Why Did They Kill Danny American History X?

American History X is a powerful movie that delves into the world of hate and racism. The film tells the story of Derek Vinyard, a former neo-Nazi who tries to prevent his younger brother Danny from going down the same path.

However, despite Derek’s efforts, Danny ultimately meets a tragic end. Many viewers were left wondering why did they kill Danny American History X? Let’s explore this question in detail.

The Plot of American History X

American History X is set in Venice Beach, California and follows the life of Derek Vinyard (played by Edward Norton) and his younger brother Danny (played by Edward Furlong). The movie begins with Derek being released from prison after serving three years for voluntary manslaughter. In prison, Derek was recruited by a white supremacist group, which he became heavily involved with and rose through the ranks.

Upon his release, Derek realizes that the ideology he once believed in was flawed and dangerous. He tries to prevent his younger brother from getting involved in the same group and changing his views on race. However, despite his efforts, Danny still winds up joining the group.

The Tragic End of Danny

The climax of American History X sees Danny shot dead by an African-American student whom he had previously assaulted in school. The shooting takes place just moments after Danny had written an essay for his English class about how he admired Adolf Hitler and believed that whites were superior to all other races.

Many viewers were left confused as to why they killed off such an important character like Danny. The answer lies in the message that director Tony Kaye wanted to convey through this movie.

The Message Behind American History X

American History X is not just a movie about racism; it’s also about redemption and second chances. The film shows how easy it is for people to get caught up with hate groups and succumb to their propaganda. However, it also shows that people can change and that they can seek redemption for their past mistakes.

Danny’s death serves as a reminder of the tragic consequences of hate and racism. It shows that even young people who are still learning about the world around them can be heavily influenced by dangerous ideologies. The movie was intended to be a cautionary tale to prevent others from going down the same path as Danny and Derek.

The Importance of Visual Storytelling

One of the reasons why American History X is such a powerful movie is because of its use of visual storytelling. The film employs various techniques such as black and white flashbacks, slow-motion shots, and voiceovers to convey its message effectively. The use of these elements helps to engage viewers emotionally and makes them more invested in the story.

The movie also uses stark visual contrasts between whites and blacks to emphasize the divide between the two races. It shows how this divide leads to violence, hate, and ultimately tragedy.


In conclusion, American History X is a thought-provoking movie that explores the themes of hate, racism, redemption, and second chances. While Danny’s death may have been shocking for some viewers, it was an essential part of conveying the film’s message about the dangers of hate groups.

The movie serves as a reminder that we all have a responsibility to combat racism and hate in our communities. It also highlights how powerful visual storytelling can be in conveying important messages effectively.