Great Movie Endings

The Times of London presents a list of their top twenty film endings. They rank Carrie as number one, which I would not go along with. Sure it was scary the first time, but it doesn’t really mean very much. It doesn’t cause viewers to continue to consider the meaning of the film such as in seeing the tip of the Statue of Liberty at the end of Planet of the Apes or learning that things are not as we were led to believe in Memento.

The longer I were to think about it I suspect I’d come up with more movies which I’d add to the list but which did not make it. The first great ending to come to mind which failed to make the list was Dustin Hoffman crashing Katherine Ross’ wedding and fighting off her family and guests and escaping with church with the use of a cross in The Graduate. While perhaps not in the top twenty, another movie with a memorable ending was Match Point, at very least for relieving an incredible amount of tension built up in the final portion of the movie.

I’d also rank The Empire Strikes Back highly, but only for those watching the Star Wars movies in the order actually made. Those who watch beginning with Episode I rather than Episode IV will not be at all surprised to hear Darth Vader say, “I am your father, Luke.” Many other aspects of the original trilogy will be totally different if watched after what is officially the first three episodes. There will be skepticism of neither “old Ben” or The Force if newer movies are watched first.

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  1. 1
    Michael says:

    I’m not even sure that I’d put Carrie in the top 10! Memento is top 5 for sure, as hackneyed as it is you gotta put at least one M. Night movie in there too…..Perhaps the writers at the Times of London are a bit too old to be writing such a list?

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Two points in Carrie’s favor: Most people are aware of the ending, and it is the typical example given of a horror movie where the evil force returns. For example, there were a number of comparisons between Carrie and the Clinton campaign before she finally withdrew. I would keep Carrie on the top twenty list, but not number one.

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