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8 Art-house endings for Hollywood films


Contrary to popular belief, we at ShortList don’t restrict our DVD collection to solely black-and-white films and only attend cinemas where we can take in a glass of wine. In fact we love a good blockbuster.

This doesn’t mean we enjoy seeing the same guy-gets-girl, villain-meets-their-demise and-orphanage gets-saved laced storyline, however. So we’ve gone back to some of our all-time classics and gave them endings that Ingmar Bergman would weep at – in a good way of course.

Images: Allstar


Unlike the original which completely overlooked Rocky’s loan shark backstory, this version shows how Philadelphia’s murky underworld tried to force the Italian Stallion into taking a dive, even going so far as to tail him during his street jogging sessions – the real reason he ran up all those steps. Tragically, Rocky dies just before the big fight due to severe salmonella caused by eating so many raw eggs. The match fixers, incensed, take their anger out on Mickey’s Gym which they burn to the ground. Fin.

The Truman Show

During Truman’s escape to sea he has flashbacks which reveal the true reason he’s so well-known in his hometown and forever mollycoddled by every man and his dog: he suffers from delusional disorder and to protect the remainder of his sanity, the town had created a fake job for him, which also explains why they did their best to never let him leave. Unfortunately, by the time he fits these pieces together, a wave topples over him and he drowns to death. Fin.


Josh Baskin, a young boy who makes a wish "to be big" to a magical fortune-telling machine and is then aged to adulthood overnight. Alas, social services aren't convinced and his still 11-year-old pal Billy is whisked away for his own safety. Depressed, Baskin finds Solace in the dark underworld of Las Vegas. he eventually ends it all by hurling himself from the roof of Caesar's. Fin.

Weekend at Bernie’s

Two fun-loving guys lumbering a smirking human corpse across countless social situations had to be found out eventually. So too did the villains behind the victim's death. Yet a medical examiner puts the brakes on any happy ending by informing the pair that they've contracted a rare skin disease from their lifeless host and have just a week to live. Each fills out a donor form as the screen fades to black. Fin.

School of Rock

However you mean it, saying “Your children have touched me and I’m pretty sure I’ve touched them too” is never a wise thing to say when you’ve been pretending to be a supply teacher and are stood in front of some shocked parents. After spending a year in the clink and being put on more than a few registers, Jack Black’s hapless rocker once again tries to bundle a group of youngsters in his van and is foiled once again. Fin.

Space Jam

Michael Jordan’s adventures with Bugs, Sylvester et al are all hallucinations, dreamt whilst Jordan lies in a coma, induced by a lightning strike following his miraculous hole in one. The movie ends as Jordan sinks his stretchy-arm-slam-dunk and his family decide to pull the plug. Fin.

American Pie

Ahead of starting university, Jim and his teenage buddies try to go over every intricate detail in the hope of losing their virginity - well, not entirely. Jim doesn’t prepare where it counts and ends up with a sexually transmitted infection, which he finds out via a letter from his doctor. Right after receiving a letter which tells him he didn’t get the grades he needed. Fin.

Trading Places

When two mean-spirited financers fool Dan Ackroyd’s broker and Eddie Murphy’s hustler into, you guessed it, Trading Places, the luckless dupes fake a crop report for the millionaires, hoping they’ll invest badly and go bust. Due to a freak weather occurance, however, they inadvertently provide some very fruitful information, while it also turns out that a prostitute they had befriended had been working for the financers the whole time. They then take up a suicide pact. Fin.



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