Film Spoilers and
|Film Title/Year and Plot Twist-Spoiler-Surprise Ending Description|
F For Fake (1973, Fr./Iran/W.Germ.) (aka Vérités et Mensonges, or Truths and Lies, or F Wie Fälschung)
The Last 17 Minutes Of the Film Were Fake
Writer/director/actor Orson Welles' last feature film was this non-linear, documentary-essay (and magic trick at its end) about fakery, art forgery, authorship and authenticity, charlatanism, the value of experts, magicians, and the art world.
Within a hodge-podge of re-edited films (BBC film stock, an earlier documentary on de Hory, candid film footage, newly-shot commentary), the bearded, self-indulgent Welles served as playful emcee as he narrated about "two world leaders in fakery":
Irving also wrote his own believable but fraudulent biography of a real person - Howard Hughes, and when found out was dubbed "Con Man of the Year" by Time Magazine.
Welles opened the film with a simple statement that hinted at the 85 minute long film concluding with an odd plot twist:
The final segment of the film consisted of a 17-minute long dramatic retelling of how a young, sexy Croatian actress Oja Kodar (Herself, Welles' real-life girlfriend at the time of shooting), first seen in the film in a segment on girl-watching, enticed famed artist Pablo Picasso in the village of Toussaint by walking by his place during one summer in provocative beach-dress, and was soon invited in to be his mistress in exchange for ownership of the 22 nude paintings he made of her.
Later, she sold fraudulent or faked Picasso paintings made by her painter-forger grandfather to several museums and collectors in their place, and supposedly made a fortune by selling the real finished Picasso paintings - although her grandfather said they had been burned.
After a tense "reenactment" of an argument between Picasso and Kodar's dying grandfather (who was the accused forger), Welles - admitting that he was a charlatan himself, playfully and mischieviously reminded the audience of his earlier promise to tell the truth for only an hour, and that the concluding portion of the film was just more fakery:
He then apologized to Picasso and summed up: "To the memory of that great man who will never cease to exist, I offer my apologies and wish you all, true and false, a very pleasant good evening."
Orson Welles: Narrator
Clifford Irving With Fakes Painter Elmyr de Hory
Oja Kodar (Herself)
The Faculty (1998)
The Master Queen Alien Was New Transfer Student Marybeth, Killed in the Conclusion by Casey
Scream's writer Kevin Williamson scripted this Robert Rodriguez-directed horror film. It was a hybrid of teenage angst high-school films (such as The Breakfast Club (1985)) and the sci-fi alien invasion film Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).
The film opened with leading members of the faculty of Herrington High School in Ohio being taken over by murderous aliens. The first to be possessed was menacing Hornets football coach Joe Willis (Robert Patrick), and then drama teacher Mrs. Karen Olson (Piper Laurie) who used a pair of scissors to murder and also infect briskly efficient Principal Miss Valerie Drake (Bebe Neuwirth).
The film's tagline made reference to the six main teen characters, archetypal members of the student body (a misfit rebel, a geek, an outcast, a cheerleader, a jock, and a girl-next-door, etc.) who were introduced during the character credits, that would investigate the weird happenings at their high school among the "Faculty" members:
An alternate universe of alien beings came to fruition after a small alien pod (pelagic or sea-dwelling organism) was found on the high school football field by Casey. He took it to his science teacher Mr. Furlong (Jon Stewart), who examined the strange creature. It thrived and replicated in a tank of water - and developed sharp teeth.
One of the alien converts, elderly teacher Mrs. Brummel (Susan Willis), warned before dying: "I don't know what's happening. They want everyone." And then Casey and Delilah watched from hiding as hypochondriac School Nurse Rosa Harper (Salma Hayek) was murdered and infected with a bloody ear-injection from Coach Willis' mouth - and then reappeared apparently normal.
