Follow TV Tropes

Following

That Man Is Dead / Film

Go To

That Man Is Dead in movies.


Animated

  • In Frozen, Elsa's words in "Let it Go" explicitly declare 'that perfect girl is gone' in regard to her former life, forced to keep her powers secret like a "good girl".
    • Early on in the film's production, she stated that Elsa was dead and she was now the Snow Queen.
  • The Incredibles: Buddy Pine says as much to his former childhood idol, Mr. Incredible:
    Syndrome: My name is not Buddy! And it's not Incrediboy either. That ship has sailed!
  • The Lion King: Played with when Nala finds a now adult Simba living independently in the wild with Timon and Pumbaa, far away from Pride Rock where Scar now rules with an iron fist. Unable to come to terms with his past or with what he thinks was his part in Mufasa's untimely death, Simba coldly refuses to return even though he is the rightful heir to the throne. Nala is aghast at his change in temperament since they last met.
    Nala: What's happened to you? You're not the Simba I remember.
    Simba: You're right. I'm not. Now are you satisfied?
    Nala: No. Just disappointed.
  • Advertisement:
  • Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted:
    Alex: Come on! Where's that Vitaly?!
    Vitaly: That Vitaly is no more.
  • In another DreamWorks film, Megamind, Metro Man actually does this when it turned out that he had survived being zapped by Megamind's Kill Sat and decides not to be a superhero anymore (he now wants to be a musician instead) despite Tighten planning on destroying the city.
  • Monsters vs. Aliens, as the spaceship is set to self-destruct:
    Gallaxhar: Now we're all gonna die! And there's nothing you can do about it, Suuusan!
    Susan: I wouldn't be too sure. And the name... is Ginormica.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas has a (slight) variation that makes you wonder what Jack's long-term plans for Christmas were:
    Sally: But you're the Pumpkin King!
    Jack: Not anymore! [breaks picture] I feel so much better now!
  • Advertisement:
  • The first few lines heard in Tangled, are Flynn Rider saying "This is the story about how I died." However, it's later revealed in the film that Flynn's real name is actually Eugene Fitzherbert, and in the climax he is murdered by the film's villainess but is revived by Rapunzel's magic tears, and from that point on she starts referring him by his real name instead. In other words, Flynn Rider is dead, but Eugene lives.

Advertisement:

