Monday, April 27, 2009

Endings ironic

I'm trying to think of some ironic endings that work. Can you all help?

Like the first Indiana Jones film, where they battle the whole film to win the great Ark, and finally do, and the last shot is a guy stuffing the crate into some government warehouse where it will never be noticed again.

What else? Film or novel or story?


Stephanie said...

Planet of the Apes & 12 Monkeys spring to mind.

Julie Harrington said...

The Maltese Falcon -- all that they did just to find out the bird was a worthless fake.

The Alfred Hitchcock one where the woman killed her husband with a frozen leg or lamb and -- as they were sitting around discussing the type of blunt instrument that would have to be used to kill him.... they're eating said leg of lamb. (episode: Lamb to the Slaughter)

Any book by Carl Hiaasen. LOL. He's all about the irony. Love him. Double Whammy, Native Tongue, Skinny Dip all come to mind.

I find the original movie version of Mel Gibson's Payback kind of ironic. All that for such a small amount of money and - in the end - I don't think he got it anyway. He got the girl and the dog but no money.

I don't know if it's "ironic" but on The Shadow, the bad guy who controlled everybody's minds ended up getting abilities filleted out of his skull and locked in an asylum where nobody would ever believe he was the great descendent of Ghangis Kahn.

There was a Dortmunder novel by Donald Westlake called The Hot Rock that they stole and ended up having to bust into jail to get it back after they'd been arrested and hid it in the cell.

Westlake's... Bank shot? Or was it Drowned Hopes? I think it was drowned hopes, where the group of criminals robbed a bank and buried the money planning on coming back to retrieve it later... only to come back to find the county had dammed the whole area off and flooded it. Bwha. That was a good one.

Oh and What's the Worst That Could Happen -- the book, not the horrible movie they made from the book. Loved that ending! The burger gets caught breaking into the victim's house. Said victim robs him, has him arrested and the burgler spends the rest of the book dismantling the guy's life to get the ring back.

Ummm. I can't think of any others. If I do, I'll be back.

~ who sees a disturbing trend toward violence and revenge in her preferences ~

Riley Murphy said...

How about this one, it was a song too. I believe it was a Billy Jack movie...

"One Tin Soldier" tells the abstract story of a hidden treasure and two neighboring peoples, the Mountain People and the Valley People. The Valley People are aware of a treasure on the mountain, buried under a stone; they send a message to the Mountain People demanding those riches. When told they can share the treasure, the Valley People instead decided to take it all by force. After killing all the Mountain People, the victors move the stone and find nothing more than a simple message: "Peace on Earth." Ironically, the valley people destroyed the treasure in pursuit of it.

I know that you being God and all, and wanting world peace, well, you'd probably appreciate this one.

Julie Harrington said...

Oh! The Columbo episode with the guy who owned the vineyard. He killed his brother to prevent him from selling it. He hid the body in the wine cellar and an unexpected temperature spike hit while the killer was gone on business. So when he returned and disposed of the body... he finds out all the wine that was in there was ruined. Which pretty much destroyed him anyway.

There was the other Columbo where the female tv producer killed her lover/boss becuase he wasn't going to promote her. She assumed she'd get his job. She did. On a temp basis only to screw it up and lose her shot at the job anyway.


Riley Murphy said...

JT, are you serious? I'm reading all this totally impressed and I suspect that there is a theme going on here.:)

Nick said...

Well... (big spoilers ahoy)...

Watchmen - The most anti-hero and villainous of the bunch turns out to be one of the only heroic 'good' guys left.

Bang Bang You're Dead - The only person that can stop the school shooting is the kid suspended for threats of violence.

Cube - The person to make it out alive is the only person who doesn't know better (though that's more symbolic than anything).

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Not realizing how much you need (or can't stand) somebody until you can't remember anything about them.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog - In order to get everything he wanted, he had to lose everything he really wanted (or needed).

Saw - The most dangerous person was seemingly the least threatening.

Harry Potter - The most constantly vile and threatening person (outside Voldemort) in the series turned out to be one of the bravest and most protective... and the wisest and kindest turned out to not be exactly what Harry thought.

Chronicles of Riddick - In destroying what he hated, he became their leader.

The Dark Knight - In order for Gotham to thrive, the hero has to be seen as the villain.

Anonymous said...

Not-so-great-movie, but Titanic, where the old lady throws the necklace that the Bill Paxton character has been searching for into the North Atlantic at the end.

Laura Hamby said...

