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The 50 Most Hard-To-Watch Scenes in Movie History

12. Arm Amputation

Movie: 127 Hours (2010)
Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: James Franco, Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn

You know it's coming. That's what the whole movie is for: the arm-cutting scene. Everything that happens before the amputation—the climber, Aron Ralston (played by James Franco), embarking on his hiking trip, meeting a couple girls, and falling in between a canyon, his arm trapped under a rock—is just one long prelude until that scene.

Stuck for a few days without any sign of relief, Ralston decides to saw his arm off. Slowly, he chips away, poking and proding at his forearm with a dull knife, as flashes to his unborn son alternate with glimpses of veins being severed. With one last tug, he's able to free himself, the rest of his appendage left beneath the boulder, and the nub of his arm hanging down. —TA

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