Greatest Film Plot Twists
Film Spoilers and
Surprise Endings


Written by Tim Dirks

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

The Machinist (2004)

Trevor Was Involved in a Deadly Hit-and-Run Accident That Killed a Young Boy A Year Earlier. His Subconscious Was Reminding Him of His Suppressed Guilt Through Distorted Memories and Thoughts. An Imaginary Friend Named Ivan (A Product of Trevor's Troubled Mind) Was Stalking Him, Sending Malicious Messages, And Threatening to Kill Him. Trevor Turned Himself In

This perplexing, suspenseful psychological thriller from Brad Anderson was similar in part to Fight Club (1999) and Memento (2000). The first line of the film hinted at the theme: "Who are you?" Its taglines were:

  • Trevor Reznik is four letters away from the truth. (A reference to the hangman game)
  • How do you wake up from a nightmare if you're not asleep?

The main protagonist was:

  • Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale in a distressing, emaciated role that required him to lose over 60 pounds), an insomniac drill-press factory machinist who hadn't slept for about one year

The grim, weakened, zombie-like Trevor went on a quest to discover who he was, what traumatic thing or event caused him to be the way he was, and why things were going from bad to worse. The viewer was trapped within Trevor's mind and point-of-view, so it was difficult to answer lots of the film's questions:

  • Why was he seemingly losing his mind?
  • Why wasn't he sleeping?
  • Why was he paranoid that co-workers and his foreman didn't like him?
  • Why was he so forgetful that he had to write Post-it notes to himself?
  • What was the meaning of the Hangman game that materialized on his refrigerator, taunting him to discover the 6-letter word?
  • Why did he have an obsession to clean his hands with bleach?
  • Why did he tip the Flyaway Cafe airport diner counter-waitress, beatific single-mother Marie (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón) so much - and always at 1:30 am?
  • Was it a fantasy trip on Mother's Day to a fairground with Marie when he took her epileptic son Nicholas (Matthew Romero) on a Route 666 thrill-ride?
  • What about his short idyllic romance-date with Marie?
  • Why was he also so generous with sweet, sympathetic and vulnerable hooker Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh), her flesh quite a contrast to his bony frame?
  • Who was the enigmatic, stocky, and bald co-worker named Ivan (John Sharian) who drove around in a red 1959 Pontiac Firebird - was Ivan a delusion?
  • Who was standing next to Trevor's co-worker Reynolds (James DePaul) in the fishing picture? (In Trevor's delusionary mind, it was Ivan, when in fact, it was Trevor)

All the clues to his problems and questions were eventually unraveled and summed up in a short flashback in the conclusion at the 1 hour 30 minute mark, when he finally declared: "I know who you are." All of Trevor's delusions were oblique pieces of his own suppressed memories:

  1. Ivan was an imaginary, hallucinatory friend
  2. Trevor often tailed the Pontiac Firebird driven by Ivan, and when he learned the identity of its owner from the license plate, 7-4-3-C-R-N, he was told that he owned the car himself, and a year earlier had reported it as totaled after a wreck
  3. He broke up with Stevie, calling her a lying whore, and falsely believed that her mysterious ex-husband, whom he thought was Ivan, was abusing her and tormenting him
  4. There was no Marie who worked at the airport diner - it was all in Trevor's imagination
  5. Trevor's refrigerator freezer was bleeding because he hadn't paid his utilities bill and the fish-heads inside bled and rotted, along with melted ice cream

It was revealed what had happened to Trevor one year earlier:

  • Trevor was involved in a hit-run accident at 1:30 pm with his own Pontiac Firebird - he hit and killed a young boy (that looked like Marie's son Nicholas) in a cross-walk at an intersection when he ran a red-light (while lighting his cigarette with the car's cigarette lighter) - a Route 66 medallion swung from his rear-view mirror in front of the smashed windshield
  • Trevor looked back at the accident scene, before fleeing, and saw the boy's mother (who looked like Marie) rush to the body of her son - but in reality, he never knew Nicholas or Marie
  • Trevor solved the hangman puzzle of post-it notes on his refrigerator door - the word was: KILLER, himself

Trevor vacated his apartment and turned himself in to the police department by taking the right fork in the highway to downtown: "I'd like to report a hit and run," and was then led to a holding cell where he told the guards: "I just wanna sleep."

