/ Films that are great but DO NOT have happy endings?
No Country For Old Men.
The Man Who Would Be King
Requiem for a Dream.
Planet of the Apes (not the remake obviously).
I'm sure a lot of people don't think my suggestions are great, but Arlington Road? :)
Maybe you're joking, I can't even remember the ending!!!
Great film, but didn't the Germans get sunk?
Saving Private Ryan
Marley and Me
Has anybody seen Pompeii? I watched this afternoon, great film, with a sad ending. It couldn't really finish any other way though
Brazil. You even think you're going to get a cheesy happy ending, but no.
A bridge too far
The deer hunter
The Big Blue
Local Hero. Not sure that Mac is happy at the end.
a big volcano erupted, killed everybody
The Great Escape
By about one third of the way through, for me, any notions of them being the enemy just fell away. I empathised so much with them simply as fellow human beings doing a shitty job in unimaginable conditions. Then the horror just went on... and on... and on. When deliverance finally arrived, it turned out to be the very opposite of deliverance. Poor bastards.
A superb memorial to submariners of both sides who met lonely, horrible deaths. The bravest of the brave.
the long good friday
Pan's Labyrinth... Or does it?
The Constant Gardener. Definitely in my top 5 as well.
I thought it was excellent. Who was the only person not cleared to be in the garage?
How could you spoil something like that?
Next you'll be telling me that a big ship sinks in a film when it hits some ice.
Lovers of the Arctic Circle
My dad was a submariner - he served in the Royal Navy in subs just like the ones in the film in the early 1950s. He said 'Das Boot' was the only film submarine film to come close to conveying the conditions inside those boats.
Great Yugoslav war black comedy called No Man's Land.
Tess of the D'Urbevilles. Hardy has a lot if tears to answer for.
Boy in stiped pyjamas. Shocking ending.
Cool hand Luke
Star Wars (the terrorists destroy the advanced engineering structure, setting back galactic progress)
Anal Sluts From Hell Vol.4
Agreed; about the greatest war movie I have ever seen.
Two more greats:
Aguirre, the Wrath of God
The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
Thanks for reminding me about Fiennes. How i could have forgotten my favourite film of all in my earlier post i don't know - The English Patient.
Then there's also the excellent End of the Affair.
there is a version of that with a happy ending
American History X
Dead Man's Shoes
Robin Hood - prince of Theives
alot of americans didnt like no country because of the ending,they seem to like a happy finish.personally i enjoy a nasty ending,especially in porn ;-)
i was thinking that as well.great film,named our daughter after the girl who got shot
One flew over the cuckoo's nest
Omega man/I am legend
Ichi the killer
One flew over the Cuckoo's nest
damn! beat me to it :-)
most George Romero films.
most film adaptations of Stephen King books.
Oldboy has a pretty nasty ending.
The first time I ever saw Bladerunner , it did not have a happy ending.
Then I watched it a few years later and the sad ending was replaced with some crappy dreamy sequence that made no sense but tried to make a half ending. That spoiled it for me. A travesty of there ever was.
Another vote for blood diamond.
Life is beautiful, a film of two halves lets just say!
Don't Look Now
Withnail and I
Blair witch Project.
butch and Sundance.
Any Kevin Costner film his character survives in.
The Wages of Fear
Layer Cake, then again you don't find out if he actually dies.
Amongst the classics, Casablanca and Brief Encounter spring to mind, but they are known as "weepies" so does that disqualify them?
The Empire Strikes Back (the clue is in the title)
Any Vietnam war movie
Brief Encounter had a fairly happy ending didn't it? Richard Dreyfuss got to go on board the alien mothership just like he wanted to.
Yes, but the Probing you Know he was sure to get makes your eyes water.
The end of Season 3 Game of Thrones. I know that generally it's quite a bloody storyline, but Jesus, the wedding banquet scene shocked me. Watched it with actor commentary on too, amazing to hear their reaction to it as that was the first time they had watched it (as opposed to acted in it)
Most definitely. I had read the book before seeing the film and couldn't believe what I was reading when I read those last few pages. Not prone to emotion when reading books or watching films but had a tear in my eye then!
