Follow TV Tropes


You Shall Not Pass / Film

Go To

"You cannot pass! I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! YOU! SHALL NOT! PASS!"

    open/close all folders 

    Films — Animation 
  • In the Disney Animated Canon:
    • Timon and Pumbaa deliberately put themselves in danger to distract Scar's hyena Mooks in The Lion King (1994) just so Simba and Nala could pass by unseen. This example ends up subverting the usual trope, since Timon and Pumbaa actually manage to defeat the hyenas.
    • Mulan
      • Attempted by General Shang against Shan-Yu. Didn't work out so well.
      • Attempted earlier in the mountain pass scene. Shang's troops, heavily outnumbered with almost no cannons, face the entire Hun army. They fully expect to be slaughtered, as the rest of the army was, and without Mulan using their last cannon to trap the troops in an avalanche, they would have.
    • Ray the firefly in The Princess and the Frog put up a great fight against the evil shadows sent by Facilier, to give Tiana enough time to run away with the talisman. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to stop Facilier from stepping on him and killing him.
  • In How to Train Your Dragon this trope is subverted, after being invoked, quickly subverted, then re-invoked: Stoick and Gobber see the Green Death, and together with the whole adult Viking population have a Mass "Oh, Crap!" moment. After the big dragon decides to kick everybody's ass, Stoick runs in to buy time for the retreating army, mainly because wiping out all the parents in the population isn't too healthy. When Stoick tells Gobber why he's doing it, Gobber joins him, to double the time. Then, just before they go in, Hiccup and his friends arrive on dragons in a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • During the climax of Shrek 2, while Shrek and his allies are storming the castle to stop Prince Charming from kissing Fiona to make her fall in love with him via a magic potion, Puss hops off Donkey and insists that he and Shrek go on without him while he fends off a pack of knights.
    • Combined with that incredibly cute expression that allows him to take the guards by surprise as he pulls out his sword and keeps them at bay, complete with knocking one out with a swift kick to the head and dueling multiple guards at once, armed with nothing but a small rapier.
  • The Big Guy from Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.
  • In The Movie of The Magic Roundabout, Zebedee apparently sacrifices himself to prevent Zeebad from going after the rest of the group, to the point of creating a landslide when they try to go back and help him.
    • All the more delicious of course because the voice of Zebedee is that of Ian McKellen, who delivered the Trope Namer.
  • Spoofed in Corpse Bride. The pastor stands at the doors of the church just before the climactic wedding, shouting at the Dead that they are not to enter the church. They merely file past him, admonishing him for shouting in a church. The fact that the character getting a You Shall Not Pass! is played by Christopher Lee, who played Saruman the White in the Lord of the Rings films, makes the scene even more delicious for those who recognize Lee's ultra-distinctive voice.
  • In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Brent holds off a horde of giant roast chickens while Sam and Flint go to shut down the FLDSMDFR.
    "Now go, you crazy kids, and save the world!"
  • In Epic Ronin allows himself to be swarmed by Boggans so that MK and Nod can escape. He manages to survive the ordeal.
  • In the opening scene of Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the Jester (the heroic counterpart to the Joker) insists on remaining behind to cover Luthor's escape.

    Films — Live Action 
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf at the Bridge of Khazad-dûm in Moria, when facing the Balrog. He even screams "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!" at him. Just after he seemingly defeated the Balrog, he's pulled into the abyss with him, instructing the rest of the fellowship to "Fly, you fools!" before falling.
  • The 2010 Live Action Adaptation of Space Battleship Yamato ends with this trope when Kodai stays behind on the Yamato to fire the ship's Wave-Motion Gun, which is blocked and will explode if fired, in order to stop the last Meteor Bomb from falling to Earth and destroying it.
  • Much less debatable is Dillon's moment at the end of Alien³, when he Throws Down the Gauntlet and fights the alien with his bare hands shouting "Come on! Come on! That's all you got?! Is that as hard as you fight, motherfucker?!" before both of them are buried in molten lead.
