Greatest Film Plot Twists
Film Spoilers and
Surprise Endings


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Greatest Movie Plot Twists, Spoilers and Surprise Endings
Film Title/Year and Plot Twist-Spoiler-Surprise Ending Description
Screenshots

Clue (1985)

They All Did It, Except Mr. Green

In this triple-ended murder-mystery spoof - a comic adaptation of the popular Parker Bros. board game, it was revealed in the third ending ("This is what really happened"), the most complex and believable of the multiple endings to the film, that butler Wadsworth (Tim Curry) was actually the blackmailing host Mr. Boddy -- and that 'Mr. Boddy' (Lee Ving) that had been killed was actually Wadsworth's butler (!).

In summary, everyone except surprise 'gay' FBI plant Mr. Green (Michael McKean) had murdered someone that night: (Green: "They ALL did it! But if you want to know who killed Mr. Boddy, I did. In the Hall. With the revolver") -- to recap:

(1) the cool and aloof Mrs. White (Madeline Kahn) killed the maid Yvette (Colleen Camp),
(2) the bumbling Colonel Mustard (Martin Mull) killed the Motorist (Jeffrey Kramer),
(3) the geeky Professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd) killed 'Mr. Boddy',
(4) the flirty femme fatale Miss Scarlet (Lesley Ann Warren) killed The Cop (Bill Henderson),
(5) the nervously-dignified Mrs. Peacock (Eileen Brennan) killed The Cook Mrs. Ho (Kellye Nakahara), and
(6) the butler Wadsworth killed the Singing Telegram Girl (Jane Wiedlin)


Color of Night (1994)

'Richie' Was Actually Rose, and Rose's Brother Dale Was the Killer

This psychological thriller by director Richard Rush began with the suicidal death of disturbed, self-hating patient Michelle (Kathleen Wilhoite) while being counseled by NYC psychoanalyst Dr. Bill Capa (Bruce Willis) in his high-rise Manhattan office. Distraught at the site of her dead body in a bright green dress lying on the concrete in a pool of blood after she jumped ("It was the reddest blood I ever saw, pooled around her green dress"), he began to suffer from psychosomatic, stress-induced color blindness - and couldn't see the color red. The divorced doctor was told by his therapist Larry Ashland (Jeff Corey): "To deny red is to deny emotion."

He quit his practice and traveled to LA to stay with therapist/author friend Dr. Robert Moore (Scott Bakula) and figure out if he was going "crazy." Bill said he felt a "distinct absence of pain" and admitted he was troubled and felt sexually-dead. When Bob - who was receiving death threats possibly from a patient - was violently stabbed to death by an unidentified black-clad assailant in his office after-hours, Bill took over Bob's ultra-modern home and his Monday group therapy sessions, and was quickly considered a suspect by case investigator Lt. Hector Martinez (Ruben Blades).

Bill soon became involved with a torrid, provocative, sexually-advancing young female named Rose (Jane March) who invited herself to a dinner date, made out with him as they called for a taxi, and then arrived unexpectedly at his home and made passionate love to him in the pool and bedroom. As he researched his five patients, he zeroed in on the background of 16 year-old, bespectacled drug user Richie Dexter (Jane March), a volatile "genuine nut case" who had gender-identity problems, a social phobia, and spoke with a stutter. Richie's older over-protective legal guardian brother Dale (Andrew Lowery), a welder in an ironworks-furniture shop, vainly pleaded with Dr. Capa to release Richie from court-mandated therapy. Capa found out that all of the Dexter children, who had suffered from abuse and abandonment, had been assigned six years earlier to child psychiatrist Dr. Niedelmeyer in Pasadena, but Niedelmeyer couldn't be questioned - he had died within the last year. During therapy, Dr. Capa learned that all of his patients (except Richie) had recently taken on relationships, like he had with Rose:

(1) sado-masochist artist Casey (Kevin J. O'Connor) with an uninhibited model,
(2) oversexed nymphomaniac Sondra Dorio (Leslie Ann Warren) with lesbian girlfriend Bonnie (remarkably close in resemblance to Rose, and revealed to be one and the same - both with a 'rose' tattoo on their left butt-cheek),
(3) Buck (Lance Henriksen) on weekends with someone described as "pretty as hell," and
(4) obsessive-compulsive and self-detesting Clark (Brad Dourif) who said he had "found someone" who liked his "black, emotional hole, unattractive" self

Dr. Capa experienced an attempt on his life on the freeway by a driver in a red car, and painter Casey was gagged, strangled and had his throat slashed by someone who had cut out and burned the faces from his paintings.