The final flashback view was of Trevor driving down the road following the hit-and-run, before fading to white.

Emaciated Machinist Trevor (Christian Bale) With Hooker Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh)

Co-Worker Ivan (John Sharian)

Waitress Marie (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón)

Co-worker Reynolds with Ivan in The Imagined Fishing Picture

Route 66 Medallion

Trevor Looking Back at Accident Scene Before Hit-and-Run

The Accident - Smashed Windshield

Malice (1993)

All Along, Femme Fatale Con-Artist Tracy Had Conspired With Dr. Jed Hill (Also Known as Dr. David Lillianfield), to Swindle the St. Agnes Hospital Out of Millions of Dollars To Settle a Malpractice Lawsuit; Caught in a Sting Operation, She Shot Her Co-Conspirator to Death, But Was Then Arrested Trying to Kill the 10 Year-Old Neighbor Boy (Allegedly, the Only Witness to Her Medical Scam)

This suspenseful neo-noirish crime thriller from director Harold Becker featured a script by Aaron Sorkin and Scott Frank. There were numerous character twists, misdirections, reversals, surprises and turns in the storyline, although upon retrospect, most were red-herrings with lots of unlikely plot holes.

The escapist film began peacefully - a newly-wed professional couple lived in a Western Massachusetts neighborhood, in a large fixer-upper Victorian home that they were renovating. They were slightly in debt and were attempting to have a family:

  • Andy Safian (Bill Pullman), an academic professor and Associate Dean at a women's college, Westerly College
  • Tracy (Nicole Kidman), a childrens' art-teacher, curly long-haired

Andy had married his "favorite student" - Tracy. Their lives changed when Andy became reacquainted with an old high-school classmate, and he invited him (with Tracy's reluctant agreement) to temporarily rent their third floor as a tenant in their large home, while he looked for more permanent lodging:

  • Dr. Jed Hill (Alec Baldwin), a newly-hired, suave, self-assured trauma surgeon at St. Agnes Hospital with a Harvard degree, a heavy scotch drinker and womanizer

Andy and Tracy were frustrated that Dr. Hill invited numerous females to his third floor apartment for all-night love-making and loud music. Their neighborhood in Western Massachusetts was also being plagued by a mysterious serial rapist/killer attacking college students. Two simultaneous events caused major problems for the couple:

  • Andy was anxious to solve cases of multiple assaults in order to avoid bringing bad publicity to the college. He was cooperating with the lead police detective, Dana Harris (Bebe Neuwirth) over two previous deaths, when a third student, Paula Bell (Gwyneth Paltrow), who he was disciplining for tardiness and lying, was next. Andy found her dead body outside her residence, stashed in the bushes. Because he had met with all three female students before their deaths, and because he had the same blood type as the perpetrator (O +), he became a prime suspect and was required to provide a sperm sample to the police, to compare with DNA on the latest victim.
  • Tracy became increasingly ill with stomach pains, and was unable to see her Boston doctor, Dr. David Lillianfield. Dr. Hill was summoned to save her life during emergency surgery after she experienced a hemorrhaging, ruptured ovarian cyst. Due to the trauma, Tracy's unexpected 4-5 week pregnancy was aborted. Opposing the opinion of another doctor, Dr. Hill also felt compelled to remove her remaining healthy ovary, essentially making her sterile. Shortly later, there were concerns by the head Dr. George Sullivan (William Duff-Griffin) that he had unnecessarily removed her 2nd ovary ("We took out a healthy ovary. Only the surface was necrotic") - and Dr. Hill refused to take steps to cover up his "judgment call"
Important Secondary Characters

Student Paula Bell (Gwyneth Paltrow)

Police Detective Dana Harris (Bebe Neuwirth)

Early Glimpse of College Handyman - The Actual Serial Rapist (Tobin Bell)

Angered by Dr. Hill's surgery, Tracy told him: "I want to make sure you don't do this to someone else." She sued Dr. Hill and the hospital for malpractice after hiring handsome lawyer Dennis Riley (Peter Gallagher). The hospital's lawyer feared that they would lose the case: "A jury sees a beautiful young woman married to a mild-mannered teacher. They buy an old house and dream of filling it up with children. Now that is a Norman Rockwell painting and you have ripped it to shreds with your scalpel."

