The Statue of Liberty stands for American hopes and dreams, an emblem of both New York City and the American gateway. That's precisely why so many film directors and video game creators love to smash Lady Liberty to bits. But who do you think did the best job of damaging or destroying the Statue of Liberty?
What's especially interesting about Lady Liberty isn't that she's been destroyed so many times, but how many odd events she survives. She's drowned and then frozen in the The Day After Tomorrow, but is still seen standing. And in one of her earliest movie roles, 1933's disaster movie Deluge, the entirety of New York City collapses as the water levels rise. Though we see waves lapping at the Statue of Liberty throughout the scene, she's still very much intact by the end of it. She's been hurled as a missile by Nuclearman in Superman IV (and had her torch damaged in the Richard Donner cut of Superman II) and served as a battlefield in X-Men. We've seen her under water in AI: Artificial Intelligence, and her torch damaged in everything from National Lampoon's European Vacation to Futurama. She was brought to life and then left lying in the street at the end of Ghostbusters II, only to turn up on her pedestal again none the worse for wear. And that top image comes from the Escape from New York movie poster, even though in the actual film, she's very much intact.
But here are the times she's been seriously mutilated, decapitated, and busted into coppery bits:
Planet of the Apes (1968): Okay, we don't actually see how part of the Statue of Liberty ends up on a beach in the ape-controlled future. But this one is too iconic to leave off the list. Perhaps we'll see her charred and severed in a sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Spaceballs (1987): Not the real Statue of Liberty, but a close copy, is demolished in Mel Brooks' scifi parody. After Spaceball One transforms into the atmosphere-stealing Mega Maid, it self-destructs, sending its head and arm flying through space and onto a nearby planet, leading to a spoof of the scene above.
Mobile Fighter G Gundam (1994): Granted, she wasn't in great shape to begin with, but what possessed Domon Kasshu to hide his Shining Gundam inside the remains of the Statue of Liberty?
Batman Forever (1995): Lady Gotham (a clear clone of Lady Liberty) gets a bit of an unfortunate makeover when Two-Face aims his helicopter right for her face.
Independence Day (1996): A great many famous buildings and landmarks fall to the alien fleet in Independence Day. We don't see the Statue of Liberty's initial toasting, but we later see her lying facedown in the drink.
Deep Impact (1998): Another pan-monumental catastrophe, this movie shows the Statue torn to bits after a meteor creates an enormous tsunami.
Aftershock: Earthquake in New York (1999): When the Statue falls at the start of this miniseries, her base crumbles, but she merely topples over.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 (2000): After the Soviet Union topples the Statue in this game, they use her fallen face in their propaganda. But if the Soviets thought the sight of a battered Liberty would be bad for US morale, they were terrifically mistaken; all they did was make the US forces intent on revenge.
Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning (2005): When the Soviet Union gets a hold of Star Trek-era technology, it quickly conquerors the world and humbles America by taking out the Statue of Liberty with a single photon torpedo.
World in Conflict (2007): If the Soviet attackers have their way in this game, the Statue of Liberty might find herself on the wrong end of a Soviet bomb, in which case she will quite literally fall to pieces.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (2008): At the end of the Soviet campaign, you get to take on the role of the Statue of Liberty's destroyer, blowing her up so you can replace her with a freshly made statue of Lenin.
Cloverfield (2008): You knew something big and bad was on the loose in New York before this moment, but once you see Lady Liberty's bashed-in head skidding down the street, you know that not many folk are going to make it out of this thing alive.