Driven To Suicide / Film

  • Saw has done this. In the video game, Detective Tapp commits suicide. In Saw II, John Kramer himself tried to do this. He lived, though. It gives John an epiphany.
  • Phil in Groundhog Day tries several methods of suicide, presumably out of boredom after being forced to relive the same day of his life so many times in a row. Among the methods he tries are: jumping off a building, stepping in front of a speeding bus, a fiery high-speed chase ending in a car crash and dropping a toaster into his bath tub. And while all of these actually succeed, it does not stop him from waking up alive every morning on February 2.
  • In The Quiet Earth, most of the world's population has disappeared thanks to a mysterious experiment, and one person who felt responsible for the disaster chose suicide over living with the guilt. The twist here is that the man who committed suicide is the main character, and he survives to wander in an empty world, consumed by guilt and loneliness, because he succeeded at killing himself at the exact moment that the world ended.
  • Jericho Cane in End of Days contemplates suicide every Christmas because his wife and daughter were killed while doing his job.
  • George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life: Every golden opportunity is frustrated by his self-imposed duties, until one Christmas Eve, when Potter seizes an opportunity to steal $8,000 from the Bailey Building & Loan, then threatens to charge George with the theft. He is saved by his guardian angel as he contemplates jumping off a bridge. Ironically, he ends up jumping off the bridge anyway to save said guardian angel.
  • In The Last House on the Left Junior blows his brains out, as commanded by Krug.
  • In Lost and Delirious, Paulie jumps off the school roof after Tori rejects her.
  • In The Godfather Part II Frank Pentangelli is presented with this option as an honourable way to make up for his betrayal. He graciously takes it.
  • At the end of Mädchen in Uniform Manuela tries to jump from the main staircase of her boarding school after she is banned from talking to her teacher, who she has a crush on. She's saved by her schoolmates and the movie ends with the headmistress silently walking down the hall afterwards.
  • The Shawshank Redemption:
    • The elderly inmate Brooks, after being in prison for more than 50 years, is finally let out. Unfortunately, the world outside of the prison is too much for the old man to handle after being locked away for so long, so he hangs himself in his bedroom in one of the saddest scenes in film history.
    • Also, at the film's climax, Warden Norton, realizing he could potentially spend the rest of his life in his own prison for illicit money-handling and ordering an inmate murdered, eats his gun.
  • In Spartacus, Gracchus and Crassus are mortal enemies in the Roman Senate. When Gracchus sees that Crassus has destroyed Spartacus's slave army, after having used it as a tool to destabilize Crassus's power base, he hires someone to free Spartacus's wife Varinia and then releases both her and her newborn son from slavery. To keep Crassus from striking back at him, he commits suicide, thereby securing the last laugh.
  • At the beginning of Timecop Max Walker confronts a time criminal messing with Wall Street during the black Thursday of '29. To keep the bad guy from harming his family the criminal decides to take his own life instead and jumps out of a window. Max Walker follows and saves him by jumping back to his time period. He is then sentenced to death for his time meddling. Great, well, the execution is applied by sending him back to the point where he was saved, thus joining all the brokers who committed suicide during the great crash.
  • In The World's End Gary King tried to commit suicide some time before the events of the film due to disillusionment with how his life turned out to be.
  • In Tower Block, Jenny survives the sniper's initial assault but her young children are killed. Some time afterwards, she decides she can't go on, and deliberately walks into the sniper's line of fire.
  • Dead Poets Society: Neil realizes his father will never accept his vocation and shoots himself in the head. Neil's vocation is acting. Back then, a lot of people assumed that men in the theater were gay. We're not sure whether Neil's father suspects his son might be gay, or just fears that dabbling in theater might turn him gay, or is just afraid of what people might think— but he decides to send him to a military academy to straighten him out and keep him away from show biz influences. We're left to draw our own conclusions about how much vocation, sexuality, and a bad relationship with his father— that his father would make assumptions without talking to him is pretty awful, but also standard for the time— played into his decision. It should be noted that in-universe, the father's motivation is a time issue. The father wants his son to become a doctor in the future; if the son were to "waste" his time acting, that would detract from his doctor studies (and the father is heavily emotionally invested in his son becoming a doctor because he and his wife have made sacrifices to give the son what they think is his best future).
