Good movies with bad endings.

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by metal134, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. metal134

    metal134 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Canton, OH, USA
    What are some movies that you think are overall good movies, but the ending rubbed you the wrong way for whatever reason? Spoilers, obviously. Some of mine:

    The Natural:

    You may think I'm crazy on this one, but the ending REALLY bothered me. If you haven't read the book, then you probably have no idea why I say that. If you have, then you probably do. It's one thing to change an ending from a book; there are instances where I can live with that. But this change fundamentally altered the entire purpose of the story.

    The Breakfast Club:

    This one is just contrived. I can understand Andrew and Allison ending up together. A little shoe horned, though nothing egregious. But Jon and Claire? That was just plain forced. I get that the whole point was these 5 looking past their perceived differences and coming together. But these two don't say a single kind word to each other the ENTIRE movie and out of NOWHERE, they have a thing for each other? That was a serious strain on my suspension of disbelief.

    Red River:

    So Dunson has been tracking Garth for I don't know how many miles with vengeance on his mind. He catches up and he is coming in HOT, with fire in his eyes and ready to kill. Garth stands his ground, but Dunson won't back down. They tussle. Tess basically says, "shame on you" and Dunson says. OK. And that's it! That's the end of it! WTF?!

    3:10 to Yuma

    Wade has been taunting Dan this entire time. "My crew is going to save me". They get right to the train, his gang catches up, and Wade... jumps on the damn train? Why; because, "oh, I've busted Yuma before. No biggie."
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  2. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    First thing I thought of

    The original ending was to be Wayne dying and Clift taking him back to Texas, but Wayne dies just before they cross the Red River.

    This ending was later used by Larry McMurtry in Lonesome Dove.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  3. metal134

    metal134 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Canton, OH, USA
    That was the ending to the book, but I don't know if Howard Hawks ever even considered using it.
    fr in sc likes this.
  4. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Öyster Cultist

    No Country For Old Men. Great movie but what a random way to end it.
    Mr.Sean, hbbfam, serj and 12 others like this.
  5. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Los Angeles CA USA
    The ending of Out Of Africa-I had no idea that
    she never gets back to her beloved Africa again. I just about cried, that was so sad.
    (I know, that's probably not really the purpose of the thread, but this one jumped out of my brain).

    The ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey was dorky. It not only didn't follow the book, and therefore didn't show the cool spaceship graveyard, but the whole thing came off as just weird without the book explanation.

    Any movie where they leave the bad guy(s)/gal(s) for dead, but they don't make sure of it! Jeez, be SURE they are dead, good grief so stupid.
    Keith V likes this.
  6. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    This thread reminded me of this article I read awhile back about Shyamalan's movies. In particular the authors review of Signs made me laugh. He puts the ending of Signs at number 12 out of 14 films ranking them from best to worst. But he puts the first 100 minutes of Signs at number 3. Every M. Night Shyamalan Film, Ranked Best to Worst
    Drifter likes this.
  7. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    According to Borden Chase it was in the original script. I don't know at what point (before or after production started) Hawks changed it.
  8. Drifter

    Drifter AD survivor

    Vancouver, BC, CA
    Oh yes, that ending was bad. I hated seeing one of the aliens so clearly too. I found them scary when you never really saw them up close for 99% of the film - far more effective.
    Chris from Chicago, eddiel and Vidiot like this.
  9. rene smalldridge

    rene smalldridge Senior Member

    I actually like the movie more than the book because the whole idea of such advanced alien intelligence is that their actions and motivations would be a complete incomprehensible mystery to us. For me the ending was extremely haunting as was the whole film. The book was just a very interesting read.
  10. HiFi Guy 008

    HiFi Guy 008 Forum Resident

    2001 was written by Arthur C Clark. The book was written AFTER the screenplay.
  11. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    There's actually three endings for 2001: the original screenplay (which didn't work for several reasons); the revised screenplay (which we saw in the finished film); and Clarke's novelization, which was written after the screenplay. In Clarke's later Lost Worlds of 2001, he explains the multiple endings and I think was pretty fair to Kubrick and himself in detailing why the film and book were different. The short version was they couldn't figure out a way to show the aliens, and to explain more would kind of bog down the pace of an already very-long film. The vague, abstract ending works on its own in that Kubrick basically said, "the audience will figure it out for themselves." (And my apologies to @HiFi Guy who just said the same thing above.)