Then, a discrepancy regarding the number of books on Dr. Moore's office shelf over a few weeks revealed that Sondra had temporarily borrowed a Van Gogh book and then returned it, without looking at it. The book inside the Van Gogh jacket cover was actually Dr. Moore's hand-written diary (he had deliberately hidden his diary there) - with a single photograph of a half-naked Rose tucked inside. On the back was a description of Rose modeling for Dr. Moore: "The sociopath, lacking the restraints that hold a normal character together can become anything. Amorality frees her to be universally perfect, a charming chameleon with a scorpion's tail." The individual in the photograph was recognized as Sondra's, Buck's, and Clark's "Bonnie" - and Capa's and Bob Moore's "Rose" - obviously a sociopathic female with a multiple personality disorder, who appeared to be the main suspect in the two murders!

The film's twist was that the main killer was "Richie's" deranged brother Dale, who had forced his pretty sister Rose to play-act the role of their deceased brother "Richie." Capa learned a breakthrough clue from Mrs. Edith Niedelmeyer (Shirley Knight) that her psychiatrist husband was a sexual molester, who had caused the real 12 year-old patient Richie to commit suicide: "Richie Dexter is dead! He killed himself four years ago...Because he couldn't stand what my husband was doing to him." When Capa went to confront Dale, he found "Richie," who removed her wig disguise, emerged as Rose, and rescued her from her torturing brother Dale, who suddenly attacked with a nail-gun. Lt. Martinez (who appeared out of nowhere) was pinned to a wall, while Dale captured Capa with a belt around his throat and threatened to kill him with a mechanical blade.

Dale explained his motive - he was increasingly disturbed that Rose (with her secondary personality of "Bonnie") was overtaking the "Richie" side of her personality, and he feared that "Bonnie's" modeling for Dr. Moore might cause him to link "Bonnie" to "Richie" and destroy Rose's masquerade.

To protect Capa from dying, Rose killed her brother with a nail-gun shot to the forehead, ran to the top of the factory tower during a raging storm and was saved by Capa from jumping and committing suicide when he grabbed her hand during a leap - he simultaneously recovered from being color-blind.








The Conversation (1974)

The Bugged Couple Were Not Victims - They Were Conspiring to Commit Murder

In this brilliant crime story, the young couple (Ann (Cindy Williams) and Mark (Frederic Forrest)) that professional wire-tapper Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) spied (and listened) upon during clandestine meetings and thought were potential victims because of her marital infidelity.

There was a murder committed in Room 773 of San Francisco's Jack Tar Hotel at the agreed-upon time heard in the conversation. However, the couple weren't the victims! They were actually cold-blooded murderers of "the Director" (Robert Duvall) of a secretive company; she was "the Director's" wife - a femme fatale who orchestrated the homicide (with her hard-to-decipher sentence: "He'd kill us if he got the chance") by luring her husband to the hotel room, where Mark murdered him. She later made his bloody murder look like an accidental automobile crash to inherit his fortune.

The film ended with the revelation that a frightened, neurotic and paranoid Harry was also under surveillance the entire time: ("We know that you know, Mr. Caul. For your own sake, don't get involved any further. We'll be listening to you"). He frantically tore up his entire apartment to vainly attempt to find a bugging device - the final scene found Harry playing his saxophone alone in his destroyed home.



Crimes of Passion (1984)

Joanna Stabbed the Reverend; Grady Ended Up With Joanna

British director Ken Russell's neon-lit, dark, "guilty pleasure" cult tale and erotic thriller opened with a marital therapy session, in which new attendee -- part-time private investigator, home electronics store owner and security expert Bobby Grady (John Laughlin) asserted that he had no marriage-related problems ("What the hell am I doing here?") in his 12-year marriage, although this would be refuted shortly.

The film told about a moonlighting, kinky LA street-walking, pill-popping prostitute named China Blue (Kathleen Turner) who wore a platinum wig but by day worked as a prim but workaholic fashion designer named Joanna Crane. In a grungy downtown area filled with XXX adult stores, bars, live nude and peep shows, she wore a platinum wig and light blue silky dress and frequented the Paradise Isle Hotel for tricks.

She was repeatedly accosted and stalked by a deranged, perversely psychotic, amyl nitrate-sniffing, self-proclaimed preacher named Reverend Peter Shayne (Anthony Perkins) calling himself a "messenger of God" - who carried a razor-tipped chrome-steel vibrating dildo - one of his sex toys - in his doctor's bag (China Blue asked prophetically: "What are you gonna do? F--k someone to death? You'd like to, wouldn't you?"). While investigating whether China Blue was selling patented design secrets, Grady escaped from his own dull marriage to frigid Amy (Annie Potts) (with faked orgasms) into an obsessive, sexual relationship with China Blue.

