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What's the best movie ending ever?

Many years ago, back in the days when my hairbrush actually saw some action, I saw the best movie ending ever.
“And what movie was that, Jon?” I hear you ask.
Well I’ll tell you. It was The Italian Job – the 1969 Michael Caine version. 

The film itself was great (though I like the 2003 remake even better), but I loved the ending so much, I used the last line as a chapter ending in Fur-Face.
In the movie, Michael Caine and his cohorts have just pulled off an audacious robbery in Turin. They’ve successfully stolen £4m in gold bullion, escaped the police and are now in a six-wheeled coach, on the narrow winding road across the Alps to Switzerland.
Suddenly, the driver loses control. The coach goes into a skid and ends up teetering over the edge of a 1,000-foot drop - a real cliffhanger ending if ever there was one - but that’s not even the best bit.

The gold bullion slides towards the back doors. Its weight tilts the coach even more, threatening to send it over the edge. Michael Caine and his fellow thieves rush to the front of the coach to even the balance.

Caine tries to crawl to the gold, but it slides even farther away, upsetting the balance again and sending Caine back to his friends in a hurry.  
How can they even survive this, much less retrieve the gold?   
The camera angle changes to a long distance shot of the coach see-sawing gently over the precipice. As the camera spirals around the coach, we hear Caine’s voice: 

"Hang on a minute, lads. I've got a great idea."
Cue music, cue end credits.
Like I said, best movie ending ever!
At least, that’s my opinion. 
How about you?
What’s your favorite movie ending ?

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( 68 comments — Leave a comment )
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Nov. 6th, 2010 11:38 am (UTC)
Don't you get it? Bobby Darin doesn't die.
Nov. 6th, 2010 01:55 pm (UTC)
That young lad dances well, I thought :)
Nov. 6th, 2010 12:25 pm (UTC)
"I'm in insurance."
- last line of 12 Monkeys
Nov. 6th, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC)
I quite liked 12 Monkeys :)
(no subject) - serge_lj - Nov. 6th, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Nov. 6th, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sue_bridehead - Nov. 8th, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 6th, 2010 12:59 pm (UTC)
WE were discussing this morning how the market these days would require a solution. Only an indy film producer would get away with a dangling ending.....
Nov. 6th, 2010 01:52 pm (UTC)
You know, that's probably right, which is a shame - at least it would have been in the case of The Italian Job
(no subject) - msstacy13 - Nov. 6th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 6th, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC)
Ha, love how it's left "hanging." I haven't seen the movie.

As I'm thinking now about movies, a number come to mind, but the very first one to pop into my head was the end of movie I can't place. It was a small, indie film most likely. In the last scene, an actor is leaving the home of another character and he imitates for a second Frankenstein's monster. It is incredibly touching how he laughs at himself then. One of those poignant moments that really stick.

I am going to be on the hunt for this movie! And if I remember what movie it was, I will let you know. I keep thinking Ed Wood but I don't see Johnny Depp in it, so ...
Nov. 6th, 2010 01:53 pm (UTC)
Nothing springs to mind, but if I think of it, I'll let you know.
(no subject) - jongibbs - Nov. 7th, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clarionj - Nov. 7th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 6th, 2010 02:09 pm (UTC)
It really only works because the voice is Caine's, and because it is him we all believe. Good choice.

My favourite final scene is Tarkovsky's 'Stalker', when the eponymous Stalker's helplessly paralysed daughter moves the glass, how. . ?
Nov. 6th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
I don't think I've seen that one. I'll have to watch out for it :)
Nov. 6th, 2010 02:31 pm (UTC)
My really best ending?

