The whole world is a homicide victim, Father. Would a god who is good invent something like death? Plainly speaking, it's a lousy idea; it's not popular, Father. It's not a winner. ~ Lt. William Kinderman talking with his friend Father Dyer (Exorcist III)Death in the movies. I guess I've been thinking about this subject, subconsciously, since last weekend. Ever since I participated in another of Dennis Cozzalio's semi-regular movie quizzes (fun as they are), in fact. And, I can point to the specific question that triggered it, too:
44) Favorite moment of self- or selfless sacrifice in a movie.
those who participated in the quiz to that question. I don't recall where I read it, but someone wrote, given the choice, men secretly hope for a demise such as the one nobly characterized in the question above. Sure, I bet everyone would rather have the idyllic, dying in bed of old age. Author Stephen King once described a good death as that (following a great dinner and a prime bottle of wine, that is). However, for most normal folk, it doesn't happen under those ideal circumstances. So, going out by giving up your own (for something greater) has an appeal. It's a Y-chromosome kind of thing, I guess. This kind of selfless, life-ending, act sure sounds better than the bad death King countered to the ideal one: that of being under your car to change the fluids, and the jack collapses; and as you're slowly crushed to death, as lousy as that is, the last insult is the slow drip of oil onto your forehead. Ugh.
This post has been updated and moved to my current blog, which can be found here.