Greatest Film Plot Twists
Film Spoilers and
Surprise Endings


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

Easy Rider (1969)

Lawyer George Was Bludgeoned To Death; The Two Bikers Were Shot-gunned to Death by Rednecks

One of the first unexpected events in this film was the bludgeoning death of drunken lawyer George Hanson (Jack Nicholson) in his sleeping bag during the dark of night by unknown attackers. He was accompanying two cross-country, drug-dealing bikers out to find America, who admitted they had spiritually blown it (Wyatt: You know, Billy. We blew it."):

  • Billy (Dennis Hopper)
  • Captain America/Wyatt (Peter Fonda)

This foreshadowed the completely unexpected, anti-climactic and quick ending for the bikers. On one of the last stretches of roadside where American industry had not yet sprawled, two armed rednecks in a small pickup truck thought they'd have some fun with the two bikers. On the country road, a redneck in a truck suddenly blasted Billy in the stomach and mortally wounded him, after Billy flipped off the driver. When Wyatt went to investigate, his American flag-decorated bike exploded in flames (metaphorically?) when his gas tank was shot, but his body didn't appear in the scene.

The film ended with the pull-back helicopter view of the winding river alongside the highway.

Eddie and the Cruisers (1983)

Eddie Was Still Alive!

By film's end, it was revealed that the band manager Doc Robbins (Joe Pantoliano) of the 60's rock band Eddie & The Cruisers was the one who was hunting for the missing master tapes (of the Cruisers' unheard second album titled A Season In Hell after the record company refused to release it and the band broke up in 1964) - featuring charismatic lead band singer Eddie Wilson (Michael Paré).

The famous twist ending revealed that long-lost Eddie was still alive (he had faked his own suicidal death by driving his Chevy convertible over the side of the South Jersey Raritan Bridge almost two decades earlier, although his body was never found). He was seen (with a beard) in a TV store window display's reflection as the last spectator left watching the credits roll in a documentary tribute to himself on a bank of TV sets.

Election (1999)

Tracy Won The High School Election; Teacher McAllister Was Forced To Resign After Tampering With Election Results

By the end of director Alexander Payne's satirical dark comedy about an Omaha, Nebraska high school election and its personal and political ramifications, all of the Carver HS characters were profoundly affected (often they narrated their thoughts in voice-over). The three candidates for the highly-competitive school election were:

  • ruthlessly ambitious, aspiring senior class president Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) with a win-at-any-cost mentality
  • a nice-guy, earnest, simple-minded quarterback named Paul Metzler (Chris Klein)
  • Paul's lesbian-minded sister Tammy Metzler (Jessica Campbell) who called the election 'stupid'

The election was supervised by conscientious civics teacher and student government advisor Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick).

Also affected by events at the school were McAllister's best friend and math teacher Mr. Novotny (Mark Harelik) who had a career-ending and marriage-ending affair with Tracy, and the two women in McAllister's domestic life:

  • his nursing school student/wife Diane (Molly Hagan)
  • divorced neighbor Linda Novotny (Delaney Driscoll)

Pitting himself against Tracy's annoying overachieving dominance, Jim attempted to sabotage and fix the close election (and cause Tracy's defeat) by discarding two of her ballots into a wastebasket that were discovered by the disgruntled custodian - McAllister was caught and forced to resign. At the same time, he was in the midst of an extra-marital affair with Linda, who informed his wife Diane about their motel rendezvous plans and precipitated an immediate divorce.

Jim was forced to move to New York where he took a job in the Natural History Museum's Education Department as a tour guide, and found a new co-worker/girlfriend named Jillian (Jillian Crane). In Washington DC, he happened to see up-and-coming post-grad Georgetown University student Tracy in the company of a Nebraskan congressman as his assistant. Rage-filled misfit Tammy forced her own transfer to a girl's Catholic private school called Immaculate Heart, where she found another soulmate girlfriend named Jennifer (Kaitlin Ferrell). And Paul was elected homecoming and prom king in his senior year.

Electra Glide in Blue (1973)

Arizona Motorcycle Cop Wintergreen Was Shot To Death After Minor Traffic Incident With Hippies

In this mid-70s counter-culturally themed action/crime film representative of the New Hollywood of the 70s, Robert Blake starred as John Wintergreen - a short-statured, virile, honorable and tactful rookie motorcycle patrolman (and ex-Vietnam Vet) on the desert roads of Northern Arizona riding an Electra Glide Harley Davidson bike.

Both his small-minded, laid-back and dishonest partner "Zipper" Davis (Billy "Green" Bush) and egomaniacal homicide Detective Harve Poole (Mitch Ryan) enjoyed harrassing, framing (with planted drugs) and busting hippies during the film's major murder mystery.

In the film's unpredictable, abrupt and surprise ending (reminiscent of Easy Rider (1969), although a reversal), Wintergreen shot an intoxicated "Zipper" in self-defense, and then lost his own life to a hippie driving a VW van. In the scene, the vehicle was stopped for a minor infraction (a missing front bumper), but when Wintergreen let the driver go and forgot to return his driver's license, the hippies feared that they were to be arrested when Wintergreen chased after them -- they shot him to death and let him die on the road.

Elvira Madigan (1967, Swe.)

The Two Doomed Lovers Committed Suicide

There was a suicidal conclusion to this beautiful romantic melodrama based on a true but tragic love affair in the 19th century. It occurred between two doomed lovers during one summer:

  • young runaway tightrope walker Elvira Madigan (Pia Degermark)
  • her married lover and Swedish Army deserter Lieut. Sixten Sparre (Thommy Berggren)

Elvira told Sixten that they had no other alternative but to commit suicide together.

When he couldn't pull the trigger on her at point-blank range, she was shot and killed (off-screen) during a freeze-frame image of her grasping for a butterfly in a golden field. He then shot himself with a second blast from his revolver during the same freeze-frame image before the film ended with a black screen.

Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Darth Vader Admitted To Being Luke's Father

One of the most startling and stunning plot twists ever devised appeared in this second film in the second trilogy -- it was a moment of paternal revelation when the evil dark lord Darth Vader (David Prowse, voice of James Earl Jones) emotionlessly admitted a surprise relationship to young Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) -- after cutting off Luke's hand:

"No, I am your father."

Luke gave a horrified reaction: "No, no. That's not true. That's impossible!"

Darth Vader also urged Luke to join him: "Join me and together, we can rule the galaxy as father and son."

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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