Film Spoilers and
|Film Title/Year and Plot Twist-Spoiler-Surprise Ending Description|
Don Bellows Married Fiancee Gail Armitage, and Joyce Heath Cared for Hospitalized Estranged Husband Gordon
This soapish melodrama was notable because Bette Davis won her first Best Actress Academy Award for her role - as a consolation because she wasn't nominated for Of Human Bondage a year earlier. She portrayed alcoholic former Broadway stage actress Joyce Heath who was first seen drinking straight gin in New York's Jerry's Joint. She had vanished from public view and was notorious for her quick downfall and 'jinxed' superstition following after her:
She was found in a drunken stupor by idealistic, aspiring, handsome architect Don Bellows (Franchot Tone), who took her to his Connecticut country house to let her sober up, in "gratitude" for her past performances (he claimed he was inspired to leave Wall Street and become an architect). He was resolved to rehabilitate her ("You could go on. Talent like yours doesn't die. You were a star once. You can be again"), although she was doubtful: "Two men who loved me are dead, some financially ruined" and even his housekeeper Mrs. Williams (Alison Skipworth) warned of her curse: "A woman knows an awful lot about another woman, and she's dangerous."
After kissing the seductive Joyce during a long nighttime cloudburst as lightning struck (the screen faded to black after their clinch), Don later hugged her and admitted her destructive effect upon him: "I wish I'd never seen you, never kissed you, never held you in my arms, cause every time I do I hate myself, I hate you. I could kill every emotion except for desire to hold you just once more."
He revealed his romantic indiscretion to his wealthy fiancee Gail Armitage (Margaret Lindsay) ("if there were someone else, someone I didn't love that I never even see again but who had a strange exotic fascination for me and appeal I couldn't kill") - which effectively broke off their engagement when she gave back her ring (but she had hope that he would come back eventually).
Don then decided to invest in Joyce's comeback performance in But To Die with $80,000 of his own funding given to producer George Sheffield (Pierre Watkin), because she was regarded as "the jinx woman of the theatre." Expecting it to be a great success, he forced Joyce to promise to marry him after the opening night. She agreed, but then rushed off to beg for a divorce from her weakling, clinging estranged husband Gordon (John Eldredge) who refused. To kill either one or both of them, Joyce deliberately crashed her car into a tree, slightly hurting herself and seriously injuring Gordon.
Because of the scandal (the headlines read: "Joyce Heath and Don Bellows Estranged by Rendezvous with Husband"), Don's architectural project failed and he was ruined, and he broke off any involvement with Joyce ("If you're ever gonna be anything but a jinx, you'd better start paying off, because you're in debt for the rest of your life!") after which she coldly admitted that he was "just a means to an end."
Eleven weeks later, however, in the unlikely
conclusion, the play had been revitalized, Don married Gail, and
Joyce took flowers to her hospitalized husband.
Dark City (1998)
The Dark City Was an Alien Creation in Space; Mr. Book Was Defeated and the City Was 'Fixed'
Alex Proyas' visually-stunning, labyrinthine and visionary sci-fi noir effectively twisted unreal reality in its tale of John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) - a man with memory problems (and psychokinetic powers).
He was pursued in a nightmarish, retro 40s-style futuristic world managed by malevolent, underground alien beings wearing black coats and fedoras. Called Strangers, they were a dying race of alien parasites who possessed telekinetic powers that could stop time (at midnight) and alter reality.
The city was revealed to be an experiment set up by the aliens to determine the nature of the human soul by manipulating and transplanting people's memories each night. It was explained by Dr. Daniel Schreber (Kiefer Sutherland) - everyone's "entire history is an illusion, a fabrication."
The quest for the mythic Shell Beach ended with a fake beach painted on a brick wall at the edge of the city as Schreber warned:
A break through the wall showed that the 'dark city' existed as a contained environment in the vast void of starry space.
