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The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three and Other Favorite Endings
(WARNING: **spoilers contained below**)

Review Copyright Roger Zotti, 2003

endings

Let's talk about movie endings.


Casablanca (1942) co-starred Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Bogart's Rick Blaine operates a gin and gambling joint in Nazi occupied Morocco. He meets up with an old flame, Bergman's Ilsa Lund.

To escape from the Nazis, she and her husband, Resistance hero Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), need letters of transit and seek Rick's help in getting them.

The VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever says, "Without a doubt, the best closing scene ever written..." In that scene we're not too sure what Ilsa will do: Will she stay with Rick in Morocco or take off with Victor?

As the plane takes off, with Isla and Victor aboard, Rick and Inspector Renault (Claude Rains) walk away together. Who can forget Rick's last words? "Louis," he says, "I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship."


To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) is the story of Jean Louise Finch (nicknamed Scout) and her older brother Jem's coming of age in an Alabama town torn by racial strife. The film is about the children and Boo Radley, their neighbor. One night the reclusive Radley saves the children's lives when they're attacked by Bob Ewell.

The reason for the attack is that Atticus, Scout and Jem's father, had defended Tom Robinson, a black man wrongly accused of raping and beating Ewell's daughter, Mayella.

Near the end. Scout escorts Boo Radley home. The film ends as she walks away from the Radley home. In a memorable voice over narration, she tells us that

Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, and our lives. One time Atticus said you never really knew a man until you stood in shoes and walked around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was really 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 those days many times - of Jen and Dill and Boo Radley and Tom Robinson and Atticus.


The last word spoken by the dying Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles), in Citizen Kane (1941), is "Rosebud." A reporter seeks to understand what he meant and begins a quest to understand the complex newspaper tycoon's life.

At the end we learn what Rosebud was, a sled, and what it meant to Kane - his lost childhood.

Welles was 25 when he co-wrote, directed, and starred in this masterpiece.


In The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), New York City is held for ransom when four hijackers, wearing identical disguises, kidnap a subway train.

Led by Mr. Blue (Robert Shaw), the four kidnappers, all of whom are named after colors, separate one car from the train. They take the conductor and the passengers hostage and demand that the city pay $l million ransom. If the money isn't received in one hour, the hostages will be killed.

During the negotiations there's tremendous tension between Matthau's Garber and Shaw's Blue, a cold-blooded killer. During several of their conversations, Garber hears someone sneeze in the background.

In the closing scene Garber and Lt. Rico Petrone (Jerry Stiller) have left Mr. Green's (Martin Balsam) apartment. Then, in the hallway, Garber hears a sound from - it's a sneeze - from behind Green's door. He recognizes it and opens Green's door. There's a wonderful close up of Matthau's face - and his unforgettable expression.

It ranks as one of the best movie endings I've seen.



Can't get enough of those golden oldies? Open the "Video Vault" for more flicks from yesteryear!

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