  • In Better Off Dead this was a major characteristic of the teenaged protagonist, who attempts suicide multiple times in many different ways. He's never successful.
  • Played for Laughs in Airplane!. Three people commit suicide rather than listen to Ted Striker's reminiscing.
  • In Dawn of the Dead (1978), Peter contemplates committing suicide but changes his mind as he rushes off to the helicopter to the sound of heroic music. So he can live a life in a world covered by zombies, yay. The original script had Peter kill himself but Executive Meddling called for a "happier" ending. In the remake of the movie Michael gets bitten and, after getting the other survivors away on a boat, shoots himself.
  • The Harold Lloyd film Never Weaken revolves entirely around his multiple suicide attempts after being jilted. Since they all play out in Lloyd's typical "thrill comedy" style, and we know there's no way he'll actually succeed, it's okay to laugh.
  • This is played for laughs in the 1971 Hal Ashby film Harold and Maude, where the death-obsessed protagonist stages elaborate faux-suicides out of boredom. Until his friend Maude really (and cheerfully) does it, saying 80 is the right age and she's lived a long, full life.
  • In Diary of the Dead Mary attempts to shoot herself in the head after she thinks she killed three people; they're zombies however. She misses her brain causing her to bleed to death while the other characters attempt to save her life. There is something so sad about a failed suicide too.
  • Mel Gibson plays a self-destructive cop in Lethal Weapon, distraught over the death of his wife. At one point Riggs nearly Ate His Gun, and tells Murtaugh that every morning when he wakes up he makes a decision whether to off himself or not.
  • The Happening: Plants start secreting chemicals which drive people to suicide.
  • 28 Days Later. Appropriately enough, the Despair Event Horizon having been crossed long, long ago, only the promise of women seems to have pulled several of the soldiers away from this, particularly Jones. Many others prior to him had probably gone through with it, as the main character's parents had, preferring to die rather than flee from the infected or end up insane and slaughtering their loved ones.
  • John Constantine was driven to suicide at an early age because he saw demonically-possessed people, managed to get himself just dead enough to count as a successful suicide by Heaven's standards, and spent the rest of his life trying to earn a Get Out of Hell Free Card. He eventually gets it by killing himself again (and then Satan screws him by making him better). This is different from the comic book character's story and motivation.
  • Happens on several occasions in the movie Sunshine (2007), which takes place on a spaceship trying to avert the end of the world by re-igniting the Sun. Trey cuts his wrists when he makes an elementary mistake (forgetting to realign the heat shield) that causes the death of several crewmembers. The ship's psychiatrist Searle follows the example of the crew of Icarus II and fully opens the observation portal to the Sun, incinerating himself rather than facing a slow death from asphyxiation.
  • Serenity:
    • Though she doesn't actually carry it out, River is shown putting a gun to her head while in the middle of her absolute rock-bottom mental breakdown, complete with her begging Simon to put a bullet in her, because she is terrified of what the Operative will do to the rest of the crew to get to her.
    River: Put a bullet to me... Bullet in the brainpan, squish.
    • It is implied that the Operative was Driven to Suicide after seeing the effects of the Pax.
    The Operative: There is nothing left to see.
  • The entire plot of the 1996 film It's My Party is based on this very premise. Nick Stark, who is dying of AIDS, decides to throw himself a grand farewell party and invites all of his friends and family to say goodbye, as he intends to kill himself at the end of the party weekend by taking an overdose of pills.
  • In CSA: The Confederate States of America, John Ambrose Fauntroy V is accused of having black ancestry. Since the CSA is a Crapsack World where anyone with such heritage is enslaved, he opts to shoot himself rather than risk it.
  • In the 2007 remake of Halloween (2007), after Michael kills a nurse at the institution he's in after killing his older sister, her boyfriend, and his step-dad, his mom commits suicide by gunshot to the head.
  • Jonas in A Walk Among the Tombstones jumps off a roof after ratting on his sadistic accomplices, expecting that they would find out do the same things to him that they did to the victims they tortured and killed.