By film's end, Murdoch defeated the Strangers' leader Mr. Book (Ian Richardson) after a psychokinetic battle of massive proportions. He then 'fixed things' by tilting the city to bring sunlight to it - thus vanquishing the remaining Strangers. He also 'recreated' Shell Beach, and reunited with Anna/Emma Murdoch (Jennifer Connelly) as they strolled together down a pier toward Shell Beach. However, she had no memory of his identity.
The Dark Hours (2005, Can.)
Dr. Samantha Goodman Was Experiencing Mental Delusions as a Result of Self-Medication for an Inoperable Brain Tumor; Supposedly, Everything in the Cabin, Including the Two Hostage-Takers, Was In Her Subconscious Mind; She Committed Suicide With an Overdose
Although one of the lowest grossing films of all-time (at only $423) due to distribution and marketing challenges (it played for only one week at an indie-friendly theatre in NYC), director Paul Fox's psychological thriller was nonetheless an effective film. Without well-known cast members and shot on a low-budget, it contained one of the more obvious plot twist devices - much of the action on screen was composed of the crazed delusions of the protagonist.
Under the credits, psychiatrist Samantha Goodman (Kate Greenhouse), a counselor for the criminally disturbed and insane in a prison in Canada, examined cat-scans of her own inoperable brain tumor. Although stable for two years, the tumor was now growing, according to her self-diagnosis. She was medicating herself with shots (in a rashy spot on her upper thigh) of an unapproved drug, and seemed to be having blackouts and other mental hallucinations.
During the film's first scene, she conducted a review with an angry and delusional patient, and was attacked across the table. Losing her grip on reality, she took the weekend off (for a break) and drove to a rural cabin in the snow to spend a surprise weekend with her writer-husband David (Gordon Currie) who was finishing a novel, assisted in editing by Samantha's pretty younger sister Melody (Iris Graham). Along the way, her brief stop at a roadside diner confirmed her compromised view of the external world (i.e., she lost her hearing in the middle of a conversation with the waitress about the veal cutlet coming from headless calves).
In the early scenes at the cabin, she discovered a suspect bottle of champagne in the refrigerator, and she also appeared to lock herself in the bathroom for a half hour, after sharing morbid news with David and Melody about her worsening condition. [This was the point at which everything became imagined.]
Two new characters were unexpectedly introduced:
The threesome of hostages were forced to play sinister mind games at gunpoint (or when threatened with an axe), including Strip-Phoner and Truth or Dare, that led to revealing confessions:
And then the action was replayed: Harlan and Adrian were only ghosts ("We all carry our ghosts with us") acting as her guilt-ridden subconscious voice, and leading her to jealously suspect the affair. She found Dan and Melody having sex on the couch in front of a fire upon arrival. In a moment of crazed insanity, she axed Dan in the back and then viciously swung multiple times at Melody, killing her too. She then shot the dog (off-screen).
Her mind games were presumably all in her head, voiced by the two menacing visitors whom she used as a projected scapegoat for her murderous acts. Samantha also convinced herself to cut off her little finger (the film was rated R for this scene of self-mutilation) with a pair of pliers, a squirm-inducing scene, to prove to herself that she wasn't crazy or in a dream and could still feel pain!
As the film ended, she gave herself another injected dose of medication. In her compromised brain, the hypodermic syringe was seen as lipstick and the drug vial was seen as a perfume bottle. In reality, it was the suicidal overdose that she had given herself earlier in the bathroom. As she died on the bathroom floor, her addled brain hallucinated everything that followed (the assault of the two intruders, the axe murders, etc.). The film concluded with the camera tracking in toward her lifeless eye, and the soundtrack recorded frantic doorknob sounds/scurrying mice in the attic.
Wayne Enterprises' Board Member and CEO Miranda Tate Was Really Talia al Ghul, Ra's al Ghul's Child Who Had Escaped the Well-Like Prison with Help from Fellow Prisoner Bane; She Was Aligned with Masked Terrorist Bane to Threaten and Destroy Gotham City
An evil masked, revolutionary terrorist-mercenary named Bane (Tom Hardy) threatened to 'liberate' and destroy Gotham City, forcing a reclusive Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale) to come out of hiding. Wayne was on the verge of bankruptcy, after he closed down his fusion reactor project when he learned that the core could be weaponized. Wayne's clean energy project, in which he had invested a large amount of money, included a nuclear fusion reactor. The potential danger was that the core of the reactor could be modified to make a nuclear weapon.
