Great Movie Endings

I got the idea while reading minlokwat’s thread on bad movie endings.

My favorite movie endings are as follows:
Roman Holiday. This was such a dignified, real way to end such a story. The newspaper reporter gives all embarrassing evidence to the princess, and bids her farewell.

A Room With a View I’m a sucker for happy endings, especially in love stories.

What are your favorites?

Alright, since I started the rotten-ending thread let me be the first to nominate The Shawshank Redemption.

The final sequence with Andy’s escape and then Red’s discharge and reunion with Andy is a fist-in-the-air triumph and remains one of the all-time great, wholly satisfying movie endings.

Yep, minlokwat, Shawshank Redemption’s a great ending. So damned satisfying to see him get the better of the warden.

Some of my favorites are:
Planet of the Apes. Fading to black in that long-shot of the Statue of Liberty sticking out of the beach, with no sound remaining but the surf was truly haunting.
(Too bad they milked that sucker to death with so many rotten sequels.)

To Kill a Mockingbird. The movie opens with the grownup Scout’s reminiscings and ends with them. A simple and beautiful ending.

Casablanca. “Y’know, Louie, I think this is the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship.” Personal sacrifice in the cause of love and honor. Optimism with an edge, or soft cynicism? Who cares? It was great.

Spartacus. The fight between best friends to see who will die the more horrible death. Spartacus wins, gets crucified, but learns that his wife and child will be free. The movie closes with bittersweet fanfare.

Glory. Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick lie in the mass-grave face-to-face, finally and forever brothers.

The original Night of the Living Dead. After making it through the night, the protagonist is mistakenly killed as just another zombie. The credits roll over stills of him being tossed onto the pile of zombie bodies and cremated. Such a jolting ending.

The final shot in City Lights. 'nuff said.

The Usual Suspects … “And like that … he’s gone.”

All good ones so far…my nomination:

Thelma & Louise

I remember my high school best friend and I jumping straight up out of our seats, screaming with delight and throwing our arms around each other. Yes, in a theater!

Seven. The bad guy wins! Well, sort of. Catapulted Kevin Spacey onto my personal list of best actors.

And another vote for The Usual Suspects.

The Godfather - the image of the door closing on Kay’s face is just so incredibly chilling.

The Usual Suspects - yet another vote.

Beauty and the Beast - at least I think this is the closing scene; when the two of them are waltzing around the ballroom. Absolutely magical.

I think the words “…other than Usual Suspects” could have safely been appended to the subject line. Just about goes without saying.

Magnolia, the way she smiles at the very end.

Saving Private Ryan, disregarding the “real” ending; when I watch it these days I hit stop right the end of the penultimate chapter, Tom Hanks’ character dying words, “Earn this.”

Fight Club. “where is my mind…”

Blues Brothers. About five hundred guns cocking at once moving right into the whole cellblock dancin’ to the jailhouse rock.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. “You know what you are?!?”

Sanjuro. very nice final confrontation ending in a single slash of the sword, and the original Man With No Name stalking away.

The Princess Bride-“As you wish.” :slight_smile:

Animal House

Somewhat more obscure than the others mentioned here, but Shirley Valentine (and I’m thinking here of the movie, not the play, which I’ve never seen). They managed to give it a happy ending without drowning it in sentiment. Shirley and her husband are still very different people, neither steps out of character… but you’re left with the feeling that yes, they’re going to work this out, because they’ve remembered that they still love each other. snf :slight_smile:

It must have been very tempting to end it with one of them throwing him/herself at the other’s feet and begging for another chance… or a dramatic break-up in which they declare they’re just incompatible. But either one would have ruined the movie. Instead we get an understated mutual reconciliation, sitting on a beach drinking wine as the sun goes down.

Yes, yes, YES!!!

The remake RUINED it, by making him actualy get zombified, thus justifying their shooting him. Blargh…

The remake had a bunch of other flaws but that one bugs me the worst.

And I agree with Drastic…The Usual Suspects goes without saying.

Already having mentioned The Producers; sex, lies, and videotape; and Some Like it Hot in the other thread before this one started…

The Crying Game. I saw it before anyone talked about “the secret.”

You Can Count on Me. The performances are true to the end.

The Wizard of Oz. Can anyone argue with this?

I always found the ending to Amadeus neat. The Priest’s patient amused look at the “crazy old man” at the begining of the film turns to a look of disbelieving horror at the end (and he had tears in his eyes). Salieri’s cries that he’s a mediocrity and Mozart’s crazy laugh as the credits begin to roll.

Christine is good, too. The kids in the junkyard, looking at the square that used to be Christine and they hear rock and roll and become scared until they see it’s a worker with a boombox. Then the camera zooms in on the square and a wire bends and twists, suggesting, of course, that Christine is not dead. The ending of the book is better, of course.

But I’d have to agree that the ending to The Godfather is my favorite, as mentioned before.

Great choice! Certainly one of the most active endings. Loved how they turned American Grafitti’s “where are they now?” ending on its ear!

Forgot to mention Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The ending that just kept going. [yello]Ohhhhhh, yeahhhhhhh.[/yello]

The Principal, shredded and bloodied, keeps getting humiliation heaped upon him by having to ride the school bus, then has to sit with the geekiest kid on the bus. She offers him a gummybear, which he takes. “It’s nice and squishy,” she says. “It’s been in my pocket all day.”

Then as the credits end, the shot goes back to the Bueller house, where Ferris, just having showered, looks at the camera and says, “You’re still here? Go home. The movie’s over. Go.” Shooes us away with a sweep of his hands. “Go.”

Carrie. You think you’re safe…and then…

Rocky. He lost. Unbelievable. But he went the distance, which was all he really wanted.

L.A. Story. You have to see it, really.

Brazil. Not the pansy-ass, “love conquers all” American ending, but Gilliam’s original ending. Positively chilling.

I really want to se Night of the Living Dead now. How can you tell if it is the original?

Easiest way to tell - it’s in Black and White.