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The 50 Greatest Movie Endings of All Time

3. 8 1/2 (1963)

Director: Federico Fellini
Screenwriter: Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli, and Brunello Rondi

Italian master Federico Fellini's semi-autobiographical fever-dream about movie-making builds to a point where it seems as if it couldn't possible have an ending. How do you end a movie that's about one man's inability to make a movie? Guido Anselmi (Marcello Mastroianni) winds up on an empty lot that seems to stretch forever. We've just watch him imagine to shoot himself at a press conference for his latest picture, the one he hasn't started. From nowhere, a massive procession of people comes pouring out. Nina Rota's score reaches a circus-like whir as Guido leads a rich pageant of all the people he's ever known and loved. He's the center, the ringmaster, the band leader, the director. The image is Fellini's visual metaphor for life, a little narcisstic, but ultimately beauftiful. —GT

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