I Agree, we get to see and feel soldiers doing their job, just wanting t get home. A great film that transcends national allegiances.
To the OP
Dawn of the dead (either version)
The Battle of Britain ( I was rooting for the Germans they're uniforms were so much cooler).
Someone has already said Dead Man's Shoes but it's so good it's worth mentioning twice...so...
Dead Man's Shoes.
I don't think being a weepy disqualifies them, any more than a lot of the films listed might be disqualified for not being happy throughout.
However...I thought Brief Encounter DID end happily enough. The marriage is saved, with no repercussions - she's forgiven unconditionally isn't she?
The Bedford Incident
How could I forget 'The Fountain'. Before Aronofsky lost his way a bit.
Kiss Me Deadly
Watchmen (or IS it a reasonably happy ending??? Cleverly ambiguous, yes I know it's an adaptation)
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, maybe not quite a "great" film but it is unfairly maligned and its ending is what MAKES is almost-great.
Never Let Me Go
but I realise that I am mostly picking films that don't really have a happy vibe throughout, so that the unhappy endings are kind of inevitable and not shocking.
Good call, whoever said OHMSS.
Last of the Mohicans
Into the wild
Save the green planet
Jean de Florette and its sequel even more so - Manon des Sources.
I have only seen the American re-make but i assume the original ends in the same way.
Why I thought of that movie, who knows!
Good thread! (Troll)
Broke the unwritten - yet otherwise binding- rule that no kids must die
Clue is in the title. How many do they start with?
Thelma and Louise
Merry Christmas mr Lawrence has a sad ending but was shit
Bladerunner, obviously not the godawful version with the tacked on happy ending.
Easy Rider. Although it doesn't really qualify as a great film.
Very good call. Though what that is in French, I haven't a clue.
The Bridges of Madison County
Pull yourself together, for God's sake,
As I recall (it's been a long time since I saw BE, and I've only seen the original, which cannot be improved upon) Laura is forgiven, but in flashback. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the final action temporally, actually nearer the start of the film, her semi-conscious drift into suicide attempt? The film invites us, beautifully, to share her misery and regret. Oh, Celia Johnson's eyes, so deeply expressive!!
Is there some dust in here, I think I need to sneeze, pass the hankies.
500 Days of Summer. Boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy doesn't get girl back, girl gets another boy.
Husbands and Wives. Woody Allen asking the camera man at the end: "Can I go? Is this over?"
Inside Llewyn Davies
Dallas Buyers Club
The Remains of the Day
The Best Offer
Actually... I think not.
Of course if you'd like to pull me together, you're very welcome to try.
Yes it is, look how happy everyone is. Well almost everyone, but we all have to make sacrifices for the greater good.
Jaws (if you're a shark)
and on a similar vein....Watership Down
The book is so much better than the film. Ive read and re read 3 copies til they've fallen apart in my hands. Beware though there are 2 translations- one by a British author and one by an American. The British one is miles better as the Authors use of descriptive terms is that much more developed and rich
Funnily enough three of the greatest films ever made have sad endings...
Withnail and I
The Man Who Would Be King
No country for old men
- kills just about everyone except the baddie
Thelma and Louise, as someone above has already said. A very affecting ending to a great film.
To take a recent film, Her, with Joaquim Phoenix is an excellent, thoughtful film with a downbeat ending.
In similar vein to Dr Strangelove, "On the Beach" based on the Shute novel.
You know it better than I. Only saw it once, 20 years ago. I'll need to check it. Thanks!
Keeping it Allen...
Vicki Christina Barcelona. Rebecca Hall's face at the end speaks volumes about her future.
Blue Jasmine. Just when Jasmine has finally earned some sympathy from the audience - WHAM.
Harry potter and the goblet of fire
We got this on lovefilm, and watched it on a Sat night in. Finished at about 11 and we ended up going out just to try and shift the mood it had left us in. Good film though.
