Who knew a hail of gunfire could make for such a great ending?
On May 23, 1934, a police ambush killed famed outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow near Bienville Parish, Louisiana. The death of Bonnie and Clyde quickly spread across the nation, as the duo’s violent crime spree came to a blood-spattered end. In honor of Bonnie and Clyde’s glorified demise, DMG Entertainment highlights the top five movies where the protagonist dies in a hail of gunfire.
Get ready, as bullets fly for this top five! And if you haven’t figured it out yet: this blog contains big spoilers. Consider yourself warned.
BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967)
Director: Arthur Penn
Starring: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Michael J. Pollard
Summary: In West Dallas 1934, young waitress Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) meets small-time bank robber Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) and develop a passionate relationship. Struggling to make ends meet during the Great Depression, the two lovers decide to embark on a string of violent robberies. As Bonnie and Clyde stick up bank after bank, they capture the nation’s admiration. The Final Bow: When the cops finally corner Bonnie and Clyde, they unload a hail of gunfire, brutally killing the murderous lovers.
Best Quote: “This here’s Miss Bonnie Parker. I’m Clyde Barrow. We rob banks.”
Fun Fact: Warner Brothers had little faith in BONNIE AND CLYDE, so the studio offered actor and first-time producer Warren Beatty 40% of the film’s gross. Little did they know the film went on to gross over $50 million.
BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969)
Director: George Roy Hill
Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Cloris Leachman
Summary: In the wild American West, Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) and the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford) run one of the most successful outlaw gangs in the area. From robbing trains to sticking up banks, their crew, The Hole in the Wall Gang, are at the top of their game. However, as the West gradually establishes law and order, Butch and Sundance find their job more and more difficult. After a botched train robbery results in a small posse chasing after the duo, the pair decide to head to Bolivia where life is easy… The Final Bow: Surrounded by the Bolivian army, Butch and Sundance find hopelessly outnumbered and wounded. In their last defiant act, the duo decides to make a break for it and race from their hiding place firing away, just as you hear the order “Fire!” Fade to black and cue the music. Best Quote: “You should have let yourself get killed a long time ago when you had the chance. See, you may be the biggest thing that ever hit this area, but you’re still two-bit outlaws. I never met a soul more affable than you, Butch, or faster than the Kid, but you’re still nothing but two-bit outlaws on the dodge. It’s over, don’t you get that? Your times is over and you’re gonna die bloody, and all you can do is choose where.”
Fun Fact: Paul Newman stated BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID was the most fun he’d ever had making a film. Redford and Newman spent their free time enjoying countless ‘cervezas’ in Mexico during the location shoot.
THE DEVIL’S REJECTS (2005)
Director: Rob Zombie
Starring: Sid Haig, Sheri Moon Zombie, Bill Moseley, William Forsythe
Summary: Sequel to HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES (2003), local Texas police raid the mass murdering Firefly family house. After a brutal shootout, Otis B. Driftwood (Bill Moseley) and Baby Firefly (Sheri Moon Zombie) manage to escape the raid. As the duo flees from the law, they must meet up with Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) to hide out in an isolated hotel. The Final Bow: As the family drives down the highway, they notice a police barricade ahead. Instead of surrendering or fleeing, the Firefly family decide to load their weapons and go out in style.
Best Quote: “I am the devil, and I am here to do the devil’s work.”
Fun Fact: The Best Quote is a slightly altered version of a statement by Manson Family murderer Tex Watson.
RESERVOIR DOGS (1992)
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi
Summary: A crime boss hires six criminals to rob a local jewelry store. Despite weeks of planning, the robbery turns into a bloody shoot-out with the police. As the surviving robbers hide out in a nearby warehouse, they realize one of the robbers must have been an informant. Can the robbers discover the rat’s identity before the police discover their hideout? The Final Bow: A Mexican standoff, immediately followed by a police ambush, effectively wipes out the entire crew.
Best Quote: “Are you gonna bark all day little doggie? Or are you gonna bite?”
Fun Fact: The film’s budget was so low that many actors wore their own clothing as wardrobe.
Director: Brian De Palma
Starring: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Summary: A remake of 1932’s SCARFACE, ruthless Cuban refugee Tony Montana (Al Pacino) works his way up the Miami drug syndicate, eventually becoming a kingpin. Despite Montana’s power and money, he isn’t able to escape the harsh realities of the vicious business. The Final Bow: Cornered in his mansion by a Columbian assassination squad, a cocaine-fueled Montana grabs his “little friend” and goes out gun blazing.
Best Quote: “You wanna play rough? Okay. Say hello to my little friend!”
Fun Fact: Tony Montana is called “Scarface” only once in the film.
Remember, violence never solves anything… unless you need a great film ending!
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