In the startling conclusion, the preacher assaulted Joanna in her own apartment:

The reverend's gonna save you tonight once and for all...I'm a messenger of God and I only want to heal you...One more game, the final one, the one that will free you forever. Do I have your trust? Because we can only play if I have your trust.

He proposed a game of "exorcising the demons" -- "my calling is the ultimate salvation, and its ends are sacrosanct. With my ecclesiastic gift, plus the grace of God, and a little help from Superman here, I shall bestow upon you the supreme humanitarian blessing and give you your freedom. You, uh, you do want that, don't you? I knew you would...My issue has always been your salvation."

The violent altercation was predicated on the reverend's desire to save her, as he played demented songs on a piano to her as she was tied down to her drafting table:

I looked at you and I saw myself. I saw the same escape, the same malignancy. But I know the cure and I know how desperately you need it. And only I can give it to you...Kill me Joanna, give my life value. Give me something to die for. Save me. You are me! One of us has to die so the other can live. Kill me, you worthless c--t. I'm all the men who ever hurt you, who made you feel like s--t, who stole your self-respect and turned you into China Blue. Kill me! Release the rage. Get it out. Get even!

Although it appeared that China Blue would be the victim, the scene ended with the reverend's death (his parting words were: "Goodbye, China Blue") after he was stabbed in the back by his own dildo/vibrator in a role-reversal twist - he wore China Blue's dress, while she was wearing his preacher's outfit. She stabbed him as he threatened to assault Grady (who had arrived to save Joanna) with a pair of scissors.

The film ended with Grady attending a therapy group where he admitted, smiling, that he was in a new relationship with Joanna:

She saved my life. We're together now. I'm not sure if it's gonna work out. We don't have a whole hell of a lot in common other than the fact that we both need help and each other. The thing, you see, that scared me the most during my marriage was just admitting that I was scared and letting Amy down. Well, I can't pretend anymore. I was scared s--tless to come back here. I told Joanna, and she took me in her arms and she said, it's OK to be scared. I felt stronger and freer and more like a man than I've ever felt before in my life. Then we f--ked our brains out.








The Crying Game (1992, UK)

Dil Was Actually a Male Transvestite

Neil Jordan's taut political thriller film has become legendary and famous for its shocking twist. Guilt-ridden, reformed Irish Republican Army volunteer terrorist Fergus (Stephen Rea) journeyed to London to befriend the lover of British hostage/soldier Jody (Forest Whitaker) who had been accidentally killed after being taken prisoner. Jody, trying to escape from captivity, was hit and run over by a convoy of British army soldiers in Northern Ireland.

The dead man's lover turned out to be a beautiful cabaret lip-synch singer/hairdresser named Dil (Best Supporting Actor!-nominated Jaye Davidson).

As the camera slowly panned down Dil's naked body after he dropped his red kimono robe, there was a sexually-disorienting view of Dil's penis -- his maleness was shown in this surprising full-frontal unveiling, causing Fergus to wonder about his attraction to Dil. Dil asked: "You did know, didn't you?" and then realized that Fergus hadn't known.


Cube (1997, Can.)

Only the Autistic Kazan Survived From the Cube

Screenwriter/director Vincenzo Natali's debut feature film was this low-budget, psychological sci-fi horror-thriller. The sleeper film opened inside an immense, b/w cube-shaped room, with vault-like doors situated in the center of its six square surfaces. Each door led to another similar interlocking cubed room, although in different colors (blue, red, amber, green, etc.). Some of the maze-connected rooms were booby-trapped with motion-detectors and destructive devices (a sharp metal grating, flame-thrower, acid-spray, rotating razor wires, sound-activated spikes, etc.).

Each of the cube-shaped rooms was one of many rooms in a Rubik's Cube of sorts (it functioned like "a giant combination lock" moving through a cycle over a period of days). By film's end, the dwindling group of survivors were seeking a "bridge" or exit room that only appeared momentarily - the only means of escape to the outer shell. Safe, untrapped rooms on the cube's outer edge where escape was possible were ultimately discovered to be marked with prime power numbers.

