Landmark Deaths

 

Famous buildings, monuments, or places can dramatically enrich a movie’s plot. Well-known surroundings put additional thrill into a film’s action. But, tragic events set against a familiar background multiplies this effect still further. Matters of life and death are felt particularly stronger, when filmmakers decide to stage them among landmarks.

Soviet political thriller «Миссия в Кабуле» (Mission in Kabul, directed by Leonid Kvinikhidze, produced by Lenfilm Studios, 1970) is remarkable for a duel in front of the two colossal sculptures of Buddha in Bamian, which were destroyed in 2001 by Taliban barbarians. One of the duellers has been mortally shot. Hong Kong’s martial arts classic Way of the Dragon (directed by Bruce Lee, produced by Golden Harvest Media Asia, 1972) contains a legendary fight between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris, which took place inside the Colosseum, Rome. An American karate expert, portrayed by Norris, has been fatally outfought by a Chinese kungfu fighter, played by Lee. US saga about a giant ape King Kong (directed by John Guillermin, produced by Paramount Pictures, 1976) culminates with its death at the World Trade Center. The poor creature dies after an ill-fated encounter with helicopter gunships.

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