Best Film
Deaths Scenes

1950-1952


Greatest Movie Death Scenes
Film Title/Year and Description
Screenshots

The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

In the final downbeat sequence, an ironic conclusion following the commissioner's speech about police pursuit for a "hardened killer," bleeding and dying Dix Handley (Sterling Hayden) - after a failed heist - drove furiously with Doll Conovan (Jean Hagen) to his beloved Kentucky homeland to fulfill his last obsession - his lost childhood dream. Hallucinating with memories of the simple life he once experienced at the farm, he mumbled to himself as it approached, signaled by long rows of white fences.

Under the bright, sunny sky, he staggered from his car into a bluegrass field just outside his family's Kentucky Hickory Wood Farm. In the lyrical ending, he fell down exhausted and expired from his bleeding wound in the grass of the meadow-pasture, amidst four grazing and nuzzling colts he had dreamed of owning.

D.O.A. (1950)

At the end of the film-noirish film, fatally poisoned accountant/notary public Frank Bigelow (Edmond O'Brien) collapsed after solving the case.

The film concluded with an exchange between the deputy and the homicide captain in the police station:

- "How shall I make out the report on him, Captain?"
- "Better make it... 'dead on arrival.'"

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

The first scene showed motorcycle officers followed by police cars with sirens blaring rushing to a mansion in Beverly Hills. There, they found a dead body floating face down in a swimming pool. Detectives tried to fish the corpse out of the water. A voice-over narration was read cynically and crisply with a film-noirish style - it was startling because it was the corpse speaking:

Yes, this is Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. It's about five o'clock in the morning. That's the Homicide Squad - complete with detectives and newspapermen. A murder has been reported from one of those great big houses in the ten thousand block. You'll read about it in the late editions, I'm sure. You'll get it over your radio and see it on television because an old-time star is involved - one of the biggest. But before you hear it all distorted and blown out of proportion, before those Hollywood columnists get their hands on it, maybe you'd like to hear the facts, the whole truth. If so, you've come to the right party. You see, the body of a young man was found floating in the pool of her mansion - with two shots in his back and one in his stomach. Nobody important, really. Just a movie writer with a couple of 'B' pictures to his credit. The poor dope! He always wanted a pool. Well, in the end, he got himself a pool - only the price turned out to be a little high.

The dead person, hack writer Joe Gillis (William Holden) provided the reason why he was killed in the film's story, seen in flashback.

Ace in the Hole (1951) (aka The Big Carnival)

In a final low-angled shot, bleeding, defeated journalist Charles "Chuck" Tatum (Kirk Douglas) collapsed at the feet of his newspaper editor Mr. Boot (Porter Hall):

How'd you like to make yourself a thousand dollars a day, Mr. Boot? I'm a thousand-dollar-a-day newspaperman. You can have me for nothing.


A Place in the Sun (1951)

In a dramatic, mysterious scene, the pregnant girlfriend Alice Tripp (Shelley Winters) of George Eastman (Montgomery Clift) was rowboating with him at Loon Lake. He had planned a holiday outing with Alice - in actuality, it was his elaborate plan to go to a lodge at the deserted Loon Lake, rent a rowboat, and then push Alice overboard and drown her, so that he could be with his real love, Angela Vickers (Elizabeth Taylor).

George slowly rowed to a deserted, darker part of the lake (he'd been told "You've got it all to yourself"). Filled with indecision and inner, debating turmoil, he showed the pressure, strain, and sweat on his face in the climactic, menacing scene. She rambled on about how happy they would be in their future marriage - with a child. The eerie sound of a loon was heard. At the last crucial moment, he realized that he could not bring himself to carry out his murderous evil plan.

Alice attempted to comfort George - seeing the compassionate yet strained anxiety within him. The pitiful and pregnant Alice told him she wouldn't complain about being penniless and poor in their quiet and loveless marriage - she sensed how George felt about marrying her. When she stood up to embrace him, in an ironic turn, she unbalanced the boat and caused it to rock and capsize. Things happened very quickly - they both fell in at the same time.

The scene ended in a long shot of the overturned rowboat, and transitioned to a dark, blurry dissolve into the next scene. Off-screen, Alice accidentally drowned. It was unclear whether George hesitated too long and maybe could have saved her. Was he responsible for her death?

Strangers on a Train (1951)

A view of Miriam's (Laura Elliot) shocking strangulation murder scene was reflected in her thick-lensed glasses that had fallen to the grass.

In the distant background, the merry-go-round ironically played "Strawberry Blonde."


The Marrying Kind (1952)

During a family picnic scene, Joey (Christopher Olsen), the six-year-old son of bickering couple Florrie (Judy Holliday) and Chet (Aldo Ray), accidentally and tragically drowned in a park pond.

At the same time, an oblivious Florence (with a ukulele) was singing "How I Love the Kisses of Dolores" to her husband.


Greatest Movie Death Scenes
(chronological by film title)
Intro | 1915-1929 | 1930-1933 | 1934-1938 | 1939 | 1940-1942 | 1943-1945 | 1946-1947 | 1948-1949
1950-1952 | 1953-1955 | 1956-1957 | 1958-1959
1960-1961 | 1962-1963 | 1964-1966 | 1967-1968 | 1969-1970
1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977-1978 | 1979
1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989
1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1994 | 1995 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1998 | 1999
2000-2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011

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