Best Film
Deaths Scenes


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

Boyz 'N the Hood (1991)

Black football star Ricky Baker (Morris Chestnut) was shockingly killed with two gunblast shots from a red car during a drive-by shooting in a South Central LA alleyway, as best friend Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) watched in horror.

The two had run from the car and scaled some neighborhood fences, but Ricky was left out in the open and attempted to run, but was caught in the gunfire.

Adding to the tragedy was the fact that college-bound Ricky had just received his SAT scores in the mail that would have allowed him to attend USC with a scholarship.

His friends took his blood-stained corpse back to his house, where his girlfriend/wife Shanice (Alysia Rogers) with young child and mother Brenda (Tyra Ferrell) wailed over him. Tre was given the choice of avenging the death with others, but ultimately chose not to join them in the unending cycle of retribution.

Bugsy (1991)

Psychopathic, larger-than-life, East Coast 40s gangster Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel (Oscar-nominated Warren Beatty) was murdered in 1947 in his Beverly Hills home.

He was killed by multiple gun shots from an outside hitman/sniper (the last shot hit him in the right eye through the back of his skull), who was presumably hired by mobster associate Meyer Lansky (Ben Kingsley). His over-budget $6 million "Flamingo" casino in the Nevada desert had just closed after a brief opening.

Defending Your Life (1991)

Successful, divorced yuppie LA advertising executive Daniel Miller (Albert Brooks) died in a car accident in the film's opening.

He was driving his new black BMW convertible home (a $39,000 gift to himself) on his birthday, while listening to Barbra Streisand's rendition of "Something's Coming" from West Side Story.

When his birthday gifts (a pile of music CDs) from the office party fell to the floor of the car, he reached down to retrieve them. The distraction caused his car to swerve into the other lane of oncoming traffic and directly into a city bus.

He screamed as he realized he was about to experience a fatal crash, but it was too late.

In the next scene under the credits, he woke up and found himself in "Judgment City" in an other-worldly hospital. There, he was beginning his afterlife while pushed in a wheelchair by heavenly attendants.

Delicatessen (1991, Fr.)

Cannibalistic butcher/landlord Clapet (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) died in a decaying tenement apartment building in the film's conclusion.

After he threw a sharp Australian knife-boomerang at circus clown Louison (Dominique Pinon), it turned back and hit him square in the forehead.

He quizzically stumbled around and asked: "I've got something in my head, right?" before expiring.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

# 27

The Shelby County Courthouse, a stronghold surrounded by police and reporters from the media, was the location of serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter's (Anthony Hopkins) imprisonment. In the middle of the Historical Society Room on the fifth floor, a massive temporary iron cage had been erected, cordoned off by black and white striped police barricades.

Lecter listened to Bach's Goldberg Variations seated behind a thin toilet screen. As the two guards brought another meal on a tray, they complained about his ordering a second elegant dinner with "lamb chops, extra rare." As they prepared to enter, Lecter ejected a shiny silver metallic clip from Dr. Chilton's pen from his lips, hid it between his fingers, and dutifully slid down next to the bars to position himself for hand-cuffing.

After securing Lecter's wrists, the guards entered the cell and placed the tray down, Lecter cleverly escaped from the cuffs and lunged at Sgt. Jim Pembry (Alex Coleman) with gruesome, face-eating cannibalism. He then smashed Pembry's skull into the bars and sprayed mace into his eyes.

During his vicious rampage, the second guard Sgt. Boyle (Charles Napier) was mercilessly beaten to death by the bloody-faced Lecter with a police riot baton. After the two brutal attacks, the camera panned over the blood-flecked food tray over to the cassette player, where Lecter was lost listening to Bach. His hand airily drifted over the player. In the background, seriously-wounded Pembry struggled to crawl away. Lecter found a four-inch pocketknife, spilled from Boyle's pockets, and warned the wounded man: "Ready when you are, Sgt. Pembry."

After hearing shots fired, officers found the bloody and savaged body of Sgt. Boyle strung up high on the cell bars like Christ, with a carved-away abdomen.

