On the Waterfront (1954) is a movie classic and a winner of eight academy awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Marlon Brando) and Best Director (Elia Kazan).
In the movie protagonist Terry Malloy (Brando) fights against corruption in the docks. There is a scene in the movie where some workers unload a shipment of Jameson whisky from a ship.
At one moment some pallets fall on one of the guys, which caused probably the first death by product placement in the film history and one of rare scenes of death by whisky.
At that time (in the early fifties) product placement was done the old school way – producers bought or borrowed some items (in our case whisky) and used them as props. It could also go the other way – it that case manufacturers provided their own products for some seconds of screen time.
For example, in the movie we could see a box with Coca-Cola‘s logo.
But the more interesting placement is the position of the Paddy whisky bottle. It has considerate screen time and is in plain sight (trivia: the label on the bottle changes orientation in every other shot when Johnny Friendly is telling Charlie to straighten out his brother).
Do you remember any other deaths caused by product placement (cars and guns excluded)?