The marriage dissolved when Tracy immediately left Andy, telling him: "I can't have children, ever....He took my insides out, and you gave him permission. Goodbye, Andy." She blamed him for complicity in her permanent sterility (he had told Dr. Hill: "Do whatever you have to do!").

During a memorable deposition scene in front of hospital administrators and lawyers in a massive Boston conference room regarding a case of malpractice, the pompous and narcissistic St. Agnes Hospital surgeon Dr. Hill responded (off-the-record) to the question of whether he had a "God Complex" or not, in the presence of his Chief of Staff Dr. Kessler (George C. Scott) at the Harvard Medical School - the issue was whether Dr. Hill removed a healthy ovary without any scientific diagnosis or listening to any other's advice:

The question is, 'Do I have a 'God Complex'?... which makes me wonder if this lawyer has any idea as to the kind of grades one has to receive in college to be accepted at a top medical school. Or if you have the vaguest clue as to how talented someone has to be to lead a surgical team. I have an M.D. from Harvard. I am board certified in cardio-thoracic medicine and trauma surgery. I have been awarded citations from seven different medical boards in New England. And I am never, ever sick at sea.

So I ask you, when someone goes into that chapel and they fall on their knees and they pray to God that their wife doesn't miscarry, or that their daughter doesn't bleed to death, or that their mother doesn't suffer acute neural trauma from post-operative shock, who do you think they're praying to?

Now, go ahead and read your Bible, Dennis, and you go to your church - and with any luck you might win the annual raffle. But if you're looking for God, he was in operating room number two on November 17th, and he doesn't like to be second-guessed. You ask me if I have a 'God complex'? Let me tell you something: I Am God - and this side show is over.

Another determining factor in the case, besides her terminated pregnancy, was alcohol, as Tracy reminded everyone: "Ask God how many shots of bourbon he had before he cut me open." As a result of the case, Tracy received a major settlement of $20 million from the hospital's insurance company.

While working late one night in his office, Andy descended into the furnace room-basement for a light-bulb, and entered the temporary living quarters of the college's handyman-janitor Earl Leemus (Tobin Bell). On a nightstand and in a cigar box, he found various hair samples - similar to those at Paula's murder scene. He turned and was confronted by Earl - and after being attacked and forced to defend himself during a violent struggle, Andy knocked him out. After the arrest of Earl - the rapist, Andy's name was cleared. Andy was also told by Dana that his DNA had ruled him out, and that his semen sample revealed that he was sterile. Therefore, he couldn't have been the 'sperm donor' of Tracy's aborted pregnancy.

He rushed to tell Jed about the findings, to warn him about Tracy: "She reamed both of us. It's too late for me, but it's not too late for you." He suspected that Tracy was sleeping with her lawyer and the whole thing was a scam: "What happens if Snow White is shacking up with her lawyer Jed, huh?" Next, Andy confronted Tracy's lawyer Dennis Riley in his downtown office, who firmly rejected the accusation.

Suspicious of all of these revelations, Andy confirmed through Tracy's alcoholic, Scotch-loving estranged mother Mrs. Emma Kennsinger (Anne Bancroft), that her daughter was a consummate con-artist and came from a family of grifters (Andy asked: "The whole thing was a set-up?"). Andy's mother-in-law admitted: "Look, kid, I don't know what the game is. But you got stung, so did your friend, the surgeon." Tracy had absconded with $80,000 from her last job, working at the clinic of a "Newport millionaire" doctor named David Lillianfield, who had impregnated her before she sought an abortion. Mrs. Kennsinger's last line to Andy was: "Welcome to the game."

At the Code Blue Answering Service office, Andy deceptively learned the coastal address of 'Dr. David Lillianfield' - in Nauset Beach, MA (on Cape Cod). After driving to the house, he shockingly learned the film's main plot twist. Dr. Hill was the suspicious Dr. Lillianfield, and Tracy was hiding out there. Andy listened to them as Tracy offered herself to Hill: "Take me upstairs and f--k me." She had obviously conspired with Dr. Hill all along - she was being injected with "massive quantities" of a fertility drug known as Pergonal to deliberately cause ovarian cysts so that she could sue the hospital and then they would split the malpractice settlement. Back at home in his bedroom, Andy found evidence of the injections - a partly-used hypodermic needle (later revealed to have "trace amounts of Pergonal."

