Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Movies that would be better without their ending.


Recommended Posts

There are a few here and there.  Not tons of them.  One that comes to mind is Baby Face (1933).  It cops out with Lily running back to Trenholm at the end, though it's not as bad as some of the other pre code-enforcement moves.  It would be better to leave her on the ship bound for France.  That would keep it in line with its premise.  Some reviews on IMDB say that was the original ending.  I'd like to see it.

 

Twenty Mule Team (1940) is a little remembered quasi-western with Wallace Beery about borax mining in Death Valley.  It almost ends with the camera pulling away from Beery sitting out in the desert, cussing it, mules, and all existence while waiting to die from a wound or dehydration after having sent his wounded friend back to town tied to the only mule there was.  Nice ending, that.  But the happy-enders couldn't leave it there, so there's a tag-on showing him in comfortable circumstances at the local inn with the local lady innkeeper after having been rescued.  Not to worry, just hit the stop button at the desert fade-out.  By the way, it's not a bad movie.  You can watch on YouTube.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've discussed this before on the boards, but the ending of Silver River somewhat hurts the excellent story that preceded it.  In this film, Flynn was an anti-hero, he's unscrupulous and through various means ends up building a bank and ends up basically having all the money in town in his bank.  His character is a complete 180 from his Wade Hatton character of Dodge City.  His behavior and complete disregard for everyone in town, except for Ann Sheridan whom he's trying to win over (but she is not interested), is interesting and entertaining.  Then... they put a cute little bow around the story, makes Flynn suddenly promise to make the town a better place to live and wins Ann Sheridan's affections! 

 

I think that the film either needed to have a more realistic ending--like Ann Sheridan leaving town and leaving Flynn a broken man or if they wanted to go the happy ending route, they should have added more to the earlier storyline that would lead up to this ending.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I do wish Howard Hawks would've used the original ending from the Red River novel. This original version would later be reworked by Larry McMurtry in Lonesome Dove.

 

 

Once again, lacking the courage of the premise.  I would guess this is the best movie seriously damaged by an unfortunate ending.  The hokey play-fight at the end shamefully betrays the archetypal morality struggle that went on before.  As it is, it is still among the best of the Westerns.  With a sober and powerful ending, it would be the default for the best of them all.

 

 

Re:  the ending, from Wikipedia:

 

The movie's ending differed from that of the original story. In Chase's original Saturday Evening Post story, Valance shoots Dunson dead in Abilene and Matt takes his body back to Texas to be buried on the ranch.

During the production and while the film was still being shot, Howard Hawks was not satisfied with the editing and asked Christian Nyby to take over cutting duties. Nyby worked about 1 year on the project. After production, the pre-release version was 133 minutes and included book-style transitions. Howard Hawks felt this version was too long, and that the inserts in the book were both difficult to read and awkward, slowing down the pace of the film. He had a narration written and called Walter Brennan in to record it. They removed the book-style transitions and, together with Brennan's narration, tightened the running time and added a beneficial character intimacy to the film.

Before this version could be released, Howard Hughes sued Howard Hawks, claiming that the climactic scene between Dunson and Matt was taken from the film The Outlaw(1943), which Hawks had worked on with Hughes. To resolve the issue, editor Nyby and Hughes went back and forth trimming, re-cutting, and re-inserting until a compromise was reached. This final product was the original theatrical version which was released at 127 minutes. For unknown reasons, the 127-minute theatrical version, which was preferred by Howard Hawks, was lost, and it was the 133-minute pre-release version which was seen on television broadcasts and home video releases for decades. The original theatrical cut was reassembled by Janus Films (in co-operation with UA parent company MGM) for their Criterion Collection Blu-ray/DVD release on May 27, 2014.

 

So what is the version we see on TCM?  I guess its the 133 minute version, as I've never heard Walter Brennan's narration.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm the first person to mention The Bad Seed?!?

 

 

 

 

"The Bad Seed" is the only film that had a built in alternative ending.  I don't think a spanking is going to help a sociopath.  The first ending....too bad God don't step in more often.