Almost the entire faculty was soon "commuted" and the students were next, beginning with the most influential. Casey and Delilah were the first to suspect the alien control and parasitic take-over of human bodies at the school (Casey: "It's a devil's cult or something. Maybe they worship comets?...Everybody's been acting really strange, especially the faculty"). Stokely jokingly theorized: "It's like they've all turned into f--kin' pod people or something...Invasion of the Body Snatchers. A small town was taken over by aliens." Casey was more suspicious:
Casey convinced his friends why the aliens had chosen Ohio: "If you were going to take over the world, would you blow up the White House Independence Day-style or sneak in through the back door?"
It appeared that once the faculty members (and then students) were alien-inhabited, they had a transformative make-over and strange character change (often revealing their true or better selves), plus they required huge amounts of water to survive.
The first public evidence of alien-takeover was when science teacher Mr. Furlong attacked the students in the lab-room, and dope-dealer Zeke severed Furlong's fingers from his hand (and they crawled along the floor) and poked his eye out with a long, thin tube of his own dehydrating (diuretic) drug - causing Furlong to decompose.
After a getaway, the unlikely group of six students theorized that if they found the 'master alien' or "Queen" leader and killed it, they could eliminate the threat and the further spread of the parasitic alien seeking human hosts, and everything would revert to normal. Each student, suspicious of the others (in a scene paying direct homage to John Carpenter's blood-test scene in The Thing (1982)), snorted the drug (composed mostly of the contents of caffeinated no-doz pills) to prove their non-alien status. Delilah was revealed to be one of the aliens, and in the confusion, Marybeth concealed the fact that she hadn't snorted the drug.
With little time to spare before the human race was entirely taken over, the group of five returned to the school's Friday night football game where they shot and killed Principal Drake in the gym, but she wasn't the "Queen Bee." On the field, Stan became infected, and tried to convince Stokely to join him: "It's so much better. There's no fear or pain. It's beautiful...No problems or worries." When Zeke went to his car trunk to get the last of the drug, he encountered infected frumpy teacher Miss Burke (Famke Janssen) - now a sexpot, who was beheaded when he crashed his car, but remained alive.
Transfer student Marybeth revealed herself as the head "Queen" alien with huge tentacles - she infected Stokely in the swimming pool. While standing naked in front of Zeke in the locker room, Marybeth first tried to entice Zeke ("Do you like what you see?"). He was knocked out, and then she stalked Casey and told him about her own alien world:
When he replied: "I'd rather be afraid," she retaliated: "Fine. All right. Have it your way. 'Cause this is where your land of fiction gets it right. We win. End of story!" Casey trapped the creature in the collapsing gym bleachers, and then stabbed it in the eye with the last tube of the drug. Although Casey was infected, things immediately returned to normal - unexplicably.
In voice-over, a female news-reporter on the campus a month later claimed there had been "a mysterious disappearance of several faculty members one month ago. Both the local authorities and the FBI have largely discounted several students' claim that an extraterrestrial was involved. A spokesperson for the FBI has indicated that no substantiating evidence has been found."
In the meantime, cross-clique romantic pairings had occurred:
After Delilah kissed Casey, she told her hero: "You know, you can be pretty cool sometimes." He replied: "Things sure have changed, haven't they?" It was unlike the ending of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, where: "They get us. They win, we lose."
Three Faculty Members Taken Over by Aliens: (l to r): Miss Valerie Drake (Bebe Neuwirth), Joe Willis (Robert Patrick), and Mrs. Karen Olson (Piper Laurie)
Joe Willis Attacking School Nurse Ms. Harper (Salma Hayek)
Mr. Furlong's Eye Poked Out by Zeke
Zeke (Josh Hartnett) Administering the Alien Blood Test
Delilah (Jordana Brewster) - An Alien
Casey and Friends Confronting Principal Miss Drake
Beheaded and Infected Miss Burke
Alien Marybeth - "The Queen"
The Alien Queen
Tentacled Monstrous Queen Confronting Casey
Casey Connor Saves School
Delilah With Casey
The Evil Spirit Azazel, in the Dead Body of Detective Hobbes, Almost Died, But Cleverly Jumped Into a New and Unexpected Host - A Stray Cat
Gregory Hoblit's police crime drama, a soul-transference supernatural thriller, had a warning for its tagline:
Another more revealing tagline was about the main protagonist, who was confronted by a more evil presence than a mere moral criminal:
The most important aspect of the film to realize was the continuing presence of an evil spirit or fallen angel named Azazel. This cursed angel roamed the earth, without form, and could possess susceptible people's souls by switching bodies after contact. Azazel was an ancient diabolical presence and force that was almost impossible to track - it was eternally condemned to transmigrate from one soul to another.