"Sgt. Pembry," with an unrecognizable, gory face, lay bloodied on the floor, and Lecter appeared to be missing.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

In the film's climactic scene, FBI agent Clarice (Jodie Foster) pursued serial killer and madman Jamie Gumb (Buffalo Bill) (Ted Levine) inside the suspect's house. When she had held him at gunpoint and commanded him to "Freeze!", he evaded her, ducked into the kitchen, and disappeared into the cellar.

During a terrifying chase sequence in the dungeon-like hideaway, she cautiously followed the madman down the stairwell into the cellar with her gun drawn. Swiveling from side to side with her gun for protection, she came upon a pit after hugging walls and closing off openings behind which Gumb could be lurking. She located the kidnapped, hysterical girl who could only cry: "Get me out of here!" When she promised that she would be back after continuing her hunt and stalking of Gumb, Catherine screamed: "Nooo! Don't you leave me here, you f--kin' bitch!...Please, I gotta get out of here!" Loudly, she replied: "THE OTHER OFFICERS WILL BE HERE ANY MINUTE NOW!"

Gasping for breath and crouching as she wove back and forth in passageways lit by naked light bulbs, she found herself in Gumb's laboratory and skinning room, where big moths flew overhead, and a 'skin suit' was briefly seen on a dressmaker's dummy. In a bathroom off the workroom, a female hand and wrist extended up out of a murky mixture in a bathtub. As Clarice reacted in horror to the sight, the lights went out and she found herself in total darkness. Gumb had fitted himself with night-vision goggles, and from his perspective, everything appeared in a greenish tint, and he watched her as she flattened herself against a wall and tried to get her bearings.

As the serial killer reached out with one hand to stroke her hair and the skin of her face, his fingers floated through the air just inches from in front of her. Then he paused, raised his gun in the air, and cocked the hammer. Its loud metallic click tipped off Clarice to his location. She spun around - in slow motion - and fired flaming shots from her gun muzzle at him, at point-blank range.

She hit the floor and struggled to reload her gun cylinder, but there was no need - Gumb gurgled blood from his throat and died a few feet away. He was prone on his back on the floor, staring upwards through his goggles. Her labored breathing decreased as she looks around - newspaper clippings commemorating his own killings, a lingering medium shot of a child's-size American flag leaning against a dusty Army helmet, and a close-up of a revolving, turquoise-blue, "Chinatown" paper mobile emblazoned with a butterfly design.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

The main villain of this sixth film in the franchise was one-eyed Klingon General Chang (Christopher Plummer), who had united in a conspiracy with Federation and Romulan dissidents to instigate war and disrupt peace talks. He was behind a deadly attack upon peace-keeping Klingon Chancellor Gorkon's (David Warner) ship Kronos One, and had supported the Chancellor's assassination by hired killers wearing Starfleet Federation suits and gravity boots.

Chang had also fired from his own unseen cloaked, prototype Klingon Bird of Prey vessel beneath the Enterprise, to blamefully make it appear that the Enterprise was firing the two torpedoes.

By the film's conclusion, he was threatening to destroy both the USS Enterprise and the USS Excelsoir (captained by Hikara Sulu). However, Captain Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) rigged a photon torpedo so it could locate Chang's invisible vessel (and its hot exhaust emissions) and make it a target.

As the torpedo approached for impact, Chang spoke:

To be or not to be.

The explosion caused his cloaked location to be revealed. Afterwards, both Starfleet vessels opened fire, blasting it from two sides into oblivion.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

A nightmarish, end-of-the world cataclysmic dream of death (occurring in late August 1997 in the future) was envisaged by Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton).

She experienced the fiery effects of a nuclear holocaust on a children's playground and herself. White light ignited everything like match heads as she saw her dream self burst into flames and her skin burned away.

Los Angeles landmarks were pulverized as the shockwave of the blast hit the downtown area. The howling wind blasted apart the once-human figures of bone and ash.

