OxView: Best finales

Calum Bradshaw lines up three of the best cinematic finishes

Image: Wikimedia

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Set against the violent chaos of the American Civil War, the last of Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy is a western of still unmatched scale and style. Clint Eastwood is at his best as the cigar-chewing ‘man with no name’, opposite Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach who both positively simmer in their roles as rival outlaws chasing a stash of buried gold. Tense, long shots, and a soaring Ennio Morricone soundtrack bring the trilogy to a gripping conclusion.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Currently tied with Titanic and Ben-Hur for the most Oscars for a single film, the final instalment in Peter Jackson’s epic fantasy trilogy is a movie on a massive scale and ultimately hard to find fault in. The level of cast performance and production value remains masterfully high as the fellowship’s desperate attempt to save Middle-Earth reaches its climax.

Three Colours: Red

Both the last film in the Three Colours Trilogy, and Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski final work, Red is a stunning exploration of human loneliness and friendship. Starring Irène Jacob as student Valentine, this French-language film is a sumptuously directed and deeply emotionally involving drama, played out against Zbigniew Preisner’s critically acclaimed score.