Best Film
Deaths Scenes


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

The Professional (1994, Fr.) (aka Leon)

In the sacrificial death finale in writer/director Luc Besson's thriller, professional NYC mob hitman Leon (Jean Reno) was shot in the back of the head by corrupt New York cop and drug kingpin Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman).

As Leon was dying, he spoke to Stansfield who was straddling and standing above him:

Leon: Stansfield?
Stansfield (haughtily): At your service.
Leon: This is from Matilda. (He put a grenade pin into Stansfield's clenched fist)

Stansfield opened his hand and slowly recognized what it was. He ripped open Leon's vest, discovering several grenades attached to his chest.

He muttered "S--t" before a massive explosion (off-screen). The pin had been pulled, and it set off some of the grenades.

Suicidal Death by Grenade

Pulp Fiction (1994)

In an early scene in director Quentin Tarantino's feature film (the winner of an Original Screenplay Oscar), crime-boss Marsellus Wallace's (Ving Rhames) wife Mia (Uma Thurman) was being escorted by his hitman Vincent Vega (John Travolta). They had just visited Jack Rabbit Slim's restaurant where they entered (and won) a twist dance contest.

Afterwards in the Wallace home, Mia had a near death experience during the film's infamous heroin overdose sequence. While Vincent was in the bathroom (talking to himself about being loyal to his boss and not messing around with Mia), Mia was in the living room where she discovered his stash of heroin in his coat pocket. Mistaking it for cocaine, she snorted it and immediately overdosed. Vincent hurriedly drove her over to reluctant friend Lance's (Eric Stoltz) house for help, as he entreated: "Don't f--kin' die on me, Mia!" Once he arrived - at about 1:30 in the morning - Lance yelled: "You are not bringing this f--ked up bitch into my house." Vega described the emergency:

"If she croaks on me, I am a f--king grease spot."

Neither Lance nor Vega knew how to deliver an adrenalin shot with a syringe, so Lance first searched for his "little black medical book" for instructions. When he couldn't locate his book, he bluntly stated what needed to be done: "We're giving her a shot in the heart so I guess it's gotta be f--kin' exact." Vega demanded a "big fat magic marker" and drew a red target above Mia's heart, after the two had argued over who would administer the shot. Lance described the procedure:

"It's gotta be hard enough to get through her breastplate into her heart."

She was revived when Vega (on the count of three) directly shot her with adrenaline from a large hypodermic syringe plunged directly into her chest "in a stabbing motion."

She woke with gasps and coughs, with the syringe stuck there and protruding from her heart. Lance asked: "If you're all right, then say something" - and she replied simply: "Something."

Heroin Overdose and Revival

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Much later in the film (although the film's chronology was non-linear and presented out of sequence), hitmen Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) drove away from another job, with their informant Marvin (Phil LaMarr) in the backseat. They were discussing how they had just miraculously escaped being shot, when Jules decided to call it quits from his profession: "It means that's it for me. From here on in, you can consider my ass retired." Vincent asked Marvin: "What do you make of all this?" He replied: "Man, I don't even have an opinion."

Vincent turned around, with his gun in his right hand, as he asked again: "Well, you gotta have an opinion. I mean, do you think that God came down from Heaven and stopped --- "

Suddenly, Vincent's mispointed gun fired accidentally. It was a sick, gruesomely funny, and blood-splattering back-seat death for Marvin. The inside of the back window was sprayed with blood.

After Jules exclaimed: "What the f--k's happenin'?", Vega offered a lame explanation: "Oh, man, I shot Marvin in the face." Jules asked: "Why the f--k'd you do that?" Vega could only admit: "I didn't mean to do it. It was an accident," and then he blamed it on Jules' driving, claiming he went over a bump. He kept saying: "I didn't mean to shoot the son-of-a-bitch. The gun went off. I don't know why." Jules was worried they would be discovered by the police: "Look at this f--kin' mess, man! We're on a city street in broad daylight here...We gotta get this car off the road. You know, cops seem to notice s--t like you're drivin' a car drenched in f--kin' blood."

The Bloody, Accidental Shooting of Marvin in Back Seat

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Writer/director Frank Darabont's drama film about prison life became an amazing cult film favorite after its release on video.

Elderly prisoner Brooks (James Whitmore), now released to life on the outside after fifty years in the Shawshank institution, despaired once he entered the frightening outside world. Just before he departed the prison at dawn, Brooks released his full-grown pet crow/raven Jake at the library window: "I can't take care of you no more, Jake. You go on now. You're free."

