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Last Updated: Friday, 15 August, 2003, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Plotting alternative film endings
28 Days Later
28 Days Later has been a big US hit
The US cinema release of 28 Days Later is giving audiences an alternative ending, something that has become popular on DVD releases. But is the trend destroying film-makers' artistic vision?

The British cinema version of Danny Boyle's British horror film 28 Days Later concludes with what can only be described as a typical Hollywood upbeat ending.

While not wanting to give too much away, the film ends with a certain degree of happy ever after.

But bringing the zombie film to a conclusion was clearly something of a problem for the writer and director and a second, darker ending was also shot.

After an alternative ending was included on the DVD release in the UK, internet speculation over which ending was superior prompted the US distributors to add on the second ending.

Changed endings
Fatal Attraction
The original ending saw Glenn Close's character commit suicide and Michael Douglas' adulterous character arrested for her murder
Blade Runner
Ridley Scott's original vision hinted that Harrison Ford's character was himself a robot and the film ended ambiguously
So when the original film concludes, cinema-goers see "but what if?" on the screen, followed by a "darker, more desperate conclusion".

But what does the second ending add to the film? Does it even detract from the whole experience?

Film critic Quentin Cooper believes alternative endings risk films "losing artistic integrity".

Mr Cooper said: "I am not quite sure with either of the endings that Danny Boyle knows quite what to do with the premise he set off of having Zombies wandering around Britain."

But films have long been under pressure to have endings that meet the audience's needs.

Alternative endings are one method of trying to please all of the people all of the time.

In an attempt to please at least most of the people, most of the time, film studios have long used test screenings and audience feedback to determine if a film ending needs to be changed.

Mr Cooper told BBC Breakfast: "I can think of all sorts of films that would be tragically wrecked if they had gone with what the audience wanted and sometimes you have to stick with the vision.

"Films like Apocalypse Now and The Godfather - lots of these films have downbeat, low-key endings and if you were playing them to committees or test screen audiences it just would not work out."

He has no doubts that it is test screenings which are to blame for imposing endings on films.

"This goes back to the 1930s - but now we are far more into this and we are losing artistic integrity."
Both 28 Days Later endings are the director's cut
Fox Studios

"A film like Legally Blonde - they did not just tinker with the ending, what started out as a romantic comedy, they re-edited it and re-shot sequences so it became more about this feisty woman.

"They spunked up the movie to turn it into a completely different kind of movie."

Mr Cooper added: "The audience makes demands and they want sugar."

The US distributors of 28 Days Later say director Boyle has approved the inclusion of the second ending.

"Ever since the movie was released in England, the debate has raged about which was the more appropriate ending," said Steve Gilula, Fox Searchlight's president of marketing and distribution.

According to the producers of 28 Days Later, the optimistic ending was in the original script.

Boyle shot the darker finale but discarded it after negative test screenings.

"In a sense, both endings are the director's cut," said Mr Gilula.

For DVD enthusiasts, extras such as alternative endings have been strong reasons for purchase.

Sometimes the endings dramatically alter the film.

Sweet Home Alabama
Sweet Home Alabama had a very different ending
The film Road Kill has four different endings, one adding 28 minutes to the film.

The alternative ending to teen horror Final Destination kills off a lead character and impregnates another.

In romantic comedy Sweet Home Alabama, the DVD has an ending which shows Reese Witherspoon's character struck by lightning and seemingly killed.

Her husband carries her limp body into the wedding reception and tells everyone that she is dead. But Witherspoon looks up and smiles and the film ends.

"No one thought it was funny - especially when the parents were looking at their dead daughter," said director Andy Tennant, explaining his decision to drop the ending.

But as popular as alternative endings on DVDs are it seems unlikely the route taken by 28 Days Later will become a regular part of cinema-going.

You told us some of your ideas for alternative endings of classic films. Please see below for a selection of your comments.

Pretty Woman: Richard Gere finally tires of Julia Roberts' fairy tale aspirations, and ends the film in bed with Kitt Deluka, Julia's call girl flat mate.
Chris Hartley, UK

In the finale of Gone With The Wind, instead of Rhett saying his "damn" line and leaving it at that, Scarlett should respond with "You better give a damn about me, bitch! I'm carrying your baby!" or something like that.

