic River: Katie’s Death

Jimmy Markum’s (Sean Penn) daughter, Katie (Emmy Rossum) has been missing. The scene where the detectives finally find the body of the missing girl and Jimmy’s reaction is possible one of the saddest scenes due to a tragic death. Jimmy is seen running into the cops and screaming at the top of his lungs while the cops try to hold him down.

Jimmy Markum at Finding Out About the Death of His Daughter

12. Godfather: Sonny in Fusillade

Sonny (James Caan) talks to Connie (Talia Shire) who has just been severely abused by her husband Carlo (Gianni Russo). Sonny, furious, leaves the house to confront Carlo. On the way he is ambushed and killed at a toll booth. The gangsters, Barzini’s men, open a fusillade on Sonny who slowly gets out of the car in the shower of bullets. The scene continues with Sonny receiving hundreds of bullets. One of the gangsters kicks him once the firing stops. The gangsters then leave.

Sonny in the Fusillade

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  1. kimber says:

    While in agreemen with your choices, I also believe Godfather III’s hardest death scene is Mary’s (Sophia Coppola). It is profoundly moving due to her father’s devastatingly visceral reaction, Michael (Al Pacino), coupled with the beautiful intermezzo from Cavellaria Rusticana. She is so innocent and is not the intended target. Ironically, Michael had already made his nephew give up his and Mary’s relationship as it would be too dangerous for her because Vincent (Andy Garcia) had accepted his “appointment” as the new don from Michael.

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