I have always been a sucker for a film’s ending. It can be sappy or intense, but mostly I prefer those that define creative writing. Lately, however, most videos or posts define “ending” as the climax or twist well before the film actually ends.
This ongoing series has the intention of giving credit to some of the greatest film endings of all time. But these are the real endings. The absolute final scenes. The ones that have the last chance to inspire (or haunt) us with their closing message. And when they are over, the credits roll.
This round, those that have given me great inspiration.
10) Warrior (2011)
Luckily – and a rather large reason why this film’s on this list – the payoff reveals itself in this scene through one brother’s defeat and the other’s triumph. A film about a troubled family and holding onto the past, turns into heartwarming displays of forgiveness and fortifying the unbreakable bond of family.
film as a whole rank: #10
9) The Color of Money (1986)
Pride always seems to fluctuate between good and bad in films. Here we have a relationship between student and master where inevitably, the student surpasses the master. This scene shows the value of pride and how sometimes it is the last thing we hold.
film as a whole rank: #6
8) The Wrestler (2008)
A broken man cannot change his past. Even more it seems there is nothing he can do about his present. Clouds of depression might form for some after watching this final scene, yet its ambiguous nature not only keeps the audience guessing his future, but has them contemplating their own.
film as a whole rank: #9
7) Good Will Hunting (1997)
This is one where the music did most of the influencing for me. I would probably bet this is the most seen film on the list, and there is a good reason for that. There is a lot that could be said about Gus Van Sant’s final scene, but in all honesty the inspiration lies in the personal interpretation.
film as a whole rank: #4
6) 50/50 (2011)
This choice might throw a couple people off, but I wholeheartedly believe it deserves a spot on this list. I will admit I do have a bias, as the writing for this scene may be right up my alley, perhaps inspiring my brain and allowing me to write. It also helps that all actors involved delivered each line with the upmost honesty.
film as a whole rank: #8
5) Cinema Paradiso (1988)
One of the greatest payoffs I can honestly say has graced the screens, so good in fact I would hate to ruin any part of it for you. Let’s just say Toto is given back little parts of his childhood, making me feel all warm and tingly inside.
film as a whole rank: #5
4) Once You’re Born You Can No Longer Hide (2005)
Every list should have that one unknown which the far majority knows nothing about having never heard of its existence. I will graciously make Once You’re Born… (Quando sei nato non puoi piu nasconderti) that one on this list. Let me put it this way, this is the only film I could not – for the life of me – find a screenshot of the final scene. This scene is a thing of genius as Giordana uses the setting of a construction site to pronounce the unfinished lives of these two young souls.
film as a whole rank: #3
3) 12 Angry Men (1957)
Strangers meet for the first time with a young man’s life in their hands. They leave as they came, walking solely and silently, but forever changed in mind and spirit. Lumet’s magnum opus would not be one of the most inspiring films of all time without an awe inspiring last moment.
film as a whole rank: #2
2) Tokyo Sonata (2008)
Not only is this scene unequivocally beautiful, emotionally transcending, and other flattering descriptive words, Kiyoshi Kurosawa also illustrates his social comment with a masterful representation. The family is still enclosed from society, but this time society wants in.
film as a whole rank: #7
1) Before Sunset (2004)
film as a whole rank: #1