  • Occurs in An Officer and a Gentleman when Sid Worley drops out of the Navy Aviator program to marry his pregnant girlfriend. After she reveals the pregnancy was faked and she only want to marry an airman, he hangs himself in a motel shower stall.
  • Shutter Island has a slight variation; at the end of the film, a "cured" Andrew Laeddis fakes relapsing into his delusion so that the doctors will lobotomize him. This is essentially a suicide without death, as it will destroy his memories and personality, and he chooses it over living with his guilt about the fate of his wife and children.
  • Towards the end of The King and the Clown when Jaeng-sang is blinded Gong-gil is Driven to Suicide. But is interrupted. But then they both commit suicide upon his recovery. It's that kind of film.
  • Subverted towards the end of Sherlock Holmes Dr. Watson and Mary were getting ready to leave and Dr. Watson had to see Sherlock. He reassured Mary that Sherlock had no problem with him leaving to marry her. They entered Sherlock's room to see that he had hung himself. Dr. Watson knew that Sherlock would never kill himself and woke him up by poking him with his cane. It turns out that he was just testing out how Blackwood managed to survive being hung in the first place. He ended up getting stuck.
  • At the end of Titanic (1997), we learn that Cal apparently shot himself after losing everything in the Great Depression.
    • Also during the sinking of the ship, a crewman, historically speculated to be First Officer William Murdoch, shoots himself, presumably to avoid death by hypothermia.
  • In The Bad Sleep Well, Miura throws himself in front of a truck to protect his superiors from incrimination.
  • Bedazzled (1967) begins with Stanley, depressed over his miserable life, especially his inability to talk to the woman he loves, trying to hang himself - and failing at that too.
  • In Beowulf, the King in the story kills himself after Beowulf has succeed killing his bastard son made with a monster. Beowulf however is by some standards Too Dumb to Live, seeing what the King's fooling around did, but nonetheless strikes a bargain with the monster and makes her another baby. Being also too proud to kill himself, he dies in a redeeming Heroic Sacrifice.
  • In [1], after discovering that Tavington and his men have killed his wife and son, John Billings shoots himself in full view of the other militia members.
  • At the end of Burnt by the Sun, Dmitri "Mitya" Arsentiev slits his wrists in the bathtub of his flat.
  • In Advise & Consent, Senator Brigham Anderson commits suicide just before the vote on the Secretary of State nomination. A rival senator tries to blackmail Anderson into changing his "no" vote by threatening to expose a past homosexual affair he had.
  • In Inception, after living through so many layers of dreams, Dom's wife Mal believed that reality was also a dream and jumped off a building to "kick" herself back to reality.
  • In Mary Poppins, after Mr. Banks is fired from his job and has disappeared, one of his domestic staff speculates he's thrown himself into the Thames. When he then reappears alive...
    Mrs. Banks: Oh, George, you didn't jump into the river! How sensible of you!
    Constable Jones: (on the phone) It's alright, sir; he's been found. (beat) No, alive.
  • In The Room, throughout the film, main character Johnny is cheated on by his fiancee with his best friend. Response? Throw a fit and eat a bullet.
  • The film version of The Fountainhead departs from the novel by having Gail Wynand blow his brains out at the end.
  • In Twelve and Holding, Jeff, one of the boys who accidentally killed Rudy, kills himself while in juvie.
  • The entire premise of Wristcutters: A Love Story. The only characters who didn't kill themselves are Kneller, who is one of the Powers That Be and McCall who accidentally overdosed.
  • Mannen som elsket Yngve (The Man Who Loved Yngve): Jarle's sudden attack at a party, caused by internalised homophobia and the stress of being in love with two people at the same time, one of them secretly, combines with underlying mental health problems to send Yngve jumping off a bridge. He survives, but ends up in mental hospital.
  • Jordy in Mystery Team mentioned that he planned on working at the convenience store until this happened. The fact that he's still alive is his idea of happiness.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street: Amanda Krueger killed herself after seeing news reports of how the rape-conceived son she'd given up for adoption had been arrested for murdering children.
  • In A Murderer And His Child, the Villain Protagonist is an otherwise decent man who, once every 6 months or so, gets an irresistible urge to rape and murder a preteen girl. Then he marries a women who has a 9-year-old daughter. When he notices that he starts imagining killing that girl (who by then has completely opened up to him and would be an easy victim), he kills himself.