In the film's conclusion, in conjuction with the local police's sting operation, Andy blackmailed Tracy as part of a complicated trap, extorting her to give him half of the settlement money ("I want half. What the f--k do you think I want?"). To prevent deadly retaliation, Andy convinced Tracy that their voyeuristic 10 year-old neighbor boy Billy was a potential witness to her plot with Dr. Hill - he had allegedly seen the injections from his bedroom window, and would testify against her if anything happened to Andy: ("My will's been amended to direct the police to the 10-year-old son of our next-door neighbor").

There were even more twists - the desperate Tracy was incensed that she would have to split the money further ("I'm supposed to split the money three ways? I'm supposed to just accept this?"). At the coastal home when she suggested that Dr. Hill murder the young boy: ("Without the kid, he doesn't have anything"), he adamantly refused. She turned on him with a gun, accusing him of considering to murder her on the operating table ("How much blood did you let me lose before you saved me? You waited an extra minute or two, didn't you? You thought about going the other way after you saw I was pregnant. You thought for a second about letting me die, didn't you?") - and then coldly shot him to death twice in the abdomen.

In the final sequence (supposedly a hand-off of half the money), Tracy lured Andy away from their house, then entered the neighbor house to eliminate the boy by suffocation (with plastic wrap) in the second floor bedroom, but found that she had been set up with a CPR dummy. As she smashed the dummy, Andy entered and confronted her. She attacked, and they both crashed through the upstairs banister to the floor below. Police detective Dana Harris (disguised as the boy's nurse) arrested her, and she was handcuffed and put into a police car.

Tracy realized - in the film's final ironic reveal - that the neighbor boy was blind (with a cane) and couldn't have witnessed anything.

"Professor Marries Favorite Student"

Andy and Tracy Safian (Bill Pullman and Nicole Kidman)

Newlyweds - Making Love

Next-Door 'Voyeur' Neighbor Billy (Michael Hatt)

Andy with Former HS Buddy, Dr. Jed Hill (Alec Baldwin)

Dead Rape Victim Paula Bell - Discovered by Andy

"God Complex" Dr. Jed Hill (Alec Baldwin) During the Deposition

Andy's Confrontation with Earl

Mrs. Kennsinger (Anne Bancroft) - Tracy's Mother

Dr. David Lillianfield - Tracy's 'Doctor' - Revealed to be Dr. Hill

The Reveal of the Plot Twist - Tracy to Dr. Hill: "Take me upstairs and f--k me."

Andy's Discovery of a Hypodermic Needle in His Bedroom

Tracy in Cahoots with Dr. Hill ("Dr. David Lillianfield")

Andy's Confrontation With His Duplicitous Wife

Tracy's Murder of Dr. Hill

Tracy's Attempted Suffocation of Neighbor Boy Witness (Set-Up as a CPR Dummy)

Tracy's Horror - The Neighbor Boy Was Blind and Had a Cane

Malpertuis (1971, Belgium) (aka The Legend of Doom House)

Sailor Jan's experiences were all a 'fever-dream' as a result of a severe blow to his head in a bordello, in the film's opening; in his Uncle Cassavius' mansion known as Malpertuis, it was revealed that the inhabitants were the spirits of a pantheon of captured, forgotten and dying ancient Greek gods that had been sewn into human bodies; in the film's conclusion after an abrupt return to the present-day, Jan was released from a mental hospital supposedly cured, but he found himself back in one of Malpertuis' dark corridors.

Belgian director Harry Kümel's dramatic, fantasy Euro-horror, arthouse film was a unique, atmospheric and unpredictable masterpiece. It featured a bizarre, moody, eerie, mythical and macabre story (with numerous plot twists) about a haunted and 'damned' house.

There were striking opening title credits - composed of disintegrating, dripping, blood-red letters.