Live-Action

  • A unique variation occurred in 102 Dalmatians, after "Ella" gets over her Heel Face Brain Washing.
    Cruella: Not Ella. Ella's gone, and Cruella's BACK!
  • The Amazing Spider Man 2 has this with the Green Goblin.
    Gwen Stacy: Harry.
    Green Goblin: Harry is DEAD!!
  • The Batman films:
    • Batman (1989): Jack reveals his horribly disfigured face to his soon-to-be-ex-boss with the line "Jack is dead, my friend. You can call me... Joker. And as you can see, I'm a lot happier."
    • Batman Returns has this to Penguin, "My name is not Oswald! It's Penguin! I am not a human being! I am an animal! Cold-blooded!"
    • Batman Begins: "Crane?" "No. Scarecrow!" A creepier version occurs earlier, when we actually see Crane's mind snap: "Dr. Crane isn't here right now, but if you'd like to make an appointment..."
      • The latter line is paraphrased from a similar line that Scarecrow utters in Haunted Knight.
      • Though he never says anything to that effect, it's quite clear in the third act of The Dark Knight that Harvey Dent died when Avenue X at Cicero went up and that the charismatic prosecutor who cleaned up Gotham's streets with a massive sting is no more.
      • It is implied in the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises that Bruce Wayne may have given up on his Batman identity when conversing with an under-critical-condition hospitalized Commissioner Gordon.
    • Every version of Batman will invoke this Trope at some point, between how crazy the villains are and the hero's own tendency towards Becoming the Mask. In Batman Beyond, an evil psychic trying to use More Than Mind Control on Bruce Wayne by speaking as his subconscious seems to be succeeding... until Bruce reveals he was playing him all along, with the line "Bruce isn't what I call myself inside my head."
    • In Batman Beyond, Bruce almost always speaks with his "Batman voice", only using Bruce' voice when speaking to someone like Terry's mother. While he has retired from his heroic identity physically in that series, he seems to have become even more distant from Bruce Wayne spiritually.
  • Bend of the River: Glyn McLyntock used to be a hellraising "border raider" during the Missouri-Kansas border war, but now he's leading a wagon train to Oregon where he wants a quiet life as a rancher. When an amused Cole, who knows about his past, asks what Glyn's running from, Glyn says "I'm running from a man named Glyn McLyntock."
  • Part of the backstory to Captain Clegg, when the title character explains how he faked his death and became a better person.
    But no man can stand upon the gallows without coming face to face with his soul. And on that day, truly, the old Clegg died.
  • Jack/Kyra in The Chronicles of Riddick.
  • In City of God, the formerly named Lil' Dice insists on being called Lil' Ze. It is, however, a nickname, but Brazilian kids all take them on usually, and he is the only favela kid to change his nickname as he got older and more villanous.
  • In the movie adaptation of Doctor Sleep, this is to Jack Torrance when Danny returns to the Overlook Hotel.
    Jack: I'm afraid you've confused me with someone else. It's Lloyd.
  • Crime Doctor: During his trial, Robert argues that there are essentially two men on trial: a guilty one (Phil Morgan, the man he used to be), and an innocent one (Robert Ordway, the man he has become). When the judge suspends his sentence and calls him Mr. Morgan, Grace corrects him by saying "It's Dr. Robert Ordway".
  • When Lieutenant John Dunbar of the United States of Army coolly tells his captors and former comrades in Lakota rather than English that "My name is Dances with Wolves, and I have nothing to say to you" when they offered him his life in return for betraying his new family, his transformation into a true American Indian is finally complete.
  • Another heroic example: "Peyton is gone. Call me: Darkman."
  • The original Django has an unusually subtle twist on this: the main character never actually tells anyone that his name is Django to begin with. Instead, he tells them that there's a dead man named Django in the coffin he drags with him at all times. When it's revealed that there's actually a gun in there, it's up to the characters and the viewers to connect the dots and realize that he means he is trying to start a new life and keep the old Django dead and banished away in the coffin.
  • Doctor Zhivago: Strelnikov, the brutal Bolshevik commander who has his own bright red war-train. No one has seen his face. Only... he's the bishonen love interest, Pasha Antipov from earlier in the film who suffered a Heroic BSoD after being run over by Cossacks! Now he has Good Scars, Evil Scars and no one may call him by his past name. But he lets Dr. Zhivago live anyway.
  • In Dracula Untold, Vlad was once known as the "Lord Impaler". Now he wants nothing to do with his past, but can't escape it. And before he kills Mehmet, Vlad claims to be no longer Vlad, but Dracula, son of the Devil.
  • Talked around in Dragonheart; while Kara doesn't name him, she talks about a knight of great honour. Bowen (the knight in question) replies with "That man died of his wounds long ago."
  • Fantastic Four (2015) features "There is no Victor, only Doom!". Its presence can seen as a mark of the film's Troubled Production. In an earlier script the character's name was Victor Domoshev, and was changed to the comics-faithful Victor von Doom after fan backlash. However, the final cut retains Johnny saying "Check out Doctor Doom over here" in a way that suggests it's a nickname, and him claiming Doom as his supervillain identity makes more sense than him being weirdly insistent that only the second part of his actual name has meaning.
  • An interesting variation in A Few Good Men:
    Kaffee: Why did Markinson go UA?
    Capt. Ross: You'll never know.
    Kaffee: You think I can't subpoena Markinson?