In the finale of Titanic, instead of Jack dying, he and Rose should survive the wreck and make it back to America. Rose should dump her boyfriend, marry Jack, and live happily ever after.
Alex Sarmiento, USA

Grease - Sandy wakes up from her dream realising the stupidity of acting and dressing like she's going to work the streets just so she won't get teased. Danny decides he should just be himself instead of pretending like he's too cool for ice. The film's ending could still be popular because we'd see Danny and Sandy act out their songs before Sandy wakes up from her dream.
Lisa, Canada

Return of the Jedi: as Darth Vadar lies dying on the ramp of the imperial shuttle, Luke removes Vadar's helmet to reveal Noel Edmonds, clutching a 12" high gold statuette.
Jimbo, UK

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. Once Gandalf has discovered the horrible truth about the ring and returns to Hobbiton to make sure Frodo still has it secured. When he questions Frodo as to whether the ring is safe, Frodo replies "Sorry guvnor, but I dropped it down the plughole whilst I was washing up. Was it expensive?"
Luke Garcia, uk

Richard Dreyfuss' character in JAWS throws back the sheet in the autopsy room and says, "You were right, it WAS just a boating accident." Film ends.
John, US

Ending for Shawshank Redemption - Andy and Red sail out into the ocean and sink. All three of Charlies Angels fail to jump clear of the helicopter and are blown apart by the rocket. At the end of Back to the Future the Prof simply goes back in time and tells himself not to bother.
Nathan Rae, England

Men in Black - Will Smith can't be bothered chasing the guy at the beginning of the film and lets him run away. World gets destroyed a few days later.

Sliding Doors - she took the bus instead.

Lawrence of Arabia - gets posted to the Guildford Army recruitment centre instead of the Middle East. Doesn't quite have the same ring.

The Devil's Advocate - Keanu Reeves says no to the job and spares us his appalling acting 'talent'. Even better, the 'one' drowns in the Matrix after being ejected from his little glass box. Castaway - Madonna drowns...
J&A, Azerbaijan

I think Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring should have ended with the demise of all the cast bar Boromir; a fitting end which would prevent sequels to the most overblown and over-rated series of films ever.
Daniel Morgan, UK

AI should have ended with the kid robot waiting forever in his vehicle. That would have very poignantly shown his "human-like" instincts. The whole part of the future and the Robot coming to "life" in the future was unecessary.
Amit Murthy, India

Independence Day: the virus doesn't work. Will Smith and the other dude get killed, horribly. And the world gets taken over by those aliens. Aaaahhhhhh ,much better.
Stuart Mckechnie, UK

I can't believe Day of The Triffids hasn't been mentioned. If I remember correctly, the film was progressing nicely and the plants were taking over and then, it cut to a lot of people marching up a hill towards a church with a voice over explaining that the plants had died of some diseases and "Once again, people have a reason to believe".

Do you know what would have been better? Anything!

My own suggestion would be for the triffids to appear in Ground Force and get hacked down while being distracted by Charlie Dimmock.
Lazlo Woodbine, UK

The Life of Brian. As the figures on the crosses finish their song, "Always look on the bright side of life", a commotion is heard. Roman soldiers are returning with one more crucifixee. He bleakly looks up at them as they nail him to his cross, and speaks to camera "That's easy for YOU to say..."
Peter, Bledisloe Cup Country, New Zealand

Titanic. After listening to the old lady waffle for 3 hours, she shows some courtesy and leaves the diamond on the deck of the ship and either lobs herself off or Leonardo Di Caprios robotic hand emerges from the waves and drags her under the water kicking and screaming and bang its the alternate beginning of T3.
Keith, UK

Harry Potter: Harry's foster parents can't afford to send him to Hogwarts so he instead starts full time work in a Macdonalds!
Adam Goswell, Fleet, UK

In the final battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth, they battle in a room with artificial hands a la the Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon. Losing your hand once is an accident but twice and on top of that your dad as well, dumb farmboy.
Nick, UK

I think the final coda for Contact should have been cut out, in which we realise Jodie Foster HAS been telling the truth. Considering the whole narrative was about Foster's conflict with the concept of Faith, it would have been more effective if she had needed the audience (and her love-interest) to have that Faith in order to believe her.
Daniel Hall, UK

At the end of Casablanca Humphrey Bogart turns to the Vichy police chief (Claude Rains), and says "Well that got rid of her," and gives him a great big kiss. Oh, and turns Rick's into a gay bar......
Jolph, UK

At the end of "The Terminator" the cyborg stays in the present time and runs for Governor of California.....Oh! Wait that's real life!!
James Alexander, USA

Reservoir Dogs: they all put their hands on their hips, throw their heads back and laugh a hearty laugh before going out for a curry.
Richard Morris, UK

The Italian Job. The bus makes the corner.
James Instance, UK

One for the future - Matrix : Revolutions. At the end when the entire matrix is explained in a way that can be understood - the film flicks to a scene showing Neo waking up - when he wakes he turns to his friend and says : "Bill I just had the most EXCELLENT dream". And that's how they explain The Matrix.

