Alas, with this post ends SandmanJazz’s 30 Day Film Challenge courtesy of Cineworld. How appropriate then that the final prompt asks for a film with a beautiful ending.
Well, it wasn’t My Fair Lady, which was well on its way to a wholly satisfactory ending but instead has Henry Higgins asking Eliza Doolittle for his slippers. What a waste! After all the lovely songs and all the build up, no closing duet, no love song, no whispered … but I digress.
No, what comes to mind as a beautiful ending is Casablanca (1942), directed by Michael Kurtiz. It won three Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Screenplay. Unlike My Fair Lady, Casablanca’s love story ends with a parting that the drama and wit of the dialogue slowly prepares us for. Then comes the closing scene.
Rick Blaine: If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.Ilsa: But what about us?Rick Blaine: We’ll always have Paris. We didn’t have it before…we’d…we’d lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.Ilsa: When I said I would never leave you…Rick Blaine: And you never will. But I’ve got a job to do too. Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of. Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that. Here’s looking at you, kid.
Who can forget what comes next? The plane takes off with Ilsa and her husband, the leader of the French resistance, while Rick and Capt. Louis Renault, sometime cynical antagonists, watch. They had fought on different sides, for different ends, neither of them heroes by any measure. They were now on the same side, knowing they had to find new places of refuge, maybe even a new cause.
Nothing was certain. Except that they had given hope another chance.
The plane is now lost to sight. Silently, Rick and Louis turn and walk away, the fog closing in around them, when Rick says:
“Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
CUT! Perfect ending.