Written by Matilda Mornane.
Betrayals can make or break a film. They can be expected, awful, surprising and heartbreaking, but they are always just a little bit exciting. Here’s my list of Top Ten Movie Betrayals. The list includes (MAJOR) spoilers, so don’t read on if you haven’t seen any of the films listed below.
10. Double Jeopardy (1999) ““ Nick x Libby
This film is a classic 90s thriller with a great cast. Libby is happily married to a rich, charismatic (and ultimate bad husband) Nick, with their adorable son Matty. They go for a nice cruise on their boat, have a little wine and do other fun things that rich people do on boats. Libby wakes up in the middle of the night feeling groggy and covered in blood, with her husband having disappeared. She is tried and convicted for Nick’s murder, but a chance phone conversation leads her to believe that Nick isn’t actually dead. A fellow convict tells Libby that you can’t be convicted of the same crime twice. Naturally, Libby sets out to kill her scum husband and take their cute son back, with a detective (Tommy Lee Jones) on her tail.
9. Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)”“ Peter Pettigrew x Sirius Black
So, we never actually see the real betrayal, but we hear all about it in the Shrieking Shack, when both Sirius and Peter appear after 12 years apart. If you know Harry Potter, you know that Pettigrew is a spineless little ““ for lack of a better word ““ rat, who betrayed Harry’s parents to Lord Voldemort, and then got Harry’s parent’s best friend, Sirius, sent to Azkaban (wizard prison) for their murders. Peter spent the next 12 years living as Percy and then Ron Weasley’s pet rat.
8. Atonement (2007) ““ Briony x Robbie (& Cecilia by default)
Briony is a young girl from an affluent family who becomes confused and somewhat obsessed by the relationship that forms between her sister, Cecilia, and the housekeeper’s son, Robbie. Spurred on by her wild imagination and misconception of events, she falsely accuses him of raping her cousin. Robbie is sent to jail and then to serve in the Second World War. It’s a pretty huge betrayal, but the silver lining is present in the narration, which is spoken by Briony herself, who is now much older and is trying to make amends for the mistake she made.
7. Gladiator (2000) ““ Commodus x Maximus
Maximus is a general in the Roman Army, adored by the Emperor to the point that he is to be granted temporary leadership of Rome, instead of Commodus, the Emperor’s actual son. In a rage, Commodus murders the Emperor and orders the execution of Maximus and his family. Maximus survives, setting off a series of events in which he becomes a gladiator who can ultimately take vengeance, while giving peace and power to the people of Rome.
6. Carrie (1976) ““ The ‘Cool’ Kids x Carrie
This film is basically a warning to kids who bully their weird outcasts. It reads like this: don’t invite them to prom and drop a bucket of pig’s blood on them. They may turn out to have telekinetic powers, which they then use to lock you indoors and set fire to the school you’re trapped in, killing you all very slowly. They probably also spent their whole lives with a psychotic, religious fanatic for a mother who basically tortures them every day– Yeah. How’s that for a warning? Poor Carrie was betrayed, but she ultimately got her revenge.
5. Star Wars ““ Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader
Of course, this had to be included. The whole time (and by that I mean the first three films, made fifteen years after the last three) you’re rooting for this underdog, Anakin Skywalker, to rise up, master the Force and defeat evil ““ and then he goes and turns into the worst bad guy ever! A betrayal if I ever saw one.
4. The Lion King (1994) ““ Scar x Mufasa
Ah, the ultimate betrayal. I can still remember being a child, crying my eyes out as Simba tries to wake up his father after Mufasa has been thrown by HIS OWN BROTHER, Scar, into a herd of running wildebeest. It is an absolutely heartbreaking moment, which is kind of characteristic of Disney films (Bambi and his mother anyone?). This betrayal was a pivotal moment of my childhood (and of many other 90s kids, I’m sure).
3. Scream 1-4 ““ Ghostface(s) x Sidney Prescott
Sidney Prescott has really, really bad luck. Either that or she just knows all kinds of wrong people. In the first Scream, her own boyfriend and his best friend are trying to kill her. In Scream 2, she’s betrayed again by her new boyfriend’s best friend and (kind of) by her dead ex-boyfriend’s mother (Billy, from the first film). Number 3 sees Sidney’s half brother (also her mother’s illegitimate son) trying to kill her because, well– why not? That’s what she’s become used to by now. And last, but not least, Scream 4 has Jill, Sidney’s cousin, betraying her. Jill is not only jealous of the attention Sidney gets, but also has a weird wish to become famous for being the only survivor of a Ghostface attack. Nice.
2. Kill Bill: Part 1 & 2″“ Everyone x The Bride
By “everyone”, I mean Bill, O-Ren Ishii, Vernita Green, Elle Driver and Budd, who together, killed The Bride’s entire bridal party, put her in a coma, and took her baby. Ouch. Beatrix, or The Bride, is betrayed by everyone she left behind in the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, including the father of her child, Bill. She spends the two violent films seeking revenge on everyone who betrayed her, ultimately finding the man who instigated it all, exacting justice and taking her child back.
1. Fight Club ““ Tyler Durden x Tyler Durden
Ah, the classic ‘I haven’t noticed I’ve invented a personality of myself who is everything I really wish I was and am now watching him act out a plan to wreak havoc on the city I live in’ storyline.
Wait– what? Yes, ‘The Narrator’ as he is so-called, spends the entire film believing that he has met an exciting, and psychotic, new friend, unaware that it’s actually HIM who is committing these acts. But the real betrayal of the film comes when the imagined Tyler Durden turns on ‘The Narrator’, who then shoots himself and kills the imagined Tyler Durden. I’m afraid you’ll have to watch this one a few times to understand the brilliant plot-line. This one made number 1 because of the absurdity of the betrayal and how much the film fooled me until the very last scene.
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