After the prologue, the six characters or "inmates" in the cubes [each clad in prison-style uniforms, and each with names of various prisons] were introduced. They were mysteriously placed there and did not know each other, although each had a purpose or "gift" in solving their predicament and attempting to escape from the labyrinthine trap (in order of deaths):

  • Alderson (Julian Richings) - the first 'inmate,' bald, in the prologue; isolated and killed after entering an amber-colored room where he was sliced into cubes by a large metal grate, that then folded up into the ceiling
  • Rennes, aka "Wren" (Wayne Robson) - famous French ex-con thief, sensor-expert and escape artist; in the blue room, sprayed in the face with acid and killed
  • Dr. Helen Holloway (Nicky Guadagni) - elderly free clinic, social worker-doctor; a paranoid, anti-establishment conspiracy theorist; fell to her death in the gap between the door and the outer shell when let go by Quentin ("she slipped")
  • Joan Leaven (Nicole deBoer) - young, dark-haired student mathematician; stabbed from behind through the chest - killed by Quentin wielding the sharp end of a door handle
  • Quentin (Maurice Dean Wint) - angry, tough-minded African-American; former police officer; group leader; separated from wife, brutal and abusive; crushed in crawl space when moving cube shifted, leaving a blood-spot on outer wall
  • David Worth (David Hewlett) - cynical government office worker/engineer who built the large hollow exterior cube shell around other cubes ("there is no way out of here...I designed the outer shell...the sarcophagus...It's a headless blunder operating under the illusion of a masterplan. Can you grasp that? Big Brother is not watching you...This is an accident, a forgotten perpetual public works project"); died from a lethal stab wound in abdomen (administered by Quentin) after saving Kazan from being killed by Quentin
  • Kazan (Andrew Miller) - mentally-handicapped; an autistic savant able to perform complex mathematical equations and solve the puzzling room numbers; the only survivor who disappeared into the bright white light of the exterior as the film ended






The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

Benjamin Was Caroline's Biological Father

The plot-line was told in flashback. A dying woman in her 80s, Daisy (Cate Blanchett) engaged in a deathbed conversation with her 40-ish daughter Caroline (Julia Ormond). As her mother was weakening and dying, the daughter read outloud the diary of Daisy's love of her life Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt), born old and growing younger as he aged in reverse.

Until the end of the film, although fairly obvious, Caroline was revealed to be Daisy's daughter by Benjamin, born out of wedlock (at the birth of the healthy baby girl, recorded in Benjamin's diary, Daisy spoke: "And we named her for my mother, Caroline." Caroline (astonished): "This Benjamin was my father? And this is how you tell me?") -- Daisy had remarried and the daughter, Caroline, had grown up thinking that her stepfather Robert was her birth father, and she was visibly upset by the revelation. As a pre-teen at age 12, Caroline (Joeanna Sayler) was introduced by 60-ish Daisy (who had been remarried to husband Robert) to twenty-ish Benjamin ("You knew him when you were just a baby") but not told that he was her biological father.

At film's end, Daisy uttered her last words: "Good night, Benjamin" - with a symbolic hummingbird at her window. As she died, Hurricane Katrina struck the hospital and flooded the city of New Orleans, including a warehouse where a reverse-running clock built for the train station (at the time of Benjamin's birth) had been stored and was still functioning.



Cutter's Way (1981)

Bone Shot Dead Murderer Cord With Cutter's Weapon

In the stunning concluding scene of this crime thriller, embittered, self-righteous, drunken, one-eyed, one-armed, one-legged, crazed Vietnam vet Alexander Cutter (John Heard) - believing obsessively that elite and menacing oil businessmen J. J. Cord (Stephen Elliott) was the murderer of a 17 year-old sex-crimes victim named Vickie and also responsible for the house-burning death of his wife Maureen "Mo" Cutter (Lisa Eichhorn) - rode heroically (and tragically) on a white stallion within Cord's guarded residential mansion during a large garden party - and lethally crashed into Cord's study window.

There, his laconic, laid-back friend Richard Bone (Jeff Bridges) had just learned that Cord was the female's killer - inspiring the usually-uncommitted and reluctant Bone to take up the fight and shoot Cord dead with the weapon in Cutter's dead hand.

The gun blast abruptly ended the film.


Cypher (2002) (aka Brainstorm)

In Actuality, Morgan Sullivan Was Sebastian Rooks - He Had Schemed to Enter Into Sunways As a Espionage Agent To Steal and Destroy a Blue Disc That Had Marked Co-Conspirator/Lover Rita Foster For Termination

The overwhelming and perplexing plot of director Vincenzo Natali's futuristic, science-fiction spy thriller was only comprehensible when it was explained in a few sentences at its conclusion. The stylized film's themes were brainwashing, the manipulation of identity, paranoia, and corporate espionate, conducted between two rival and faceless computer conglomerates: Digicorp Technologies and Sunways Systems. There was something to be learned from the meaning of the title word cipher -- a number with no value (such as zero), a non-influential person, or the key to a code.