Wayne appointed his Wayne Enterprises board member Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) and love interest to take over his company. She was entrusted with control of Wayne Enterprises and the reactor. He stipulated that nothing would be done with the reactor "until we can guarantee its safety." If it couldn't be kept safe, he proposed to destroy it: "Decommission it. Flood it." At the next board meeting, Miranda was officially appointed as the new CEO and Chair of the Board of Directors of Wayne Enterprises, now that Bruce was ousted, in order to stave off a take-over attempt.
Bane's intention was to fulfill Ra's al Ghul's mission to destroy Gotham with remnants of the League of Shadows. Bane bragged to Wayne: "I am here to fulfill Ra's Al Ghul's destiny." Bane wounded and captured Wayne/Batman, and interred him in a round, deep cylindrical Pit prison, where Bane had been formerly imprisoned (this was where Bane had "learned the truth about despair"). Note: According to historical legend related by an inmate, the underground Pit was where Ra's al Ghul's child, born in the prison, and cared for by a fellow prisoner before escaping, was the only one to ever escape from the Pit. Bruce assumed the child was Bane.
Bane convinced Miranda, one of his hostages, to unlock and activate the nuclear reactor, so that it could be converted into a 4 megaton nuclear bomb, to destroy Gotham by isolating and separating it. The villain was on the verge of isolating Gotham City and threatening to detonate the nuclear reactor as a bomb within a few hours. Bane admitted that he had never escaped the Pit as the child of Ra's Al Ghul, as Wayne had assumed. Hostage Miranda came up behind Batman and stabbed him in the back, as a major reveal was divulged by her - she, not Bane, was Ra's al Ghul's child:
She identified herself as Talia, the daughter of Ra's Al Ghul, who had climbed out of the pit. She was named by her mother before she was killed. Fellow prisoner Bane was her "protector" who saved her from also being killed, and freed her to escape. Her father returned to exact vengeance, rescued Bane from the Pit, and took him into the League of Shadows to be trained. But Ra's Al Ghul could not accept Bane: "He saw only a monster," and Bane was excommunicated. She admitted her love for Bane:
She had planned the Gotham operation with Bane, in honor of her father, to seek vengeance against Batman who had killed her father. She planned to complete her father's work by detonating the bomb and destroying Gotham. Batman fired upon the bomb truck, with Miranda in the driver's compartment - and she was fatally wounded when it crashed. Talia/Tate was able to detonate the bomb before dying, and believed that her plan to destroy the city that killed her father would come true. She caused Batman to sacrifice himself by flying the dangerous bomb away from the city to explode harmlessly.
Although Batman presumably died in the explosion, vignettes at film's end proved otherwise. Batman had used the autopilot mechanism (patched and fixed) on the Bat as he flew the bomb over the Bay - to escape the explosion. In a Florentine cafe-restaurant in Italy, faithful butler Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine) spotted Bruce having a meal in Italy with Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), and John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) revealed that his real first name was Robin - identifying him as Batman's sidekick.
The DaVinci Code (2006)
Sophie Was the Last Living Descendant of Jesus Christ; the Teacher was the Double-Crossing Teabing; Langdon Discovered the Burial Location of Jesus' Wife - Mary Magdalene
Director Ron Howard's much-anticipated, big-screen religious conspiracy thriller opened with the brutal murder of the Louvre Museum's elderly curator Jacques Sauniere (Jean-Pierre Marielle) in the Parisian museum. He was killed by a self-flagellating albino Opus Dei hooded monk named Silas (Paul Bettany), an "angel" of death who was later learned to be in the employ of both devious high-ranking Council of Shadows Bishop Manuel Aringarosa (Alfred Molina) and a mysterious individual known only as "The Teacher." The curator was shot in the abdomen and bled to death - his naked body was found in a revealing pose on the floor (resembling DaVinci's famous Vitruvian Man sketch), with a pentacle symbol (the symbol for the female goddess Venus) that he had etched into his own bloody chest, and an enigmatic encrypted code written in blood (including a numerical sequence) on the floor.