 

Talk about timing, tonights "Law and Order SVU" was about a 13 year old sociopath, ending was justifiable murder?? :wacko:

 

http://lawandorder.wikia.com/wiki/Conscience_(SVU)

Link to post
Share on other sites

My viewpoint is a bit contrarian to some.  I won't list actual movies, so as to not spoil them for others, but some say they do not like movies that are all a dream, or movies that are done from the perspective of a deceased person, only to be revealed as such in the end.  They call them "cop-outs".  As a technical person, I actually like an occasional movie like that, since it provides a bit of outside-of-the-box variety.  It shows me that my perception of how something works may not actually be the way that something works.  A Eureka moment.  There are usually more gradual ways of incorporating this into the storyline, but sometimes in real life it is not all nicely prepared over the course of one or two hours for you, complete with trimmings.  Sometimes things in life are a last-minute revelation.

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

My viewpoint is a bit contrarian to some.  I won't list actual movies, so as to not spoil them for others, but some say they do not like movies that are all a dream, or movies that are done from the perspective of a deceased person, only to be revealed as such in the end.  They call them "cop-outs".  As a technical person, I actually like an occasional movie like that, since it provides a bit of outside-of-the-box variety.  It shows me that my perception of how something works may not actually be the way that something works.  A Eureka moment.  There are usually more gradual ways of incorporating this into the storyline, but sometimes in real life it is not all nicely prepared over the course of one or two hours for you, complete with trimmings.  Sometimes things in life are a last-minute revelation.

 

 

Just so the ending isn't tagged on because the the filmmaker is afraid of what the premise implies.

 

Stamboul Quest (1934) is an obscure Myrna Loy feature in which she plays a German counter-espionage agent who is tricked into thinking she's had her lover executed as a spy.  The ending is more part of a framing device, or bookends.  The movie almost ends with Miss Loy driven to dementia, insensible to the people and events around her.  Pitiful and devastating.  But they can't leave fine enough alone.  She has to show up in a sanitarium, daily awaiting the arrival of her lover, humored by the nuns, when, what do you know, he shows up and happily-ever-after.  Again, the remedy is simple, just hit the stop button in time, and you have a good pre code-enforcement movie.  You can see it on dailymotion.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Reflections in a Golden Eye would have been better without its ending. Of course, it would have been better without its beginning or middle, either.

 

I actually like Reflections, though I admit the last shot doesn't work. But this is less because of the action taking place than the camera shot Huston uses, which was definitely an error in judgment.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha, when I read the title of this thread, I thought what was meant was "movies that should keep going".

 

I'm enjoying everyone's observations and wholeheartedly agree with MLOhio's occasionally accepting "fake" endings.

In 1990's JACOB'S LADDER, the reality is just too intense so finding out it's fake actually comes as a relief.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha, when I read the title of this thread, I thought what was meant was "movies that should keep going".

 

I'm enjoying everyone's observations and wholeheartedly agree with MLOhio's occasionally accepting "fake" endings.

In 1990's JACOB'S LADDER, the reality is just too intense so finding out it's fake actually comes as a relief.

ya aint kiddin bout it bein intense & gone with wind B bettar w/0 end

Link to post
Share on other sites

Casablanca; 

 

Instead of Captain Louis Renault deciding to join the fight (something totally out of character with all of his previous actions since the direction of the wind hadn't changed),   he ends up having his officers shoot Rick and he continue his beautiful friendship with the Germans.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Casablanca; 

 

Instead of Captain Louis Renault deciding to join the fight (something totally out of character with all of his previous actions since the direction of the wind hadn't changed),   he ends up having his officers shoot Rick and he continue his beautiful friendship with the Germans.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Kind'a surprised four days after slayton posed this question, nobody has yet mentioned a certain Hitchcock movie starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine, and one which almost everyone I know is in agreement that the ending is a copout of the highest order?

 

(...you folks know which one I'm talkin' about here, of course)

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Kind'a surprised four days after slayton posed this question, nobody has yet mentioned a certain Hitchcock movie starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine, and one which almost everyone I know is in agreement that the ending is a copout of the highest order?

