Cliffhanger endings have been keeping movie audiences on the edge of their seats since virtually the dawn of cinema. Not to be confused with stand alone films containing ambiguous, “open” endings, this storytelling device sees films draw to a close without a true resolution, but rather with the promise of more events to come.
First popularized in serials of the 1920s and 1930s – famous for the “To be continued” text that rounded each instalment – cliffhangers have long proven divisive among cinemagoers. After all, by their nature, cliffhanger endings typically prevent a film from having a truly satisfying conclusion.
How can they, when they’re designed to build anticipation for a follow-up movie containing the story’s actual finale? Even so, when done well, cliffhangers can be a thrilling way to wrap up a film, dramatically raising the stakes even as they surprise viewers with shocking revelations and happenings.
As cinema history is filled to the brim with famous – and infamous! – cliffhanger endings, we’ve pulled together this list of 10 Amazing Movie Cliffhangers (And 5 That Are Terrible) for your reading pleasure.
Most movie cameos are easy to spot – indeed, a lot of the time, noticing these brief appearances by big names in the industry is entirely the point! But sometimes, these “mega star, minor moment” instances can fly completely under the radar.
When this happens, it’s almost always on purpose. The typical rationale for sneaking a recognizable face into a film is that the filmmakers want to do a favor for one of their high profile friends – and c’mon, who doesn’t want to be in a flick like Star Wars? – without distracting the audience.
Other times, it’s a case of those involved looking to have a bit of good-natured fun and hoodwinking the audience by hiding a major celebrity in plain sight.
Whatever the reason, spotting these often ultra-brief walk-ons by some of the biggest names in the entertainment world can be a surprisingly rewarding feeling – consider it the movie geek version of bird watching.
It also means that you’ll likely never watch certain scenes in quite the same way, knowing that guy or gal you thought was only an extra is actually a Hollywood A-lister in disguise.
So in order to totally rock your world – or at the very least, encourage you to revisit a lot of great films – we’ve compiled this list of 20 Movie Cameos You Completely Missed. Happy hunting!