Friday, January 04, 2008

Best Film Fade Outs Ever

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?


E.C. Henry said...

"If a boy is talking to YOU and says, "I see dead people," don't renew your health insurance."

TOO funny, MarryAn, good job!

But what are you doing the Chicago tribune?

Actually, I liked "You've Got Mail's" ending. Meg Ryan IS the cat's meow. If the scientists ever perfect cloning -- I gotta get me one of those!

"Sleepless in Seattle" has the best ending for a romantic comedy. Everying is building up to the point where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan finally meet, and their looks at each other on the top of the Empire State building, as the audience gets to share the warm, realization Meg's character comes to is pure rom-com heaven.

"Beneath the Planet of the Apes" had a great ending, where Taylor blows up the world as Dr. Zaius gets in his last shot at the human race.

"The Presige" has a good ending too, where Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman square-off one last time.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

Grubber said...

Based on that list, I think I'll skip visiting Chicago when I finally make it to the US...
PS how can a city produce Al Capone and choose You've Got Mail?

MaryAn Batchellor said...

E.C., but I like the ORIGINAL Planet of the Apes best. Very cool. Statue of Liberty sticking out of the beach. That was a good ending.

Dave, agred. I like Rom Coms as much as the next person and am a big Nora Ephron fan but I don't think You've Got Mail qualifies as one of the best movie endings ever. Like nobody saw that coming?

Unk said...

Trains and tunnels... You gotta love'em.

I know I do.


esruel said...

Pretty Woman. Soooo corny, but the build-up was great.
And Four Weddings was a blast!

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Had to be the top floor? It's the best!

karin said...

Hi, I found your blog searching american blogs on cinema (i write in Italy), your blog is cool!
My fav ending is that of "12 monkeys"

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Awesome, Karin, buona scrittura di fortuna in Italia -- or something like that.