100 of the Most Memorable Movie Deaths

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100 of the Most Memorable Movie Deaths

This year, Paste celebrates the Día de los Muertos with a tour of some of the most memorable deaths ever seen on film. To make this list, the deaths needed to be onscreen, which means some classic delivery devices of childhood trauma—oh, Bambi!—will not be here. They needed to be memorable, whether due to how much they scarred the viewer, how central they were to the movie in which they occur, or how imaginative the offing. That said, we did not delve too deeply into horror films or b-movies, many of which butter their bread with horrible/inventive deaths. (We have sprinkled a few throughout.) Finally, while we considered actually ranking these deaths, it is ultimately so dependent on the individual moviegoer’s preferred genre, formative childhood moments/parenting miscues, etc. So we’re going to just lay these 100 out there and ask, instead, what big ones have we missed?


1. Hans Gruber – Die Hard (1988)
Death by…: Gunshot and fall from the Nakatomi Building #HappyTrailsHans


2. Darth Vader/The Emperor – Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Death by…: Force Lightning and lack of oxygen (and eyebrows?)


3. Sonny Corleone – The Godfather (1972)
Death by…: Tommygun—never leave without your bodyguards when you’re in the mob


4. Li Mu Bai – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Death by…: Poisonous dart or friendzone level 100


5. Russell Franklin – Deep Blue Sea (1999)
Death by…: Shark attack—sounds like his plan to escape could have been helpful


6. Dr. René Belloq – Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Death by…: Power of the Ark / Face melting / Head explosion / Being a Nazi / Not listening to Indiana Jones 


7. Gilbert Kane – Alien (1986)
Death by…: Chest-popping baby alien


8. Roy Batty – Blade Runner (1982)
Death by…: Methuselah Syndrome


9. Radio Raheem – Do the Right Thing (1989)
Death by…: Police chokehold


10. Boromir – The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Death by…: Way too many arrows

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