Classic Commuter Conclusions

By Cecilia Cygnar

From buses to boats to trains to cars, each of these movies' final scenes will "move you" one way or another.

  • Angel Face

    1952 by Otto Preminger

    How could a movie be this dark, yet still so appealing? But, that is what Film Noir is all about. Noir movies rarely have happy endings, and they don't tend to be be idyllic or cheery. After all, Noir is about life post-WWII…it’s dark and brooding, just like war. In Angel Face, forget trying to figure out who's bad and who's good and what’s going to happen next because you never will. And the ending…let’s just say it’s shocking.

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  • Casablanca

    1942 by Michael Curtiz

    I used to think Bogart was a rough, unappealing creature…but in Casablanca, he’s only tough when he needs to be--and he knows when to bring out his softer side. His character Rick Blaine is the romantic to end all romantics—not because he’s OVERLY sensitive but because he’s JUST sensitive enough. Often considered one of the most romantic films of all time, Bogart and Bergman do have perfect chemistry which makes this movie the essential classic it is known as today.

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  • The Graduate

    1967 by MIke Nichols

    Director Mike Nichols’ controversial film that did as much for the 1960’s rebellion as it did for both the careers of Simon and Garfunkel and Nichols, who earned an Oscar for his cutting- edge direction. But, it's the music and the ending that really broke new ground.

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  • Holiday

    1938 by George Cukor

    The comedy team of Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and director George Cukor leads to delightful mayhem. Not the most famous of the Grant/Hepburn/Cukor collaborations (The Philadelphia Story would take that prize) but I feel it’s the best. The comedy has a quirky, strange quality that makes it unconventional, which might be why it was not initially received as a classic, but don't miss this wonderful film.

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  • Love In the Afternoon

    1957 by Billy Wilder

    Forget that Gary Cooper is highly miscast here. Just pay attention to Audrey, her charming father, and the band of Gypsies. This ending is one of the most romantic, tearful good-bye scenes in all of cinema. Not the most realistic finale, but you will never stand on a train platform without thinking of it again.

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  • North by Northwest

    1959 by Alfred Hitchcock

    Best known for Cary Grant running from a crop-dusting plane (in a suit and tie, of course), the final train scene of this movie is one that ties everything together, as well as being one of the finest examples of Hitchcock’s “adult” sense of humor.

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  • Sabrina

    1954 by Billy Wilder

    Ending this classic rom com on the boat to France only enhances the romantic effect. A light, fun, and truly romantic film, and the one which established Hepburn's life-long relationship with French fashion designer Givenchy, who designed all of her post-Paris outfits in this film.

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  • Some Like It Hot

    1959 by Billy Wilder

    Billy Wilder’s comic masterpiece is arguably the funniest movie in motion picture history. Lemmon and Curtis make this film a riot just by wearing women’s clothes. But, Monroe, with her steamy, sultry performance, adds more than just cross-dressing humor to make this a well-rounded movie with many more than a fair share of laughs. And, the final scene on the boat has my all-time favorite line: "Nobody's perfect!"

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  • Strangers on a Train

    1951 by Alfred Hitchcock

    This film actually has two endings: an American version which ends on a train (apropos, don’t you think?), and British version that does not. Director Alfred Hitchcock did not want either version of the ending--he wanted the movie to end at the climatic carousel scene. But, Hollywood wanted a more romantic ending, so Hitchcock shot two. Most DVDs and Blu-rays offer both endings.

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  • Suspicion

    1941 by Alfred Hitchcock

    Can Cary Grant be a murderer? Well, Hitchcock wanted to remain faithful to the book (this film is based on the novel Before the Fact by Francis Iles) and keep the dark ending but Hollywood had other ideas. And, sadly, the end is the major flaw in this film. Though, even with that disappointing final scene, this is still a taut, tense thriller that will keep the audience guessing.

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