Done badly, a film death will leave us cold, or possibly even giggling.
But done well and we will be sobbing soggily into our popcorn long after the credits have finished rolling.
A new poll has revealed the most moving and memorable demises of the big-screen, from the gory last moments of Janet Leigh in Psycho to the frankly traumatic passing of Bambi's mum in the 1942 childhood classic.
The survey of 2,246 British adults - split evenly between men and women - put the death of Mufasa in The Lion King at the top of the list when it comes to the most indelible film farewells.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Titanic's Jack - aka Leonardo DiCaprio - comes second. We remember crying buckets back in our teen days, as we watched Jack slip away from Rose's grasp into the cold Atlantic ocean (and OK, we still might shed a tear or two over it now).
Another DiCaprio flick also makes the cut, in the form of the most famous literary double suicide of all time. Baz Luhrmann's 1996 adaptation of Romeo & Juliet ranks fifth on the list, thanks to its tender portrayal of the final moments of Claire Danes and her star-crossed lover. And who could forget the moment poor old Kane became impregnated by a Facehugger in Alien? Needless to say, that grisly end note puts in an appearance.
Come take a look at these, plus other famous film deaths that made the shortlist, with our YouTube clips below. Spoiler alert! Don't read on or watch if you don't want to find out what happens in said films...
1. Mufasa: The Lion King (45% of the vote)
2. Jack Dawson: Titanic (39%)
3. Marion Crane: Psycho (37%)
4. Noah & Allie: The Notebook (34%)
5. Romeo and Juliet: Romeo & Juliet (26%)
6. Bambi’s Mother: Bambi (23%)
7. John Coffey: The Green Mile (21%)
8. Kane: Alien (18%)
9. Sgt. Elias: Platoon (14%)
10. Sergeant Howie: The Wicker Man (11%)
Poll compiled by funeral providers Perfect Choice