Saturday 23 October 2021

"Stay with me!" - the stupidest, commonest dramatic cliché in movies or TV

Somebody's is dying, somebody else cradles the head and pleads: "Stay with me!"

It's there in every movie or TV show that shows a hero's death. 

Because, of course, any soldier, doctor or nurse will confirm that a dying person can saved - even at the last moment - by a sufficiently persuasive and emphatic instruction to "Stay..." 


Joseph A. said...

I'll speak for the opposition. I think this type of scene is based on the idea that at a certain point near death, a person has the ability to give up the ghost. I believe that such is true, based on what I've heard from my mother and others who have worked with the dying. Tolkien's Numenorean man's decision to die when the time comes mirrors something from normal life -- or normal death. In these stories that annoy you, the hero is badly wounded -- and may decide that it's time to stop clinging to life. His faithful friends, of course, don't want to lose the hero. So, they encourage him to fight, to stay, to hang on . . . until their medicine or healing actions can assist. So, it's not stupid at all. An occasion for emotional indulgence -- of course. But not stupid.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Joseph - That isn't what is happening! How could it be, given the provenance?

"stay with me" is demonic in motivation - it is about the 'Hollywood' determination to ensure that they depict no Christian-compatible deaths, no chosen self-sacrificial deaths; no deaths when the person dying is 'ready' to cross the threshold and chooses to die.

Every death can and should be resisted with rising hysteria, every voluntary and loving self-sacrifice should (if at all possible) be thwarted/ delayed.

The idea being propagated by the media is almost the opposite of what you suggest - it is that death ought to be fought, every inch of the way, by all means possible - by everyone; because after death nothing can be.

Pam Browne said...

Yes I agree with you Bruce, I’ve often watched the dying of an individual on tv and thought you are showing a ‘death’ with nothing at the end. I’ve never heard anyone say, do you believe in Jesus Christ? Do you believe in a Saviour? The tv only shows dying as if there’s nothing afterwards, which shows you satan’s plan.

Evan Pangburn said...

The fact that this happens constantly in movies etc. is unfortunate, but the real crime is that I've seen videos of cops here in the US doing exactly this (sans the cradling) using those exact words, "stay with me!" after they have shot a suspect.

The shootings may have been justified in some cases, but that's a cruel and unusual form of punishment. Not only are the cops going to shoot you, but the last sound you hear will be them shouting movie clichés at you.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Evan - Yikes! But I've seen the amazing way that bad turns of phrase can become near universal in a short time, and then become habitual cliches.

A small example - When I ask "Can I have a 'large cappuccino", the barista nowadays responds 'Of *course* you can' - as if he was soothing a demanding child, or as if I was in some doubt as to whether a coffee shop would sell me coffee.

This phrase suddenly became near universal (in my world) over a space of weeks, and then stayed - and I guess that people 'don't think about it' anymore. I guess it must have come either from TV/ Movies or social media.