Sunday, July 30, 2006

Great Movie Endings

When BoingBoing posted this comment, I found my way to which put out a list of "The Top Fifty Movie Endings of All Time" including undeniable classics like Chinatown, Memento and Dr. Strangelove.
I took issue with some of their selections and came up with my own list of ten movie endings that belong in the top fifty:
Network (1976) One of the great punch lines in the movies: “This was the story of Howard Beale, the first known instance of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings.”
The Sixth Sense (1999) A rare metaphysical thriller that actually caught me unawares until the very end.
8. Platoon (1986) At the end, when Charlie Sheen puts several bullets into corrupt officer Tom Berenger, my body jerked as though I had been hit myself. Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings provides a compelling coda.
Beat the Devil (1964) In John Huston’s shaggy dog story, a ragtag collection of misfits travel to Africa trying to scam each other. At the end, when it all unravels, Humphrey Bogart just laughs.
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) When he learns that he is a distant heir to the title of Lord D'Ascoyn, Dennis Price carries us through his scheme to murder those ahead of him with aplomb. At the end, he leaves us wondering which of his two paramours he’ll pick, but what of his memoirs?
Notorius (1946) Who can forget Cary Grant carrying Ingrid Bergman to the car leaving Claude Rains to explain to his colleagues how their circle had been broken?
Throne of Blood (1961) Akira Kurosawa sets the story of Macbeth in medieval Japan. Toshiro Mifune, his body riddled with arrows and still defiant, is a force of nature.
Broadway Danny Rose (1984) The critics picked the sweet ending of Hannah and Her Sisters, but for me the best ending to any of his flicks (also set on Thanksgiving Day) is Woody running out into the street in the snow to catch Mia Farrow in front of—where else—Carnegie Deli.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) This movie creates such a poetic tone that by the end, when Zhang Ziyi leaps into the mists from the cliffs of Wudan Mountain, it somehow makes romantic sense.
Vertigo (1958) For me the most emotionally shocking ending of all time. The movie takes its time building intensity as we explore Jimmy Stewart’s obsessive love. The twists at the very end left him with his life shattered in this DeChirico inspired frame and me standing with my mouth open.


Blogger jason said...

I loved the ending(s) of Brazil by Terry Gilliam.

5:28 PM, July 31, 2006  

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