    Capt. Ross: You can try, but you won't find him. You know what Markinson did for the first 17 of his 26 years in the Corps? Counterintelligence. Markinson's gone. There is no Markinson.
  • The Fly (1986). "But I think Seth Brundle is disappearing, and I'm becoming something else. 'Brundlefly'."
    Seth: I'm saying I'm an insect who dreamed he was a man, and loved it. But now the dream is over, and the insect is awake.
  • Ghostbusters (1984). Peter Venkman attempts to speak with a possessed Dana Barrett who responds in a deep, growling voice "There is no Dana, only Zuul!"
  • In A History of Violence more than twenty years before the start of the film, Ax-Crazy mob enforcer Joey Cusack made a complete break with his past life and became Tom Stall, everyday midwestern Nice Guy, family man, and diner owner. It turns out that despite Tom's best efforts Joey isn't quite as dead as he'd like, and that side of him comes out first when a pair of murderous robbers try to hold up his store, and then to a much greater extent when his old mob comes looking for him after all the news coverage of his heroism. When he finally comes clean to his wife, he even uses the analogy of having killed his old self, which she does not respond to very well.
    Tom: I thought I killed Joey. I buried him in the desert.
    Edie: Are you crazy? Are you like some multiple-personality schizoid? What?
  • In I Spit On Your Grave III: Vengeance is Mine. Detective Glen Bolton "Why did you change your name?" Angela/Jennifer Hills: "I didn't want to be Jennifer Hills anymore." Cue brief Heroic BSoD from Bolton.
  • James Bond:
    • This happens in Spectre during James Bond's Cold-Blooded Torture scene.
      Franz Oberhauser: Franz Oberhauser died twenty years ago, in an avalanche together with his father. The man you're talking to now, the man inside your head... is Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
      James Bond: Catchy name.
    • Played with in 'Die Another Day when Bond discovers that the wealthy diamond magnate Gustav Graves is actually the North Korean Colonel Moon, who was believed to have died at Bond's hand during a mission that went awry. Moon remains very much his former self once he sheds the façade, but his father is much less convinced when he witnesses his son initiate his plans to invade South Korea, horrified at the extremes he has come to and holds him at gunpoint.
      Gustav Graves/Colonel Moon: You would kill your own son?
      General Moon: The son I knew died long ago!
  • In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, when the Big Bad is revealed to be Professor James Moriarty, he scoffs at the identification, saying, "Moriarty? The so-called "Napoleon of Crime"? That man died at Reichenbach Falls. He died, and I was reborn!"
  • Early in The Long Kiss Goodnight, Sam says that the woman she used to be is gone and she's "kissed her goodnight." Later, when she fully regains her memories and takes on her true identity of Charly, she says offhandedly that Sam is gone for good. She's not being entirely truthful in the second instance; she wishes Sam was gone for good, because then she wouldn't have to care about Sam's husband and daughter...
  • Sméagol/Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, though the implication isn't so much that Sméagol is dead but that The Ring corrupted him so much that he has forgotten his own name.
    Frodo: You weren't so different from a hobbit once. Were you? Sméagol?
    Gollum: What did you call me?
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The film Avengers: Age of Ultron has a much more benevolent (and perhaps literal) version of the trope. After coming to life, and speaking with the same voice as J.A.R.V.I.S, the Vision is very gentle in saying it, but is quick to explain that he is most definitely not J.A.R.V.I.S.
    • As part of The Reveal in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, When Cap refers to The Winter Soldier by his former nickname Bucky, the Soldier responds with "Who the hell is Bucky?" This goes to show just how badly HYDRA broke his mind to turn him into the Soldier.
    • In Thor: Ragnarok:
      Thor: Banner! Great to see you!
      Hulk: No Banner. Only Hulk.
    • In the climax of Captain Marvel, the titular heroine combines this with a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: the titular heroine has reclaimed her memories and has this exchange with the Big Bad, after she keeps calling her "Vers", her Kree name.
      My name is Carol!
    • Avengers: Endgame: It's never explicitly stated in the movie, but it's clear from his actions that Clint considers Hawkeye to have died in the Snap with his wife and children. When we see him again after the Time Skip, he's become the vicious Anti-Hero Ronin.
  • The Matrix: Neo responds to one "Misssster Anderson" too many with "My name... is Neo!"
  • In the Korean war movie, My Way, while being imprisoned in a Soviet POW camp when Jun-sik calls out his old friend Jong-dae for selling out, and condemning to death, one of their own for stealing food when he got hungry, Jon-dae angrily replies that he is no longer the Jong-dae he used to know, but Anton, Soviet overseer of the Japanese prisoners.
  • When Christine in The Phantom of the Opera (1989) finds the sheets for Don Juan Triumphant with Erik's signature in his lair, Erik tells her that "That man... is long dead."
  • Appears in The Punisher adaptations:
    • In The Punisher (1989), Franks tells his former police partner Jake that "Frank is dead" when they finally meet face to face.
    • In The Punisher (2004), "Frank Castle is dead. Call me... The Punisher" is the closer of the film.
    • Used by Billy Russoti in Punisher: War Zone after his less than successful facial reconstruction.
      "Billy is dead. From now on, you call me... Jigsaw."
  • The Revengers contains a variant where someone else declares the man they knew is dead. When Benedict encounters his old friend Whit, who is now a Deputy U.S. Marshal, Whit is disgusted by what Benedict has become. When Benedict goes to shake Whit's hand, Whit refuses and rides off, saying that he doesn't shake hands with stranger. This rebuke causes Benedict to question for the first time what his Roaring Rampage of Revenge is turning him into.