The biggest clue was the opening voice-over ("I wanna tell you about the time I almost died...") from homicide detective John Hobbes (Denzel Washington). The ultimate twist was revealed in the final minutes - related to this line of dialogue. It was revealed to not be Hobbes' voice, but the voice of Azazel. Hobbes continued:
The remainder of the tale was told in flashback. Hobbes was visiting a serial killer named Reese (Elias Koteas) that he had put away - his eighth criminal to die on death row. He was joined by his superior, Lieutenant Stanton (Donald Sutherland). Reese was about to be executed, filmed and documented by the ACLU for a treatise against capital punishment. Reese abruptly reached out his hand to shake with Hobbes, and then recited something threatening in a foreign tongue (the ancient biblical language of Syrian Aramaic). [Note: If Reese had the evil Azazel in him, had an attempt to transmigrate into Hobbes failed or succeeded?] He then ominously and prophetically warned:
As Reese was walked to the execution gas chamber down a long corridor, under the opening credits, the Rolling Stones' song played: "Time Is On My Side." Reese also sang the song as the gas pellets were released - and yelled out: "Baby, come on, go ahead. Light up my life!" Afterwards, Hobbes spoke in voice-over: "Something is always happening. But when it happens, people don't always see it, or understand it, or accept it." (Through visual clues, the evil spirit in Reese had jumped to one of the prison guards that Reese had touched.) As Reese's captor, Hobbes was interviewed by the filmmakers: "Criminals don't accept consequences, huh? They kill somebody, somehow, it's not their fault. Well, this is the consequence of what I do."
However, Azazel continued to transmigrate after Reese's execution from one person to the next - through physical contact. There was a copycat killer committing similar murders.
In a side-plot, Hobbes contacted university theology professor Gretta Milano (Embeth Davidtz), located through clues from a riddle Reese asked Hobbes before his execution. Gretta told about her detective father, Robert Milano ("Cop of the Year '65'"), 30 years earlier. He had been set up and falsely accused of a number of copycat murders and then killed himself: "My dad was a good cop. 'Pride of the force' and all of that. And then he shot himself. A reporter found out my father had been under investigation. He'd caught a killer, but copycat crimes started. Evidence mounted up against him: fingerprints, witnesses. The press never got real proof, but my father's medal was rescinded." He died at his out-of-the-way mountain cabin in the middle of nowhere, reportedly cleaning his gun.
Hobbes visited the out-of-the-way cabin owned by the Milano family, to investigate further, where he found a book on demons (and how they moved by touch), and a name drawn on a basement wall: AZAZEL - but then painted over. Hobbes had consulted a dictionary and found Azazel meant - "the evil spirit of the wilderness." When he met with Gretta a second time and told her his findings, she cautioned him: "Walk away, Mr. Hobbes...If you enjoy your life, if there's even one human being you care about, don't take this case." In the meantime, Hobbes received a translation of the tape with Reese's threatening foreign words before his death:
When pressed during a third meeting, Gretta explained the Azazel phenomenon to Hobbes:
She concluded by identifying executed criminal Reese (a left-hander, sadistic, who liked to sing) as Azazel. Hobbes was told why he was targeted for a number of crimes, just like her father:
She suggested that there was a network of people who were fighting these demons. Meanwhile, the evil spirit began to torment Hobbes ("evil just keeps on coming"), like it had Gretta's detective father, by framing him for a series of murders, including the killing of a well-respected, innocent high school math teacher (Bob Rumnock) in the street that he thought was possessed by Azazel. Immediately, Azazel's spirit next went into the body of a young female bystander, who boasted about the ability to transfer to a new host closeby without even touching them:
Hobbes spoke with Gretta about his experience - and both feared that Azazel was becoming more powerful:
With Gretta, Hobbes worked out a plan to rid the evil spirit forever. In the film's climax, he drove to the out-of-the-way Milano cabin, thinking it was the ultimate battle: Hobbes vs. Azazel. Lieutenant Stanton drove up and told why he was there: "I'm the poor schmo they sent up here to bring you in." From another direction, his backup appeared, Detective Jonesy (John Goodman), Hobbes' 12-plus years partner. And then suddenly, the possessed Jonesy shot and killed Stanton (with a bullet to his right temple). He then began stalking Hobbes, who jumped for cover. Jonesy began singing "Time Is On My Side," and warned about Hobbes' fateful choice:
During a struggle for the gun, Hobbes shot Jonesy in the stomach - deliberately not killing him. He reasoned with the slowly dying Jonesy/Azazel: "If Jonesy dies too fast, as powerful as you are, I might never get away from you." Hobbes decided to do what Robert Milano had attempted but failed to do 30 years earlier - kill Azazel in a remote setting so that the demonic spirit wouldn't be able to possess anyone else in the vicinity. Hobbes suicidally lit up a cigarette laced with poison ("It's beautiful, isn't it? Isn't it so sweet? We die together just you and me"). Hobbes then waited until he was predictably possessed by Azazel.