"One time Atticus said you never really knew a man until you stood in his shoes and walked around in them; just standin' on the Radley porch was enough. The summer that had begun so long ago had ended, and another summer had taken its place, and a fall, and Boo Radley had come out. I was to think of these days many times. Of Jem, and Dill, and Boo Radley, and Tom Robinson, and Atticus. He would be in Jem's room all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning."
Nov. 6th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
The best movie ever made
Re: imo - jongibbs - Nov. 6th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 6th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
lol, that's awesome. I'll have to ponder this question.
Nov. 6th, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC)
I've thought of a few more good ones since I first thought of this post, but The Italian Job is still my favorite :)
(no subject) - phoenixfirewolf - Nov. 7th, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 6th, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC)
The last scene in the LOTR trilogy. After the tearjerking partings at the ship taking Gandalf, the Elves, Frodo and Bilbo across the sea, we're in the Shire again. Sam's walking towards home. His little girl comes out (played, I believe, by Astin's real life daughter.) He scoops her up. The family is reuinited. Only at THIS point do we get the notion of "happily ever after." For now, at least.

I just gave myself chills.
Nov. 6th, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
A feelgood ending, huh?

Interesting, I had you pegged as enjoying something with more of a punch (not like a Rocky movie, I mean like the 1979 version of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers
(no subject) - bogwitch64 - Nov. 7th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Nov. 7th, 2010 01:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 6th, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
My favourite movie ever is Master & Commander, so maybe that's why I love its ending so much. But I think it's great on its own merits: the captain and the doctor are in the captain's cabin, ready to play some music and return to Galapagos. The captain makes an offhand comment about the crew of the captured ship being taken away independently by the first lieutenant, and the doctor's reply makes the tricky captain realize his French opposite is just as tricky. The captain orders the ship to go in pursuit of the prize vessel. There is one final conry joke from the captain, which gets a laugh every time because the audience really like the captain, and then we shift to a lovely shot of the ship putting about to the strains of a classical piece I always refer to as the "Not Going Anywhere" music.

It ends the movie on a sigh of satisfaction and a flutter of delight. GREAT ending.
Nov. 6th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
I love that 'Lesser of two weevils' line too :)
Nov. 6th, 2010 05:21 pm (UTC)
Nov. 6th, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
Much as I dislike saying I was wrong,
I was probably wrong.
This probably is the best ending ever.
(no subject) - jongibbs - Nov. 6th, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 6th, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)
Nov. 6th, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
I loved the ending of Places in the Heart. It showed people who had died sitting with people who were alive, all of them happy and getting along well. I thought it showed Heaven, though some think it showed an alternative reality.

I also really liked the ending of 500 Days of Summer.
Nov. 6th, 2010 09:28 pm (UTC)
I've not seen either of those yet. What's the ending of 500 Days of Summer?
(no subject) - dlgarfinkle - Nov. 8th, 2010 03:35 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Nov. 10th, 2010 10:03 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 6th, 2010 08:04 pm (UTC)
I agree with THE ITALIAN JOB being the best movie ending ever.

I equally love the ending for INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE. It has Indiana, his father and his best friends riding off into the sunset and the music is absolutely perfect.
Nov. 6th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC)
I love that movie!

"The dooooog? You are named after the dooooog?" :)
Nov. 6th, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
I can't think of a movie, but I can think of a TV show: Fawlty Towers, which had many great endings. However, my favorite is the one to "Gourmet Night." Basil Fawlty has just demolished some sort of lovely frosted/decorated dessert with his hands, in a vain search for the entree he thought was going to be under the cover. Hands covered with frosting, he says to the guests, "Sorry, duck's off."
Nov. 6th, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
Lol, good one.

Do you remember the episode with the Irish builder? As I recall, it ends with Basil marching down the street with a garden gnome tucked under his arm. "Just off to see Mr. O'Reilly dear." :)
Nov. 6th, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC)
Shawshank Redemption. Seeing Red walking along the beach, and there's Andy Durfrense scrubing his boat. Perfect.
Nov. 6th, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
Is that the one with Morgan Freeman?
(no subject) - brian_ohio - Nov. 6th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Nov. 6th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - brian_ohio - Nov. 6th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Nov. 7th, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
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( 68 comments — Leave a comment )

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