Friday, November 28, 2008

Best Movie Endings: Part 1

I'm preaching a sermon this weekend called "The Fugitive" and it has reminded me of the powerful ending of that Harrison Ford movie from the 90's. It was one of the great endings to a great story in film. It got me thinking about movies that I love that have great endings - and it didn't even come up in the top 3 or so on my list. I'm going to do a rapid-fire three part post of my favorite movie endings - in essence it will be my Top 9. There are some classic movies with great endings like Citizen Kane, the Godfather, Planet of the Apes, Star Wars, Bladerunner, One Flew Over the Cukoos Nest, etc. But I'm going to stick to movies that I've seen as an adult that were made within my generation. These are movies that either have great last lines, emotionally powerful conclusions, or cool twists at the end. So here it goes - this first post will contain my bottom three choices (in essence #'s 9, 8, and 7):
  1. The Fugitive - This storyline was so well-conceived, and I remember being completely invested as I watched it unfold. From the jumping off the dam scene to the big raucous in the convention hall the action didn't stop. So when Tommy Lee Jones took the cuffs off of Harrison Ford in the squad car at the end, I literally had a physical reaction of relief.
  2. Fight Club - As a Pastor, I'm not sure I'm allowed to include this movie on my list, but here it goes. The story has always fascinated me, and the multiple personality twist at the end of this movie is what makes it list-worthy. As Tyler Durden (Edward Norton) watches the city crumble before his eyes at the end after his band of terrorist blow the city to bits, he tells his lady friend, "you came at a very strange time in my life..."
  3. Saving Private Ryan - as Ryan visits the cemetary as an old man and reflects on the men who had died saving his life, the only words he can muster to his wife and family are, "Tell me I'm a good man," he so wanted to live up to the price that was paid for his life. This is a redemptive theme that I've used in a sermon before. There is an indebtedness that comes when someone gives their life for yours.
Stay tuned for the middle three on my list in Part 2 and then my top three movie endings in Part 3.

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