Best Film
Deaths Scenes


Greatest Movie Death Scenes
Film Title/Year and Description

Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990)

In the climactic ending, LAPD cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) attempted to thwart the take-off of villain Colonel Stuart's (William Sadler) plane (with mercenaries and a deposed dictator named Ramon Esperanza (Franco Nero) onboard) from a crippled Dulles International Airport during a Christmas snowstorm.

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

After a struggle atop the wing with McClane, Grant was bloodily sucked into a cylindrical jet engine, leaving a spray of blood from its exhaust.

The Exorcist III (1990)

In a 'gotcha' death scene in this second sequel of the series (based on William Peter Blatty's 1983 novel Legion), Nurse Keating (Tracy Thorne) was making her rounds in a psychiatric ward.

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

The killer proceeded to cut her head off - 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 [Humphrey Bogart often played gangster roles in films, although he appeared in The Oklahoma Kid (1939) as a western cowboy villain], 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!" In his wild enthusiasm, he 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.

GoodFellas (1990)

There were two other memorable death scenes in the 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. 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
  • Air France cargo worker Frenchy (Mike Starr) and Joe Buddha (Clem Caserta) - a large garbage truck deposited their bodies, filmed in slow motion, as they tumbled into a dumpster
  • Frankie Carbone (Frank Sivero) - his 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.

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?

Total Recall (1990)

During a virtual reality Rekall trip to the red planet of Mars as a secret agent, construction worker Doug Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) fought back against his many adversaries.

One of his enemies was his conniving and treacherous wife Lori (Sharon Stone) of eight years. He mercilessly shot her in the head, with a famous one-liner:

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), the brutish assistant of tyrannical Vilos Cohaagen (Ronny Cox), 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.

Greatest Movie Death Scenes
(chronological by film title)
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