I was having a discussion about this with a colleague, who claimed that Evil Dead (1981) was the first film he knew of that had all the main characters die off. However he forgot that Mia survives that film.

This got me thinking - what is the earliest film that has every single "good" character die before the end? Not just the "bad guys" winning, but a total wipe of the characters.

  • 1
    Interesting question. Invasion of the Body Snatchers, (Donald Sutherland/Leonard Nimoy version), you never saw the last character die but it was implied. Reservoir Dogs (does that count?). On the Beach (1959) - been a long time since I saw it. Do apocalyptic movies count? That type of plot is quite rare. Hamlet? Romeo and Juliet? (I'll stop now).
    – userLTK
    Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 20:52

1 Answer 1


Most likely All Quiet on the Western Front (1930). All of the main characters die during battle.

If you want a movie where everyone dies, it might be Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970). That movie ends with the destruction of Earth by a nuclear weapon.

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