Half-remembered movie scene of interesting stagecraft
October 8, 2021 2:58 PM   Subscribe

I will attempt to describe a half-remembered movie scene in the hope that someone out there will recognize it and tell me where it's from. Pretty sure the movie was set in N America or Europe. The scene is of a stage play that happens in the course of the film. A character in the play is mortally wounded and falls to the floor...

A pool of blood spreads out from under his body, but--and here's the salient bit--the blood is actually dark red cloth that's being pulled out (presumably by strings). As I recall, the camera views this from above the action, not from the theater audience's pov. Is this ringing any bells?

I thought this might have been in The Untouchables (1987) but I just rewatched it; there's a scene with certain similarities (filmed from above, blood spreading out) but it's "real" blood, not clever stagecraftery. So my remembered scene might be a combination of Untouchables and something else, idk.
posted by mpark to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe a version of Hamlet, or A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They each contain a play-within-a-play where someone gets stabbed, and a cool stagecraft death scene would make sense.

Also seems like a directorial choice Julie Taymor might make...?
posted by nouvelle-personne at 3:16 PM on October 8, 2021

That does ring a bell. I agree on Hamlet, and it sounds like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, the movie based on the play which the offstage plots of Hamlet, but which also features the players of that story.

The other thing that comes to mind is "The Fall," a film by Tarsem, which is half set in a 1940s Los Angeles hospital and half the fantasy of a young girl being told an adventure by another patient, and while both halves have Tarsem's usual visual flair, the fantasy side is color-rich and has a lot of practical visual tricks to maximize the use of in-camera effects, rather than computer effects.
posted by Sunburnt at 3:27 PM on October 8, 2021 [3 favorites]

This might happen in a play-within-the-play in the 1990 film of Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.
posted by moonmilk at 3:40 PM on October 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

I'm fairly sure this scene happened in the movie "Shakespeare in Love" - the actors are staging a play and one is stabbed. As the aggressor removes the knife, the actor brings a hand up to the "wound" and a tightly pressed ball of red silk sort of tumbles through his fingers as the "blood". I cannot find the movie on a streaming service so I cant tell you precisely where the scene is but I'm certain it is this movie as I remember it vividly as sort of a "Ohh...early special effects!" sort of moment.
posted by ninazer0 at 4:43 PM on October 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

Here , at 42:34, is a "bloody" scene in "Shakespeare in Love".
posted by SageTrail at 5:13 PM on October 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: The Talented Mr Ripley!
posted by sixswitch at 5:17 PM on October 8, 2021 [12 favorites]

Best answer: I also came in here to cite that scene in The Talented Mr. Ripley.
posted by BlahLaLa at 5:36 PM on October 8, 2021

Response by poster: Yes! Thank you sixswitch!
posted by mpark at 8:44 PM on October 8, 2021

« Older I want to send a poker chip into space   |   Can I get information about this ACH trace number? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments