Great movie endings
Sometimes the ending of a movie can elevate it to another level – think of The Bridge On The River Kwai, Casablanca and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest to name a few classics.
So the following 3 selections are from lesser known films that have an outstanding ending/climax.
With the release in 1995 of the superb crime thriller The Usual Suspects it introduced the movie world a couple of new great talents in actor Kevin Spacey and writer Christopher McQarrie.
The film follows the interrogation of Roger “Verbal” Kint, a small-time crook, who is one of only two survivors of a massacre and fire on a ship docked at the Port of Los Angeles. Through narration and flashback, Kint tells the interrogator a convoluted story of events that led him and his criminal companions to the boat, and of a mysterious crime lord – known as Keyser Soze – who controlled them.
The final revelation of who was Keyser Soze is a masterful juxtaposition of editing, sound mixing and a total surprise for the audience as to who was the mysterious master crime lord.
In 1978 saw an excellent remake of the classic science-fiction thriller Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, starring Donald Sutherland.
The updated plot involves a San Francisco health inspector and his colleague who over the course of a few days discover that humans are being replaced by alien duplicates; each is a perfect copy of the person replaced, but devoid of human emotion.
Donald Sutherland as the health inspector manages to evade being replaced and returns to work . . .
And finally, in 1971 came the release of Luchino Visconti’s haunting adaption of Thomas Mann’s classic novella Death In Venice.
The film, set at the turn of the century, stars Dirk Bogarde as composer Gustav von Aschenbach who travels to Venice for rest, due to serious health concerns. In Venice, he becomes obsessed with the stunning beauty of an adolescent boy named Tadzio, who is staying with his family at the same hotel as Achenbach.
In the climactic scene, a dying Aschenbach sees Tadzio at the beach, and to the setting of Mahler’s marvellous Adagietto from his 5th Symphony, we see him die in a scene of stunning beauty.
So, what are other great film endings/climaxes that Cat enjoyed and/or found memorable ?
38 thoughts on “WolfmanOz at the Movies #45”
Nothing goes past the “Last of the Mohicans”. It is a self contained mini-movie, high drama, tragedy, magnificent scenery, magnificent music.
Top pick Boxcar.
Wolf, another move with an outstanding ending is “The Conversation”, made in 1973 or 1974 directed by Francis Ford Coppola with Gene Hackman and John Cazale.
I also liked the ending of The Others (loosely based on The Turn of the Screw).
Yes Cassie the ending of The Conversation where a paranoid Gene Hackman destroys his apartment in trying to find surveillance bugs is very memorable.
Good suggestion re The Others a little gem of a ghost story – someone else has heard/seen it !
Going to be near impossible to top the last of the Mohicans, near perfect scene.
For a change of pace, the end of Brazil, Lam is busted out of the ministry??
Barrie Mackenzie, 1972. Lots of blokes drinking Fosters, pissing on a fire to put it out.
The ending of Fellini’s Satyricon is worth a mention. The film is about the decadence of the late Roman empire.
One of the characters, the obese, ugly and very rich Trimalchio, dies. He has always been surrounded by sycophants hoping to get a few crumbs off his groaning tables, and ultimately his inheritance.
When the will is read, he duly divides his estate between these parasites, on one condition.
Together, they must eat his revolting corpse, or they get nothing.
The final scene shows them all munching grimly away. As one of them says – ‘A lifetime of riches is worth a night’s indigestion.’
One of my top five movies, BTW.
For sheer sadness, the last sequence of Atonement. And directorial sleight of hand has to go to The Sixth Sense.
My teenage son and I had a running joke about The Usual Suspects, a movie we watched together and both really liked.
Keyser Soze was blamed for everything, from missing sports equipment to late trains to indelible marks on uniforms. The invisible fiend!
What about The Sixth Sense? Hardly anyone picked it, I certainly didn’t. Watch it for the second time and it makes perfect sense. Beautifully done.
Oh, okay Calli. You got there first.
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
I was thinking of The Other not The Others.
I digress a little, I recently renewed my membership with Verona cinemas. I actually want to go the movies more often but there’s not a lot that interests me or entices me*, it’s slim pickings. I don’t want to go along, pay good money and then be lectured to and preached at, and I can’t stand it when they meddle with history. However, I used to frequently meet friends on a Saturday night and we’d go anf see a film, and I’d always enjoy the obligatory choc-top (only vanilla).
Verona always has a good selection of foreign films. There’s a Danish film which I want to see – it’s called “Margrete – Queen of the North”. Apparently it’s good.
* I did see Top Gun Maverick back earlier this year, which I loved. First Hollywood move I’d seen in years.
Likewise Cassie . . . Top Gun Maverick is the only film I’ve seen at the cinema this year – and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I reckon there’s a market (for us older demographics) for a cinema to specialise in showing films from yesteryear (i.e. the last century).
The ending of The Long Good Friday is remarkable, the amazing range of expressions on Bob Hoskins face as he realises what has happened and what is about to happen
Wolfman, I’ll know you’re Bill Collins redux if you recommend “The Razor’s Edge”. No, not the Bill Murray one.
I’m talking Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney. 😀
Check it out . . .
I was never a great fan of The Razor’s Edge (1946 version) – I thought Tyrone Power was woefully miscast as Larry Darrell.
And I’ve not seen the Bill Murray version.
Sorry, Wolfman. The Razor’s Edge was one of Mr. Movies’ most beloved films. He despised the Bill Murray version. I’ve seen it and didn’t mind it at all, even though Murray was playing…Murray.
I mentioned my son up thread. At one stage, all he wanted to do was be a movie reviewer like Collins. To sit and watch movies all day seemed a marvellous job, and surely it was!
Like Cassie, I would love to see really good movies at the cinema. But I won’t pay good money for garbage, particularly that funding the grotesque Hollywood sausage machine.
Planet of the Apes (1968) Movie Clip – Statue of Liberty Ending |
Speaking of endings that aren’t straightforward, what about the ending of “Once upon a time in America”?
Wolf and calli, the Randwick Ritz (I love the place) shows old movies.
Yes call I remember Mr Movies Bill Collins forever gushing about The Razor’s Edge – each to their own.
Planet Of The Apes (1968) has one of the great twist endings of all-time.
As for Once Upon A Time In America, I’m still not sure how it really ends . . .
The Randwick Ritz sounds great . . . just a little far from Melbourne !
On Planet of the Apes…I’d read enough sci-fi to think…what if the astronauts were in the future? I have to say for Sixth Sense I never thought for a moment that the principal character was …. Atonement ditto.
So many wonderful, imaginative movies, so many stories to put on film. A shame that they spend fortunes on unwatchable dross.
I had a look at the Ritz program, Cassie. Gallipoli in April…sigh. Another marvellous tragic final sequence.
The ending of The Vanishing. The original Dutch version. Crikey that one stays with you.
November 17, 2022 at 8:03 pm
The ending of The Vanishing. The original Dutch version. Crikey that one stays with you.”
Ah yes, I saw that film in 1990? I saw shudder at the ending.
Re The Vanishing (1988), no less a person than Stanley Kubrick thought it was the most terrifying film ever made.
As for the American remake – awful.
Mr Rusk, you’re not wearing your tie.
THe Vanishing – remarkable
Witness for the Proscution – For me the ebst twist ever
Joanna – what is that French Film made in the 1960’s of the 6 or so friends who meet at a countrysie palace in France for a gastronomical week end.
They gorge them selvs to death – The pilot with his glove was a particulare favourite.
Cassie -with you re modern cinema – the endless attack on Chritianity, esp Catholocism and women looking and behaving like men is not my glass of tea. The writing, is usually average to poor and the themes/messages are non sensical.
Louis Litt – the film you are referring to is La Grande Bouffe released in 1973.
The pilot was played by the great Marcello Mastroianni.
I am a bit late to the party here, but an all round great movie with a memorable ending is The Shawshank Redemption.
Terrific “feel good” storyline.
What a pleasing description of “Death in Venice”
Wot about the crying game?
Thants Wolfie – the pilot cracks me up – he sees a statue of a naked female, checks around the coast is clear, slips his glove off and caresses the statues smooth buttocks – hysterical
Now you know why I do when I see a nude female statue.
Oh the horror,the horror
National Lampoons Vacation. The epic human journey across a continent. Ending with the tragic scene of Wally World closed for maintenance as advised by the haunting moose out front.
The final shot of PSYCHO. I won’t spoil it.
Death in Venice – at the time I was non plussed.
Now I find it disturbing.
No need for it