Assassinated By: Dr. Adam Stanton
Cause of Death: Shot in the chest and gut at point blank range
In All The King's Men, Sean Penn plays Willie Stark, a fictional character based upon 1930s Louisiana governor Huey Long. Like Long, Stark makes several enemies with his populist ideas, which leads to his assassination inside the state capitol building at the hands of a disgruntled former associate (played by Mark Ruffalo). As Stark is dying, his assailant is also gunned down.
Renowned Hollywood screenwriter Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List, American Gangster) directed All The King's Men, and his use of contrasting color and black-and-white during the assassination scene is off-kilter yet inspired. The same can't be said for the sequence's last shot, however, a hokey shot of Stark's blood flowing into his killer's within a tile crack on the floor. Fortunately, Zaillian didn't punctuate the moment with images of Penn and Ruffalo frolicking together in the clouds.