Thanks to the insatiably list-loving Whitney Matheson at USA Today’s Pop Candy, here’s our second visit of the day to List-eria Lane. First, there’s Movies.com’s timeline of the 35 Greatest Moments in Movie Sex (don’t worry, this is a Disney-owned site, so there’s nothing here that’s unsafe for work). The usual milestones are here — Last Tango in Paris, Basic Instinct, Wild Things (pictured), There’s Something About Mary, Brokeback Mountain — and I can’t think of anything important that’s missing. (Okay, there’s nothing here about Harvey Keitel’s many contributions to the mainstreaming of full-frontal male nudity, for which we should probably be grateful.)
Then there’s FilmCritic.com’s list of the Top 50 Movie Endings of All Time, which gives Matheson an excuse to link to her own list of the top 25 movie endings. Alas, neither list contains my favorite all-time ending, the no-good-deed-goes-unpunished conclusion to The Third Man, in which Alida Valli makes good on her promise not to forgive Joseph Cotten if any harm comes to Orson Welles. (She walks up to Cotten and keeps walking, right past him and out of the frame, without slowing down or making eye contact. Ice cold and satisfying.)
Also given short shrift: Jaws, The Sixth Sense, King Kong, Gone With the Wind, Bananas, Blazing Saddles, Bringing Up Baby, Carrie, Rosemary’s Baby, Raiders of the Lost Ark, It’s a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, and the Iranian masterpiece A Taste of Cherry, which has the movie ending to end all movie endings.
What are on your lists?