  • Several people who stayed in room 1408 were driven to this. We also come to find out that this is true of everyone who died in the room. It doesn't actually kill people (though it can come close), but instead tortures them until they do themselves in.
  • In The Cube, the man tries to commit suicide by the end, but the gun he's provided with just squirts ink at his head, upon which every character seen so far all show up and laugh at him.
  • Al B in House Of 9.
  • Battle Royale:
    • Battle Royale begins with Shuya's father hanging himself before the events of the movie]], and doesn't let up any time soon.
    • During the events of the BR program, many students kill themselves out of despair, fear, and to avoid murdering others; Kazuhiko and Sakura jump off a cliff together, Yoji and Yoshimi hang themselves with the former's rope, and Yuko throws herself from the lighthouse after accidentally poisoning Yuka (and, in extension, causing the rest of her friends to shoot each other out of the resulting paranoia).
    • Averted with Shinji, who attempts a Taking You with Me attack at Kiriyama after he murders his friends.
  • The Michael Haneke film The Seventh Continent is a very realistic portrayal of suicide, and largely focuses on the emptiness of the central family's life.
  • Subverted and played straight with Colonel Maguire in Cube 2: Hypercube. The first time around he's saved in time by the group, but the second time he voluntarily chains himself to a wall so he can be killed by one of the traps, before swallowing the key.
  • In Master and Commander, the oldest midshipman Hollom is believed by the rest of the crew to be cursed with bringing all kinds of bad luck to the ship. After a series of events involving the crew's disrespect becoming clearer and clearer to him, Hollom picks up a small cannonball and jumps off the ship to drown.
  • In The Raid, Lieutenant Wahyu tries to shoot himself after shooting Tama, believing that there was no point to the operation after all and not wanting to be turned in to the police. Unfortunately for him, his revolver had run out of bullets.
  • In the Czech film The Shop on Main Street, after accidentally killing the elderly woman whose shop he'd been managing, the main character hanged himself.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Thor, it appears that suicide by collapsing wormhole is Loki's response to the realization that his father would never condone his actions, and indeed he is assumed dead by his family and the rest of Asgard. Subverted with precedent, however, in The Stinger, when he is shown to be alive and well and close to grabbing the Tessaract.
    • The Avengers:
      • Bruce reveals that they once tried to attempt suicide but the Hulk took control and "spat the bullet out"
      • Subverted with Selvig who had been mind-controlled by Loki for most of the film. When Natasha found him after he was back to normal, he was looking over the edge of Stark Tower as if he wanted to jump, to which she quickly tried to talk him down. But it turned out he wasn't looking at the ground but at Loki's scepter a few floors down which was the key to closing the alien portal.
    • Subverted with Zemo in Captain America: Civil War. After successfully turning the Avengers against each other as revenge for the collateral damage that killed his family, Zemo prepares to be killed by T'Challa/Black Panther. However, T'Challa decides not to kill Zemo for revenge for the death of his father at the U.N. bombing which framed Bucky, due to him realizing that it will continue to perpetuate his Cycle of Revenge, so Zemo decides to put a bullet in his head. Unfortunately for him, T'Challa stops him just in time and has him sent to prison to face justice for his crimes.
  • Downloading Nancy: The main character feels this way, so much that she hires someone to kill her over the internet.
  • Helena, the main villain in Scanners III: The Takeover. When the Ephemerol 3 no longer affects her psyche and she's confronted with her actions, she kills herself by electrocution.
  • Desert Heat only exists because Eddie Lomax wants to commit suicide but feels he needs the permission of an old friend first.
  • In La Piel Que Habito (The Skin I Live In) Dr. Robert's first wife, upon seeing her disfigured face for the first time, takes a flying leap off her balcony... right before their daughter's eyes. The incident traumatized the latter severely, and just when she seems to get well enough to socialize in public again, Vicente's attempted date rape completely broke her and she soon follows in her mother's footsteps. Later on, Vera (more woman than man now) tries to kill herself by slicing her throat open with a knife, which is why the mansion's staff is forbidden from handing her any edged or bladed items. In present time, Vera half-heartedly attempts it again by using the paper from her books to cut herself, but as Robert states, if she had really meant it, she would have cut her throat instead of her chest.
