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The 50 Greatest Movie Endings of All Time

44. Easy Rider (1969)

Director: Dennis Hopper
Screenwriter: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Terry Southern

Once you've seen the ending of Easy Rider, you can't imagine it happening any other way, though there is no strong foreshadowing for the violence. The events happen with such matter-of-fact speed, they still surprises to this day. For a quick-cutting, hallucinatorymovie that, at times, feels like a music video, the ending hits with the flat bluntness of a police report. The sudden violence forces you to look at the entire film in a different way, creating a second meaning and sense of purpose. The entire story is told in a single high angle shot revealing the tiny stream of smoke in the vast backwoods of America. —GT

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