The Replacements. There's a football player strike. Keanu Reeves is Our Hero, who faces opposition from the quarterback he's replacing when he crosses the picket line... Anyway, he takes the team to the playoffs only to be replaced in the final, decisive game of the season by the "real" quarterback...Who can't play well with others (the rest of the "replacements...")... Okay, the irony ends there, I think, but it's not quite the end of the movie. Does it still count? I only thought of this one because my children (boys, all of them) LOVE this movie.

Bradley Robb said...

Well, there's Citizen Cane, where we find out the meaning of Rosebud. This is doubly ironic if you know the real meaning of rosebud as supposedly used by William Randolph Hearst.

And then there's the worst ironic ending of all time, that of St. Elsewhere. The camera pulls out of the snowy hospital at night to reveal that it is but a snow globe in the hands of an autistic child.

Jordan McCollum said...

Without delving into my trove of Law & Order synopses, how about the classic, "Gift of the Magi"?

Laura Hamby said...

Now that I'm more awake, the ending of The Replacements is ironic in that the replacement quarterback (Keanu) comes back for the final half of the game, and the "pro quarterback" who'd been playing a lousy game to show his contempt for the replacement team (that ironically got the franchise to the playoffs) for a comeback win and the full replacement team gets the team into the Superbowl (or final final playoffs, cain't remember), which will be played by the "pro's".

Anonymous said...

"The Fruit & Veg Man" , where it turns out that his paintings were worth a fortune after all.

Edittorrent said...

Thanks, all, those are great!

What was the Bogart-John Huston film where the two guys are fighting in the desert, and the bad guy kills the good guy, but the good guy, before he dies, handcuffs himself to the bad guy, thereby insuring the bad guy will die in the desert?

but maybe some of these are twist endings? Should irony undercut the importance and meaning of the plot?

Anonymous said...

Kind Hearts and Coronets (old black&white film) - The main character spends the whole movie writing his account of all the crimes he commited, is given a reprieve at the last minute and then needs to leave the country since the written account is still at the police station.

Another film (but I don't remember the name), where a bunch of people are supposed to inherit some money if they fulfill the conditions of the will (the two I remember were the mystery writer who was supposed to spend ~10 days in jail and had trouble since the judge was the father of his fiance, and the playboy who was supposed to marry the next girl he spoke to) the ironical twist at the end was the person who died was broke.

Unknown said...

What about Pulp Fiction? Did we ever see what was in the suitcase that was so heavily guarded by Jules? The action revolved around it but in the end it didn't matter.

Unknown said...

Lonesome Dove.

Call is obsessed with getting to Montana, so much that he bullys every dern cowboy in Texas to go along with him. When he reaches Montana, Gus is killed, and I God, his deathbed request is that Call drag his body all the way back to be buried in Texas.

Edittorrent said...

I love Lonesome Dove. What a great death scene Gus had.

Gayle Carline said...

Treasure of the Sierra Madre. All the gold they mined ends up dust in the wind. And, of course, there's O.Henry's Gift of the Magi.

Gayle Carline

Unknown said...

There's always the Korean film Oldboy. The protagonist is locked up in a room for ten years or so and spends the whole movie trying to figure out why. Once he finds out why, all he wants to do is forget. Blam.

I can't say any more because it's the sort of movie that is easily spoiled.

Selah March said...

The Twilight Zone episode in which all Burgess Meredith wants is time alone to read. (I can relate.) The world ends, he's the sole survivor, he gets his wish...and promptly smashes his glasses.

I know "The Gift of the Magi" has already been mentioned, but pretty much anything else by O. Henry works, too.

Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton - one of her lesser-known titles. In turn-of-the-20th-century New York, a greedy, ambitious young woman has her first marriage to a common businessman annulled in order to marry into a wealthy, uppercrust family. When that doesn't work out to her specifications, she divorces her husband to marry a European aristocrat. When THAT marriage goes sour - entirely due to her own greed - she decides she wants her first husband back because he's now a rich man. He obliges by marrying her a second time, but when her greatest ambition - to be the wife of an ambassador - is within her grasp, she discovers that her husband is ineligible for the position because...wait for it...he's married to a divorcee.

And Bleak House, by Charles Dickens. There's irony all over that one, beginning to tragic end.

Wes said...

How about GWTW? Scarlet finally falls in love with Rhett, but he doesn't give a damn anymore.

Edittorrent said...

Wes, some of think that Rhett was only playing hard to get. :)

Anonymous said...

I think you'll find that Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles end somewhat ironically. But I can't tell you exactly how, because you've just started reading! [waves to Lynn Kerstan]