  • The Danish film Festen (The Celebration) centres on a family reunion in the aftermath of eldest daughter Linda's suicide, and the Awful Truth behind the act which comes to light during the proceedings.
  • Towards the end of Return of the Living Dead, Frank, a genuinely nice guy who doesn't want to hurt anybody, has become a zombie and must now sustain himself with live brains. When Freddy reanimates, Frank runs out of the chapel and, the next time we see him, immolates himself in the retort.
  • In The Dark Knight Rises, this is taken literally with Talia al Ghul, who crashes an armored truck and sustains mortal injuries in the process just to seal Gotham's fate (not that it ultimately works)..
  • A judge early on in The Star Chamber shoots himself in the restroom after a banquet in his honor, presumably out of guilt over his involvement with the titular secret vigilante court of judges who condemn murderers who got Off on a Technicality to death via hitman.
  • In The Housemaid (2010), Eun-yi is driven to suicide, hanging herself and then setting herself on fire in protest of the family poisoning her and forcing her to get an abortion.
  • Downfall, set in the last days of the fighting in Berlin at the close of World War II, is essentially Driven to Suicide: The Movie, as scores of German soldiers and civilians (Adolf Hitler being naturally in their number) commit suicide by gun, cyanide pill and grenade. Truth in Television, of course; many hardcore Nazis chose to kill themselves over facing justice for their crimes or revenge at the hands of the Red Army, or even they simply couldn't face living in a world without National Socialism, or a world where Jews, Gypsies and other minorities are alive and not considered subhumans.
  • In Robocop2, two of Murphy's would-be replacements commit suicide because they couldn't bear to live as cyborgs.
  • Sarah Packard in The Hustler kills herself after she's been rejected by Eddie Felson and shamed into sleeping with Manipulative Bastard Bert Gordon all in a few hours.
  • Patchi from Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie goes into a Heroic B.S.O.D. after he loses his fight with Scowler and gets kicked out of the herd. He was still pinned under the tree, and when scavengers come to eat him, Patchi lets them attack, believing he was foolish to win Juniper back and confront Scowler. Alex has to tell him to not die in vain...and if he was going to die, he could die fighting for something worth fighting for.
  • The plot of Down and Out in Beverly Hills is kicked off by Jerry trying to drown himself in the Whitemans' pool.
  • In The Double, James drives both Hannah and Simon to suicide. The former is interrupted by the latter, and in his case, the whole suicide is really a ploy to kill James, and he doesn't intend to die himself. He did come genuinely close a couple of times, though.
  • The Skeleton Twins is about a brother and sister pair that both come together after they both attempt suicide. Their father was said to have jumped off a bridge years earlier.
  • In Stage Door, Kaye kills herself because the part she had so desperately wanted was taken by someone else.
  • In The Scribbler, a high-rise halfway house for mental patients suffers a plague of jumper suicides. Subverted in that the main character, who suffers from Split Personality syndrome, thinks one of her alternate personalities is killing the patients. Doubly subverted in that another patient is the actual murderer.
  • Daft Punk's Electroma ends with the two robot protagonists offing themselves. The silver robot dies from a self-destruction timer activated reluctantly by the gold robot. The gold robot dies when he smashes his helmet onto the ground, uses a stray shard as a burning glass, and lights himself on fire.
  • The Untold Story: Wong Chi Hang kills himself to avoid his own death sentence while in jail.
  • The Sunset Limited: Begins with a main character ready and eager to off himself.
  • Stonehearst Asylum: A man kills himself after escaping from Stonehearst. Lamb also attempted this in the past, but failed to because he ran out of bullets.
  • The jumping point of Beyond The Lights. More specifically, the pressures from Noni's mom and the sexualized image thrust upon her by the record label make Noni feel like she has no say or control over her own life. In her words, she feels like she's suffocating to the point that she didn't see any part of herself worth saving. However, it does get interrupted by Office Kaz, who attempts to talk her away from the balcony ledge and then grabs Noni's arm after she decides to jump anyways.
  • Monster's Ball: Sonny fatally shoots himself through the heart after a confrontation with his father Hank.
