Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Cinema's most memorable funerals

manonthemoon.jpg

If you've ever been unfortunate enough to attend a funeral, you'll be aware that they're not particularly pleasant experiences. Essentially someone has died, everyone is sad and no fun is allowed whatsoever.

In films, funerals can be a mixed bag, They range from the intentionally hilarious to the darkly funny to the embarrasingly sniffle-inducing.

We've assembled a list of some of the most memorable goodbyes for you to weep, laugh and, well, react in whichever manner you so choose:

To Die For

In Gus Van Sant's biting dark comedy, Nicole Kidman's ruthless weather girl is intent on just one thing: fame. While she goes about this goal by thrusting herself into the TV world, her family-craving husband, played by Matt Dillon, is keen for her to settle down into the role of housewife. Unwilling to modify her ambitions, she gets him killed and here, in this awkwardly funny scene, reminds everyone just who this whole sad day is really about.

Wedding Crashers

As we see in Wedding Crashers, and countless other comedies, a wedding is a great place to find someone. Everyone's feeling a bit emotional and in need of someone to be with. Near the end of the movie, Owen Wilson's wedding crasher goes one step further and heads to a funeral with his amoral mentor, played by Will Ferrell. Yes, women cry even more at funerals. No, it's not okay to take them home. At all.

Man on the Moon

While it's a given that you'll be centre of attention at your funeral, it's always best to make sure that you'll have total control over what takes place. In the story of real-life comedian Andy Kaufman, the eccentric star of Taxi kept up his leftfield brand of comedy right up to the bitter end. Who wouldn't want to start a sing-song at their own funeral from beyond the grave?

Four Weddings And A Funeral

Well, the clue was in the title. While the majority of the Richard Curtis rom-com was focused upon the nuptials of a bunch of middle-class mates, the eventual funeral of Simon Callow's character gave the film its most memorable moment. As his boyfriend, played by John Hannah, reads out WH Auden's Stop all the Clocks, you can almost hear a) everyone around you crying and b) Auden's estate frantically profiting from book sales.

The Royal Tenenbaums

The funeral of Gene Hackman's deceitful, scheming yet ultimately rather charming patriarch takes place in the quirky manner that you would expect from director Wes Anderson. There's a refreshing lack of black attire (save for the tracksuits worn by Ben Stiller and his identikit kids) and his absurdist gravestone inscription is pretty much exactly what we want on ours. Take note.

The Dark Knight

There aren't many movie villains who are evil and cunning enough to use the funeral of someone they've already killed (okay, memorial service) to wreak havoc and kill more people but The Joker is in a sick league of his own. This bravura sequence from the Best Superhero Movie Ever Made™ is quite easily the most exciting funeral we've ever seen. Oh and you get to see The Joker without make-up, which is kind of a big deal.

Heathers

A successful funeral lives, or ermmm, dies on the skill of the priest. In this scene from black comedy Heathers, we can see an archetype who we've all encountered at some point in our life, probably in school assembly. His contempt for the "MTV video games" and praise of that "righteous dude called Jesus" can partly be blamed for the selfish reactions of the teens who came to pay their respects.

My Girl

Okay so during Macaulay Culkin's heyday, we may have wished the odd bad thing upon him. But when his character actually died in My Girl, we took back our earlier cruel comments. Or at least we tried to, while also fighting off a random attack of dust that suddenly flew straight into our poor eyes...

(Image: YouTube)

Related

CRYSTAL__MEG_RYAN_CTL38226.jpg

Cinema's most memorable sandwiches

Mr Creosote.jpg

8 terrible movie restaurants

pilot_sweat.jpg

Cinema’s best sweaty moments

Comments

More

Guillermo Del Toro well and ends the speculation about Hellboy 3

Big Red fans, it's not good news

21 Feb 2017

The ShortList Alternative Oscars

The only awards that really matter

by Gary Ogden
20 Feb 2017

Is Love Actually actually shit or brilliant?

Two writers argue their case for the divisive 2003 rom-com

16 Feb 2017

The totally excellent 19 facts you never knew about Wayne’s World

No way? Way.

by Keyan Milanian
16 Feb 2017

Details of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi teaser trailer 'leaked'

If it's true, Star Wars fans are in for a treat

14 Feb 2017

The best dressed men from the 2017 EE BAFTAs

As sartorially sharp as Stephen Fry's wit

13 Feb 2017

Ken Loach delivered a rousing anti Tory speech at the BAFTAs

The veteran filmmaker criticised the “callous brutality” of Theresa May's government

by Joe Ellison
13 Feb 2017

The 7 best titles new to UK Netflix this week

Get these on your tellybox

10 Feb 2017

Watch John Wick's dog take its revenge in this hilarious viral parody

How the tables have turned

10 Feb 2017

Michael Keaton opens his heart: "Relationships are complicated"

ShortList talks love with the mercurial actor

by Ralph Jones
09 Feb 2017