The corporate spy assuming a different name was a non-entity geek/pawn named Morgan Sullivan (Jeremy Northam), to "spy on other corporations, inform us of their business plans, research programs, and counter-intelligence operations." He took the name Jack Thursby, living a suburban life in San Jose, when he was hired at Digicorp to infiltrate Sunways. He was instructed by Digicorp's Head of Security, Ed Finster (Nigel Bennett) to attend various business conventions, and secretly record them with a pen. He was also told to create his own personality: "He's whoever you want him to be." Then, about halfway through the film, he switched sides and as Thursby was recruited to work as a counter-intelligence double-agent for Sunways, briefed by its Head of Security Frank Callaway (Timothy Webber). Sunways' goal was to have Thursby feed Digicorp false and corrupted data to sabotage their operations. In both cases, he had a newly-acquired taste for scotch on the rocks, golf, and smoking cigarettes, and fantasized about sailing in the South Pacific islands. And both companies were ruthless and would eliminate him after he completed his espionage operation.

As Thursby, he met a mysterious, cool and aloof femme fatale Asian woman - a guardian angel of sorts named Rita Foster (Lucy Liu) during his cross-country travel experiences (which included painful, recurring brain flashes, headaches and neck aches). When he became increasingly confused about his own identity, she told him that he was being conditioned and brainwashed by Digicorp (by drinking mineral water at the conventions, which she said were "charades"), warning that he could be eliminated. She offered pills to help him get rid of his nightmares, and then an injection to 'undrug him' - to "block out the Digicorp narcotic" and keep him from being brainwashed and programmed with a new identity. (During the next boring seminar lecture, sinister technicians placed VR helmets on hypnotized, drugged out conference participants - all spies with phony assignments and identities.) Later, Callaway told Thursby when he was hired at Sunways that Rita was working for an unseen, enigmatic boss - a deep-cover mole in cyberspace named Sebastian Rooks ("a freelance operative who we hired to find out how Digicorp was getting their agents past our neurograph"). Rooks was considered "very dangerous and very ruthless," but Rita promised he would protect Thursby.

In the derivative film's conclusion, it appeared that double-agent Morgan was in the reprogramming grip of three different entities, serving as a data courier. Rita helped him escape from Sunways' underground metal vault (their secured data warehouse) in Wichita, Kansas after he penetrated the vault's secure network and stole a blue computer disc containing a vital downloaded data file. She then delivered him to meet Sebastian Rooks in a downtown penthouse suite. But feeling "used" and lied to from the very start, Morgan shot Rita in the shoulder and threatened to destroy the disk. Then, in an adjoining room, he noticed three objects he loved (whiskey, golf clubs, and cigarettes) and a picture of himself and Rita, his lover. He was Sebastian Rooks. The wounded Rita then explained everything:

I tried stopping you. But you insisted. You said it was the only way to steal the data from the vault. Welcome home, Mr. Rooks...Listen to me. You are not Morgan Sullivan. You created him out of your own imagination. Your life in the suburbs, your miserable marriage - your wife Amy was one of your own operatives playing a part you assigned her. The more you fight the truth, the more it'll hurt...You used the same brainwashing technique Digicorp uses. You were the one who sold them the technology to begin with!...It makes perfect sense. Turning yourself into Morgan Sullivan was the only way you could pass Digicorp's neurograph. It was the only way you could get hired to be their spy and get sent to Sunways.

But she didn't know what was on the blue computer disc. They were interrupted by assault teams from both companies seeking Sebastian. To fly away in an escape helicopter that Sebastian had designed, Rita prompted him to remember his past self as Sebastian to pilot it. Both heads of security were astonished to recognize Sullivan as Sebastian ("Jesus, he's Rooks!"). He successfully prevented the two of them from being captured by exploding the skyscraper's roof.

The final scene was on Rooks' sailing boat in the South Pacific, where Sebastian and Rita looked at the contents of the blue Sunways disc. The file displayed Rita's picture - she had been marked for death by Callaway with the words: "TERMINATE WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE." As Sebastian tossed the disc (the only one of its kind, "the file in the vault was erased and this is the only copy") into the ocean to save his lover, he noted: "Now there's no copy at all."










Greatest Movie Plot Twists, Spoilers and Surprise Endings

(alphabetical by film title)
Intro | A1 | A2 | B1 | B2 | B3 | B4 | B5 | C1 | C2 | C3 | D1 | D2 | D3 | E1 | E2 | F1 | F2 | G | H1 | H2 | H3 | I | J-K | L1 | L2
M1 | M2 | M3 | M4 | M5 | N | O | P1 | P2 | Q-R1 | R2 | S1 | S2 | S3 | S4 | S5 | S6 | T1 | T2 | T3 | U-V | W1 | W2 | W3 | X-Z

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