Religious symbologist and Harvard professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), lecturing in town, was called to the crime scene, and unbeknownst to him, was considered the prime suspect by police Captain Bezu Fache (Jean Reno) (an Opus Dei member) and Lieut. Collet (Etienne Chicot). The last line in the mysterious code message on the floor (P.S. Find Robert Langdon) was wrongly thought to identify him as the killer. Further, Fache had been notified by the Bishop that Langdon admitted to committing the crime during a confessional. French police cryptologist Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), who arrived at the museum, tipped Langdon off that he was "in grave danger," and the two fled.
The following items were revealed as they investigated the case ("a treasure hunt") to find Sauniere's killer - they solved a byzantine trail of clues left by Sauniere to keep one step ahead of the authorities:
Dead Again (1991, UK/US)
Mike Church, Now a Detective in the 1990s, was the Reincarnated Murdered Wife Margaret Strauss from the 1940s; and Amnesia-Suffering 'Grace' (or Amanda) was Reincarnated From Executed Composer/Husband Roman Strauss from the 1940s; Grace's Murderer in the Past was Frankie, Reincarnated in the Present as the Hypnotist Franklyn Madson
This puzzling and twisting tale was director/star Kenneth Branagh's first American film. It was composed of two parallel plots in different time periods (and its story about past-life regression), was presented by color for the present-day scenes, and black and white for the past.
1990s LA police detective Mike Church (Kenneth Branagh), who usually investigated cases of missing persons, took the case of amnesia-suffering mute client nicknamed 'Grace'/aka Amanda Sharp (Emma Thompson). She was having nightmares about the murder of a pianist named Margaret Strauss (also Emma Thompson) by her world-famous composer/conductor husband Roman Strauss (also Kenneth Branagh) in the late 1940s. She had been stabbed in the throat with a pair of barber's scissors.
Before Margaret's death, she had become suspicious that Roman's housekeeper-maid Inga (Hanna Schygulla) and her disturbed, stammering son Frankie (Gregor Hesse) were stealing from her husband. Roman was falsely put to death by the electric chair for the murder of his wife Margaret, who was actually stabbed and murdered with a pair of scissors by Frankie. The motive for the murder? - Frankie blamed the unhappiness of his mother Inga on Margaret, because Inga was in love with Roman, but rebuffed.
In the present day story, Mike came into contact with hypnotist and antiques dealer Franklyn Madson (Derek Jacobi) who believed that 'Grace' suffered severe trauma in her past life. [Note: Franklyn (or Frankie!) Madson was the reincarnation of Frankie, the stammering maid's son who murdered Margaret.] Under regressive hypnosis, it was revealed that there were remarkable similarities and parallels between the stories of Roman and Margaret in the past, and Mike and 'Grace' in the present. There were two major discoveries:
The love and death of Roman and Margaret Strauss in the past began to be re-enacted once again in the present.
In the dramatic, over-the-top conclusion (with fast cuts between the past and the present), Madson/Frankie received his comeuppance - he died when impaled on a giant-sized scissor sculpture made by 'Grace.'
In the final frames, which changed from black and white to color, the doomed 1940s lovers, Margaret and Roman, dissolved into their counterparts Mike and Grace. Mike held his partner 'Grace' and exhaustedly said at film's end: "The door is closed."
