Brooks Was Here 2

Columbia Pictures

Suicide is one of the most distressing topics known to man. Even the word alone sends a shiver down the spine. The aching desire to end one’s own life is something that will never really be understood by those who are fortunate enough not to have plumbed those emotional depths – yet, tragically, it remains so prevalent among all societies.

Over the years, filmmakers have made attempts at tackling the subject – trying to visualise and convey what it is like to want to end it all, how harrowing and macabre a suicide would look and the emotional fallout undergone by anyone who has survived an attempt. Films have portrayed suicide attempts across a tonal smorgasbord – darkly funny, bitterly tragic or stoic and even totally emotionless.

It’s a psychological experience more personal to the individual than any other, and for a filmmaker to have their character get that across to the audience with the utmost conviction is surely as difficult as trying to understand suicidal feelings at all. The image of someone making an attempt on their own life is usually the most unforgettable image from any film that dares tackle the subject – and because Christmas time is as good a time as any to discuss morbid scenes of self-murder, here are 10 particularly harrowing suicide attempts from the history of film (not all of these characters lose their lives).

Please be aware of the huge spoilers one inevitably has to make when detailing the deaths of fictional characters…

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This article was first posted on December 23, 2013