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TomJH

WHAT WAS THE MOST PERFECT ENDING IN MOVIES?

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Okay, I guess it's a bit of a ridiculous question I posed because how can you pick just one. But you know what I mean. What was the ending in movies that made you laugh or cry or excite you the most? If you can pick just one.

 

I'll start it off with one of my favourite closing scenes:

 

The ending of MODERN TIMES, with Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard as the Little Tramp and Gamine holding hands as they both pick their spirits up and walk down that road together toward an uncertain future.

 

Key to the effectiveness of this scene, I feel, is the combination of the poignance of the images of these two little souls as they disappear down the road, combined with the sweeping string accompaniment of the song "Smile (Though Your Heart Is Breaking)" which swells on the soundtrack.

 

What also adds to the power of this ending, I think, is its ambiguity. Some may regard it as a happy ending, though I have a lot of difficulty doing that because the odds are that these two people will probably not have a great future, particularly in the middle of the Great Depression. Still, for the moment, at least, they are both picking their spirits up as they head down that road.

 

 

P.S. : While it made for a memerable final visual image, did the Tramp and Gamine just have to walk down the MIDDLE of the road like that? I sometimes wondered if their future would be a very short one. But maybe that's just me, Mr. Worrywart.

 

 

ModernTimesEnding.jpg

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Dargo, it's interesting that Best Years, a post war "reality" film, chose to have a fairly upbeat happy ending for all the key characters involved. Yet I find it to be a pretty satisfactory ending, too.

 

 

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Tom, Chaplin was very good at ending at just the right time in the perfect way, just like Modern Times, there's City Lights and also The Circus. Another director who is good at that is Woody Allen - Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters, Another Woman - just to name a few.

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I'm a great one for being enthusiastic about the last thing I saw, and today is no exception. Last night a friend and I watched "Unfaithfully Yours," the Rex Harrison-Linda Darnell film, and I loved the ending ... he says, looking at her with all the love in the world in his eyes, "A thousand poets dreamed for a thousand years ... and you were born."

 

Wow.

 

 

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>Dargo, it's interesting that Best Years, a post war "reality" film, chose to have a fairly upbeat happy ending for all the key characters involved. Yet I find it to be a pretty satisfactory ending, too.

 

Yep, and probably because the "hard road ahead" warning that Fred gives to Peggy tempers the whole "And they lived happily ever after" aspect to the ending, and helps ground it more in reality.

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*The Poseidon Adventure* (1972).

 

 

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{font:}*Spoiler alert.* Six survivors are pulled from the hull of the ship and whisked away in a rescue helicopter. That’s the last shot --- the chopper lifting off and flying away. Why is this so great? Because in any other rescue movie, we’d be treated to 5-10 minutes of anticlimactic chatter among the survivors on board the helicopter --- “Mr. Rogo and I both lost our wives this morning.” “We owe our lives to the reverend.” “The ship’s officers warned the other passengers not to follow us.”{font}

 

 

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{font:}What director Ronald Neame gives us instead is an ending that is simple and perfect. The survivors emerge from the wreck. They board the helicopter. They fly off. FADE OUT. It’s such a terrific ending because it leaves you wanting more!{font}

 

 

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The last scene in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir when the captain and Lucy walk off into the hereafter. Coupled with Bernard Herrmann's magnificent score, it gets me every time................

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Another classic ending, Raoul Walsh's White Heat, with one of the most explosive final images that you'll ever see, along with James Cagney's classic declaration "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!"

 

white-heat-james-cagney.jpg

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:) This is my all-time favorite wedding scene. Something told me that's what I'd find when I clicked the link. Glad I'm not alone.

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Witness for the Prosecution comes to mind - it was an unexpected, satisfying ending. Plus, Sir Wildred & Miss Plimsoll were going to prepare for the next defense - would love to see that one played out.

 

 

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Count me in. *The Best Years of Our Lives* , it's also my favorite wedding scene ending. All the ones mentioned are my favorites. Just saw the thread. *White Heat* and *Witness For the Prosecution* , great endings. *City Lights* breaks my heart.

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Among films of the modern era, The Sixth Sense had a great twist ending which I didn't see coming.

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I agree. WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION had both a very shocking and surprising ending, one that I did not see coming. It would have been interesting to see a follow up to that movie.

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*The Thomas Crown Affair* (1968)

He staged a perfect bank robbery. She is an insurance investigator. She determines he did the robbery but there is no proof. It is a dance of intelligent, sophisticated and strong-willed people as they fall in love while seeking gaps in the other's armor.

 

It comes to a point where he must know if she truly loves him. The only definitive method is for him to stage a second robbery with her knowing where the stolen money will be left for him to retrieve. She will lose him if she tells the police. It is against her nature to let him succeed. He may be the type that he would rather die than to face failure, a lost love and a trial and jail.

 

 

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Way too many to list, but here are three of my favorites from the 30's:

 

I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang - On the run from the law, Paul Muni comes by for his final glance of the woman who stood by him during his ordeal. As Muni runs off into the night, there are these final words, and as Muni fades into darkness only his muted voice is heard:

 

Helen Vinson: *"How do you live?"*

Paul Muni *- "I STEAL!"*

 

42nd Street - Julian Marsh (Warner Baxter) stands anonymously outside the exit to the theater, after an opening night of a play that's almost killed him to direct through every conceivable setback. As he stands there nursing a cigarette in the shadows, the exiting crowd streams by, all commenting on how lucky Marsh was, and that "anyone" could have done what he did with that script and those actors. As the title music plays in the background, he takes one last puff and gives a stoic look to nowhere and nobody in particular, just grateful that the night is over.

 

Marked Woman - While prosecutor Bogart is surrounded by fawning reporters asking him about his political plans, his star witnesses led by Bette Davis, Lola Lane, and the shopworn Mayo Methot stalk off anonymously into the misty night, their own futures completely unknown.

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I think I'd have to go with I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang. Devastating.

 

But my favorite is the ending of Trouble in Paradise, with Miriam Hopkins and Herbert Marshall in a cab exchanging items they had stolen.

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Since I've just watched it again, The Last Hurrah is fresh in my mind. It's a glorious film, perhaps John Ford's most underrated movie. But the ending -- the deathbed scene of Spencer Tracy, followed by his death, and his loyal staff walking up the stairs to his bedroom -- is perfect. And the last shot -- Edward Brophy as simple "Ditto," being the last to ascend the stairs, with his shadow on the wall -- it's a beautiful, incredibly moving ending. For me, although on the surface this is a film about politics, I think it's really Ford's comment on the passing of the Old Hollywood.

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> {quote:title=slaytonf wrote:}{quote}I think I'd have to go with I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang. Devastating.

>

> But my favorite is the ending of Trouble in Paradise, with Miriam Hopkins and Herbert Marshall in a cab exchanging items they had stolen.

Of course I'd have to add that one to my list, since it was probably the best movie for Hopkins, Marshall and Kay Francis as well. The only problem with lists like this is that unless you're a mentalist you can never think of all the best endings, and if you ever tried to come up with a top 10 list, you'd find that off the top of your head your list would be constantly changing as you remembered one you'd forgotten the first time around.

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The last scene in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir when the captain and Lucy walk off into the hereafter. Coupled with Bernard Herrmann's magnificent score, it gets me every time................

 

 

 

Yeah! Yeah! That one!

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