Describe this scenario
September 1, 2004 6:24 AM   Subscribe

Of late, I've been nagged by memories of movies and books featuring a particular kind of turn-about-of-fate scenario. I'm needing a list, I think. I'll try to describe the situation: [more inside]

You have Group A and you have Group B. Group A are the good guys, possibly a rebellious faction, and Group B are the bad guys -- typically authoritarian. Through some unfortunate circumstance, Group A loses (tragically) one of their own (through capture, supposed death), a respected/beloved member of their group. Then, right at the denouement of our story, Group A is confronted in by an overwhelming force from Group B -- a force led by that very same beloved member. It isn't betrayal, but something far more tragic, like a forced conversion or a brainwashing.

So I've been making a mental list of these kinds of films, books, comics, games, hoping to stumble upon the one in specific that is at the heart of this nagging. Anyone have any ideas?
posted by grabbingsand to Media & Arts (12 answers total)
Blake's 7 is sort of like this.
posted by seanyboy at 6:43 AM on September 1, 2004

I don't want to ruin anything, but Grant Morrison's Invisibles graphic novel series has similar plot elements in a couple of places-- although it doesn't play out nearly as straightforward as all that. Email me via profile if you want spoiler-ish details.
posted by samh23 at 6:50 AM on September 1, 2004

The Star Trek: TNG "Best of Both Worlds" storyline would seem to fit the bill.
posted by Cyrano at 7:56 AM on September 1, 2004

Night of the Living Dead has a similar denouement.
posted by SPrintF at 8:03 AM on September 1, 2004

Star Wars Episodes I to V.
posted by nthdegx at 8:09 AM on September 1, 2004

It's somewhat removed from what you're describing, but you might find Sliding Doors to be an interesting variation on that theme.

And of course, 1984 has to be the classic example of what you're describing. The whole Star Wars saga revolves around this idea. The Searchers could be considered a variation on this theme.

(on preview--damn you, nthdeeeeeeeeeeeegx!)
posted by adamrice at 8:19 AM on September 1, 2004

Face/off is a variation of this.

Hmm. Manchurian candidate?
End of days
Usual Suspects
Crouching tiger
Mission Impossible (the first film)

Really this hits the Campbell/Vogler mythic structure, where in Act 1, the call to adventure, someone close to our hero dies. Later this person in the bottom of Act 2, find that our close person betrayed us.
posted by filmgeek at 9:31 AM on September 1, 2004

Urinetown: The Musical is kinda similar:

Group A are ostensibly the good guys, the oppressed masses "yearning to pee free", and are fighting Group B, the capitalist Authority Figures who run the for-pay toilets all around town. Group A kidnaps the daughter of the head of Group B, and after debating whether to kill her, she converts to their side and leads the charge against her dad and his company. And then (spoiler!) we learn that Group B wasn't so bad after all, and that their methods, though harsh, were preventing an environmental catastrophe. And Group A ends up doing some really nasty things, not really mitigated by their good intentions, and they all pretty much end up dead.

So, there's a forced conversion, sorta, but by the good guys, who aren't really all that good.

The show is excellent, by the way. A dark parody of Bertold Brecht/Marc Blitzstein/Kurt Weill/Harold Rome shows from the 1930's and 1940's, with a twist. And great songs.
posted by Asparagirl at 9:45 AM on September 1, 2004

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, more or less. (Although the turned character isn't exactly "leading" the bad guys.)

The Babylon 5 arc that has Bester controlling Garibaldi. (Sorry, can't name specific episodes.)

Star Wars Episodes I to V.

I suppose we can't be sure until we see episode III, but it seems that this was a choice, not a brainwashing/forced conversion kind of thing.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:51 AM on September 1, 2004

Pirates of Penzance
posted by joaquim at 11:13 AM on September 1, 2004

The Wild Bunch
posted by Gortuk at 3:14 PM on September 1, 2004

The initially sympathetic Scottish king in Braveheart turns up later, masked behind his armor, in the company of the king of England. Really takes Gibson's legs out from under him when he finds out.
posted by speedo at 2:25 PM on September 2, 2004

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