EDITORIALS

EW's 40 Perfect Movie Endings

by
August 12, 2007
Source: Entertainment Weekly

Casablanca

It's a Sunday and what more do you want to do than kick back and watch a great classic movie. Maybe Indiana Jones, maybe Matrix, maybe even something like The Thing or the original Halloween. Well compliments of Entertainment Weekly, they've put together a list of 40 perfect movie endings. Ranging from the new Bourne Ultimatum (which I suggest everyone go see) to North by Northwest and The Sixth Sense. If you're struggling to think of something great to watch any night of the week, then this list may give you some inspiration.

Over at EW.com you can see a photo and a description of the end (spoilers of course!) for every movie listed. However for simplicity purposes I've written out the full list below. It's not in any specific order, just numbered.

1 - THE 40 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN (2005)
2 - RESERVOIR DOGS (1992)
3 - LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003)
4 - SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)
5 - VALLEY GIRL (1983)
6 - THE THIRD MAN (1949)
7 - BOOGIE NIGHTS (1997)
8 - MANHATTAN (1979)
9 - A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (1992)
10 - WHITE HEAT (1949)
11 - THE KARATE KID (1984)
12 - NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959)
13 - PRIDE & PREJUDICE (2005)
14 - THE KILLING (1956)
15 - THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM (2007)
16 - SAW (2004)
17 - A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (2005)
18 - THE GODFATHER: PART II (1974)
19 - THE OTHERS (2001)
20 - A TASTE OF CHERRY (1997)
21 - SIXTEEN CANDLES (1984)
22 - VERTIGO (1958)
23 - ONCE (2007)
24 - THE SIXTH SENSE (1999)
25 - DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)
26 - CINEMA PARADISO (1988)
27 - ROCKY II (1979)
28 - BEFORE SUNSET (2004)
29 - THE SEVENTH SEAL (1957)
30 - RUSHMORE (1998)
31 - GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
32 - BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (2005)
33 - THE 400 BLOWS (1959)
34 - SIDEWAYS (2004)
35 - CASABLANCA (1942)
36 - ABOUT A BOY (2002)
37 - THE SEARCHERS (1956)
38 - BIG NIGHT (1996)
39 - FACING WINDOWS (2003)
40 - ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (1975)

If anything, this list here sounds like more of the crown gems of cinematic history than anything. The ending is always one of the most important parts and if that's perfect, then the movie is nearly perfect.

Personally I'm glad they chose to include Cinema Paradiso (one of my own personal favorite movies), Once, and Reservoir Dogs. I'm sure there are plenty more everyone else could add to this list, so go ahead and drop off your best suggestions below.

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Reader Feedback - 29 Comments

1

My immediate thought was THE THIRD MAN. Glad to see it made the list.

garv on Aug 12, 2007

2

A great list with some real classics on there. Glad they included: The Third Man, Casablanca, Vertigo, North By Northwest, The Seventh Seal, The Killing and Reservoir Dogs. I also think that Notorious should be added to the list. I noticed that a lot of old movies end quite fast and abruptly. But I guess that's good, because these days a lot of movies drag on and on because the director doesn't know how to end them.

Zach on Aug 13, 2007

3

No Se7en, no sale.

CajoleJuice on Aug 13, 2007

4

Im gonna get some heat for this, but what about "The Da Vinci Code"? I really liked the ending, whatever you may think of the rest of the film. The music in that scene was great too. (Chevalliers d´sangreal, something like that) I agree on "Seven" too...gotta be there!

walker on Aug 13, 2007

5

Sneakers. No question.

Mark on Aug 13, 2007

6

I LOVE Sneakers! Glad you mentioned that, but is it that amazing to be on this list... I think so!

Alex Billington on Aug 13, 2007

7

"Se7en" and "Donnie Darko" should both be on this list.... in my opinion!

TheGuyInThePj's on Aug 13, 2007

8

the usual suspects?

tjfurr on Aug 13, 2007

9

Donnie Darko fanboys are still around? :p Sneakers! Yes, that's a guilty pleasure of mine, too 🙂 Se7en should be there as well.

Mark on Aug 13, 2007

10

What, no Return of The King? The thing had 7 endings! 🙂 Surely one of them had to be good enough to make this list.

