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GREATEST CRASH AND BURN ENDING - LONESOME RHODES OR JETT RINK?


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Having just seen Jett Rink's spectacular denouement in Giant the umpteenth time, I started wondering if this is the greatest crash and burn ending of them all in Hollywood history. I then thought of an entirely different but equally wonderful case of just desserts, that of Lonesome Rhodes in A Face in the Crowd, when Patricia Neal turns on the mike while Lonesome is trashing his own audience, in what he thought was a private conversation. To be honest, I find it hard to choose between these two scenes, or between James Dean and Andy Griffith, two great actors in parts that they were born to play.

 

But are there better examples out there that I haven't thought of? Examples of charlatans who come out of nowhere to achieve the pinnacle of one dimensional "success", only to collapse like a house of cards under their own enormous egos. I guess some people might nominate James Cagney's Cody Jarrett "Top of the world!" ending in White Heat, but somehow compared to Jett Rink and Lonesome Rhodes, Cody Jarrett's ending seems almost conventional within the genre of gangster movies.

 

Anyhoo, any other nominations?

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There are fundamental differences in Rhodes and Rink. In their cases, it's the women.

 

 

Rhodes HAD Marsha. She would have done anything for him and gone anywhere with him, but he allowed his ego to screw that up.

 

 

Rink WANTED Leslie, but could never have her, so he tried substituting her daughter, Luz, instead. It was all a hollow "victory".

 

 

Nobody, except those closest to him, knew what Rhodes was all about. Once that was revealed, the public that once adored him instantly reviled him, and he lost everything.

 

 

EVERYbody knew what Rink was all about. He might have lost some respect among his fellow business associates, but business being business, he would probably remained wealthy and powerful among the oil barons, and would have survived in spite of not being welcome in certain social circles or country clubs.

 

 

In the MOVIE world, Rink might have been finished. In the REAL world, money ALWAYS trumps morality.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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yES AND I do wish most of those 30's films would do just that---CRASH & BURN all the way so that

WE'D NOT HAVE TO SEE THEM ANYMORE! ENOUGH ALREADY. TOO BAD OSBORN REALLY DOESN'T CARE MUCH REGARDING WHAT IS PROGRAMMED - and I don't think I'd ever look at turners and see some films of value. And just because a movie is 80 years old, DOES NOT RENDER IT A CLASSIC!!!

 

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I read somewhere that the incoherent speech you hear after Jett's fall wasn't James Dean at all but dubbed in by Dennis Hopper. Seems they needed some post-filming dialogue added and, by that time, Dean had died. They made it mumbled so it wouldn't be too obvious it wasn't Dean. Anyway, that's what I read.

 

More intriguing is that George Stevens wanted and offered the part to Alan Ladd. They had enjoyed a great success together with *Shane* and Stevens thought Ladd would be convincing as both the young and older Jett Rink. Ladd's wife, Sue Carol, who was also his agent, advised him not to take the part since he would be billed behind Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. Turned out to be a bad decision on many levels-Ladd never had another part comparable to this one and he and Stevens never worked together again. James Dean and George Stevens were constantly at odds with one another and, who knows, if Dean hadn't been in this film, he probably wouldn't have been in the Porche, on that highway, at that time............... :(

 

 

 

 

 

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> {quote:title=leobertucelli wrote:}{quote}yES AND I do wish most of those 30's films would do just that---CRASH & BURN all the way so that

> WE'D NOT HAVE TO SEE THEM ANYMORE! ENOUGH ALREADY. TOO BAD OSBORN REALLY DOESN'T CARE MUCH REGARDING WHAT IS PROGRAMMED - and I don't think I'd ever look at turners and see some films of value. And just because a movie is 80 years old, DOES NOT RENDER IT A CLASSIC!!!

In case you hadn't noticed it, Bright Boy, both Giant and A Face in the Crowd date from the 50's, not the 30's. You can now return to your regularly scheduled FXM schedule.

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Andy, while I realize your thread title's intent was probably meant more in a figurative(a protagonist's mental breakdown) and not in a literal manner, however being a Gearhead, I just can't resist mentioning the ending of 1971's Vanishing Point, as I believe there may not have LITERALLY been a better "crash and burn ending" to a movie since Barry Newman's Kowalski drove his white 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T 440 Magnum right into the blades of those two bulldozers.

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> {quote:title=Dargo2 wrote:}{quote}Andy, while I realize your thread title's intent was probably meant more in a figurative(a protagonist's mental breakdown) and not in a literal manner, however being a Gearhead, I just can't resist mentioning the ending of 1971's *Vanishing Point*, as I believe there may not have LITERALLY been a better "crash and burn ending" to a movie since Barry Newman's Kowalski drove his white 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T 440 Magnum right into the blades of those two bulldozers.

You're right, it wasn't meant in a literal sense, although I did mention Cody Jarrett in White Heat as a possible alternate choice my own two favorites. But the beauty of threads like this is that they can go off in many different directions, none necessarily more valid than the others.

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Bless you Dargo, for reminding me of one of my favorite guilty pleasures. The first time I saw "Vanishing Point," I was in college, in Missoula, Mont. It was on a double bill at the drive-in, with Peter Fonda's "Dirty Mary Crazy Larry". It doesn't get any better than that.

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