Just before his death in the snow outside of the cabin, Hobbes continued his voice-over dialogue from the film's start - he was now speaking as Azazel! - the evil spirit refused to be defeated by Hobbes:
Azazel 'jumped' into the body of a stray cat (shown from Azazel's POV), ready to inhabit another new body, and chuckled:
Detective John Hobbes (Denzel Washington)
Lieutenant Stanton (Donald Sutherland)
Reese (Elias Koteas) - Serial Killer About to Be Executed
Handshake Between Reese and Hobbes
The New Host for Reese's Evil Spirit (Azazel)
Gretta Milano (Embeth Davidtz)
Hobbes' Visit to the Milano Cabin
Basement Wall Drawing: Azazel
Hobbes Shooting a Schoolteacher Possessed by Azazel - then the Spirit Moved Into a Female - Without Contact
Detective Jonesy (John Goodman) - Possessed by Azazel
Stanton Shot Dead in Temple by Jonesy
Hobbes Suicidally Lighting Up a Poisoned Cigarette
Jonesy/Azazel Shot Dead in Forehead
Hobbes/Azazel Dead in the Snow
Azazel's New Host - A Stray Cat
The Surviving Kidnapper Carl and Jerry Were Arrested by Chief of Police Marge Gunderson; Wade and Jean Did Not Survive; The Painting Submitted to the USPS by Marge's Husband Norm Would Be Displayed on the 3-Cent Stamp
This classic Coen Brothers' film ended with the resolution of multiple homicides, including:
Gaear killed Carl with an axe, during an angry dispute. Pregnant local Chief of Police Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) found Gaear feeding Carl's body into a woodchipper - she arrested him, after shooting him in the leg.
Jerry was arrested in a motel room near Bismarck, North Dakota. It was unclear whether the ransom money that Carl buried in the snow was recovered.
In the satisfying epilogue, Marge and her loving husband Norm (John Carroll Lynch) were watching TV in bed. She congratulated him on being the winner of the USPS oil painting competition (of a mallard duck) for the 3-cent stamp, a necessity when the postal rate was to be increased.
They were anticipating a hopeful future, thinking about their new prospective life as a family after the birth of their child:
"Two More Months"
Fatal Attraction (1987)
Wife Beth Shot Her Husband Dan's Scorned Lover Alex Forrest to Death in the Bathtub, After She Appeared Drowned - But Resurrected Herself
Adrian Lyne's popular thriller included a few terrorizing scenes of scorned lover Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) seeking revenge after experiencing a short fling with errant husband and successful New York publishing lawyer Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas). Earlier in the film, she made "hare stew" of his daughter Ellen's (Ellen Latzen) pet rabbit (named Whitly).
In the shocking and violent conclusion, Dan (seen struggling in closeup) held the hysterical woman under the water in his home's second floor bathtub after she had attacked his wife Beth (Anne Archer) with a large kitchen knife and also attacked him -- he apparently drowned her when she went limp under the water.
