Best Film
Deaths Scenes


Greatest Movie Death Scenes
Title Screen
Film Title/Year and Description

Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990)

The second film in the Die Hard franchise-series was set two years after the original film.

In the climactic conclusion, NYPD cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) attempted to thwart the take-off of a jetliner holding villain Colonel Stuart (William Sadler), a rogue US army officer. Stuart was accompanied by mercenaries and a deposed Central American dictator and drug lord named Ramon Esperanza (Franco Nero). They were attempting to leave from the crippled Dulles International Airport (in Washington, DC) during a Christmas snowstorm.

From a news-copter, McClane was dropped onto the Boeing 747's left wing as it was taxiing for take-off. He was confronted by traitorous counter-terrorist team leader Major Grant (John Amos), in charge of a special government Army platoon unit known as Special Forces "Blue Light," who emerged to fight him, vowing: "I'll do him."

During a hand-to-hand struggle atop the wing between Grant and McClane, the two exchanged words:

Grant: Too bad, McClane. I kinda liked you.
McClane: I got enough friends.

When kicked atop the plane's turbine engine, Grant was bloodily sucked down into the cylindrical jet engine, leaving a spray of blood from its exhaust.

Then, after Stuart kicked McClane off the wing onto the snowy runway (with the words: "Bon voyage! Happy landings, asshole!"), he was able to open the fuel hatch on the engine. With his cigarette lighter, McClane ignited the spilling fuel that trailed after the plane - with his trademark line: "Yippee-ki-yay, motherf--ker."

The lighted trail of plane fuel caught up to the jet as it took off, and caused a massive explosion.

Major Grant Sucked Into Jet Engine

Plane Fuel Ignited

The Exorcist III (1990) (aka Exorcist III: Legion)

This second sequel of the series was based on director William Peter Blatty's 1983 novel Legion. It was about homicide detective Lieutenant William F. Kinderman's search and investigation into the possible return of "Gemini" - a serial killer that he thought he had sent to the electric chair for execution 15 years earlier.

The possible reappearance coincided with the date that Jesuit priest, Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller), had suicidally thrown himself from a window during the first film's exorcism - suggesting that the enraged demon had thereafter put the spirit of the "Gemini" killer into the body of the priest and others to commit ritualistic murders.

In a 'gotcha' death scene, Nurse Keating (Tracy Thorne) was making her rounds in a psychiatric ward - seen from a long-shot down a corridor.

Suddenly, in a zoom shot, she was attacked from behind by a white-cloaked individual with large shears.

The killer proceeded to cut her head off (off-screen) - juxtaposed with an image of a headless statue.

GoodFellas (1990)

Director Martin Scorsese's stylistic masterpiece was a nitty-gritty, unflinching treatment of a true mobster story about three violent "wiseguys."

One night while playing a friendly card game in the basement of the Suite, the guys were being served drinks by Spider (Michael Imperioli), a young apprentice hood who stuttered. Gangster Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) delighted in intimidating Spider and causing him to make verbal mistakes.

Pretending that he was "The Oklahoma Kid" in a Bogart movie, Tommy belligerently waved his gun in the air and shot toward Spider, yelling:

"Ya f--kin' varmint, Dance! Yahoo, ya motherf--ker...Round up those f--king wagons!"

[Note: Humphrey Bogart often played gangster roles in films, although he appeared in The Oklahoma Kid (1939) as a western cowboy villain.]

In his wild enthusiasm, Tommy accidentally hit Spider in the right foot.

During the next card game, Spider limped with a big bandage on his foot as he served drinks and was derided again by Tommy. The boy boldly talked back: "Why don't you go f--k yourself, Tommy?"

While everyone burst in laughter, Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) teased Tommy about being soft:

Tommy, you gonna let him get away with that? You gonna let the f--kin' punk get away with that? What's the matter with you? What's the world comin' to?

Without warning, the short-fused wiseguy fired six shots into Spider's chest and killed him. It was a sick, sudden, casual and unexpected murder.

Tommy Shooting Spider

The Sick Shooting of Spider

GoodFellas (1990)

There were a few other memorable death scenes in Martin Scorsese's crime-gangster film.

One was the famous montage of dead conspirators after the successful pre-dawn heist-raid at the Lufthansa cargo terminal at Kennedy Airport. Accomplices involved in the heist were ordered killed by a greedy Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) to sever the links between him and the Lufthansa robbery. Voice-over narration by Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) explained:

Jimmy was cutting every link between himself and the robbery...It made him sick to have to turn money over to the guys who stole it. He'd rather whack 'em. Anyway, what did I care? I wasn't asking for anything and besides, Jimmy was making nice money with me through my Pittsburgh connections. Still, months after the robbery they were finding bodies all over. When they found Carbone in the meat truck, he was frozen so stiff it took them two days to thaw him out for the autopsy.