In Total Recall, Douglas Quaid/Howser (Arnie) could, instead of liberating Mars at the end, discover that he really is just having a psychotic episode. The film hints at this in several places.
Robert Snell, UK

Braveheart, Michael Collins, U-571, Pearl Harbour and many other "historical" films - "...and now this is what REALLY happened..."
Phil, UK

At the end of Sleepless in Seattle Tom Hanks gets refused entry to the elevator, causes a row, gets arrested, sent to Rikers Island, escapes with Wilson and gets eaten by Jaws and saves us from girlie flicks like U Got Mail.
Oliver, UK

Wouldn't it be great it Ainsley Harriot came on at the end of Babe and cooked the cast?
Anna, England

Clockwork Orange: Alex becomes prime minister.
Steve, UK

Gone with the Wind: Frankly my dear, I'm deeply saddended by your unfortunate predicament - have a jelly baby.
Graham Taylor, UK

Brief Encounter: "No I won't get you a cup of tea you interfering woman, we're just about to run away together, come on darling or we'll miss the train..."
Linda, France

Bridget Jones deciding in her publishing role to chuck a manuscript submitted by Helen Fielding, then a newspaper columnist, in the bin instead of publishing it.
Lynn, England

At the end of The Exorcist, the Exorcist loses his job and has his house repossessed!
Ben Green, UK

Thelma and Louise. The car lands on a rocky ledge and the girls get out and run off. They grow beards, get fake passports, fly to London, climb into Windsor castle and give Prince William a kiss in front of the Queen at his 21st birthday party before moving to Argyle to open a Knitwear shop.
Matthew Todd, UK

Instead of jumping off a cliff at the end of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Jen goes back to the desert with Lo and starts a martial arts summer camp for under-priviledged girls.
Andrea, Canada

JFK: Kev Costner: "Nope, sorry, I haven't a scooby who did it, but if I really try I can make it last over and get the same answer".
Mitch, UK

At the end of Terminator 1, Arnie does us all a favour by breaking his promise to be back, thus preventing Terminator 3 from ever being produced and changing the future forever.
James , USA

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Blondie takes all the money as Tuco doesn't deserve any of it after the terrible time he's given Blondie and Blondie doesn't shoot away the noose round Tuco's neck (in the actual film Blondie still gets abuse after leaving Tuco $100,000 and shooting away the rope that threatens to asphixiate him).
Robert Kelly, Scotland

Steve Mcqueen clearing the border fence in the great escape!
Mike Drysdale, UK

Doctor Zhivago: I've always thought that the original ending was just too sad because the woman he thinks is Lara just keeps on walking. I would have Lara turn around and see Yuri. Their eyes meet and then he dies.
Frieda Verbaenen, Ireland

I haven't seen the alternative ending to 28 Days Later, but I would have them waving and happy, only to have the plane bomb/nuke them as a result of the government trying to control the spread of the virus. Of course the very last shot would show that the government was unsuccessful in their quest.
Teena, U.S.A.

At the end of The Shining, Jack agrees to go to Relate with his wife Wendy.
Tom, London, UK

What about the 1969 classic Battle of Britain - the Luftwaffe doesn't attack London and keeps pounding the airfields destroying enough of fighter command to actually allow operation sea lion to take place. The German Panzers land in Walmington on sea and we finally get to see what Mr Mainwaring and company can really do!
Gary, USA

In Sense and Sensibility, Col Brandon (Alan Rickman) should have smartened up and married Eleanor (Emma Thompson) and Marianne (Kate Winslet) should have married Hugh Grant's character. Sorry Ms Austin, but in the film version, the character match-ups were so wrong!
Tracey, Montreal, Canada

Terminator 3: Shouldn't have made a new story and instead should have started with the judgment day war, and ended when they beat the robots, realised the robots sent a baddie back to kill John Connor, and then captured Arnie and sent him back. That would be an amazing film, maybe I'll be Terminator 4.
Charles Kubicek, UK

Citizen Kane on the deathbed: "Go me! I'm rich!"
Dave M, UK

I can stop the next series of 24 in its tracks. Jack Bauer is woken up by his alarm. He rolls over, switches it off and goes back to sleep. (Kim Bauer would undoubtedly still manage to get into some sort of duvet-related or Cocoa Pops-induced scrapes, however)
Toby Waller, UK

Matrix Reloaded should have ended ten minutes earlier, and without the text message on the screen.
Chris Hurst, UK

AI: Just cut the film dead at the point where the android sinks below the water and becomes stranded in the place that he has been looking for.
Andrew Simpson, UK

As Luke prepares to launch his missiles at the Death Star, Obi-Wan's sudden ethereal presence urging him to "use the farce" so upsets and startles him that he flies straight into a wall. Hilarity ensues.
Eoin, UK

I'd like to change the end of The Sting, so that after the fake FBI come in, the real FBI came in.
Steve, UK

Casablanca - Claude Rains turns to Bogart as the plane takes off and they kiss passionately leading to an earlier outing for La Cage Aux Folles.