  • This is how Robin Hood survives the original escape in the first five minutes of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
  • Played straight in Predator, when Billy chooses to stop and wait for the alien hunter on a log bridge, throwing away his gun to fight with a big knife. Next thing we know, we're seeing through the Predator's eyes and he's creeping over the base of a fallen tree to confront Billy. Two seconds later the other survivors hear a horrible drawn-out scream. Then the Predator catches up with them again.
  • Played straight again in Predator 2. While police officer Leona tries to get the passengers on a subway car to safety, her partner Jerry Lambert tries to hold off the title alien monster by shooting at it. He is killed by the Predator, but his Heroic Sacrifice saves many of the passengers from being killed.
  • In the Kamen Rider Fourze movie, Shun volunteers to hold off a swarm of robots so his friend can escape. JK notes that the guys who say that in movies usually end up dying.
  • In the movie Labyrinth, Sir Didymus at first blocks passage of the bridge, and tells the main characters that none shall pass without his permission. The trope is subverted when it turns out all they had to do was ask for his permission.
  • The movie 300 depicted a (very fanciful) version of the real life Battle of Thermopylae. In it, a handful of Greek soldiers successfully defend a narrow pass against a million-strong Persian army for three days before getting killed — and would have held out longer had they not been betrayed.
  • In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) Obi-Wan Kenobi distracts Darth Vader and a squad of stormtroopers so the heroes can sneak back aboard the Millennium Falcon. His "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine" comment implies he meant to sacrifice himself all along.
    • Word of God has it that while Vader was a cyborg, Obi-Wan was an old man and out of practice, and was getting winded. And note: he smiles before he puts up his lightsaber.
      • Not a sacrifice at all. Obi Wan smiles, turns off his lightsabre... and vanishes just before Vader's blade would have struck him, leaving his empty robe to fall to the floor. Vader is shown prodding the robe with his boot and clearly has no idea what Obi Wan just did.
    • Happens at the end of Rogue One when a squad of Rebel troops must defend a doorway from Darth Vader himself so that the Death Star plans can escape. Naturally, they are torn apart in short order, but barely manage to slow him down enough.
    • Luke pulls this during the climax of The Last Jedi. On Crait, he goes out and stops the incoming AT-M6 assault. Kylo Ren even attempts to fight him. It is actually a projection of him but it still distracts the First Order long enough for the resistance to escape.
  • The Mummy movie had Ardeth Bey literally wade into the undead hordes to give the heroes a chance to escape. Thanks to test audience reaction, he shows up at the end, mildly wounded. It happened a second time in the movie, or rather a first time, too: the museum curator (and secret Medjai agent) guy who held off the zombified population while the heroes escaped through the sewer. The second Mummy movie had Bey leading an entire army for the same purpose.
  • In Serenity, River Tam finally demonstrates just how immensely badass she is by holding back a seemingly innumerable horde of Reavers by herself, as the rest of the crew is either dead, exhausted, out of ammo, or severely wounded by that time. They huddle behind a locked door, expecting that when they open it again she'll be dead. When it opens, however, she is standing in the middle of a horde of dead Reavers, without a scratch on her.
    • And after that, when the Alliance troops rush into the room, she is calmly and emotionlessly preparing to do it again. Considering the level of ass-kicking just demonstrated, it's a safe bet that the Alliance troops would have been massacred.
      • You've always taken care of me. My turn.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail actually has three examples, one with the Black Knight ("None shall pass!"), one with the wizard ("Answer me these questions three."). Arguably, the latter is actually more subversive. The other, of course, is the Knights of Ni.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • The ending of X2: X-Men United is an example of this trope, with Jean Grey staying behind to hold off the inevitable just long enough for the rest of the team to escape. Although everyone, including her, thinks that No One Could Survive That!, she manages to survive.
    • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, a dying Magneto uses the remnants of the Blackbird to armor up the door leading to Kitty, Wolverine, and Professor X. Bonus points for Sir Ian McKellen invoking the trope.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Commodore Norrington, instead of following Elizabeth on a rope off of the Flying Dutchman, chooses to cut it instead to guarantee her escape. He is then killed by Bootstrap Bill.
    • This trope was oddly subverted at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, when Elizabeth handcuffs Jack to the mast of the Black Pearl in order to keep the Kraken from coming after the rest of the crew, since it only wants Jack. This, after Jack chose to come back and help the crew escape rather than abandon them as he almost did.