 

(...you folks know which one I'm talkin' about here, of course)

 

 

I suspect I do, but you'd have to be quick with the stop button to improve it.

 

There's one more example in Harold and Maude (1971).  The movie almost ends with a Jaguar plunging off a California cliff with Harold, we are led to believe, inside, driven to self-destruction by the loss of Maude.  Sobering enough.  Then we get a revelatory pan from the smoking ruin of the pitiable wreck up the cliff face to a figure at the top.  It is Harold contemplating the scene.  And that would be fine to end there.  He's just jettisoned figuratively and literally his love affair with morbidity and can go forward with his life.  But unfortunately, the director can't leave it there.  He's got to cap off the entire movie with the hokeyest shot of Harold walking away, banjo in hand, pluckin' and strummin'.  Ugh.  Each time I see or contemplate that shot I hear a voice-over play in my head:  "And forever more, whenever he played the banjo, he thought of her. . . ."

 

What makes this so much worse is previously, for the entire movie, the director has avoided having recourse to just that sort of annoying conventionality.  It's what makes this movie so good.  And with the subject matter of the movie, it's not an easy task.  I'm going to use a phrase now which makes me shudder inside when I hear it, but I'm afraid I'll have to, to describe the movie's theme, and that is--ehhhh--'life-affirming'.  Any movie that's--that, especially if it also involves eccentric and idiosyncratic characters to illustrate the truly valuable in life (i. e., not the material, but the intangible of human connection and openness to spontaneity) is tough to pull off because the gravitational pull of the conventional, the hackneyed, the trite, is almost insurmountable.  But Hal Ashby remarkably did.  And he came out with something fresh, lively, that maintains our interest and delights us by constantly doing the unexpected.  It's a pleasure to see him make the movie so fun to watch, when it could so easily have been painfully cringe-inducing.  Until that is. . . .well, the remedy as before is simple, just be ready to hit the stop button before the final shot.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny slayton, HAROLD & MAUDE was the movie that came to mind when I thought this thread was about "better without ending at all"

 

I would like to see just how Harold went on to live his life without his sunflower. (NO SEQUEL, PLEASE!) Some movies and some charactors are so compelling, they feel "real" to us viewers, and we want to know about their entire lives (at least we think we do)

 

Now I think seeing Harold walk off playing his banjo was the perfect ending:

We are saved from thinking he died along with his car, and playing banjo symbolizes Harold "learning something new". I also like the idea the banjo is not a stand alone instrument, but must be played with others in song, another symbol for Harold's future.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I always saw Harold in the movie, with his countless silly fake suicides and morbid fascination with funerals as him being someone with a low or absent sense of self worth.  And to him, life seemed pointless.  Maude showed him that it WASN'T, and that ALL life has value, even some little tree used as municipal decoration.

 

Just showing him staring down at the car's wreckage would have seemed he was STILL morbidly fascinated with death and hasn't really changed.  Showing him walking AWAY from it proves that he WAS ready to move on. 

 

And him plucking that banjo?  Well, don't we ALL hold on to momentos of the people we loved that have died?  I have a LOT of my Mom's, Dad's, Grandma's, Brother's stuff around the house. 

 

Don't YOU?

 

 

Sepiatone

Link to post
Share on other sites

"The Bad Seed" is the only film that had a built in alternative ending.  I don't think a spanking is going to help a sociopath.  The first ending....too bad God don't step in more often.

 

 

In the original theatrical ending of "The Bad Seed", mother Penmark bought the farm and a fully recovered Rhoda was free to continue her charming little murder spree.

 

Unlike other fans of the play/movie, I absolutely adore the Deus ex machina denouement forced upon the film. It's delightfully wickedly funny, a fitting end for the little brat.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Kind'a surprised four days after slayton posed this question, nobody has yet mentioned a certain Hitchcock movie starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine, and one which almost everyone I know is in agreement that the ending is a copout of the highest order?

