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'Self-amputation' scene in Danny Boyle's 127 Hours disturbs cinema audiences

Five of the best self-surgery scenes in film

127 Hours

James Franco as mountain climber Aron Ralston in 127 Hours.

Danny Boyle's new film 127 Hours has been met with much critical acclaim after its US premiere. While it isn't out in the UK until January, the buzz has still been brewing just as much.

Panic attacks have been reported as a result of the climactic arm amputation scene portrayed by James Franco, who plays Aron Ralston in the biopic of a trapped mountain climber left on his own for five days.

Graphic self-surgery is a sure fire way of ensuring a film's bite, from The Terminator's disposable eye to Harrison Ford straightening his broken fingers in Blade Runner. So in anticipation of 127 Hours, here's a list of five of the best self-surgery scenes in film.

Self Surgery

Rambo: First Blood

Ironically one of the less exciting scenes in the film, the image of watching Sylvester sew an open wound in his own arm is still etched in viewer's minds today. It's a long way from Scouts preparation for Rambo as he makes use of his trusty toolkit for this painful procedure.

Pan's Labyrinth

What's so painful about watching Captain Vidal sew his own cheek back together isn't just the operation itself, but watching the villain, who we thought had been taken down, heal himself without any effort. The scene is regarded as one of Sergi López's best of the film.

No Country for Old Men

Javier Bardem's character Anton Chigurh is one of the best psychos in modern cinema. His impenetrability and ruthlessness are two of his most defining villainous qualities, and in no scene are we given more of an insight into his humanity than when he has to inflict pain upon himself.

Cast Away

Self-removal of aching tooth -using a rock. The tension and slow realisation of what stranded Chuck Nolan is doing is what makes this scene so nail-biting. Not generally thought of as Hanks' best film but a powerful scene nonetheless.


He might be a robot, but watching Wall-E fend for himself as he transfers his spare parts gives the character more humanity than Captain Vidal or Anton Chigurh ever had.

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