In the early days of cinema almost every film had it’s own ‘The End’ title. The reason for this was that the credits were shown at the beginning of a film. This changed in the sixties when only the most important people like actors and directors were mentioned in the opening credits, the rest of the cast and crew would be mentioned during the (now often minutes-long) closing credits. The ‘The End’ titles vanished from the silver screen and wouldn’t be seen again until 2007, when Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez paid homage to the exploitation films of the seventies.

Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof (2007)

Both Death Proof and Planet Terror feature a ‘The End’ title. The one from Death Proof is ‘just a font,’ the title from Planet Terror is the same ‘The End’ logo RKO Radio pictures – one of the so-called Big Five studios of Hollywood’s Golden Age – used from 1929 to 1956. The studio is now famous for it’s film noir films, Fred and Ginger musicals, King Kong and last but not least: Citizen Kane a.k.a. The Best Movie ever made.

Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror (2007)

A zombie movie like Planet terror won’t ever be as highly regarded as a film like Citizen Kane though and very few people might refer to it as The Best Movie ever made but it definitely has the best ‘The End’ title of the last four decades!

Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941)

EDIT: Alexandra from Atlanta, GA points out it’s not technically correct to say the ‘The End’ titles have vanished completely; in 2001 the final words Ewan McGregor writes on his typewriter are ‘The end’ in Moulin rouge.

EDIT 2: I’ve located a few more recent ‘The End’ titles: Maelström (2000), Spirited away (2001), Finding Nemo (2003), Youth without youth (2007) and Cloudy with a chance of meatballs (2009).

You might also like ‘The End’ of Warner Bros, a collection of ‘The End’ titles from Warner Bros. movies from 1924 (Beau Brummel) to 1967 (Cool hand Luke and Wait until dark).

2 responses to “A new beginning of the end”

Alexandra Posted on August 29, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Interesting comparison — I love the way you’ve spliced the main title with the end title in the graphics. Just one thing: Moulin Rouge had an end title in 2001, 6 years before Tarantino and Rodriguez’s movies came out, so it’s not technically correct to say that they vanished completely. (There may be other examples as well, but that’s the one I can think of off the top of my head.)

2 responses to “A new beginning of the end”

Sean Posted on December 6, 2010 at 3:24 pm

“Hard Boiled” (1992) and “Snatch” (2000) also had The End at the end. Definitely rare nowadays, and a nice treat in the Grindhouse movies.

You may want to check out this Flickr group I belong to documenting “The End” in film: http://www.flickr.com/groups/400716@N22/