Sarah's own figure exploded down to skeletal remains.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

The seemingly-indestructible prototype T-1000 android (Robert Patrick) had the uncanny ability to 'morph' his body into any solid shape, impersonate other persons and even camouflage himself with the background.

In a startling death scene in a Reseda, California kitchen, the T-1000 impersonated John Connor's (Edward Furlong) foster mother Janelle Voight (Jenette Goldstein) while she was talking on the phone to John (the 'good' Terminator T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) was impersonating John's voice during the call).

A clue that she was imposter was given when she became irritated about her husband Todd's (Xander Berkeley) complaint about their dog Max's barking in the backyard - she jerked out her arm (off-screen) to shut him up.

The Terminator T-800 tested her authenticity by asking about their dog (Max), using a fake name: "What's wrong with Wolfie?" - when she responded: "Wolfie's fine, honey. Wolfie's just fine," he sensed a trick.

After the call was abruptly ended, the Terminator T-800 warned John: "Your foster parents are dead."

The camera panned to the right, showing that Janelle's arm had elongated and become a long sword-like spike (similar in shape to the kitchen knife she was cutting with), impaling a milk carton container and Todd's head to the kitchen cabinet behind him. When she withdrew the arm, Todd's bloody body slumped to the floor.

The android changed from Janelle's shape back into the cop disguise - the liquid metal re-shaped itself with a startling visual effect.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

The severely-damaged Terminator T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) ultimately terminated his seemingly-indestructible opponent android, the T-1000 Terminator (Robert Patrick) in the final action sequence in the steel foundry.

He rose up behind Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her son John (Edward Furlong) on the chain drive behind them with an M-79 aimed at the T-1000.

When they instinctively ducked, the grenade was launched into the belly of the creature. It exploded and ripped a gaping hole in the android, causing it to let out inhuman, screeching, inside-out screams.

Losing its balance, it toppled over into the molten steel vat where it flopped around in its death throes, transforming itself into various mutations - Janelle (Jenette Goldstein) with her blade arm, the hospital security guard, and the chrome motorcycle cop.

Unable to re-form itself, it finally dissipated into the fiery molten steel.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

# 43

In a sacrificial scene, after defeating the shape-shifting, metallic T-1000 android (Robert Patrick), the lovable anti-hero - the Terminator T-800 model (Arnold Schwarzenegger), decided to destroy his own CPU:

There's one more chip. And it must be destroyed also.

He explained to Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton): "I cannot self-terminate. You must lower me into the steel." He said goodbye to tearful surrogate son John Connor (Edward Furlong):

I have to go away...I must go away, John...I'm sorry...It has to end here...I know now why you cry, but it's something I can never do.

They hugged each other, and the Terminator shook Sarah's hand and then he stepped out onto the chainfall and told both of them: "Goodbye."

Slowly, the Terminator machine nobly and suicidally descended and sank into the steaming hot molten steel for the good of humankind. His metal hand was the last thing to disappear - it formed a "thumbs up" in the final seconds.

The Terminator's TermoVision showed glitched read-outs and then collapsed to a bright red, solid line that turned off like a television set - it signaled his technological death.

Thelma & Louise (1991)

In the film's conclusion, the two fugitives, Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon), vowed to keep fleeing in their 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible, with the cops stationed behind them and the Grand Canyon's cliffside ahead of them:

Louise: "I'm not giving up."
Thelma (urging): "Okay then, listen, let's not get caught.
Louise: "What're you talkin' about?"
Thelma: "Let's keep goin'."
Louise: "What d'you mean?"
Thelma: "Go."
Louise: "You sure?"
Thelma (nodding): "Yeah."

They kissed each other, and then grasped hands as they met their fate, taking off in a swirl of dust.

It was a soaring, freeze-frame, white-out finale ending as they drove into the Grand Canyon (and oblivion), reminiscent of the Bolivian army massacre at the conclusion of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

Greatest Movie Death Scenes
(chronological by film title)
Intro | 1915-1929 | 1930-1933 | 1934-1938 | 1939 | 1940-1942 | 1943-1945 | 1946-1947 | 1948-1949
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