A Wonderful Life - Henry Travers (Clarence the angel) arrives on earth too late to save Jimmy Stewart from drowning.

Seven - Morgan Freeman opens the bag to discover his own head & realises he's on a wild trip.

Gone With The Wind - Rhett Butler swallows his pride & says instead, "Strangely, my dear, I still give a damn!"
Louis Parperis, UK

Se7en: Brad Pitt opens box in middle of desert: "Ooh look, it's a football".
Ian Foulsham, UK

Shawshank Redemption - Andy Dufresne gets stuck in the sewer pipe in the act of escaping and dies a very horrible and smelly death...
Alex, UK

Final Destination - They all stayed on the plane and got to their "final destination" a whole lot quicker.
Owain Davies, England

Speed: The bus gets stuck in a traffic jam in East LA. Boom! Psycho: Janet Leigh passes the Bates Motel and stays at the Holiday Inn up the road. Wouldn't this make life simple?
Mark Errington, UK

El Cid would have ended much funnier if, as the Cid's dead body is sent out the gate strapped to a horse, it fell off seconds later.
Gareth J, York, UK

Italian Job: Michael Caine - "Hang on lads, I've got an idea" Lad - "Stuff that", they jump out of the coach, leaving Michael to over the edge with the gold.
Jim Murphy, Yorkshire

At the end of Leon, it would have been better if Leon handed Gary Oldman's character a Blue Peter badge instead of a grenade pin.
Jamie Reeves, UK

Steve McQueen actually makes the leap & gets away in The Great Escape. I've watched it so many times and each time I will him to get over the barbed wire!
Annie , UK

In Gone with the Wind, Scarlett says ¿Neither do I¿ and shoots Rhett after he says ¿Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.¿

The parking tickets at the end of Die Hard aren't torn up and John McClaine has to go to a parking tribunal. He loses and takes hostages...
Rupert, Brighton, UK

Back to Star Wars again: What if Luke had admitted his homosexuality at the celebration after the Death Star was destroyed. He turns to Hans Solo and professes his undying love and they fly away in a pink X-wing to live happily ever after somewhere over the rainbow.
Ian, UK

Pearl Harbour...Kate Beckinsale gets it together with Cuba Gooding Jr, leaving Ben Affleck and Josh Harntett to each other.
El, UK

In Rambo III , our hero's Afghan freedom fighter mates thank him for defeating the Russians and tell him that by the way they're setting up a new outfit with their buddy Osama.
Mark Kendrick, UK

I think that there is a tendency these days to automatically heap praise on films that 'dare' to have a dark ending. Miserable doesn't stop crap being crap. For example, I was expecting 28 days later to have a dark ending and it was quite refreshing when it didn't.
Jim Moores, UK

I think that Chicago - although it is an excellent movie - could be improved by having a jealous vaudeville wannabe shoot Roxie and Velma from the audience during the closing sequence, with the camera following up the smoke back to the culprit. Then, the culprit smirks and Billy Flynn hands her his card!
Richard Brophy, USA (expat UK)

Splash: Darryl Hannah is caught in a fishing vessel's drift net, and Tom Hanks drowns. Perfect ending to a perfectly dreadful movie.
Chris, USA

6th Sense: He's not dead, but his wife and everyone else in the movie is blind/ignoring him.
James Costigan, England

Terminator 2 - Judgement Day. John Connor: I order you not to go! I order you not to go! The Terminator: No problemo. Works for me, and maybe would have prevented the sequel.
Neil, UK

Not so much an alternative ending, but it would have been interesting to hear Sean Connery's Irish cop character in "The Untouchables" with an Irish accent.
Dougal McKinnon, UK

I saw one of the original test screenings of 28 Days Later with the darker ending - and commented on the appraisal form on how great it was to not have the typical Hollywood ending. Apparently more people disagreed with me!
Andrew, Canada

In Terminator 3 : Rise Of The Machines, Arnold Schwarzenegger's system is fully corrupted by the T-X, and he nearly kills John Connor and Captain Brewster before Connor reprograms him and the Terminator kills the T-X by crushing her head.
Akhlaq Hanif, UK