In the opening sequence, blonde-haired, blue-eyed young sailor Jan (Mathieu Carrière) arrived at his home port - where he vainly went looking for his Beacon Quay childhood home (it had disappeared and was replaced by a fishing shop). He followed a woman he thought was his sister - she was actually Bets (French pop singer Sylvie Vartan), a sultry, blue velvet-dressed cabaret singer and working girl in the Venus Bar, a gaudy bordello in the town's red-light district, where he was bloodily beaten in the head during a brawl with Sylvie's pimp and left unconscious.

(An important clue to the plot twist) -- after a dissolve and spinning, blurred camera, Jan found himself shanghaied. He awoke (virtually imprisoned) in a nautical-themed bedroom (of his own imagination?) at the home of his sinister family - the title's mystifying and ominous grand, labyrinthine home known as Malpertuis (translated 'fox's den,' 'cunning house,' or 'evil house'). It was inhabited by a number of off-beat, insane and strange relatives and hangers-on (awaiting an inheritance), and surrounded by misty grounds with decaying ruins and bare trees.

The central character in the house was the corpulent, bed-ridden family patriarch, Jan's strange uncle Quentin Cassavius (Orson Welles), who remained in an enclosed upstairs suite. He was always ravenous and pounding on the floor for cowering servants to bring him food: ("He's hungry again! He wants more to eat...So close to death and all he thinks about is food. He stuffs himself Iike a pig, but he won't live any longer. No one is immortal, not even the great Cassavius"). The dying Cassavius was lying back on his enormous, crimson-hued bed framed by curtains, reclining in tuxedo-like pajamas on silk bedsheets.

In Uncle Cassavius' deathbed scene, the conditions of his last will and testament were divulged when read by Eisengott (Walter Rilla) to the group of depraved misfits gathered around - it was specified that all would acquire his vast wealth and inheritance equally if they remained in Malpertuis for the rest of their lives (literally entrapped), and the last two (if male and female) were required to marry:

"Each beneficiary will receive an annual income in proportion to the total estate. However, from that moment on, each beneficiary shall remain at Malpertuis. They may never leave the house. They shall undertake to live here until the end...Everything at Malpertuis must remain unchanged. The entire estate shall go to the last survivor. If the last two survivors are a man and a woman, they have to marry. They then inherit Malpertuis and all that goes with it."

There were a number of strange circumstances: after Cassavius' tomb was opened by Jan, his corpse had transformed into a stone statue. And it was rumored that Cassavius wanted to create a "master race" of blonde haired, blue eyed people ("He talked about a master race...Yes, a new golden age. Blonde hair, blue eyes, whatever") - he had become the bullying, controlling, and powerful ruler of his own circumscribed world.

In the devastating climactic, plot-twisting ending, the other-worldly secrets of Malpertuis were described by beautiful red-headed Euryale (Susan Hampshire in one of three major roles), who always had downcast eyes. During Cassavius' voyages to the Greek isles, he had found that the inhabitants were previously-abandoned and forgotten ancient Greek gods. Cassavius captured the ghosts of these gods, returned to Malpertuis, and had their spirits sewn - by taxidermist Philaris (Charles Janssens) - into the skins of normal men and women. They were condemned to live out their eternal lives in this restricted form - Cassavius' last wish was for them to mate and produce a new race of demi-gods. He was hoping that eventually, one of his mortal descendents, niece Nancy (Susan Hampshire) or nephew Jan would have a child after sex with one of the Greek gods, in order to create a new age for mankind:

"The last gods of Greece. Cassavius discovered us on an island in the Ionian Sea. There were only a few gods left. The rest had disappeared, because people no longer believed in them. Cassavius abducted those defenseless ghosts and brought them to Malpertuis. The monster instructed his slave Philaris to sew that once proud company into miserable human skins."

Euryale Removing Human Masks

In the striking conclusion, the masks of human skin of Malpertuis' inhabitants were ripped off by Euryale to reveal the underlying features of marble statuary to Jan. Euryale had frozen or petrified them in an artfully-arranged "Last Supper" styled setup. She then described how she was one of the three Gorgons, and claimed that she was immortal and unchanging because she hadn't been forgotten like the others:

"Cassavius didn't dare change anything about me. All the others perished because they were forgotten. I alone have never been forgotten. I'm immortal. My name is Gorgon. I am Love, I am Death. Jan, you force me to be your destiny. Bitter is the fruit of knowledge."

