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

Wild Things (1998)

Ray Murdered Kelly; Sam Tried to Double-Cross and Kill Ray, But Was Killed By Suzie (Who Had Faked Her Death) With a Spear Gun; Suzie Also Poisoned Sam; By Film's End, Mastermind Suzie Walked Away With a Suitcase Filled With Cash

This erotic crime film had many twists and turns -- by film's end, it had been revealed that three of the schemers were in cahoots during a fabricated rape case that led to a huge money settlement extorted from Kelly's wealthy mother Sandra (Theresa Russell):

  • Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon), high school guidance counselor
  • Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards), sexy student
  • Suzie Toller (Neve Campbell), goth trailer inhabitant

A fourth character was also involved, duplicitous police sergeant Ray Duquette (Kevin Bacon), who was secretly collaborating with Sam.

One by one, suspicion and distrust led to various double-crossing murders and unexpected events:

  • Suzie was bludgeoned by Sam with a wine bottle (off-screen), but her death was faked (shown later, pliers were used to remove her own teeth to be left as evidence); her death was subsequently blamed on Kelly
  • Ray Duquette murdered Kelly, then argued that he killed her in self-defense (shown later, he shot her with two rounds and inflicted a shoulder wound on himself with a third shot)
  • Ray, tossed overboard by double-crossing Sam, was killed by Suzie (now with blonde hair) with a spear gun - she later explained her actions as revenge for Ray killing Kelly and Suzie's boyfriend Davie years earlier in the Everglades
  • double-crossing Suzie poisoned Sam with a doctored drink and the mast knocked him overboard

Suzie was revealed as the plot's mastermind with a high IQ ("that girl could do just about anything she put her mind to") - the end credits showed off-screen sequences that hadn't been shown in the film to further explain the plot.

The film concluded with Sam's unscrupulous free-lance lawyer Kenneth Bowden (Bill Murray) handing Suzie the payoff - a case loaded with cash:

Cash is just walkin'-around money. The check is the balance of the numbered account minus the million we set aside for Ruby and Walter, less my usual fee.

Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

As a Surprise 'Witness For the Prosecution,' Christine Helm/Vole Lied During Her Testimony On the Stand - A Deliberate Ploy to Discredit Herself and to Find Her Guilty Husband Leonard Not-Guilty; Then, She Shockingly Killed Him in the Courtroom When He Actually Admitted His Infidelity and Guilt

The ultimate twisting revelation in this convoluted courtroom drama was that acquitted American Leonard Vole was actually guilty of the murder of a wealthy widow named Emily French (Norma Varden) in order to inherit 80,000 pounds. Vole was defended by the crafty, weak-hearted barrister/attorney Sir Wilfrid Robarts (Charles Laughton) in a challenging case.

Vole attempted to use his only alibi -- his glamorous wife/lover Christine Helm/Vole (Marlene Dietrich) to defend him, but she was called as a surprise witness for the prosecution, to seek revenge. On the stand, she admitted that Vole was indeed the killer:

  • she wasn't really married to Leonard (and could therefore testify against him)
  • she was forced by him to provide a false alibi
  • her husband had admitted the murder to her

In the meantime, the barrister was called to meet a mysterious, disfigured Cockney woman who offered to supply him with love letters that Christine had written to a mysterious lover named Max. The letters would suggest that Christine was actually having an affair and was an unreliable witness.

When the trial resumed, Sir Wilfrid confronted Christine with the letters to prove that she had lied (so she could get rid of Leonard and be with another man). She broke down on the stand and admitted that she lied in earlier testimony. Having proven Christine to be a liar and unreliable witness, Leonard was declared 'not guilty.'

After the case was closed, Christine revealed that she had masqueraded as the Cockney woman by repeating her accent to Sir Wilfrid. She explained to him that her fraudulent letters and lies about Max were the only way to absolutely guarantee her husband's acquittal and get her guilty husband off the hook.

But then, in the shocking ending set in the courtroom, Leonard admitted two major lies that he had told:

  • he had murdered the elderly wealthy woman - the suspected charge made all along
  • he was unfaithful and philandering with Diana (Ruta Lee) - she arrived in the courtroom to run away with him

In furious anger, Christine stabbed Leonard to death. This climactic murder was followed by Sir Wilfrid's classic line when he corrected his nurse Miss Plimsoll (Elsa Lancester) about the killing: "Killed him? She executed him." Sir Wilfrid would serve as Christine's defense lawyer.

[Note: The studio's publicity campaign requested that viewers not reveal the stunning plot twist in this film, although it was one of Agatha Christie's most famous, well-known short stories/plays (first published as a four-character short story in 1933). A voice-over narrator at the end of the film stated: "The management of this theatre suggests that for the greater entertainment of your friends who have not yet seen the picture, you will not divulge to anyone the secret of the ending of Witness For the Prosecution."

[There was a TV remake in 1982 with Ralph Richardson and Deborah Kerr.]

