Many film couples capture viewers‘ hearts with their passionate romance. They are fondly remembered for their chemistry, dialogue, or sad circumstances. While the sad circumstances vary, they are often centered around death. Sometimes, a movie relationship is memorable and tragic because one of the people in it dies.
Reasons for this can include illness, murder, natural causes, or an accident. Whatever the reason, this person’s death frequently leaves their significant other bereft at their loss. It also tugs on viewers‘ heartstrings since it subverts their hopes of a positive happily ever after for the iconic movie couple.
10 Jack Dies Of Hypothermia While Guarding Rose (Titanic)
In Titanic, Rose DeWitt Bukater is a Philadelphia socialite who’s arranged to marry the controlling Caledon Hockley. Her family’s dire economic situation necessitates the match, but Rose feels stifled and unhappy. She contemplates jumping off the titular ship but is talked out of it by penniless drifter Jack Dawson.
The two begin a star-crossed romance that transcends socioeconomic class. Rose’s plans to abscond with Jack are cut short when the Titanic sinks and Jack dies from hypothermia while Rose uses a door as a raft. Rose survives and has a full, happy life, just like she promised Jack. Titanic is a classic movie, and the result of Jack and Rose’s relationship left fans heartbroken.
9 Neighborhood Tensions End Up Killing Tony (West Side Story)
Tony and Maria from West Side Story (1961) meet at a dance at the local gym and fall in love. Obstacles abound since Tony and Maria are on opposing sides of a prejudiced gang war, with Tony being a former Jet and Maria being the sister of the Sharks‘ current leader.
Nevertheless, the two meet clandestinely more than once and affirm their love for each other. Sadly, any hope for a better future disappears when the mutual hate between the two sides ignites. Tony’s best friend, Maria’s brother, and Tony are left dead as a result of the gang war. While Maria survives, she’s severely heartbroken in the aftermath.
8 Jenny Passes Away From Cancer Amid Her And Oliver’s Romance (Love Story)
Oliver and Jenny from the 1970 film Love Story meet when they’re both in college. Despite their disagreements and differences, they fall in love and subsequently marry, even though his parents object because of Jenny’s working-class background. This causes Oliver’s father to cut him off financially.
Oliver and Jenny struggle to make ends meet. When the couple seems to be headed for an easier life and is ready to start a family, Jenny is diagnosed with cancer. Oliver reconciles with his father to fund Jenny’s treatment, but she still passes away from the illness. The iconic couple from Love Story gave fans the famous movie line, „Love means never having to say you’re sorry.“
7 Padme Dies From Grief After Anakin Turns To The Dark Side (Star Wars)
Padme Amidala and Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars provide the main romance of the franchise’s prequel trilogy. Their relationship is star-crossed; Padme is a senator while Anakin belongs to the Jedi Order, which discourages emotional attachments. The two marry in secret. Padme reveals her pregnancy and Anakin experiences visions of Padme dying during childbirth.
This makes Anakin desperate for power to save her. Unfortunately, he falls prey to Sidious‘ manipulations and turns to the dark side. Following an unsuccessful attempt to redeem him, Padme loses the will to live and dies of a broken heart after birthing her twins. Since saving Padme is Anakin’s motivation for his actions, this becomes tragically ironic.
6 Dom Carries Guilt Over What Happened To Mal (Inception)
In Inception, Dom Cobb’s projections of Mal show how much guilt he harbors over his wife’s death. When Mal was alive, she and Dom experimented with dream sharing and spent fifty years in limbo. However, Mal confused it with reality and wouldn’t give it up. To get his wife to return, Dom performed inception on her and implanted the idea of needing to wake up to reality.
Sadly, while it worked, the effect didn’t go away. Mal refused to believe reality was real, even thinking that her children were projections. To try to return to „reality“ and to force Dom to do the same, Mal framed him for murder and then died by suicide under this mistaken belief.
5 Forrest And Jenny Finally Get To Be Together Before She Dies (Forrest Gump)
In Forrest Gump, the titular character befriends Jenny at a young age and the two become inseparable. As an adult, Forrest has many adventures and involvement in historical events that give him honors and memories. However, he never forgets Jenny, who he loves his entire life.
In contrast to Forrest, Jenny’s life is harsher and more destructive. She continually pushes Forrest away, a reaction to her past abuse from her father. Though she cares for Forrest, Jenny struggles with confronting and processing her own trauma. After she does, she reciprocates Forrest’s love and marries him. Even then, the two get only a short time together with their son before Jenny dies from an AIDS-related illness.
4 Sam’s Murder Begins The Story (Ghost)
Sam and Molly from the 1990 film Ghost are introduced as a happy and passionate couple. In the film’s beginning, Sam is the victim of a mugging, and he is shot to death in the street in front of a distraught Molly. Before Sam can move on to the afterlife, he must complete his unfinished business, which involves keeping Molly safe.
The fateful mugging turns out to have been planned by Sam’s friend, which endangers Molly. Thankfully, Sam is able to get through to psychic Oda Mae, who helps him save Molly before the worst can happen. He and Molly then share a kiss before he moves onto the afterlife. Sam’s tragic fate is unforgettable.
3 Carl’s Desire To Hold Onto Ellie Drives His Actions (Up)
Disney Pixar’s Up stars the elderly Carl who mourns the death of his beloved wife Ellie. He flies his house to Paradise Falls to keep his promise to Ellie and honor their dream of traveling there. While he’s in Paradise Falls, Carl gets caught in a tangle involving the Wilderness Explorer Russell, an exotic bird, and his childhood idol Charles Muntz.
The opening sequence of Up is incredibly emotional and well-thought-out. A montage displays Ellie and Carl’s life together, from their wedding day to Carl visiting Ellie on her deathbed. The sequence is a real tear-jerker, but it’s an important moment in the film.
2 Peter Cannot Save Gwen In Time (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Gwen Stacy is Peter’s love interest throughout The Amazing Spider-Man film series. With their clever banter and the actors‘ chemistry, the couple is endearing and fun. However, during the first film, Peter promises a dying Captain Stacy that he will stay away from Gwen to protect her. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 depicts Peter grappling with this and his feelings, leading to their breakup.
Peter realizes how strongly he loves Gwen and he vows to follow her to England for her studies. However, her father’s fear comes true when Harry Osborn uses her to exact revenge against Spider-Man. Peter is unable to reach Gwen inside the clock tower before she tragically falls to her death.
1 Jackson Believes He Is Harming Ally (A Star Is Born)
In the 2018 film A Star is Born, famed country-rock singer Jackson Maine meets the unknown and talented singer-songwriter Ally. The two enter a relationship and eventually marry after Ally performs at one of his concerts and receives attention for her talents. However, Jack’s alcohol dependency, resentment, and other personal struggles test their relationship and careers.
Though Jack enters rehab and makes up with Ally, a horrible and uncalled-for lecture from her manager depletes Jack’s self-esteem. Believing that he is holding Ally back and that she would be better off without him, Jack dies by suicide. Judging by the final scene at Jack’s memorial concert, Ally is completely grief-stricken. Their love is palpable throughout the film, making Jack’s death even more upsetting.NEXT: 10 Great Movies Turning 20 In 2022