Clarke on Aug 14, 2007

11

Ok, I've got to mention another one to add to this list! I just saw Michael Clayton earlier today (comes out early October) and holy SHIT was it the most amazing ending I've ever seen!! I'll be writing an article on this later, but damn was the ending just perfect... I really want to see it again to just feel the same euphoria at that ending again. Just amazing...!

Alex Billington on Aug 22, 2007

12

A List Of Movies With Perfect Endings That Does Not Include "The Usual Suspects"? You Gotta Be Kiddin Me

PopCorn on Oct 19, 2007

13

My list of eprfect movie endings: The Usual Suspects Donnie Darko Once Upon A Time In The West Saw 2001: A Space Odyssey Fight Club

Ross Miller on Oct 22, 2007

14

I can't believe you didn't include The Shawshank Redemption! Or what about The Silence of the Lambs?

hammer38 on Jan 23, 2008

15

Se7en Fight Club There Will Be Blood p.s. so glad that rushmore made your list, that's one of my favorite movie endings of all time!

James Porter on Feb 13, 2008

16

Haha Great list! -- The Others was one of the best endings I have seen... In my opinion Seven was the best and Field of Dreams in the top five...

Seven!!! Field of Dreams!!! on Feb 24, 2008

17

Am I the only one who is crazy to think that 40 Year-Old Virgin made this list? Yeah it was funny, but it's certainly not among the best endings of all time. It was creative and quirky, but not that good. I would agree that Shawshank Redemption should be on the list. Or maybe the Sting? That is a classic; or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. That was a tremendously memorable ending, and dramatic. Even a Walk to Remember was better than 40 Year-Old Virgin. I just don't get it. The Last Castle, the Mosquito Coast, Terminator 2 had a marvelous ending, Blade Runner, It's a Wonderful Life was sweet and moving, Leon the Professional, and the Breakfast Club was good for it's time and demographic. But of their weren't different opinions, then who would I disagree with? I hope whoever reads this had a good day, and bless you.

Moriarty on Mar 19, 2008

18

Don't forget about the great ending to Crocodile Dundee, when Mick Dundee walks over the shoulders of the crowd in the NY subway station.

Jennifer on Apr 20, 2008

19

no shawshank redemption?that should have made that list.

calvin on Apr 29, 2008

20

where the hell is the italian job (original)!!! the best ending ever!!!

paul on May 30, 2008

21

the usual suspects isnt on this list. this list is horrible. no usual suspects? it is in the top 5 of greatest endings in like every poll ive ever seen. it was so good that they spoofed it in scary movie, just the ending nothing else. the ending to 40 year old virgin is just awkward to watch if your with other people, its hard to watch its so weird.

Keyser Soze on May 31, 2008

22

Alex for once I agree with you. 🙂

E on Jun 26, 2008

23

What?!? Come on, you've gotta be kidding me. Charade isn't on the list but North by Northwest is? They're in the same class, same main actor, but Charade's ending is FAR better. Well... North by Northwest is good... but still, Charade should be on there.

EmilyK. on Sep 11, 2008

24

city lights - best ending ever

franklin on Oct 19, 2008

25

This list is useless without "The usual suspects"

webpurchaser on Nov 16, 2008

26

1- The Usual Suspects 2-Fight Club 3-The Bourne Ultimatum 4-Seven 5-Saw

webpurchaser on Nov 16, 2008

27

Animal House -- "Senator and Mrs. John Blutarsky" -- 'nuff said.

Chuckles on Mar 29, 2009

28

I'm not sure why movies like The 40-Year Old Virgin and Sideways (both overrated , in my opinion) made the list...And why Rocky II? Lost in Translation was a very good movie, I don't see what's so special about the ending. Casablanca should be there in first place. And what about Treasure of Sierra Madre? Also, if the list includes classic westerns like The Searchers, why was Shane left out? I also think that Woody Allen's "Love and Death" should go right along with "The Seventh Seal" ending -- two movies that should be watched together.

Jeanie on May 24, 2009

29

"Sixteen Candles." Finally it all comes together for poor Molly Ringwald.

Talasker on Dec 22, 2009

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