But then she suddenly and explosively emerged still alive to repeatedly slash at him, until Beth shot her in the chest to finally end her terroristic advances.
The Final Gunshot
Wife Beth Gallagher (Anne Archer)
Femme Fatale (2002)
Laure Woke Up in a Bathtub After A Lengthy Dream; She Advised Doppelganger Lily, Thus Changing Both of Their Futures For the Better; Laure's and Veronica's Theft of $10 Million Was Successful, When Replayed
Brian DePalma's erotic thriller was a prime example of a plot-twister, deliberately hinted at many times by various clues. Except for the first half-hour (and the film's short concluding segment), the film with themes of voyeurism and double-identity was almost entirely a dream of the title character's nightmarish future.
The film opened with a spectacularly sexy heist during the screening of the film Est-Ouest at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival; nearly-nude, sleek film model Veronica's (Rie Rasmussen) see-through gold-plated "amazing top in the shape of a serpent" was encrusted with 500 diamonds worth over 10 million dollars. Blonde femme fatale Laure Ash (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) posed as a photographer at the event, scored to Ravel's "Bolero," and during a hot lesbian/bisexual tryst of kissing and stripping in the ladies room with Veronica, the serpentine gold-plated bodice was supposedly swapped with a fake one.
The theft wasn't everything that it appeared to be, although Laure (together with partner in crime Veronica) did execute a double-cross and absconded with the jewels utilizing a bait-and-switch tactic. Wearing a black wig and hiding out in Paris, Laure met up with her camouflage-wearing brunette girlfriend in Belleville (a suburb outside of Paris) in front of a church [the girlfriend was later revealed to be her partner-in-crime Veronica!] to receive instructions about where she could obtain a passport to leave the country (Room 214 at the Sheraton Hotel). Outside the church, she was photographed by long-haired, in-debt Spanish paparazzo Nicolas Bardo (Antonio Banderas) from his overlooking balcony (in split-screen).
In the church, she was mistaken for a missing, suicidal woman named Lily (also Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), her own look-alike doppelganger, who experienced a "terrible tragedy" (loss of husband Thierry and daughter Brigitte). Lily's parents (Irma and Louis) trailed her to the hotel.
She was thrown off the multi-story balcony of her room into the hotel's inner courtyard by vengeful, double-crossed partner Racine (Edouard Montoute), but miraculously survived the fall. Lily's parents brought her to her apartment to recover, where Laure noticed her resemblance to Lily in photographs framed on the wall. While watching TV, a commentator provided a major key to the remainder of the film:
Laure responded to herself: "Yep." She found Lily's passport and plane tickets and decided to take them.
At 3:33 pm (all clocks remain fixed at 3:33 pm during the next segment of the film) while she took a soothing soak in an overflowing bathtub, she fell asleep -- and the dream commenced. Laure was awakened when a distraught Lily returned and committed suicide with a gun, near a flooding aquarium (hint!). To "start a new life" and escape pursuit, Laure appropriated Lily's identity and flew to the US - conveniently meeting businessman Mr. Watts (Peter Coyote) on the plane and subsequently marrying him.
Seven years later, she was forced to return to France when Watts became US Ambassador to France. Tabloid photographer Bardo snapped her picture as she exited her car at her new Parisian residence (the photo was printed and posted on billboards), and her second, bloodied, double-crossed partner Black Tie (Eriq Ebouaney) was released from prison after serving seven years - he joined Racine to hunt down Laure.
They first caught up with brunette Veronica, who was "fencing diamonds," and threw her under a truck. Bardo continued to pursue femme fatale Laure/Lily, meeting up with her in Room 214 at the Sheraton Hotel. To seek revenge against him for taking her picture, she manipulated and enticed him, first by non-chalantly stripping to her skimpy underwear in the room (he asked: "Are you flirting with me?" and she replied: "You're so damn lovable") while setting him up for two charges by the police: stealing her car, and a scheme of kidnapping for ransom aimed at her husband (at the Passerelle Debilly Bridge).