  • Played for tearjerker effect in Robocop 2. Worried over a lawsuit from his distraught 'widow', OCP lawyers convince Alex Murphy to cut all ties with his family, pointing out he could never be a proper husband and father to them.
    Ellen Murphy: [sees Robocop without his helmet] Alex, is it really you?
    RoboCop: [gets up and walks to her, mesh metal fence separating them]
    Ellen Murphy: [crying] Don't you remember me? Whatever they've done to you... whatever has happened, we can work it out... start again...
    RoboCop: [leans forward] Touch me.
    Ellen Murphy: [she touches his lip, downhearted] It's cold.
    RoboCop: They made this to honor him.
    Ellen Murphy: [crying] No...
    RoboCop: Your husband is dead. [walking away] I don't know you.
  • The Shining: "Danny isn't here, Mrs. Torrance."
  • Star Wars:
    • Jedi in general seem to treat Sith as something like The Undead. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon referred to Darth Maul as "it", Yoda warned Obi Wan that Anakin is "gone" and has been "consumed" by Darth Vader, Mace Windu says "which was destroyed, the master or the apprentice?".
    • In A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi aids and abets this trope when he tells Luke that Darth Vader killed Luke's father.
    • In Return of the Jedi, after Luke calls Vader by his real name, Anakin Skywalker, Vader replies, "That name no longer has any meaning for me". However, Vader puts himself in the still redeemable category when he responds to Luke's continued pleas with a sad, "It is too late for me, son."
      • Expanded materials, however, show this is a Subversion; although he and his Master refer to Anakin Skywalker in third person, the comics and novels that actually get into his head make it clear that he doesn't really think of his former self as a separate person. Indeed, the use of third person seems to be largely for Sidious' benefit, who sees clinging to the past as a weakness. This continuity of identity is also demonstrated in how he refers to Ahsoka as "my apprentice" in Rebels, refers to Obi-Wan as his former master in A New Hope, and clearly thinks of Luke as his own son. He does, however, try to avoid thinking of himself by his old name, because it makes him remember things he'd rather stay buried. In other words, he doesn't like thinking of or being called by his old name, but he doesn't think of Anakin Skywalker as a separate person.
    • Kylo Ren, the main antagonist of The Force Awakens, insists that he isn't Ben Solo, even as his father, Han, appeals to what remains of Ben. He even murders Han in cold blood in an effort to sever his ties with his old life.
  • Suicide Squad (2016). When Amanda Waller tries to convince Diablo to join the Squad, he refuses because he doesn't want to use his pyrokinetic power to kill people any more. In the Back Story, he had accidentally killed his wife and children when his wife threatened to leave him.
    Diablo: That ain't me.
    Waller: That wasn't you?
    Diablo: Nah, they say it's me, but that ain't me. That guy's gone. He's dead.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is the Trope Namer: "No. Not Barker. That man is dead. It's Todd now. Sweeney Todd. And he will have his revenge."
  • In Titanic (1997), where Rose decides to put her high society life behind her. "Dawson. Rose Dawson."
  • When Topaze returns after finding out that he has been used as a dupe in a marketing scam to sell dirty tap water as mineral water, he says "I am not Topaze. Topaze lies dead in an alley." He then sets about getting revenge on the Corrupt Corporate Executive who manipulated him.
  • In WarGames, Stephen Falken gives up his name and becomes Dr. Robert Hume after his son Joshua dies and he decides that the world is going to destroy itself. Note: Naming your computer after your dead son is not quite leaving your old life behind you.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X2: X-Men United features an interesting inversion, when Magneto strikes up a conversation with Jonathan Allerdyce.
      Magneto: What's your name?
      Jonathan: John.
      Magneto: What is your real name, John?
      Jonathan: ...Pyro.
    • Played straight in X-Men: The Last Stand, where Mystique refuses to answer to her birth name, feeling no connection to humanity after she joined the evil mutants.
    • X-Men: First Class ends with Erik outright proclaiming that he prefers his new moniker: Magneto.
    • The Wolverine:
      • When Yukio tells Logan it's an honour to meet the Wolverine, he mutters, "That's not who I am anymore."
      • Logan says to Mariko that he killed the "kuzuri" that she calls him when he killed Jean Grey. However, he reverses his decision when circumstances force him to become a hero again, as shown by this exchange from his duel with Shingen:
        Shingen: What kind of monster are you?
        Logan: The Wolverine.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • When Hank tells Logan that "the Professor isn't here," Xavier is still living at his estate, only he has lost his powers and the will to lead mutants, thus dissociating himself from his identity as Professor X. It doubles as a Call-Back to First Class when he insisted that "You don't get to be called a 'professor' until you actually have a teaching position."
      • In Saigon, Mystique tells Alex that Raven isn't her name anymore. Given how the film ends, it's ambiguous if she still feels this way.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Charles pleads with Erik not to join Apocalypse, but Lehnsherr has already reclaimed his Magneto persona.
      Xavier: Erik, don't join them.
      Magneto: Whatever it is you think you saw in me, I buried it with my family.


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report