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In The Dark Forest, p. 298, Cixin Liu's character, Rey Diaz, described a dead man's switch.

Rey Diaz brought down his left hand and covered the cradle with his sleeve. "I was taught this wonderful idea not by an expert in nuclear strategy but by an American film. In it, a man has one of those gadgets that sends out a continuous signal, but if his heart stops beating, the signal is terminated. Another man has a bomb strapped to him that's impossible to remove, and if the bomb doesn't receive the signal, it'll explode. So even though this hapless fool doesn't like the first guy, he has to do everything he can to protect him. . . .I like watching American blockbusters."

What is the American movie that this passage refers to?

  • 1
    Goodness, there are so many films with this plot. lol. Dredd, No Contest, Spawn, who knows how many, especially if Cixin Liu misremembered any detail or things like gender were lost in translation. Only the fact that someone could possibly get the answer directly from Liu is preventing this from being too broad. – Adamant Jun 7 at 3:32
  • Well, it would have to be a movie distributed before Cixin Liu's book was published in 2015. – Invisible Trihedron Jun 7 at 4:39
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    @InvisibleTrihedron that's just the translation. The original was published in 2008. – muru Jun 7 at 6:02
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    could be any number of films - the only way to know for certain will be to ask the author: tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DeadMansSwitch – NKCampbell Aug 13 at 14:09
5

This could be Saw III, an American blockbuster released in 2006.

The relevant part of the Wikipedia plot summary:

Dr. Lynn Denlon is abducted from the hospital where she works, and brought to the bedridden John Kramer. His apprentice, Amanda Young, locks a shotgun collar around Lynn's neck that is connected to John's heart rate monitor, and will detonate if John dies or Lynn moves out of range. She is instructed by Amanda to keep him alive until another victim has completed his game.

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