Howellis's great post on great movie endings got me thinking about movies with endings that just fall completely flat, or worse infuriate; films that may have been otherwise enjoyable, but when you get to the ending it's so lousy it threatens to suck the enjoyment out of the previous 89 minutes.
One I sometimes see around this time of year is Prancer (spoilerish alert!), which Leonard Maltin accurately nails as having a too-literal ending. Throughout it is subtle and the magic hums below the surface--the movie is not really about the reindeer, after all. I keep thinking that if they had just let the reindeer go off, and the Prancer light in town be mysteriously restored, it would have been more satisfying and feel less phony. I'm convinced some ham-handed studio exec got involved. Well, at least we got to see Abe Vigoda in a movie with very few guns.
For something completely different, as much as I love Monty Python's Holy Grail and I get the point of the various jokes in the ending, it's still annoying as hell. Maybe it's because I first saw it in a midnight showing (back before the VHS, kiddies) and felt like I'd schlepped a long road for nothing.
A favorite frustration is the tacked-on happy ending, a mainstay of Hollywood since its beginning. Except in the early 70's, when I think a studio would have felt obliged to tack on an unhappy ending on anything, with ironic overtones--if The Wizard of Oz had come out in 1973, Dorothy would have been revealed to be in a permanent coma while half of Kansas lay bleeding and dead around her. Which also would have stunk.
So what movie endings annoy you?