    Not everything has to hit the nail on the head and provide a direct explanation. It's not necessarily a bad thing to make the audience work a little bit to draw a connection and figure out the plot.

    What drives me crazy is when there's a solid ending that really goes somewhere, and the director chooses to omit it. Kubrick did that on The Shining, where in the book the old hotel blows up and kills the crazy father, but in the movie the guy just freezes to death. Kubrick's explanation was basically he thought King's novel finale was too over-the-top and big, and he wanted something subtle. In this case, I think the director was wrong. The movie has a lot of great stuff in it, but the ending left me cold. (Nicholson, too.)

    Jaws is an example of a movie where the novel was extensively rewritten, the Richard Dreyfuss character survives, extraneous stuff was left out (like characters having an affair), plus the explosive finale. Sometimes, the movies wind up much, much better than the book.
    Carl LaFong, goodiesguy, Jrr and 6 others like this.
  12. neo123

    neo123 Forum Resident

    Northern Kentucky
    Yep. My first thought when I saw this thread. I was loving this moving until the ending. Ruined the whole movie for me.
  13. Drifter

    Drifter AD survivor

    Vancouver, BC, CA
    The ending of "The Abyss" ruined the film for me (although I still bought the dvd). Typical happy ending, with horrible special effects, that just feels tacked on.
    Murph likes this.
  14. Miriam

    Miriam Forum Resident

    Suspicion (1941) by Alfred Hitchcock
  15. Commander Lucius Emery

    Commander Lucius Emery Forum Resident

    My younger sister was furious over the ending of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail", yelling at the tv. Most people probably think it's great.

    The studio tacked on ending of "The Magnificent Ambersons"
    mmars982 likes this.
  16. sloaches

    sloaches Forum Resident

    Okay, it's not a theatrical release, but the way that Stephen King' s "The Stand" miniseries ended was just ridiculous. Having Mother Abigail's spirit appear in the nursery reminded me of an old Olan Mills studio print. Of course, I wish that they would just do a complete remake of The Stand for HBO, but that's a discussion for another thread.
  17. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    You mean other than La La Land?

    I get No Country For Old Men, but I certainly see why people list it.

    To Lie and Die in LA
  18. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    I HATE the ending of that movie! I've asked many people who I thought would know what it's supposed to signify and I've never gotten a decent answer! :laugh:
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  19. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Yeah, The Shining is a rare example where the book goes for the blow-up and the movie doesn't.

    I read Jaws before seeing the movie (albeit Readers Digest Condensed Version) and never could understand why the hell the shark died in the book. But Hooper being killed by the shark was a much better story then him somehow slipping past a station wagon sized shark and hiding under the reef.
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  20. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    There was no way they could have made a great version of The Stand with 1990's TV-miniseries budgets, but they did a pretty good job nonetheless. Most of that miniseries is very effective.
  21. Lightworker

    Lightworker Forum Resident

    Baltimore, MD


    And this:

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  22. PonceDeLeroy

    PonceDeLeroy Forum Resident

    Grapes of Wrath. (TF?)
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  23. HiredGoon

    HiredGoon Forum Resident

    Star Wars. That hokey medal ceremony. Pffft.

    knob twirler likes this.
  24. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Forum Resident

    Fort worth tx
  25. BadJack

    BadJack Forum Resident

    Boston, MA
    The very last shot of "The Departed".

    Oh, I get it, he was a rat!

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