She reached out to Jan for a fatal embrace, looked up at him with wide eyes after kissing him - and he turned to marble!

The coda was abruptly back in the present day, and posed the film's major question: Was everything in Jan's disturbed and fevered mind the result of his blow to the head?

As Jan was being discharged from a mental hospital, he was congratulated by his doctor for writing such an imaginative diary during therapy:

"You have a fertile imagination. The idea of abducting the last Greek gods while they're waiting to die, to humiliate them and make them live the lives of the petit bourgeois - that's a bit strange for a computer expert. The insanity probabIy messed around with memories from when you were young."

Leaving the Hospital and Returning to a Hallway in Malpertuis

In the Wizard of Oz-like ending (similar to when Dorothy awakened from dream land and found all of her fantasy's characters surrounding her as earthly companions), Jan (wearing a dark gray suit) was escorted down the white-walled clinic corridors by his overjoyed wife Charlotte (also Susan Hampshire). He recognized other medical officers, visitors and patients who watched his departure. In the film's final lines of dialogue, Charlotte spoke: "How are you, darIing?" Jan answered: "I'm compIeteIy cured, darIing."

And then there was another twist - after he kissed Charlotte, he turned and the exit doors closed behind him. He found himself back in one maze-like corridor of Malpertuis with brick walls lit by flaming torches. He gazed toward his normal sailor persona who walked hurriedly towards him. The film ended with a zoom-in and freeze-framed close-up of sailor Jan's left eye.

Bets (Sylvie Vartan)

Unconscious Jan's Awakening

The Reading of Cassavius' Will at Deathbed

Cassavius - Turned to Stone

Euryale's Revelation to Jan ("My name is Gorgon")

Turning Jan to Stone

Released From the Hospital, with Wife Charlotte in Present Day

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

The Maltese Falcon Was a Fake; Brigid Was Arrested For the Murder of Spade's Partner Miles

There were a few twists in this moody, early film noir from director John Huston:

  1. Femme fatale Brigid O'Shaughnessy (Mary Astor) (with lots of alias names) had shot and killed private investigator Sam Spade's (Humphrey Bogart) partner Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan) on a dark street
  2. Brigid was involved with a trio of ruthless, shady treasure hunters led by Fat Man Casper Gutman (Sydney Greenstreet) who had spent many years pursuing the trail of the legendary "black bird" statue (or "dingus"), the fabled and bejewelled Maltese Falcon
  3. In the finale, the Maltese Falcon turned out to be a fake, without any treasure inside

The climax was highlighted by Brigid's arrest for the murder (and her descent in an elevator), and Spade's famous last-line response after being asked by Sergeant Tom Polhaus (Ward Bond) about the statue:

Sgt. Polhaus: "It's heavy. What is it?"
Spade: "The, uh, stuff dreams are made of."

The Murder of Miles Archer

The Maltese Falcon - The Black Bird

Brigid After Arrest

"What is it?"

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Doniphon (Not Ransom) Shot Villain Liberty Valance Dead, Although Ransom Was Forever Known as "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance"

The film ended with a climactic and miraculous shootout, shown in the film's lengthy flashback told to local newspaper editor Maxwell Scott (Carleton Young).

The legendary shootout was between two opponents on a dusty Shinbone street:

  • Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart), a timid novice attorney at law (nicknamed "Pilgrim") lefthandedly shot dead (allegedly) his villainous opponent
  • Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin), a drunken, abusive, violent, silver-knobbed whip-wielding villain

In the film's conclusion, rugged homesteader and gunslinger Tom Doniphon (John Wayne) confided in a private confrontation with Ransom the real truth of the legendary gunfight - Ransom never shot Liberty.

In a 'flashback within a flashback' introduced with a swirl of Doniphon's cigarette smoke ("You didn't kill Liberty Valance...Think back, Pilgrim"), Doniphon said he had been on a side street with sidekick Pompey (Woody Strode) when the showdown occurred. Pompey threw him a rifle and at the exact moment of the shooting, Doniphon had killed Valance.

