Some of the most recognisable and memorable scenes in movie history come just seconds before a dramatic death. In that moment, a character can be hit with the realisation that their death is imminent and they have no choice but to accept it.
On occasion, this death is heroic and their demise was carefully planned in order to save others. More commonly though, it’s something they could never have predicted and have to make peace with pretty damn quickly.
Recently a discussion about the best moments of realisation has blown up on Twitter, prompting film-lovers from all over the world to share their favourite death-pending scenes. Unsurprisingly a lot of Tarantino moments have made their way into people’s lists of favourites, but beyond the regular suspects there’s a whole world of other scenes that deserve recognition.
From Obi-Wan’s sly smile in A New Hope, to the Green Goblin’s bewildered exclamation of ‘oh’ before he’s crushed in Spiderman (2002), there’s an amazing range of possible entries out there. This is, of course, by no means an exhaustive list of every fantastic final-moments scene, but these sure are some absolutely killer moments.
10. Harry Knows He’s Blown It - Speed
Public transport can get a bit hairy at the best of times, but it’s not every day that you hop on the bus home and find out that it has been rigged with a bomb programmed to detonate should the bus drop below 50 miles per hour.
The rigged up bus will eventually have to drop below 50 if it either runs out of gas or hits an obstacle, putting the LAPD in a race against the clock to find the terrorist responsible for it and keep the bus’s occupants alive.
Officer Harry Temple believes he has tracked down the terrorist’s name, identity and home address. He gathers a squad to raid the house, bursting into the empty home only for Temple to notice at the last moment a small, red blinking light. He knows exactly what it is, and he realises that the house is imminently going to blow and kill everyone inside, himself included.
He doesn’t try to run or shout, just looks straight forward as his lip quivers and his eyes take on a glassy, hopeless sheen. Knowing that the perpetrator was a previous member of the bomb-squad, how did you not see this coming?