Mike Church (Kenneth Branagh)
'Grace' (Emma Thompson)
In the 1940s:
Photograph of Roman Strauss (Kenneth Branagh)
Photo of Roman Strauss and Wife Margaret (Emma Thompson)
Dead & Buried (1981)
The Townsfolk of Potters Bluff Were Zombies, Committing a Rash of Murders; They Had Been Reanimated by The Town's Insane Coroner Dobbs; The Final Twists Were That the Town Sheriff's Naive Wife, Janet, Was Dobbs' First 'Undead' Subject; and the Sheriff Was Also One of the 'Living Dead'; He Had Been Stabbed in the Back by His 'Undead' Wife Just Before the Events of the Film
Director Gary Sherman's classic and gory early 1980s horror film featured the tagline: "It Will Take Your Breath Away...All of It." The favorite cult film had an intelligent script written by the creators of Alien (1979), Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett. It had similar elements to Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Night of the Living Dead (1968).
The setting was Potters Bluff, a coastal New England town. It opened with "Freddie" (later identified as George LeMoyne) (Christopher Allport), a vacationing photographer from St. Louis who was snapping shots at the seashore's foggy beach. He was propositioned by pretty blonde 'Lisa' (Lisa Blount), an aspiring model who asked him to take her picture. After a few pics, she opened up her red blouse to show off her breasts, asking: "How's this, Freddie?...Do I look good to you, Freddie?...Do you want me, Freddie?" He was taken aback: "Right here?" As he approached, she grabbed his camera, and other locals popped up behind her.
"Freddie" suffered a violent and sadistic beating - he was struck with a crowbar, wooden bat and shovel, and then staked and wrapped against a wooden post within a fishing net. While pictures were taken of him, he was set on fire with gasoline. The town's beachside sign read: Welcome to POTTERS BLUFF, A NEW WAY OF LIFE. The immolation was made to look like a fiery traffic accident in the photographer's upside-down VW van. The town's naive Sheriff Dan Gillis (James Farentino) investigated the case, along with the eccentric, witty and morbid coroner-mortician from the local mortuary - elderly big band-loving William G. Dobbs (Jack Albertson). In one memorable early scene, the obsessed and eccentric Dobbs described his "black magic" artistic profession to the Sheriff:
Later, the near-dead but recuperating burn victim, almost completely bandaged, was killed in a local hospital with a long syringe stabbed into his left eyeball by the same blonde, Nurse 'Lisa'. Curiously, the local who lit the match to start the deadly fire was also waitress Midge (Linda Shusett/Turley) in the local cafe. What was additionally strange was that the newly-deceased victims, such as 'Freddie,' were often recycled and still alive (but with new personalities or occupations) after being horribly murdered.
The Sheriff continued to investigate the mysterious rash of frequent murders (often with their deaths photographed by the participating onlookers). There were some memorable gruesome killings - all of strangers passing through town:
Gillis suspected that his schoolteacher wife Janet (Melody Anderson) was involved somehow - she seemed to be hiding an affair with the photographer before he died (and 'reanimated'), and she had taken a newfound interest in reading a book on the black arts of witchcraft and voodooism, which she was teaching to her pupils. A passage was marked: "Ancient folklore has they can only be made from persons dying a violent death." She also had hidden a decorative dagger in her drawer (she described it as being used to cut out a person's heart).
Gillis began to suspect Dobbs after digging up George LeMoyne's coffin and finding only his wrapped-up heart inside. After a background check, it was determined that Dobbs was formerly a Providence, Rhode Island pathologist who had been dismissed about 10 years earlier for conducting unauthorized autopsies in the county morgue. He was censured by the medical association and left town. Dobbs had been experimenting on 'reanimating' the dead, and had performed the technique on Potters Bluff townsfolk - they were the 'undead' zombies who were responsible for the murders.
The Sheriff watched B/W film footage of a past murder - during sex, Janet stabbed an unidentified male lover in the back with a dagger, and then other townsfolk aided her. In the morgue, the Sheriff confronted Dobbs with his suspected monstrous crimes against his wife. Dobbs admitted that Janet had been his first and favorite creation: "Janet, my crown jewel. My very first." Dobbs played multiple reels of film of all of the murders that had occurred in town. "Look at them, Daniel. Look at my children...They had to be disfigured. Don't you see? I have to make them look like they used to look. That's my art..."
