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Greatest Movie Endings


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I feel like snappin' my pistol in your face

Let some brownskin woman be here to take your place.

 

-- Blind Boy Fuller, "Pistol Slapper Blues"

 

This was the first song I learned to play on my uncles National Steel when I was 14.

 

I don't care what the people in these forums say about you, I think you're alright.

 

Regards

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what? no mention of City Lights (1931) yet?

 

Regarding The New World, imho it's a beautiful film, I doubt it matters whether you know the ending/story or not; it's a movie that divides the audience however; where I saw it, some people walked out because they were bored, while others had to step out briefly towards the ending because they couldn't stop crying...

 

--Vince

 

************ spoiler warning for city lights ***************

 

The Tramp: Can you see now?

A Blind Girl: Yes, I can see now.

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The silent version of "The Iron Mask". A fitting tribute to the end of the silent era for many reasons. Most of all, it wasn't fun making movies any more, it was becoming a business.

 

The Sound Era:

 

"A Star is Born". Watching the restored version, you feel Judy Garland's pain at the end of the movie.

 

"Liberty Valance". Vera Miles. You know she knows she made the wrong choice. And Jimmy Stewart knows too.

 

"To Kill a Mockingbird". What more needs to be said. From the moment in the bedroom when Miss Jean Louise realizes who saved them till the end narration of "And he would be there in the morning when Jem waked up" never has the back lot of Universal seemed so universal.

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Film endings I love -

 

Casablanca (self-explanatory)

Gone With the Wind (and I'm not even a particular fan of this film!)

Angels With Dirty Faces (VERY powerful!)

The Bad and the Beautiful (it *starts* at the ending! :D )

Captain Blood (gotta love such a great reversal of fortune!)

My Man Godfrey (just give in and go with it, Godfrey - if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!)

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I recently watched John Gilbert in ?The Phantom of Paris?, shown on TCM last week, and it has a great ending. Gilbert almost goes to the guillotine, but he escapes and disguises himself as another man and the other man becomes a suspect in a murder case.

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That was very clever.

 

I?ve been trying to figure out which one was really John Gilbert.

 

I think he always played the other guy, except in a couple of scenes where they were shown together. This was a good director?s trick. The last sequence of Gilbert playing the other guy, really was Gilbert playing the other guy. It wasn?t the other guy playing Gilbert playing the other guy.

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The other guy was credited as being played by the actor Ian Keith. But I think Keith played the other guy only twice, once when everyone was gathered in the father?s office near the beginning of the film, and again when Gilbert was with him as he was sick in bed. That would have been only two scenes where Keith played the other guy. I think Gilbert always played the other guy in all other scenes where just the other guy was shown without the Bibi character.

 

They changed Gilbert?s hair style slightly when he was playing the different characters, but they made sure that the basic hairline of both was the same. On the Bibi character, it was parted on his right. On the Marquis character, it was parted in the middle.

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Wow, I'm embarassed to say so, but I never noticed that Gilbert was playing the Max character, except when he was pretending to actually *be* Max during the ending set-up scenes.

 

I was wondering how they got Gilbert's Bibi to look SO MUCH like the other guy's Max.

 

I was sitting there thinking...wow, he really does look like Max!

 

*lol*

 

I feel like such an idiot! :P

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No need to feel like an idiot. I used to be a documentary film and video photographer, and I was wondering which actor was which at the end. I first thought that Ian Keith was doing a great job playing John Gilbert playing Ian Keith. Then I thought maybe it was John Gilbert playing Ian Keith. Then I decided to try to figure out which was which throughout the whole film. I have a DVD player that can scan the whole film, showing images, in about 2 minutes, so I scanned the whole thing and stopped at the different segments and studied the different characters. Then I noticed that the character Ian Keith played looked so much like John Gilbert, all throughout the film, the character must have been played by John Gilbert throughout the film except in the two scenes where both men were shown together.

 

I think that the director decided to do it this way so he could credit a second actor as playing the other guy, but he could also slip John Gilbert into the other guy?s role early in the film and the audience wouldn?t notice it.

 

This is one of the best makeup and acting jobs of this kind I?ve ever seen.

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Old movies: Magnificent Ambersons. Joseph Cotton talks about being "...true at last to my true love", the music swells, and the camera drifts over to the glowing face of Agnes Moorehead.