Doniphon had done so to sacrificially protect the love of his life Hallie (Vera Miles) from heartbreak (knowing Stoddard would die in a face-off), and also for the greater good of the territory poised for statehood. However, Doniphon turned bitter and burned his own ranch-house (and addition) down which was planned to be the residence for his bride-to-be Hallie.

For the remainder of his life as a politician, Stoddard was mistakenly known as "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" - even the local newspaper editor Maxwell Scott (Carleton Young) wouldn't accept the truth, asserting instead:

"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

The Shootout

Doniphon to Ransom: "You didn't kill Liberty Valance"

Doniphon on a Side Street Killed Valance

Manon of the Spring (1986, Fr./It./Switz.) (aka Manon des Sources)

Set 10 Years After the First Film, Jean de Florette (1986), Ugolin Hung Himself Because Manon Didn't Love Him; Ironically, Wealthy Landowner Cesar Soubeyran Learned That He Was Jean De Florette's Father; Guilt-Ridden Cesar Died and Left Everything to Manon - His Natural Grand-Daughter

Part two of the Jean de Florette (1986, Fr.) tale, a sequel set 10 years later, was about pretty blonde shepherdess Manon Cadoret (Emmanuelle Beart). She was the offspring daughter of parents living in the Provencal of France:

  • Jean de Florette (Gerard Depardieu) a hunchbacked, physically-deformed man
  • Aimée Cadoret (Élisabeth Depardieu), Jean's pretty wife

In this second part of the story, Manon was determined to take revenge upon the two men indirectly responsible for the death of her father in the first film.

Two co-conspirators were involved in the death of Manon's father, Jean de Florette, when he died from an explosive charge while searching for water on his newly-inherited property, after his well spring had been deliberately plugged up. The two schemers then bought the land from Aimée, Jean de Florette's widow, for a very cheap price - they both profited from Jean's death. They were:

  • Ugolin Soubeyran (Daniel Auteuil), ugly, half-witted, in the carnation business; nephew to his uncle Cesar Soubeyran
  • Cesar Soubeyran (Yves Montand), a cruel, wealthy landowner

There were two noteworthy deaths and surprise revelations:

  1. Ugolin Soubeyran suicidally hanged himself from a tree because of his unrequited love for Manon (after seeing her bathing naked in a grotto) - she had rejected his request for marriage.
  2. Cesar Soubeyran learned that Jean de Florette was actually his son. Many years earlier, he had impregnated Florette de Berengere, his old sweetheart, who had given birth to the child (after an attempted abortion) and raised the hunchbacked child in secret. The truth was brought out during a confession from elderly Delphine (Yvonne Gamy), a friend of Florette's.

    A broken man, Cesar realized that the vengeful Manon, who despised him for killing her father, was actually his grand-daughter.
Cesar's Sad and Tragic Ending
Cesar's Letter to Long-Lost Granddaughter Manon
Cesar's Last Repose
Memento of Florette and Rosary in His Hand

Unable to accept such revelations, the remorseful and guilt-ridden Cesar wrote grand-daughter Manon a long letter explaining his regretfulness over killing the son he thought he'd never had, and left her his entire estate. Then he clasped a memento -- Florette's comb -- and a rosary in his hand and died in his sleep without any more will to live.

Manon Cadoret (Emmanuelle Beart)

Ugolin Soubeyran
(Daniel Auteuil)

Cesar Soubeyran
(Yves Montand)

Suicidal Hanging of Ugolin

Marnie (1964)

Marnie Suffered Severe Mental and Sexual Problems (and the Fear of the Color Red) Due to Self-Defensively Killing One of Her Prostitute Mother's Sailor Clients When She Was a Child

The main character of Hitchcock's 'sex-mystery' (about frigidity, marital rape, and murder) was blonde phobic con artist, liar and compulsive thief Margaret 'Marnie' Edgar (Tippi Hedren). At the start of the film, she was revealed as Marion Holland, a secretary in the firm of tax consultant Sidney Strutt (Martin Gabel), where she stole almost $10,000.