    • Yeah, but then they go get him back. And then they only did it because he was in possession of the missing Plot Coupon.
  • Star Trek
    • Pulled off in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Kirk orders the destruction of the beloved Enterprise so that he and his crew can escape to Genesis while the explosion kills most of the enemy Klingons.
    • Embraced and subverted in Star Trek: First Contact. Picard clearly wants to sacrifice himself and his ship; "The line must be drawn HERE!" but in the end, compassion and common sense win out and he orders the crew to safety. In an earlier scene, one of the more amusing in the film, Doctor Crusher activates the Emergency Medical Hologram as the invading Borg are approaching Sick Bay and orders it to create a diversion. As the Borg break down the door, the nonplussed Doctor attempts to prescribe them an analgesic creme to soothe the skin rashes caused by their cybernetic implants.
    "I'm a doctor, not a doorstop!"
    • In Star Trek (2009), George Kirk of the Kelvin does this to the Narada to protect the evacuation shuttles.
  • The remake of Dawn of the Dead (2004). Arguable, but when C.J. remains in the truck at the end and then blows himself and all of the remaining zombies up. No, I don't know why they were all killed, but they were.
  • More than once Shaw Brothers period pieces have their heroes pulling a last stand in this method.
    • The Heroic Ones: Shih Ching-tsu's final fate has him fending off at least a hundred enemies with his spear, killing as many as he can until his brother Li Chun-hsiao arrives with reinforcements, just in time to see Shih had Died Standing Up.
    • The Deadly Duo: Hsiao's last stand has him holding off loads and loads of rebel soldiers with his Epic Flail at a harbour, so that Bao and the rescued prince can escape via boat. He too Died Standing Up, in the middle of a bridge filled with dead enemies.
  • The Matrix
    • In The Matrix, Morpheus does this in order to buy time for Neo and the others to escape. While the remaining crew members later contemplate pulling his connection in order to prevent the Agents from gaining access codes to Zion, the last human city, Neo decides instead to rescue him, which he does in stunning awesomeness.
    • The Matrix Reloaded. Neo fights against the Merovingian's mooks so Trinity and Morpheus can escape with the Keymaker.
    • In The Matrix Revolutions, hordes of the machines are storming Zion, one last elderly soldier stands bravely and alone, and blasts as many of them as he can before being mauled.
  • In The 13th Warrior, Helfdane the Fat stays behind in the tunnel to hold off the rampaging horde of cannibalistic cave-dwelling Neanderthals after uttering the tip-off phrase for a wounded soldier: "Well, I think I've run about as far as I care to." He then looks to the hero and says, "Go on, lad. Today was a GOOD day. Meet me in Valhalla!"
  • And speaking of Norsemen, the utterly forgettable Lee Majors movie The Norsemen sees this trope with a warrior named Olaf. Who later makes his way back from his sure-to-be-suicide stand. (The enemies that the Norse were fighting in this movie were native Americans who BTW were, according to the Vinland Saga, an enemy too tough for Vikings.)
  • Australia: The Drover's best friend against Japanese soldiers.
  • Starship Troopers. During the showdown in the Bug hive near the end of the movie, trooper Watkins is injured and can't escape.
    Watkins: Give me the nuke!
    Rico: You trying to be a hero, Watkins?
    Watkins: I'm trying to kill some bugs, sir!
    (as the other MI escape, Watkins detonates the nuke, killing the Bugs)
    • Similar thing happened to Tom Sizemore's character in Red Planet.
  • The Last Samurai. Katsumoto's wounded son Nobutada single-handedly holds off several Japanese soldiers at a small bridge behind his father's home in Tokyo, so that Katsumoto, Algren and the rest of the samurai can make their escape.
  • Gamera 2: Advent of Legion. The SDF is evacuating Sendai when Legion attacks. Gamera arrives in time to hold the Legion off, but is mortally wounded while the SDF leaves.
  • The robot, remote-controlled by Will Robinson, in the movie version of Lost in Space.
  • In District 9, this is the protagonist's turning out. Oh, and he's also in an armed to the teeth suit of Powered Armour. He catches a rocket propelled grenade.