 

Recent movies: AI. This actually has two endings, if you count the scene where they land on the bottom of the ocean--I sure thought that was the ending when I first saw it. But the real ending is so poignant, as Haley Joel Osment gets his wish, and the narrator beautifully concludes the story. The camera pulls away, and the soundtrack fades into the operatic sounds of Barbara Bonney over the final credits.

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For sheer melodrama, nothing surpasses the the wildly romantic ending of MY COUSIN RACHEL ('52), with Richard Burton dashing toward the footbridge after asking Audrey Dalton to ring the bells to summon help. He knows that Rachel (Olivia de Havilland) has fallen to the rocks below. The camera follows him as he makes haste toward the scene of the accident, with Franz Waxman's music swelling in the background as he climbs down the rockside cliff, crying out her name.

 

For some it may seem hokey and over the top, but It's gotta be a very dramatic ending--gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. What really does it is hearing those bells in the background along with the music. Memorable moment.

 

Neil

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Mine is The Great Escape. After three hours of defiance, heartbreak, determination and humor, most of the escapees are murdered or returned to the POW camp. You would think that the survivors are demoralized and discouraged, but one returning prisoner, Hilts - the Cooler King - is returned by the Gestapo. After an exchange with the former Commandant, who is being sent to his own execution, Hilts grins and marches off to solitary. A friend tosses him his baseball and glove before he is locked up. After the guard locks him in, you hear the indomitable sound of the baseball bouncing off the cooler wall. Elmer Bernstein's stirring march soars, the guard turns to look at the cell door, and the credits read a dedication to the fifty prisoners that had been murdered.

I've seen this film probably over 100 hundred times since 1963 and I always choke up at that ending.

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That's per se (it's Latin).

 

The problem with THE GREAT ESCAPE (which I love; my cousins' company produced it) is that the prisoners are, ultimately, responsible for their own capture and demise due to oversights that're utterly inexplicable and inexcusable in light of their complex escape plan.

 

I also have to quibble with your conclusion that Stalg Luft III Commandant von Luger is to be executed because of the escape. There are two reasons:

 

1. It wasn't his decision to put all the best Allied escape artists in one camp (though it probably is true that the German High Command, which did make that decision, would like to cover up their responsibility for this embarassment).

 

and

 

2. Germany was, by then, desperately short of manpower, conscripting old men and children for their Volkssturm home guard. A man of von Luger's experience was too valuable to shoot (though they might've sent him to the Russian front).

 

Then there's the silly line, as Hilts is being returned to the camp, in which the saluting camp guards are told of von Luger

 

"He is no longer to be saluted; he is no longer in command."

 

No longer in command he may be, but he retains his rank; until he is no longer the guards' superior officer, he certainly is to be saluted (or the guards can be shot for insubordination).

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> Do I have to mention who did posted that in this same

> thread?

 

why have 2 people already complained about me describing the end of The New World???

its not a thriller, mystery, or a movie with a really surprising twist, like The Planet of the Apes or The Sixth Sense or The Crying Game...you knowing how it ends shouldn't affect the film the slightest.

 

especially considering I actually wrote that comment deliberately trying not to ruin or reveal any of the best parts of it.

 

Message was edited by:

anonymous124

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I always looked at the message in Angles With Dirty Faces (1938) as a very powerful social statement coupled with the loyalty of a friendship that lasted through the test of time. Through thick and thin, if you will.

 

William (Rocky) Sullivan (James Cagney) knew it was all he had left within himself to grant his life long friend Father Jerry Connolly (Pat O'Brien) his last wish. And at the very least, make it count for something. Even if his own life (at the end) did not.

 

Bill

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A movie does not have to have a surprise ending in order to be spoiled if someone tells you about it. You described the ending and how emotional it was. That is something that should not even be known, because a person going to see it - not knowing the ending ahead of time - will be feeling a series of emotions during the length of the movie, building up towards the ending whatever it will be. If someone who had seen it said to another person going into the theater, "You're going to cry at the end," well, that's one thing. But if that same person told the person about to go in, "At the end, as she is dying and says this, and then does that, etc,", there is a good chance that person going in will turn around and not see it.

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by the way, that was in responce to Anonymous124's post of

 

"why have 2 people already complained about me describing the end of The New World???

its not a thriller, mystery, or a movie with a really surprising twist, like The Planet of the Apes or The Sixth Sense or The Crying Game...you knowing how it ends shouldn't affect the film the slightest."

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