List of favorite movie endings
I’ve installed Intense Debate’s Youtube embed plugin. To to try it out, post a clip of your favorite movie ending.
I’ll kick things off with mine. Its from the Deer Hunter. It’s the only film about Vietnam that I like, understated where Apocalypse Now is overblown, complex where Born on the 4th of July is one-dimensional and epic where Full Metal Jacket is narrow and specific.
The problem with many War films, for me, is that they create an anti-war statement that is macho and an opposition to violence that dwells in its pornographic depiction.
It’s difficult to display fighting as explicitly entertaining unless you are shooting bugs, villains with Hungarian accents or aliens, but if you make a ‘war is hell’ film like Apocalypse Now you can display the deaths of ordinary people with operatic grandeur.
The Deer Hunter is different. Most of the film is about context and relationships, and the war scenes themselves are limited to the blisteringly intense and emblematic depiction of Russian roulette. That the roulette scenes are the most popular on YouTube speaks to a depressing reality, that even in the Deer Hunter people strip out the build up and get straight to the dirty bits, like turning a love story into a porn clip. But in context, the violence in the Deer Hunter is neither gratuitous or unnecessary.
The Deer Hunter starts with a wedding and ends with a wake and in between weaves intertwined relationships that are complicated as in real life. But for me the scene after Nick’s funeral, ending with everyone singing ‘God Bless America’ is my pick for a favorite movie ending.
I am neither American nor do I believe in God but this rendition of God Bless America raises the hair on the back of my neck. This is not a jingoistic, defiant rendition of a patriotic anthem, but a quiet, ambiguous, demonstration of solidarity. A capitulation to ultimately identify as part of a society, while still linked culturally to an old country and living not a Californian dream, but in a deprived town in the rust belt. A community damaged but not broken, from a war which challenged the notion of what it was to be American.
Submit your favorite movie endings with clips embedded in the comments.