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Best Endings & Beginnings in film history?

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Just watched it on TCM today.


The ending of the original Thomas Crown Affair; the opening scene in West Side Story, Citizen Kane opening and beginning (same with Vertigo); ending of Casablanca and ending of Hitchcock's Notorious.

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Notorious, great ending! Love it when Cary Grant locks the car door, didn't see that coming the first time I saw this movie. Then, poor Claude Rains, you know he's got to be thinking, oh c**p.

So many great endings already posted here. Some of my other favorite endings that have already been posted, Yankee Doodle Dandy, One, Two, Three, It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th St., The Bishop's Wife, The Great Escape, King Kong, A Night to Remember, The Quiet Man, ET, and Gone With The Wind. Some other favorite movie endings, that I didn't see posted yet, The Wizard of OZ, Goonies, Gaslight, McClintock, The Great Race, Around the World in 80 Days, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rear Window, Dial M for Murder, The Long, Long, Trailer, An Affair to Remember, and Charade. Of course there are so many more.



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--- I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang:  "I STEAL!"

---42nd Street:  Warner Baxter sitting outside the theater, listening to the exiting theatergoers tell each other that "Julian Marsh gets all the breaks", and slowly puffing on his cigarette.

---Marked Woman:  Newspaper reporters all telling Humphrey Bogart how nailing Johnny Vanning (Eduardo Ciannelli) will enhance his political career, while Bette Davis and the other chorus girls (who risked their lives by testifying) just walk silently away into the night fog.

Some Like It Hot:  "Well, nobody's perfect."

The Killers:  Where Edmund O' Brien, who's just risked life and limb innumerable times in order to save his insurance company a fraction of a penny, hears his grateful boss reward him by telling him to take a few days off, and not come in again until Monday.  He says this on a Friday afternoon.


A Star Is Born (1954):  "This is Mrs. Norman Maine"


The Great McGinty: The entire opening minutes from the bar in Cuba to the brawl between Brian Donleavy and Akim Tamiroff in the limousine is the greatest opening ever.  Nothing after that can live up to that beginning.

Walk on the Wild Side:  The opening credits , with a slithering black cat walking in the night to the tune of the title melody.

The Steel Helmet:  Where a helmet lying on the battlefield slowly rises, revealing a soldier underneath who'd been ducking for cover.


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  • 3 weeks later...

I can think of a lot of films.

Great Opening (don't agree about ending):  West Side Story

Both:  How to Marry a Millionaire

A Letter to Three Wives

Jagged Edge


The Sting, Slapshot, and Nobody's Fool

I'm not sure about opening, but Murder on the Orient Express  (with Albert Finney)

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  • 3 weeks later...

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