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Dorothy's Adventures in Oz Land Were All a Dream, Caused By A Concussion (and Unconsciousness) During the Tornado

In this classic film's ending, it was discovered that Dorothy Gale's (Judy Garland) adventures in the Wonderful land of Oz were only imagined in a fanciful dream, after she suffered a concussion during a Kansas tornado-twister. In Oz-land before she clicked her ruby slippers together to return home, it was revealed that the Wizard (Frank Morgan) was fraudulent. Her three friends already possessed the qualities they were hoping for: intellect, courage, and a heart:

  • the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger)
  • the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr)
  • the Tin Woodsman (Jack Haley)

[The three fanciful characters were mirrors of her Kansas farmhands, Hunk (Bolger), Zeke (Lahr), and Hickory (Haley), and the Wizard character was the same as huckster Professor Marvel (Morgan).]

Dorothy insisted to her family and friends that her journey was real and not just a "bad dream":

It was a place, and you [Hunk] and you [Hickory] and you [Zeke] and you [Professor Marvel] were there. (Everyone laughs) But you couldn't have been, could you?

She was reassured at her bedside while surrounded by the anxious faces of her three familiar farmhands, and relatives. Dorothy was very grateful to be back in her own home:

There's no place like home.

The Woman in the Window (1944)

Everything in the Film Was the Professor's Dream

In this dark noir masterpiece, mild-mannered, middle-aged and married psychology Professor Richard Wanley (Edward G. Robinson) risked his future with femme fatale painting model Alice Reed (Joan Bennett) by stabbing to death (with a pair of scissors) her burly boyfriend Frank Howard (Arthur Loft) when he was jealously attacked.

Wanley was marked as the killer and blackmailed by Howard's bodyguard Heidt (Dan Duryea) with evidence of a scratch on his hand and a case of poison ivy while dumping the body in the woods.

However, in the comic ending, he awoke to find that everything had been a dream!

The World is Not Enough (1999)

Femme Fatale and Evil Bond Girl Elektra, Who Had Killed Her Own Father, Was Collaborating With Terrorist Renard's Activities (She Earlier Suffered From Stockholm Syndrome); Bond Regretfully Killed Her and Thwarted Renard's Plans Before Killing Him

The 19th installment of the official James Bond films featured a 'Bond Girl' named Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), an oil heiress who was first seen at the funeral of her billionaire industrial father Sir Robert King (David Calder) who had been murdered. He was killed by a massive blast activated by the radio-transmitter in his lapel-pin (someone on the "inside" had switched it with the original). Sympathy was aroused for the pretty daughter.

Previous to the film, she had been kidnapped and held for a ransom of $5 million dollars, but M (Judi Dench), James Bond's (Pierce Brosnan) boss, had advised not to negotiate with the terrorist, Renard (Robert Carlyle). She escaped from her captors, but as the film progressed, it appeared that Renard hadn't quite had full revenge in the King incident, and was still targeting Elektra. Bond was assigned to be her protective bodyguard after her father's assassination, and to find out who had switched the lapel-pin. In the course of his mission, he fell in love with Elektra, who had taken over her father's oil pipeline business.

Although it seemed that Elektra's oil pipeline was being sabotaged, it covered up the fact of her collaboration with Renard to steal plutonium, set off a catastrophic meltdown in Istanbul, Turkey, and provide her with a monopoly on oil transport in the region. Bond was the first to suspect Elektra's involvement with Renard. He diagnosed her as suffering from Stockholm syndrome -- common in kidnappings with a "young, impressionable victim. Sheltered. Sexually inexperienced. A powerful kidnapper skilled in torture, manipulation. Something snaps in the victim's mind. The captive falls in love with her captor." He cautioned M: "Perhaps that girl isn't as innocent as you think." He thought that she might have switched her father's lapel pin to kill him. M was incredulous: "She kills her own father and attacks her own pipeline?"

The twist was revealed when Elektra presented M with a "gift" - repayment for how M had compassionately advised her father on "the best course of action" when she had been kidnapped - it was her father's original lapel pin. She had mercilessly killed her own father: "I just couldn't let it explode with the rest of him." Elektra remained spiteful over her abandonment by M, who she then seized and held as hostage: "Your people will leave you here to rot, just like you left me. You and my father." She believed she was the rightful owner of her father's oil empire, and was revealed as the sociopathic villain who was orchestrating events with her lover, Renard.

In a final confrontation with Bond, Elektra tortured the agent (and kissed him simultaneously), but then he escaped and challenged her to radio Renard and "call him off." Bond was persistent: "I won't ask again." She looked seductively at Bond, hoping to change his mind. She taunted and doubted that he would kill her: "You wouldn't kill me. You'd miss me." When she refused to comply, he cold-bloodedly shot her, then quipped: "I never miss." He leaned over her body lying on her bed - he touched her hair, momentarily sorry for the loss.

[Note: Elektra was the first 'Bond Girl' in the series that Bond personally killed.]

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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