  • Germany Year Zero: Edmund jumps off a building to his death after he poisons his sick father, presumably out of grief.
  • About midway through Alps, Gymnast tries to hang herself because Matterhorn refuses to let her train to pop music, but Monte Rosa intervenes.
  • The protagonist in The Tenant feels gaslighted by his neighbors up to the point where he can't take it anymore and jumps from his window. He ends up as a Bandage Mummy in hospital.
  • At the end of Hot Tub Time Machine Lou confesses that he was trying to kill himself at the start of the film.
  • In Hard Core Logo after the disastrous final show where Joe Dick beats the hell out of Billy Tallent on stage, Joe goes out back to the alley and while he is talking to director Bruce McDonald he raises his glass with one hand, and then pulls a gun out of his coat and shoots himself in the head
  • Percival in The Suicide Theory is depressed and suicidal after his lover, Christopher is murdered. He keeps surviving his numerous attempts to kill himself, so he hires a hit man named Steve to do the job for him.
  • A Star Is Born is famous for this occurring. The Suicide by Sea scene is often referenced. Norman Maine is an actor in the early 20th century who falls for an up-and-coming actress named Esther. As time goes on his wife becomes more popular than him and his career starts dying. After a downward spiral of alcoholism and depression he kills himself near the end.
  • In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, If you thought it looked like Zira smiled during her fall it's because she did. It was originally a suicide but that did not officially make it past the storyboards, because it was considered too dark. Despite this she still looks way too happy to have accidentally fell to her death.
  • Murder in the First: It's implied that Young killed himself to escape solitary, with a note found saying that he was now free.
  • The 1922 classic The Toll Of The Sea ends with the protagonist killing herself. After her American husband left her for his childhood friend, Lotus Blossom gives their son to them then throws herself off a cliff into the sea.
  • In the film The Breakfast Club the nerd Brian Johnson is so obsessed with his grades that when fails shop he tries to kill himself because he knows his parents will say he's ruined his chances fortunately he is unsuccessful because it was a flare gun that went off in his locker giving him detention.
  • In Jailbait, Anna cuts her wrists in solitary after having discussed the possibility for suicide with other inmates. Of course, she was also naked in solitary while suffering from crack withdrawal, so she may not have been trying to kill herself.
  • In The Book of Life, Manolo's death at Xibalba's hands has undertones of this. Believing himself to be responsible for Maria's demise, he asks to see her again despite knowing what it entails.
  • You could make a drinking game out of all the references to suicide in The Brave Little Toaster. Within the first few minutes, Phil Hartman violently self-destructs. Main characters routinely throw themselves off of cliffs, deliberately onto high places during a heavy thunderstorm, and into certain death. (Although they were all for heroic purposes.) There's one scene in particular where a lone flower wilts and dies after realizing its isolated fate. There is a can opener/lamp/shaver character who strangles itself with its own cords onscreen for not knowing its purpose. By the end of the movie, there's a cast of ruined vehicles in a junkyard which sing about how they're 'worthless', with themes of despair, regret, intolerance, and loneliness, one of them even willingly driving straight into a gigantic shredder to be compressed into small metal cubes. Hey, it was a different time.
  • Female Agents: After giving up the other operatives under torture, Gaëlle begs Louise for her cyanide capsule and takes it, after a prayer for forgiveness, posing in the manner of Christ on the cross.
  • Near the end of Reefer Madness Blanche jumps out of a window. This was actually enforced by The Hays Code. One of their rules was that wrongdoers needed to punished.
  • The original adaptation of The Children's Hour, called These Three, removed the suicide but the second version did not. After her Anguished Declaration of Love to Karen, Martha hangs herself due to gayngst combined with feeling her emotions ruined both her and Karen's lives.
  • Fracture (2007): Detective Nunally kills himself when Crawford gets acquitted.
  • In The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll, after Paul Allen's death, Kitty steps off a balcony and crashes through a glass roof onto the party guests.
  • in The Handmaiden, suicide is present throughout the entire film.
  • In A Girl Like Her, high school sophomore Jessica swallows a jar of hydrocodone pills in response to relentless bullying over the course of a year from her former friend, Avery.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/DrivenToSuicide/Film