He told how he had found Janet drowned in her car in Harris Creek and made her beautiful again as an 'undead' zombie: "Yes, she was, she is like all the others." He then told the distressed Sheriff about his 'black magic' art and his gift of Janet to Daniel:
He claimed to the Sheriff that the victims were better off after their deaths and reanimations:
The Sheriff pulled his gun and threatened to shoot Dobbs, who insanely encouraged him: "Help me to become one of my own children." He did pull the trigger on his 'undead' wife Janet, who pleaded: "Dan, I'm dead, please bury me," then turned and shot Dobbs in the stomach. The Sheriff followed Janet to the cemetery where he covered her body with dirt in a grave, and then fled from a threatening group of 'undead' townsfolk surrounding him.
When he raced back to the morgue, he saw that Dobbs had reanimated himself. There, the Sheriff watched more of the film footage, and the film's final plot twist was revealed - the Sheriff was the one in bed making love to Janet when she stabbed him in the back - he was also one of the 'living dead.' Dobbs had ordered his murder, performed by Janet. In the conclusion, the Sheriff noticed his hands decomposing, and Dobbs offered:
Dead Calm (1989, Australia)
Hughie Had Slaughtered Everyone Onboard the Orpheus; Miraculously, He 'Returned From the Dead' In the Shock Ending Onboard the Saracen, and Died From a Flare-to-the-Mouth
In this taut Australian erotic thriller from director Phillip Noyce, psycho-homicidal drifter Hughie Warriner (Billy Zane) terrorized a vacationing couple on their yacht the Saracen after they rescued him drifting in the middle of the ocean. The couple, career naval officer John Ingram (Sam Neill) and his emotionally-scarred wife Rae (Nicole Kidman in her first leading role) with their dog Ben, were recovering from an auto accident that claimed the life of their toddler son, by sailing in the calm Pacific waters off the coast of Australia.
The frantic Hughie claimed that he had survived a sinking black schooner named Orpheus after everyone died from salmonella poisoning. [The mass murderer had actually slaughtered the crew on the vessel.] John left the castaway with his wife, while he took a dinghy to the Orpheus to investigate the claims - finding himself on a sinking craft and in danger of drowning himself. Meanwhile, the unstable and domineering Hughie kidnapped Rae and began sailing off.
After a long series of struggles, it was thought that John and the resourceful Rae had finally conquered Hughie by wounding him with a harpoon, knocking him unconscious, tossing him onto a rescue raft, and setting him adrift. But then after they saw his free-floating raft in the open sea, Rae sank it with two flare-gun shots, although a panning shot to the other side of the boat where a rope dangled into the water hinted that Hughie was possibly alive and had climbed on board.
The next morning, Rae returned to the deck after a swim, where her husband helped to rinse her hair of the salt water, and shampoo her hair. He left the deck for awhile, as she put her head back and closed her eyes. When a pair of dirty hands resumed the shampooing some time later, she fantasized what she would like:
Suddenly, she realized that the hands belonged to the vengeful Hughie, who had reappeared in the startling shock 'return-from-the-dead' twist ending. He attempted to cover her mouth to stifle her screams, and to strangle her.
As John reappeared with a beautifully-prepared breakfast tray, he saw the 'silhouetted' struggle occurring behind the sail. He dropped the tray, grabbed a flare gun, and aimed it at Hughie. The fiery flare tore through the sail, struck Hughie in the mouth, exploded, and forcefully propelled him backwards off the deck into the ocean. Presumably, he was now dead, floating away face-down, as the relieved couple hugged each other.
Dead End (2003)
The Entire Story Was All An Imagined Dream (But Mostly Real Regarding the Deadly Car Crash Itself); The Crash Killed Everyone (Four Individuals in the Harrington Car and the Two Occupants of Another Car) - The Only Survivor was Daughter Marion Harrington
This was a low-budget, predictable Twilight-Zone like horror-twister (and similar to Carnival of Souls (1962)) with elements of dark humor from writers/directors Jean-Baptiste Andrea and Fabrice Canepa, although effective nonetheless. Its tagline was: "READ THE SIGNS." Every clock or watch had stopped at the hour of 7:30, hinting that life also stopped.