Her next job as a typist was at a Philadelphia publishing firm owned by wealthy widower and playboy Mark Rutland (Sean Connery). The prudish, icy blonde Marnie and handsome Mark became romantically involved, during which time she was experiencing nightmares, severe panic attacks (occurring during a thunderstorm), and a phobic fear of the color red. When Mark discovered Marnie's theft of funds from the company, he blackmailed her into marrying him.

During a honeymoon cruise, Mark wanted to sleep with (have sex with) Marnie - he hungrily advanced toward her, kissed her, ripped off her nightgown (the silky garment fell to her feet), embraced her, laid on top of her on the bed and took her (his face filling the entire screen). She stared upward in a frozen, paralyzed catatonic state - completely lacking any passion or emotion. Why was she so sexually frigid?

In the conclusion of the film, Mark confronted Marnie's mother Bernice (Louise Latham) with the truth of her risky occupation as a prostitute:

"In the records, it states quite plainly that you made your living from the touch of men, and it was one of your clients that you killed that night."

When Bernice began to hysterically attack Mark in Marnie's presence, Marnie remembered, and relived in a scary flashback, a repressed, traumatic childhood experience that occurred during a thunder and lightning storm. Her mother was a 20 year-old wartime prostitute when Marnie was a 5 year-old girl (Melody Thomas Scott). Her deep-seated problems were due to trauma when she witnessed her mother being attacked by sex partner and pedophile, white-suited sailor (Bruce Dern).

Marnie was awakened from her bed and moved to the living room, while her mother and male client used the bed. She then recalled: "He come out to me," and comforted her during the storm by stroking her hair and kissing her. When her protective mother saw them together, she intervened and they wrestled together above the young girl. Marnie was upset by the memory:

"Make him go, Mama. I-I don't like him to kiss me. Make him go, Mama!"

Marnie screamed as she saw her mother attack the sailor with a fire poker, but he overpowered her and fell on her, and it dropped from her hands. When her mother screamed out: "Marnie, help me," young Marnie defensively delivered a blow to his head with the poker ("I hit him, I hit him with a stick, I hurt him") - and murdered him ("There, there now"). Crimson blood ran down the white T-shirt of the mortally-wounded seaman. Marnie's mother was the one who took the blame and stood trial for the self-defense murder.

Marnie's Traumatic Recollection of The Night
of Her Mother's Attack by Sailor (Bruce Dern)

These events were revealed to be the source of all of Marnie's phobias, recurring nightmares and fear of the color red and white - she was desperate for love, but couldn't allow a man to be intimately close to her. She had subconsciously attempted to 'repay' (with monetary gifts) her mother for standing up for her, although she had almost entirely erased the memory of the killing. Mentally-ill, cheating, lying and disturbed Marnie had secretly feared that she wasn't loved, and would never be loved or have children, so she compensated by stealing and cramming robbed goods into her purse (a symbol of her empty womb).

After the revelation about the murder, the mother described how her daughter had been conceived at the age of 15. She wanted the basketball sweater of a boy named Billy, and allowed him to have sex with her ("Billy said that if I let him, I could have the sweater. So I let him"), but afterwards when she became pregnant, he abandoned her. She confessed her love for Marnie:

When I was in the hospital, they tried to make me let you be adopted. But I wouldn't. I wanted you. And I promised God right then, if he'd let me keep you, and you not remember, I'd bring you up different from me. Decent.

Marnie agreed that she was decent, but also much more: "I certainly am decent. Of course, I'm a cheat, and a liar and a thief, but I am decent." Mark tried to convince Marnie to think more highly of herself:

Marnie, it's time to have a little compassion for yourself. When a child, a child of any age, Marnie, can't get love, well, it takes what it can get, any way it can get it. It's not so hard to understand.

Marnie asked Mark what was going to happen, and then told Mark that she wanted it "all cleared up." She worried: "Will I go to jail?" He responded that he would defend her: "No. Not after what I have to tell them." As they departed and were standing on the doorstep, they spoke one more time:

Marnie: Oh, Mark. I don't want to go to jail. I'd rather stay with you.
Mark: Had you, love?

Mark and Marnie: Honeymoon Sex or Rape?

Marnie's Mother Bernice (Louise Latham)

Marnie Describing a Traumatic Childhood Event

Killing the Male John With a Fireplace Poker


The Ending Scene

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

Previous Page Next Page