The scene was accompanied by a piano bridge from Derek and the Dominos' (with Eric Clapton) Layla:

  • Johnny Roastbeef (John Williams) and his fur coat-wearing wife (Fran McGee) were whacked. Kids playing under the Brooklyn Bridge discovered the bodies at the same time as the film-viewing audience.
    [A long panning shot started from under the car at the front grille, then went up to the windshield and around to the passenger window, where it looked in the glass - near the blood-splattered new car invoice.]
    The couple were left slumped and bloody in the front seat of their new, hot-pink "gorgeous" Cadillac convertible.
  • A large garbage truck deposited the bodies of Air France cargo worker Frenchy (Mike Starr) and Joe Buddha (Clem Caserta) into a dumpster - filmed in slow motion.
  • Frankie Carbone's (Frank Sivero) frozen-stiff body was discovered hanging like a slab of meat on a hook in a refrigerated meat truck.
Tommy's "Make"

Another scene was the sudden whacking of Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci), revenge for his earlier killing of Billy Batts (Frank Vincent). On the day of the ceremony to "make" Tommy and induct him into the Mafia, he eagerly anticipated the occasion and was dressed up to "look good."

But when Tommy was ushered into an empty room to take a blood oath into the upper echelons of the family, and the camera took his point of view, he was suddenly shocked and sensed his days were over. He was shot in the back of the head as he spoke his last words. An overhead shot captured his body falling to the floor with blood oozing out.

Murders of Roastbeef and Wife in Pink Cadillac

Dumpster Bodies

Hanging on Hook in Meat Truck

Miller's Crossing (1990)

# 25

The Coen Brothers' third collaborative film was this gangster film, focused on two rival gangs in an unnamed city.

In an isolated forest clearing called Miller's Crossing, crooked Jewish bookie Bernie Bernbaum (John Turturro) was to be executed, for revealing Italian mobster Johnny Caspar's (Jon Polito) fixed fights to other gamblers.

Bernie piteously begged not to be executed as he was led deeper and deeper into the woods by Caspar's hitman at the time, Tom Reagan (Gabriel Byrne):

Tommy, you can't do this! You don't bump guys! You're not like those animals back there. It's not right, Tom! They can't make us do this. It's the wrong situation, they can't make us different people than we are. We're not muscle, Tom. I-I-I never killed anybody. I used a little information for a chisel, that's all. It's my nature, Tom! I-I-I can't help it, somebody gives me an angle, I play it. I don't deserve to die for that. Do you think I do?

I'm, I'm, I'm just a grifter, Tom. I'm-I'm- I'm-I'm-I'm a nobody! But I'll tell you what, I never crossed a friend, Tom. I never killed anyone, I never crossed a friend, nor you, I'll bet. We're not like those animals! This is not us! Th-th- this is some hop dream! It's a dream, Tommy! I'm praying to you! I can't die! I can't die. Out here in the woods, like a dumb animal! In the woods, LIKE A DUMB ANIMAL! Like a dumb animal! I can't, I can't, I CAN'T DIE OUT HERE IN THE WOODS! like a dumb animal. I can't die!

He then pleaded on his knees:

I'm praying to you! Look in your heart! I'm praying to you! Look in your heart! I'm praying to you! I'm praying to you. Look in your heart! I'm praying to you! Look in your heart...

Bernie's death and execution were faked when Tom allowed him to escape ("Shut up, you're dead. Get me?"), with unfortunate consequences. Double-crossing Bernie ultimately returned and blackmailed Tom. He threatened that if Tom didn't kill Caspar - he would reveal that he had been spared earlier.

In a second execution scene, Tom delivered a seething, cold and unmoving reply to more of Bernie's begging ("Look in your heart, look in your heart") before shooting him between the eyes:

What heart?

Hitman Tom Reagan

Bernie's Reprieve: "Look in your heart"

Bernie Shot In Forehead by Tom: "What heart?"

Total Recall (1990)

Director Paul Verhoeven's sci-fi action film told about a construction worker Doug Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in the year 2084. During a virtual reality trip to the colonized red planet of Mars, arranged by memory implants through a company known as "Rekall," Quaid took on the role of Secret Agent Carl Hauser - who fought back against many adversaries.

  • One of his enemies was his conniving and treacherous wife Lori (Sharon Stone) of eight years, who was revealed to only be a false memory implant, sent to spy on him by evil Mars governor Vilos Cohaagen (Ronny Cox). Quaid mercilessly shot her in the head during a shoot-out, with a famous one-liner:

Lori: We're married!
Quaid: Consider that a divorce!

  • He also used a large screw device to impale betraying cab driver Benny (Mel Johnson, Jr.), capping the death with "Screw you!"

  • Richter (Michael Ironside), Lori's real husband and the brutish assistant of tyrannical Vilos Cohaagen, died when his arms were neatly sliced off in an ascending elevator and he fell to his death.

  • In the film's conclusion, Cohaagen was spewed out into the airless atmosphere of the reddish planet of Mars - his eyes bulged and face swelled due to the lack of oxygen as he died.

"We're married!"

"Consider that a divorce!"



Greatest Movie Death Scenes
(chronological by film title)
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