The End



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  • The End

    I've seen topics on this board regarding the importance of titles, opening scenes, first ten pages, etc., but nothing on what makes a great ENDING. "Last impressions" is key; one of my biggest film-viewing disappointments is when a movie seduces me at its start only to conclude with an impotent and/or unsatisfying conclusion. Major letdown.

    I throw this query out to you, the experts of filmdom: What movies and/or scripts have you seen and/or read that left you with either a great sense of satisfaction or (ugh) severely wanting? (i.e., what movies had, for you, either GREAT endings or, conversely, endings that totally SUCKED?

  • #2
    This Is The End

    I thought EXOTICA had a great end. The film is like a jigsaw puzzle, with the end being that final piece that lets us see the whole picture for the first time.

    SE7EN - similar type of end: lots of twists, revalations, information. (I'm not a big fan of the movie, but the end was great).

    I love the ends to the Huston version of THE MALTESE FALCON and TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE.

    I think a good end hits you with something. An emotion, a twist, irony... it's a punchline.

    - Bill


    • #3
      Re: This Is The End


      Your reply jived with my own sentiments re: "what makes a great ending?", as you stated:

      "...An emotion, a twist, irony... it's a punchline."

      I can think of a couple movies that created for me a satisfying emotion, making the film or script wholly memorable:

      1. American Beauty
      2. As Good As It Gets
      3. Jerry Maguire

      In the case of all three above, the emphasis would be on "an emotion" as to what these three great from beginning to glorious end.


      • #4
        Re: This Is The End

        Trivial B.S.: The word which is missing in the last sentence of my previous post is "made."

        "In the case of all three above, the emphasis would be on "an emotion" as to what MADE these three great from beginning to glorious end."


        • #5
          Re: This Is The End

          The most disappointing ending for me was in "Thelma and Louise". The movie seemed to be going in a good direction, and then it's as if the writer (or whoever) didn't know how to end the story, and took the easy way out. Better than a "deus ex machina" rescue of the women, I suppose, but still unrewarding to me as a viewer.

          When Butch Cassidy and Sundance burst into the street at the end of that movie, it seemed like the only thing they could do, and hell I even thought they might be able to pull it off! Not so in TnL.

          I am not a subscriber to the Hollywood Happy Endings Only rule, but I do expect to be moved or fulfilled.

          Bill M.


          • #6
            Re: This Is The End

            Don't you dare. Ending a little crazy, granted, but T & L, a cry for freedom women understood and apparently some men liked the "kick ass girls." A movie that transcended any problems.

            A male friend said to me "It's just a buddy film." I said "Yeah, but it's about girls."



            • #7
              Re: This Is The End


              That's my point! The movie had these kick-ass women, and then the only way out of this mess they're in is - SUICIDE? Gimme a break.

              Better to have them arrested, and then walking in handcuffs defiantly toward the police car while bystanders and onlookers slowly start to applaud the women to the dismay of the police.

              We had a real life case in Sonoma County Calif. where a woman went into a courtroom and shot to death the smirking man who had molested her son. Was her action good, or even justifiable? I won't be the judge, but she has quite a vocal following of support, from both men and women. Adding to the drama, this woman was diagnosed with terminal cancer while in prison.

              Bill M., in touch with his feminine side


              • #8
                Re: This Is The End

                Great endings:

                Citizen Kane
                Touch of Evil
                The Old Dark House
                X-The Man With the X-Ray Eyes
                Angel Heart
                Once upon a Time in the West
                The Dirty Dozen
                Hilary and Jackie
                Night of the Living Dead (gutsy and symbolic)
                (original) Invisible Man
                (original) Phantom of the Opera

                Horrid Endings:

                Eveything involving Clive Barker
                Almost any movie any frat-boy likes
                The Piano
                Mary Reilly, Mary Reilly
                War of the Worlds
                Anything by Lucas (Joseph Campbell was a hack)


                • #9
                  t&l and endings (not necessarily related)

                  for an interesting and enlightening take on thelma and louise, check out jim emerson's discussion of the film at

                  endings: little quote below alludes to knowing the ending before you start as being half the battle - the other half is to make it work... it doesn't have to be a twist or a reveal, but if that fits then do it if you can make it work - always great to be fooled

                  off the top of my head, some of my favourite endings?
                  the usual suspects
                  run lola run
                  reservoir dogs

                  again off the top, some least favourites?
                  raiders of the lost arc (nazis and religous flesh-sucking ghosts? ?? ?? but the VERY end was ok-ish)

                  side note to leandro: you can edit your messages (just click on 'edit' when you reload the page where you posted


                  • #10
                    I love endings!!!

                    Endings are that little bit of frosting on the cake you never new existed until getting to the last little piece, or the final peanut in the bag, overflowing with the salt and flavour of its long departed brothers.

                    I just love endings.

                    To name a few.

                    1. Fight club (for the absolutely awesome plot twist)
                    2. The sixth sense ( again for the plot twist)
                    3. U-turn ( the irony of the situation )
                    4. American Beauty ( the fact that he found himself )
                    5. Empire strikes back ( Luke I am your father )
                    6. Matrix ( He is the one )
                    7. seven ( I thought good guys always win )
                    8. Aliens ( did the queen say it was over? )
                    9. Titanic ( don't laugh I know you all hate this movie but I cried, I like melo drama.

                    Well I know we all have our different opinions on what makes a good ending, and I know that some of you will completely think I am a newbie moron, but thats the nice thing about other peoples opinions if everyone had the same one, we would all be cliche.

                    Your friendly neighborhood Cineman


                    • #11

                      we knew he was the one.
                      from the start.
                      didn't we?

                      after all, it was keanu, not clint howard


                      • #12
                        Re: matrix?

                        I agree with Bill on T$L. I hated the end. A friend of mine said they didn't see it as necessarily that they died, that it was possible that they survived by landing on a ledge,.... (in Hollywood all things are possible). I didn't see it that way and hated the end.

                        I liked the end of "Body Heat," "Good As It Gets," "Sixth Sense," I'm sure there are others, but it's 6:30 am.


                        • #13
                          "War of the Roses." Happy? No. Effective and consistent with the movie (and morbidly funny)? Yes.


                          • #14

                            The Usual Suspects had the best ending I've ever seen.


                            • #15
                              Re: Endings

                              I can't believe none of you even mentioned Arlington Road. I admit the movie did drag in a few places, but it generally kept you going. The end was very surprising in my opinion and worked quite well on the emotional level. I must agree with Bill on the Happy Endings only issue.