I'd reiterate Carlito's Way. Such a strong build to such a sad ending, and the first time of watching, quite unexpected (to me at least, in 1993)
I suppose a honorary mention should be made of Werner Herzog's 'Stroszek'. I've never seen the film, but it is infamously the last film that Ian Curtis watched before hanging himself. So unlikely to have finished on a Grease 'everyone happy together and a ride off into the sunset'.
In fact, according to Wikipedia, the film ends with a dancing chicken, a chicken playing a piano and then a rabbit riding a toy fire truck...
Most of Michael Haneke's films have endings that deliberately do not resolve what has taken place, therefore for some the ending will be perceived as unhappy. I remember an ex of mine throwing up her hands and then being ready to throw something at my head when the credits rolled at the end of 'Hidden'.
Definitely the end of Haneke's 'The Piano Teacher' is dark and downbeat though. How many lead characters stab themselves in final scenes of films?
There are things in Stroszcek bleaker than its ending, though.
This thread does seem to be inviting suggestions of films that are pretty grim throughout, such that their unhappy endings come as no big shock....
Guess that's the nature of the beast.
True Romance's originally shot ending was bleak, and Tony Scott persuaded Tarantino to make it happier. I think Scott made the right call.
How about Carlito's Way? The end is prefigured as it loops back to the opening scene and the whole film is a narrated flashback, but it still hits pretty hard actually.
"And Daniel never let go of Peachy's hand"
One of my earlier choices. Pleased to find a fellow fan.
I'm a fan too, took me ages to get around to watching it because I used to have an irrational prejudice against Michael Caine (I respect him lots now) so, coupled with Connery (against whom I hold a perfectly well reasoned prejudice), this seemed one to avoid. But even Connery is good in this one, it's one of his few enjoyable screen presences.
I got another one.
Out of the Past. Very clever ending actually - it is bittersweet.
Silver Dream Racer (1980 - starring David Essex)
Just seen Calvary. I need a drink.
> there is a version of that with a happy ending
Is that the directors cut?
"Le Salaire de la peur."
Yves Montand is driving his lorry-load of gelignite through Central America. He finds an old Paris Metro ticket in his pocket. He sniffs it for a moment then stares at it as his eyes glaze over with nostalgia and homesickness. Suddenly it's blown out of his fingers. No fancy pyrotechnics - we all know that his mates in the other truck have just blown up.
That's not the end of the film by a long shot, and I'm sure you know that. I am confused!
The way they end "Sorcerer", the 1977 remake, is actually far far more devastating than the ending of Le Salaire de la Peur
Man on Fire :(
I thought he was rolling a cig. Is that a different film?
There is an important clue in the title of the film though!
What if it was called Cavalry?
Would it entail a Bruce Willis saves the day ending (like in The Player).
You're right, I was confusing two different bits! I must dig out my copy again.
As to the 1977 remake, I've never seen it. However, if it doesn't end in "FIN" I don't want to...
He died for others sins? What a miserable bunch they were. Its kept me awake thinking about it though.
They didn't like Kes, either, but not just because the bird got it.
Their music was better, too. In fact, it was so good we confiscated it and renamed it "Aces High"
read Iron Coffins, fascinating. An account of the german submariners during the war. Das Boot over again, a great read.
Skyline - that ending is just weird
Sin City - this was on the other night, forgot how awesome it is.
Elsewhere on the site
Will Sim and Andy Inglis have made the second ascent of VIII,9 on Ben Nevis, followed by Will making a rare... Read more
PowerFingers is a simple, easy to use product which is incredibly effective for Climbers who require finger strength and... Read more
F ounded in 1993, Mountain Hardwear are a pretty young mountaineering clothing and equipment manufacturer but are also one of... Read more
Perhaps the perfect Xmas gift for the climber in your life... Wild Country's Crack School has two of the worlds best crack... Read more
At a bar in Llanberis an old man chimed in And I thought he was out of his head Being a young man I just laughed it off When... Read more