On Christmas Eve, the Harrington family of four (parents with two teen kids, and one friend) was enroute in their Jeep SUV to the in-laws for the holiday - an annual trek taken for over 20 years within California. The occupants were:
Traveling in their car at night and taking a "back-way" short-cut instead of the interstate (on an unmarked, dark, narrow, and mysterious road), Frank dozed off and then was startled back to consciousness with a near-miss accident. Laura was exasperated with Frank: "Are you crazy? You almost killed us." The travelers continued on the never-ending road, seemingly unhurt, but they were hopelessly lost. Frank admitted: "Everything's so f--ked up on this goddamn road."
As it turned out, their car had crashed into an oncoming vehicle driven by a Lady in White (Amber Smith). Encounters along their road trip, during their "f--kin' nightmare" (Frank's words), included:
Dirty secrets or intentions were revealed about each family member during the trip:
The sole-surviving daughter Marion awoke in St. Luke Hospital after the deadly accident when she was thrown from the car and had suffered a short-term coma. She had broken ribs and a concussion. Everything that occurred after the fatal accident was in the daughter's mind.
Marcott, their destination seen repeatedly on a road sign, was the name of the emergency room doctor (Karen S. Gregan) treating Marion at the hospital - interwoven into her recollections, along with the Man in Black who had reported the accident and given a lift to Dr. Marcott after work.
In the midst of the credits, two road-sweeping workmen were cleaning up the crash site on Christmas Day. They found Frank's handwritten note - with charred edges - that he had composed earlier and discussed with Marion:
The note was tossed onto the ground and swept up. It put into question the whole idea that everything was an imagined dream.
Bruhl and Anderson Were Gay Lovers Who Killed Each Other; The Surviving Psychic Neighbor Wrote Up The Whole Story For Her Smash Hit Play
The many plot twists and triple-cross in this Sidney Lumet film (set in one location, a Long Island home) were witty and complex -- and it paid homage to Les Diaboliques (1955, Fr.).
English professor and fading Broadway playwright Sidney Bruhl (Michael Caine) plotted with his dubious, ailing, naive wife Myra (Dyan Cannon) to murder his young ex-student - a gay fledgling author named Clifford Anderson (Christopher Reeve) who had supposedly written a brilliant murder/mystery thriller-play titled Deathtrap.
Anderson was strangled with a chain and buried (although his death was faked) and he suddenly appeared later that night -- scaring Myra into having a cardiac arrest.
In the twist ending, it was revealed that Bruhl and Anderson were really gay lovers (who performed one scandalous homosexual kiss on-screen) and had plotted this elaborate scheme to kill Myra.
Afterwards, Anderson moved in to be Bruhl's new 'secretary,' and now began writing a play called Deathtrap with a plot that resembled the murder of Myra.
Eventually, the two distrusted and murdered each other (in a scene that included lots of murder weapons, including a gun, an axe, handcuffs, and a crossbow).
Surviving neighboring Dutch psychic Helga Ten Dorp (Irene Worth) ("In this room, there's pain") was able to incorporate the murderous events into her own play - which went on to become a huge Broadway smash-success after its opening night.
Dying Femme Fatale Margot was Double-Crossed By Frankie - The Money Chest Had Only $1 In It
This little-known cult B-film noir opened with betrayed and seriously-wounded Dr. Lloyd Craig (Herbert Rudley) washing his soiled and bloody hands and face in a grimy washroom sink (with broken mirror) at a gas station. After hitchhiking to San Francisco 75 miles away, he proceeded to the 6th floor apartment of femme fatale Margot Shelby (Jean Gillie) (who was preparing to flee town), fatally shot her for revenge, and then dropped dead.