The old con stepped cautiously through the main gate of Shawshank, clutched the bar on the bus seat in front of him as he was transported to Portland where it was even terrifying to cross the street. The outside world presented itself as a new 'prison'. A montage followed Brooks through his new life on the outside:

  • Brooks was placed in a half-way flop house called the Brewer.
  • Brooks was employed as a grocery-bagger at the Foodway Market.
  • Lonely, afraid, melancholy, and disoriented in the outside world, he had difficulty sleeping.
  • He worried about the fate of Jake as he fed pigeons in the park.
  • He even contemplated shooting the Foodway manager (to force a return to Shawshank), but he was even too old for that.
  • As he packed his few belongings into a bag, he narrated, in voiceover, that he planned on leaving: "I don't like it here. I'm tired of being afraid all the time. I've decided not to stay."
  • He climbed up onto a chair and then onto a table and carved a message into the wall with his pocketknife: "BROOKS WAS HERE."
  • He kicked out the table from under his weight and hanged himself from the ceiling beam in his halfway house - his feet dangled.

The entire montage was revealed to be the contents of Brooks' 'Dear Fellas' note that was read outloud by prisoner Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) in the prison yard following his death.

Brooks Was Here - Suicide

Communicated in 'Dear Fellas' Letter

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The Portland Daily Bugle newspaper figuratively and literally blew the bugle of vengeful judgement on corrupt Shawshank prison warden Samuel Norton (Bob Gunton). The day's paper was tossed down on Norton's desk as he read it - with the scandalous headlines:

Corruption, Murder at Shawshank - D.A. Has Ledger - Indictments Expected.

Police sirens sounded in the distance as they approached the Shawshank prison. Norton glanced at the needle-point - now reading prophetically: "His Judgement Cometh and That Right Soon...." He opened the safe, finding escaped prisoner Andy Dufresne's (Tim Robbins) black-covered Bible instead of the black ledger with evidence of evil-doing. The inside cover was inscribed with Andy's handwriting:

Dear Warden,
You were right.
Salvation lay within.
Andy Dufresne

The leather-bound Bible was, coincidentally, opened to the first page of the Book of Exodus. From there, the pages were hollowed out in the shape of a rock-hammer to conceal his wall-chipping tool. Andy's 'Exodus' was hastened and abetted by the Warden's gift of a Bible.

The camera looked down on the scene as the Warden opened his desk drawer where a handgun sat. He loaded it with bullets, placed it under his chin, and blasted a hole through his head - off camera. He blew his brains out after realizing Andy Dufresne's duplicity in setting him up and exposing his crimes as an embezzler.

The glass window behind his desk shattered into pieces that were speckled with blood, and the gun fell to the floor.

Ellis "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman) provided an afterthought about the suicide:

I like to think the last thing that went through his head - other than that bullet - was to wonder how the hell Andy Dufresne ever got the best of him.

Prison Warden's Suicide

Star Trek: Generations (1994)

Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) chose a self-sacrificial death, after having plunged off a blown-apart bridge into a rocky chasm-ravine.

He had just helped Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) to destroy a doomsday missile - designed by crazed maniac Dr. Tolian Soran (Malcolm McDowell) - to blow up the planet Veridian III's sun and consequently kill 230 million people.

As Kirk lay mortally-wounded under the wreckage, he was assured by Picard that they "made a difference." He half-whispered his final words to Picard:

Did we do it? Did we make a difference?...(The) least I could do ... for the Captain of the Enterprise. It (He widened his eyes in astonishment, then breathlessly added before dying) Oh, my....

"It was...Fun...Oh, my"

True Lies (1994)

As with many of the deaths caused by Arnold Schwarzenegger's action heroes, this one was also memorable for its clever one-liner as it was being performed.

In the finale, Palestinian/Crimson Jihad terrorist leader Salim Abu Aziz (Art Malik) lost his balance atop an airborne Harrier Jumpjet flown by Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) when the plane was tilted.

He found himself sliding down the wing and hanging, by his gun strap, from one of its AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles below the left wing.

Tasker flicked the "MASTER ARM" switch, looked left and quipped to Malik:

"You're fired."

He launched it directly into a bombed-out Miami office building and through the other side - straight into a helicopter filled with Aziz's bad guys, causing a massive explosion.

"You're Fired"

Greatest Movie Death Scenes
(chronological by film title)
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