 

(...you folks know which one I'm talkin' about here, of course)

*****SPOILERS*****

 

What's interesting is the debate as to whether the ending of the film was altered (as the legend goes) or if it was always meant to deviate from the source material.

I like BOTH the idea of Johnny pushing her out the car or the original ending of the novel, either of which send Lina to the great beyond. It fits in with the arch, sinister depiction of Johnny we are shown on screen. However, since it was indeed apparently Hitchcock's desire to capture a woman's paranoid fantasy world we must accept the Johnny we saw to be her own twisted interpretation of her husbands intentions and not an accurate portrayal. Accepting this premise means that WE, the audience, are victims of Lina's suspicion.

Neat trick.

But the source material says Johnny was a killer, and I for one believe it.

;)

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

The Letter would have certainly had a better ending if the tyranny of the code wasn't there. This can be said for other movies as well so maybe it's not fair game here. But the ending we got in this one was so forced.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Now I think seeing Harold walk off playing his banjo was the perfect ending:

We are saved from thinking he died along with his car, and playing banjo symbolizes Harold "learning something new". I also like the idea the banjo is not a stand alone instrument, but must be played with others in song, another symbol for Harold's future.

 

Ah, the pitfalls of having an opinion.  All I can say, TikiSoo, is that I'm glad the movie offers multiple options for ending.  You can have to total downer ending where he plunges to his death, the restrained and dignified ending with him standing atop the cliff, or the smiley-face you like.  I'm sure Steve Martin would agree with you, so he's in good company.

 

Just showing him staring down at the car's wreckage would have seemed he was STILL morbidly fascinated with death and hasn't really changed.  Showing him walking AWAY from it proves that he WAS ready to move on. 

 

And him plucking that banjo?  Well, don't we ALL hold on to momentos of the people we loved that have died?  I have a LOT of my Mom's, Dad's, Grandma's, Brother's stuff around the house. 

 

Don't YOU?

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

All I can do is quote myself:  " Then we get a revelatory pan from the smoking ruin of the pitiable wreck up the cliff face to a figure at the top.  It is Harold contemplating the scene.  And that would be fine to end there.  He's just jettisoned figuratively and literally his love affair with morbidity and can go forward with his life."

 

The car was fitted out like a hearse, so, he gets rid of the car. . . .you know.

 

The sentiments attached to an object have nothing to do with its hokeyness.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, the pitfalls of having an opinion.  All I can say, TikiSoo, is that I'm glad the movie offers multiple options for ending.

 

I kind of like the fact different people can offer different opinions...that's what makes a story "art".

 

I first watched THE BAD SEED together with my family. Every one of us were shocked (pun intended) by the ending! We actually felt cheated that "God" or "karma" had intervened. I don't know what sort of impact the original ending would have had, but we were already laughing over some of the corny performances.

 

As for the ending of SUSPICION, I felt cheated there too. I would have never just laughed & trusted that guy after he sold my family heirlooms. (actually happened to me-except it was my business partner who sold my personal museum pieces)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

TIKI I think, did mention something like "NO SEQUEL, PLEASE", but sometimes( and in an apologetic "derail") I wouldn't mind one in some cases.  I'll just give one example-----

 

THE CLOCK--I'd have liked to seen a post-war follow-up.  DOES Joe return from the war?  In one piece?   Does the marriage last?  Where do they wind up living?  What kind of life do they have?   That sort of thing....

 

I DID know a couple( a buddy's parents) who DID marry under somewhat similar circumstances.  It WAS wartime, but he wasn't on leave.  He had just enlisted and was off to boot camp.  The war ended shortly after he got out of boot and so he didn't see any combat. But also...

 

They're both gone now, but they did stay happily married for 55 years.    On the other side of things.....

 

As a wedding photographer, I once did a wedding of a couple who were together for NINE YEARS while unmarried, but after they DID get married, they divorced a short SIX MONTHS later!  I got the job through a mutual friend who afterwards liked to kid me about being a JINX.

 

 

Sepiatone

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2021 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...