Hard-nosed, tough-guy detective Sgt. Joseph "Jo Jo" Portugal (Sheldon Leonard) arrived too late to save her. As she died, she begged for a money chest to be brought to her ("Give it to me. I want it...It's mine. It's all mine now"), and explained what had happened in the lengthy flashback, beginning with:
In the film, she schemed with gangster pal Jim Vincent (Edward Norris) and idealistic prison doctor Dr. Craig to resurrect convict Frankie Olins (Robert Armstrong) after he was executed in the gas chamber, and force him to reveal the dough's whereabouts. Their preposterous plan succeeded and Olins drew them a map, after which he was shot dead by Vincent.
During their late-night drive to the location of the money, Vincent was deliberately run over by the sadistic Margot. And then as Dr. Craig dug up the strongbox in a eucalyptus grove, she told him: "All our hopes, all our plans...," but then shot him twice and laughed hysterically and maniacally as he lay on the ground. Then, she ran off with the box in her arms, cackling: "It's mine. It's all mine now!"
The film ended with a return to the present - the treasure box was opened as Margot died on her apartment's couch. It was revealed to be a decoy - with only $1 and a note from Frankie:
Deep Blue Sea (1999)
Franklin Was Torn in Half Early On; The Only Survivors Were Blake and the 'Preacher'
The surprise in this science-fiction horror film was that much of its cast was killed off - only partway into the film. The tagline referred to monstrous Mako sharks, the CGI stars of the film: BIGGER, SMARTER, FASTER, MEANER.
A group of scientists was working on a super-intelligent shark program in a top-secret, deep-sea location known as Aquatica. The laboratory facility was a former submarine refueling station. Their work involved extracting brain tissue from three giant Mako sharks (secretly genetically-engineered), to use in a study of Alzheimer's disease. Almost immediately, there were disasters - escaped sharks, and deadly attacks on humans.
Called to the site, Chimera Pharmaceuticals' corporate financier Russell Franklin (Samuel L. Jackson), with a goatee and glasses, delivered a stirring "let's pull together" motivational speech to the group. He spoke about a previous brush with death that he had experienced during a mountaineering and avalanche disaster (where there were seven survivors and only five made it out alive, due to inhumane cannibalism).
In the middle of his exhortations -
He was abruptly grabbed by one of the enormous predatory Mako sharks that erupted out of the water behind him, chewed him and then tore his body in half. The sharks (smarter than normal due to increased brain sizes) planned to flood the facility so that they could escape into open waters and breed.
Eventually as Aquatica was sinking, the three Mako sharks (two "small" Gen I Mako's and a massive Gen II Mako, about 25 feet long) were killed - similar to the plots in the three Jaws films.
There were only two survivors (although both were injured), after blonde medical biologist Dr. Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows), the one responsible for genetically-engineering the sharks, sacrificed herself:
Seated on floating debris and wreckage from the explosion, the two discussed what had happened, and the arrival of a new workers' boat:
Deep Red (1975, It.) (aka Profondo Rosso, or The Hatchet Murders)
Insane Mother Marta was the Hatchet Murderer, Not Son Carlo; She Died In An Elevator Accident
In Dario Argento's gripping murder mystery with a plot twist at the end, there were a number of murders (shot in the giallo-style by the "Italian Hitchcock"):
A clue was revealed in a wall painting (hidden behind plaster) of what appeared to be a child stabbing an adult (the opening murder). This led to Daly's discovery of a secret room in an abandoned house holding the skeleton remains of a corpse.
Clues also revealed that troubled, depressed artist Carlo (Gabriele Lavia), who drew a murder painting, was not the murderer of Ulmann. As Carlo fled from police, he died a grisly death (the fifth murder) by being dragged from a garbage truck and having his head run over by another car.
A flashback showed that his own black-haired, off-kilter, insane mother Marta (Clara Calamai) with heavy black eye-liner was the hatchet murderer in all the present crimes and in the stabbing years earlier (during the holidays when music was playing, she had stabbed and killed her husband (Aldo Bonamano) in the back with a carving knife in front of a young Carlo (Jacopo Mariani)). The boy picked up the knife and then had repeatedly drawn the disturbing image and covered up for his mother's crime.
The film ended with Marta's necklace caught in the bars of a descending elevator shaft - both strangling and decapitating her (shown in close-up in all its gory red detail).
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