However, to first have some fun, she performed a strip-teasing dance for him to arouse his angry jealousy in the basement of a sleazy bar/pool-room, before making vigorous love to him - during which time he recorded her admission of her treacherous guilt in the staging of the kidnapping plot ("I made everybody think you kidnapped me, so I could screw my husband out of 10 million bucks").
At the bridge rendezvous at 2 am, Laure/Lily killed her husband ("I was just being careful") and then wounded Bardo. She was attacked from behind by Black Tie ("F--king over everyone again, hmm, not this time!"), who threw her into the cold Seine River - where she was shocked into reality -- the dream ended.
Suicidal Lily entered the apartment again and this time, Laure warned Lily about killing herself and gave her a second chance to change her future - and her own:
She encouraged Lily to take the plane to America, and sit next to "good guy" Bruce Watts who would "fall in love" with her. Lily chose life, and hitched a ride to the airport with a truckdriver, to whom she gave a reflective glass-ball necklace to remember the man's 10 year-old daughter ("when you're on the road, your little girl will always be with you").
Seven years later, once again paparazzo Bardo was asked to get a picture of the new US Ambassador to France with his three children and wife. He also photographed Laure at an outdoor cafe giving a $4 million share to girlfriend Veronica after slowly fencing off the diamonds they had stolen together.
Veronica was again pursued on the street by the two double-crossed criminals, but this time, the crooks lost their lives when a truckdriver (the one with the glass-ball necklace swinging from his rear-view mirror who was blinded momentarily with a flash of sunlight reflecting from Laure's shiny case into the piece of jewelry) veered into them and impaled them on a spiked, loading truck gate.
After witnessing the accident, Bardo assisted a shaken-up Laure and asked: "Haven't we met before somewhere?" - she replied honestly: "Only in my dreams."
The Jewel Heist at Cannes Film Festival: Laure and Veronica
Photographs of Two Thieves Meeting
Lily's Passport and Plane Tickets
Laure in Bathtub: Start of Dream Sequence
Tabloid Photograph of Laure (as Lily) Returning to France
Laure/Lily with Paparazzo Nicolas Bardo (Antonio Banderas)
Thrown into the Seine River
Awakening in Bathtub From Dream
Photographer Bardo: 7 Years Later
Laure Sharing Cash With Veronica
Crooks in Fatal Truck Accident
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Ferris Successfully Took A "Day Off" From School, Fooling the Dean of Students
Malingering high school senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), after skipping school to attend the Von Steuben Day parade in downtown Chicago, rushed home to get into bed to escape detection by his parents.
Bueller's suspicious Dean of Students Edward Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) entered the Bueller house and was attacked by the family Rotweiler, and then humiliated when wandering in the street and picked up by a schoolbus driver (and offered a warmed-up Gummi bear).
After the credits rolled, a surprised Ferris emerged from the bathroom, addressed the "fourth wall" (or movie audience) and ordered everyone to go home, now that his "day off" was over:
Ray Kinsella's Estranged Father John, Not Shoeless Joe Jackson, Was Summoned to the Ballfield For A Game of Catch
This mystical sports film from director Phil Alden Robinson was about an Iowa farmer named Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) who felt instructed by various voices to build a baseball field on his farmland in Iowa. From the strange and compelling 'voices,' he heard:
The film ended with the revelation that all the voices and instructions were not:
Instead, the voices were actually Ray's own internalized desire (Ray: "It was you" Joe: "No, Ray. It was you") to allow his estranged ghostly father John Kinsella (Dwier Brown) to appear. He reacted with great surprise.
Ray's wife Annie (Amy Madigan) answered with a suggestion that John meet his granddaughter Karin (Gaby Hoffman). During introductions, John thanked them for putting up the field and letting them play there. Father and son then spoke alone:
The two enjoyed a game of catch between father and son one more time as the sun set.
The film ended with a stream of cars (and headlights) approaching the ballfield in the middle of an Iowa cornfield, signaling that Ray wouldn't lose his farm after all.
John Kinsella (Dwier Brown)
Ray Kinsella With Wife Annie
Reunited for a Game of Catch
Cars Coming to the Iowa Ballfield
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