  • The phrase gets spoofed in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Peter went a whole week wearing the same pair of sweat pants. Come Saturday, he says "You Shall Not Pass".
  • Inverted in Inglourious Basterds; Pvt. Zoller is a war hero to the Nazis, for taking out a large number of American soldiers.
  • In Prince of Darkness, Catherine Danforth pushes Susan Cabot, who's been possessed by The Devil, into the mirror, to prevent her from pulling the Anti-God into our world. Unfortunately, she's also pulled into the mirror, which the priest then destroys, to seal the portal.
  • Used for an Incredibly Lame Pun in one spoof of The Western — can't remember the name but it had a Magical Native American telling the hero and his sidekick: "None shall pass." He allows them to pass when they return dressed as nuns.
  • TRON: Legacy: "Flynn, run!" Of course, this Heroic Sacrifice turns into an awful Fate Worse than Death.
  • Papa Smurf in The Smurfs does this to save the other Smurfs from Gargamel, leading to No One Gets Left Behind.
  • Citizens of New York in Spider-Man 2 attempt this against Doctor Octopus to keep him from getting to Spiderman. It doesn't work.
  • Men in Black
    • Subverted. After the giant cockroach alien kills two other aliens in a cafe and smashes the place up, a brave waiter blocks the doorway and says, "You're not going anywhere, pal!" only to get knocked into next week.
    • And again in the climax, where J brandishes a burning branch and warns that the only way off the planet was through him. The Cockroach then promptly decks J to the ground and continues to head for his getaway saucer, evidently having a very low tolerance for chutzpah.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Sarah Connor tricks John into getting onto the sliding track so he's taken to safety, then stays behind to prevent the T-1000 from following and killing him.
  • Frankie in Daybreakers redeems himself by holding back his former comrades so that the hero and heroine could get away. Needless to say, he doesn't survive.
  • A villainous example occurs in Pacific Rim where Slattern nearly succeeded in preventing the heroes in reaching the Breach.
    • This is actually the main strategy of the Pan Pacific Defense Corps. If a Kaiju is heading towards a city, they place a Jaeger a short distance away from the city, directly in the Kaiju's path.
  • We Were Soldiers has Sergeant Major Plumley standing in the center of the Casualty Collection Point, defending the wounded soldiers against charging NVA troopers attempting to overrun their position. In a variation, the wounded soldiers (and the Intrepid Reporter) also partook in their own defense, having little other choice.
  • October, a 1928 Soviet Union film about the Red October revolution, includes the abortive coup attempt by monarchist General Kornilov. The workers of Petrograd arm for battle, pledging that "Kornilov shall not pass!".
  • In the climax of Outbreak, Colonel Daniels and Major Salt fly into the path of Sandman, a bomber that is flying to vaporize the infected town. All three survive and the bomb is safely detonated over the water.
  • At the Climax of Hanna, Eric distracts Isaacs and his men to gain time for Hanna to escape.
  • In Thor: Ragnarok, Skurge the Executioner gets a homage to how his comic book counterpart went down by dual-wielding M-16 rifles against a horde of Hela's undead warriors trying to board a ship filled with Asgardian civilians. Unlike his comic book counterpart, he survives the horde of undead, slaughtering them completely, until Hela herself intervenes and kills him.
  • Tommy does this in Krampus; standing in the middle of the road with a shotgun to hold off the thing under snow long enough for his family to make it to the snowplough.
  • Played With in The Three Musketeers (1993). When Athos and D'Artagnan are attacked by mercenaries and bounty hunters, Athos tells D'Artagnan that he will hold them off as long as he can so D'Artagnan can escape and continue their mission. Athos later turns up alive, having somehow survived the deadly attack.
  • In Robin Hood (2018), Little John stays behind at the mines to hold off the sheriff's guards long enough for Robin and Marian to escape and put the main plan into operation.
  • Eastern Condors: After the squad has managed to cross the heavily defended bridge into the compound, the mortally-wounded Ciggy takes over the enemy machine gun nest and uses to hold off the approaching soldiers for as long as he can.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Longclaw's Last Stand involves guarding the ring portal that she sent Sonic through, facing down the advancing echidna tribe so it has time to close.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: