The Chicago Tribune recently solicted reader input regarding what makes a great film ending. I usually shun lists like this because any statistician knows you can make numbers say whatever you what depending on how you manipulate the demographics. But this list got my attention. We writers crave memorable endings and while some may, now and again, purposely end on a "huh?" moment, I never have. So I was quick to skim the list and see what Chicago thinks is a great movie ending.
(Spoiler alert, by the way, but seriously, you've seen these movies .)
"All the President's Men" (1976): President Nixon resigns. No kidding?
"Animal House" (1978): Freeze frame on characters explaining what happened to them. Unique approach in 1978. Everyone does it now.
"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969): Blaze of glory.
"Fargo" (1996): My painting of a duck is going to be on a three cent stamp.
"Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (1986): Rooney on the school bus with the brats he despises.
"Kelly's Heroes" (1970): "De Gaulle! De Gaulle!"
"Limbo" (1999): Is the plane coming to save them or kill them?
"Mister Roberts" (1955): Palm tree overboard!!
"Nine Queens" (2000): Awwww. It's not all a con after all.
"North by Northwest" (1959): Train. Tunnel. Enough said.
"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975): Beware of broken glass.
"Picnic" (1955): Kim Novac following the train.
"The Professional" (1994): Boom!
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981): Hiding the ark in plain view.
"Reservoir Dogs" (1992): Nobody left.
"The Searchers" (1956): Just walk away, John. Just walk away.
"Silence of the Lambs" (1991): Serial killer on the beach.
"The Sixth Sense" (1999): If a boy is talking to YOU and says, "I see dead people", don't renew your health insurance.
"Some Like It Hot" (1959): Nobody's perfect. Ain't it the truth?
"Son of Paleface" (1952): Bob Hope riding off in the sunset in his jeep mimicking Roy Rogers on Trigger.
"Stalag 17" (1953): Wait. The dead guy is who?
"A Star is Born" (1937, 1954): The widow speaks.
"To Catch a Thief" (1955): The mother will love it here.
"The Wizard of Oz" (1939): There's no place like home.
"You've Got Mail" (1998): "Don't cry, Shopgirl." Wait. How is this on the list?
Okay, so those are Chicago's favorite movie endings.
What are yours?