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Forget It Jake, It's Chinatown: Flavorwire's 10 Greatest Movie Endings -- Do You Agree?

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood August 28, 2012 at 2:18PM

Flavorwire has compiled a list of the 10 greatest movie endings, including the likes of Roman Polanski's "Chinatown," Mike Nichols' "The Graduate" and Charlie Chaplin's "City Lights." Full list and videos below, but beware! Some of these endings (with Henri-Georges Clouzot's "Diaboloque" as the grand dame of doozies) should only be watched if you've already seen the film.
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Jack Nicholson Chinatown
Jack Nicholson in 'Chinatown'

Flavorwire has compiled a list of the 10 greatest movie endings, including the likes of Roman Polanski's "Chinatown," Mike Nichols' "The Graduate" and Charlie Chaplin's "City Lights." Full list and videos below, but beware! Some of these endings (with Henri-Georges Clouzot's "Diaboloque" as the grand dame of doozies) should only be watched if you've already seen the film.

Flavorwire's 10 Greatest Movie Endings (SPOILER ALERT!):

1. "Halloween" (dir. John Carpenter, 1978)

2. "Chinatown" (dir. Roman Polanski, 1974)

3. "Casablanca" (dir. Michael Curtiz, 1942)

4. "The Godfather" (dir. Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

5. "Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" (dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1964)

6. "There Will Be Blood" (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)

7. "The Wizard of Oz" (dir. Victor Fleming, 1939)

8. "Diabolique" (dir. Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955)

9. "The Graduate" (dir. Mike Nichols, 1967)

10. "City Lights" (dir. Charlie Chaplin, 1931)

What say you, TOH-ers? What film endings would you add to the list? Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" (and the top winner of Sight & Sound's recent poll) and "North by Northwest," Francois Truffaut's "The 400 Blows," Chris Marker's "La Jetee," Billy Wilder's "Double Indemnity" and "Some Like It Hot," Stanley Donen's "Charade," Akira Kurosawa's "High and Low," Robert Altman's "McCabe & Mrs. Miller," Otto Preminger's "Anatomy of a Murder," Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" and, obvious as it may be, Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane," the deposed Sight & Sound king, should all rank in a greatest movie endings list, too.

This article is related to: Classics, Video


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.