Time to Cry
Are you ready to cry, readers? If you’re not, you’d best mosey on out of this little corner of the internet. It’s sad here.
Today I’ll be reviewing the three saddest deaths ever captured on film.
If you’re a guy, it’s possible that many of your favorite movies can’t go four or five minutes without showing you some fool get perforated by 50. caliber bullets or cleaved in half by a broadsword. That’s fine, but most of these people you couldn’t care less about; by design we’re usually not even supposed to. Did anyone give a shit about the guy that ED-209 glitched on and liquified in that board room in Robocop?
That innocent guy got turned into mansuit chili, but we’ve forgotten about him by the next scene. Sure I may have had to look away once or twice, but I don’t really feel anything for this man. My heart was untouched even while I watched his get pulped. That’s because the message they’re sending with this splattering death scene is all about shock value. They want to be damn sure that the viewers understand that ED 209 units are still a bit…twitchy. As a software tester, I’d agree their OS might still have a bug or two that needs ironing out. Maybe for the next test don’t give it live rounds? What do I know.
After watching that scene your psyche might be a little jolted, but I bet you’re not walking away with any emotional baggage. If you want to keep it that way, turn back now. For the rest of you, pull out those hankies or get some tissues ready, because you’re about to break down and weep like a sobbing little schoolgirl with a skinned knee. And if you are a schoolgirl, you probably shouldn’t be reading this blog.
This is all opinion of course, but first let’s get the runners up out of the way: Brooks (old guy) from Shawshank Redemption, Bubba from Forrest Gump, the T-800 from T2 and woman in the beginning of Jaws.
#3 Wade (the medic) in Saving Private Ryan
What a bummer to start out on, and it’s only going to get worse. At this point in the movie Wade had already established himself as a good guy among a team of good guys. He gets extra pity points because he’s actually the combat medic of the squad; it’s his job to stitch you back together when shit hits the fan. We’ve already interacted with Wade a few times before this during the movie and each time he displayed genuine caring and emotion. Wade isn’t a ‘Kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out’ grunt with hate in his heart; we get the idea that he’s a gentle man who just so happens to be in a warzone and is a competent and knowledgeable combat medic. All he wants to do is help.
How sad it is then, that Wade is fatally wounded and left unable to help himself, unable to coach his squadmates through saving his own life. On top of all this he’s the medic; as soon as he’s informed of his own injuries, we know that he knows he is fatally wounded. He cries and whimpers helplessly, and all his comrades can do is give him additional morphine. This is a sad death that sticks with you long after the movie ends.
Tear Level: Stiff upper lip, visibly red and moist eyes. Laughter is forced and maintaining eye contact with others is difficult.
#2 Doc Holliday in Tombstone
This could be the saddest movie death I’ve ever seen. Read: saddest. Not most gruesome or most tragic. Not most preventable; saddest. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again; Tombstone is a marvel of a movie. Here we have Doc Holliday on his deathbed, succumbing to tuberculosis after a lifetime of gambling, drinking, smoking, gun fighting and generally being an all around dastardly scoundrel. And let’s not forget, a lifetime of being Wyatt Earp’s best friend. A severely stubborn man, Wyatt ignores Doc’s continued pleas to stop seeing him in the sanatorium, and visits regularly to play poker with his bedridden friend. In this last scene, Doc knows the end is coming. Hearing him tell Wyatt “I don’t want to play anymore” after being dealt his poker hand is heartbreaking; the finality of the statement seems to finally pierce Wyatt’s thick skull. Knowing his time is very short, Doc does his best to stifle tears and bids his best and only friend to depart forever, using the grounds of their friendship as a pillar.
“Wyatt. If you were ever my friend, if you ever had even the slightest feeling for me, leave now. Leave now. Please.”
Earp stands up and nods, thanks his friend, then obeys his request so that Doc can die alone.
Tear Level: Welling up in corners of eyes, can be brushed away or passed off as allergies. Chest feels heavy.
#1 Murron in Braveheart
If anyone can see me typing this right now these aren’t tears all over my face, I just have something in my eye. Both of my eyes. Tons of things. Actually someone just ran by and sprayed my face with ghost pepper extract and it got all over, that’s what it is. These aren’t tears. I am a man.
But really, I’m so sad at this scene that I’m furious, and I think I’m just getting furious as an internal defense mechanism to prevent myself from feeling any sadder. Murron is a symbol for all things hopeful and pure. She’s like Batman for beautiful innocent women. She fights off a sexual assault and attempts to flee the village and the guards. Watching the chase scene for the first time as a kid, my spirit soared. She’ll get away; she knows the town and the shortcuts. They’ll never be able to catch her. She’s too perfect, incorruptible, untoucha- no, wait, they just smashed her face with a pike and now they’re tying her to an executioner’s pole in the middle of town.
But I still didn’t give up hope, and neither did Murron.
I am with her tied to that pole, with my throat exposed. Together, we scan the borders of town and the horizon for William. He’ll come to save us, he has to. We’ve done nothing wrong, it can’t end like this. William, where are you? Save us! Save her!
Not today. The local magistrate recites a pathetic doctrine and then callously cuts her throat in front of a crowd of onlookers. Wallace, unaware of Murron’s predicament and fleeing to the predefined getaway point, is nowhere to be seen. Murron dies looking for him.
Tear Level: Full blown. Tears in beard, in mouth, salty. Vision blurry, sobbing barely controllable.
CHRRRRRIST that was sad. I think I need to go play video games for eight hours now to deaden my senses back to a more manageable state. Or eat some bacon or something.
I got it, I’ll watch Dumb and Dumber.
Thank God this movie exists. Now I can start feeling better and laughing so hard that my soul rips a fart by accident. Nothing can bring me down now. Oh, oh no. PETEY!