Betrayal is in the air, and it got me thinking about what the best movie betrayal is. So I put together a little list of what I think the top-10 in movie history are.
10. Snape kills Dumbledore - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
This one is hard for me to objectively judge because I am a nerd who read the books. That means I knew this was coming and was basically waiting for this moment the entire movie. For those who didn't read, though, I imagine this was a huge HOLY SHIT moment.
9. Anakin kills a bunch of kids - Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
This is a scene that we all knew was coming but that didn't make it any less devastating. Especially when that John Williams score smashes your entire emotional well-being to pieces. People forget Anakin wholesale slaughtered children and was later redeemed in Return of the Jedi.
8. Mr Orange is an Undercover Cop - Reservoir Dogs
If you ask me, this twist makes the movie. It makes Mr. White's defense of him that much more heartbreaking and really shocked the hell out of me the first time I watched. What ever happened to Tim Roth(Outside of Tarantino stuff)?
7. All the betrayals - The Departed
This 5 minute span is absolutely insane. It's too hard to zero in on just one, so I threw them all into one pot. Every time I rewatch the movie I still think Leo might get away.
6. Scar kills Mufasa - The Lion King
This one really stings for a few reasons. The first is that movie's entire first act establishes how Mufasa is the best. The greatest dad AND the greatest ruler! Secondly, most of the people reading this right now saw this when they were young, like me. Seeing a character we mentally grafted our dad onto makes it wayyyyy worse. Lastly, Simba trying to shake Mufasa awake….devastating.
5. The Police Chief is corrupt - LA confidential
First off LA Confidential is a fantastic movie that not enough people have seen. I only say this because every time I reference it around the office, on the pod etc. people don't get what I'm talking about. Anyway, the heel turn for one of the best cinematic cop guys ever, James Cromwell, was absolutely fantastic. As was Guy Pearce's response…
4. Lando betrays Han - Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
This one doesn't sting as bad because Lando almost immediately rectifies the situation but it is still, without a doubt, one of the most iconic betrayals. What makes it hurt more is that Han and Lando's friendship is so natural and quickly established that you're excited to see more of them together. It did, however, lead to one of the coldest moments in Star Wars history. When Han opens the doors and sees Darth Vader, the biggest bad in the universe, he doesn't even hesitate for a second. his blaster comes out and he pops like 10 deflected rounds right into Vader, center mass.
3. Cypher betrays everyone for some virtual steak - The Matrix
Joe Pantoliano is a fantastic actor with some many great roles, but I always come back to how incredibly evil and scummy he was in the Matrix. This entire scene is perfect, right down to Tank's incredible line right before frying him like the suicide mouse from Whataburger.
2. Fr*do betrays Michael - The Godfather part II
One of the best acted betrayals across the board in movie history. It also gave birth to the most vicious, evil and hateful slur for Italian-Americans ever invented. Anyway, I always have to b ring up John Cazale's(Fredo) insane resume every time he is mentioned. He was in 5 movies before passing away at age 42 after a battle with lung cancer. Those 5 movies? The Godfather I & II, The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon and The Deer Hunter. Those 5 have a combined 40 Oscar nominations and 15 wins. An average of 96% on rotten tomatoes! The guy did not miss and was truly special. He was also dating Meryl Streep when he passed. Pacino said "I've hardly ever seen a person so devoted to someone who is falling away like John was. To see her in that act of love for this man was overwhelming".
1. Robert the Bruce's turn - Braveheart
Braveheart was not historically accurate, especially when it comes to Robert the Bruce. In fact, the term "Braveheart" was used to describe Robert the Bruce, not William Wallace. Despite Robby the B's extreme slander, his betrayal in this movie still stings the most. I know all those other guys betrayed him too, but Bob Bruce's was the worst by far because of Mel Gibson's perfect portrayal of being on the receiving end of betrayal.
This is also the perfect opportunity for me to cape for Netflix's OUTLAW KING, which I think rocks and was misunderstood. Also, throw 'The King' in that conversation as well.