In the first five minutes of 'Memento' - 'Don't you remember Sam, the butler did it'
Richard Hockey, UK

Face Off would have seemed rather less ludicrous if it had finished with a song and dance number.
Colin, UK

Casablanca, if the movie continued its ending for just a few more minutes: we could see Rick and the French captain in some tropical island falling in love with each-other; Elsa abandoning her husband once they reach the US for some cowboy (since she cannot stay faithful to him anyway), and all living happily ever after.
Kela, Canada

At the end of Armageddon during all the celebrations the geek guy with glasses looks at his computer and says: "Where did that other asteroid come from?!?!"
Adam, Scotland

Due to global warming, the wind should be much stronger in "Mary Poppins".
Blake, UK

The Italian Job. They make it over the alps only to be stuck on the wrong side of the channel due to a French ferry strike!
Rod, UK

How about in Titanic, if the boat didn't sink?
Ross Taylor, UK

All the members of Spinal Tap individually entering Pop Idol.
Chris Newman, UK

The Sound of Music would have been better if Julie Andrews realized the Nazis weren't that bad, and started singing "Springtime for Hitler" from the Producers.
Miguel, US

At the end of 1984, we see Winston sitting in the cafe writing "I love George Bush, I love George Bush..."
Shaun, France

How about the Sound of Music: Julie Andrews decides she likes the convent life and stays there.
Andy, UK

The film Eraser should have had the last scene cut. After the hero escaped was enough. The revenge part at the end was unnecessary. But then it's not much of a serious film anyway, so I don't suppose anyone really cared about it.
Si, UK

Top Gun - when Tom Cruise is hoisted on to Ice Man's shoulders - he wets himself.
Clare, UK

ET tries to phone home, gets stuck in one of those annoying queuing systems and eventually dies of old age, minutes before being put through to a call-centre in Bombay!
Steve, UK

The Titanic misses the iceberg in James Cameron's nautical flick, and makes it home safely....therefore cancelling out that horrendous 70s film Raise the Titanic.
Tony, UK

Ang Lee's Hulk should have had the final 15 minutes removed. When it is the final stand-off between the Hulk and the military atop the hill in San Francisco, the military should have destroyed the Hulk when he's in human form and given the film a more tragic end. This would have fitted in with my initial impression of the film being a Greek tragedy.

Instead, we are treated to one of the world's most talented directors selling out in the name of the Hollywood franchise. Disappointing.
Paul Lithgow, Scotland

A better ending to Attack of the Clones would have been that Dooku duels with and kills Jar Jar Binks, and then leaves the galaxy having completed his mission.
Robin, UK

I always thought that Gladiator would have been better if after the death of the Emperor, Maximus had to fight off a whole army of nuclear-powered kangaroos that had been hiding behind the coliseum, bouncing around and crushing Romans with their big furry feet.

Pete, UK

Apocalypse Now - Colonel Kurtz who has apparently gone insane, murdered hundreds of innocent people, and constructed a strange kingdom for himself deep in the jungle, played by Marlon Brando, then opens up a whelk house in Ipswich, as he fits in so well.
Nixon, Apocalypse Cow

At the end of Terminator II, Arnie reveals that he is the bad guy after all and kills everyone.
Si Griffin, UK

In the yet incomplete Roadrunner the movie (!), I hope the Giant ACME hammer gets that pesky roadrunner and the Coyote looks in to the camera with a satisfied look on his face.
Mike, UK

The very last scene of the first Matrix (where Neo does a bit of showing off by jumping high in the air) would have been better if he jumped straight up into a streetlight hanging above him, leaving him with a cartoon style bump and birds tweeting around his head! Now who's the chosen one, eh ?
Adam Canterla, UK

Gladiator: The general, Maximus, is granted his wish to return to his farm where he settles down, becomes a rich cucumber farmer and raises 9 children. Commodus, although granted the throne by his father, shuns the trappings of power and devotes his full attention to his dream of building a sanitary-ware empire and improving the health and bodily cleanliness of the Roman empire at the same time.
Ralph, Canada

Star Wars would have been better if Darth Vader had been revealed as an evil toy-maker bent on world science fiction domination. Of course, they would have had to change his name from Skywalker to Lucas.
Todd Howington, US

I've always thought Chitty Chitty Bang Bang would be greatly improved by the judicious use of a car clamp.
Tim Hooper, UK

Luke Skywalker misses the air intake on the Death Star, causing it to blow up the planet with the rebel alliance on it.
Mark, UK

The alternative ending for Gigli should have the director (Martin Brest) walking on screen and apologising to the cast and the audience.
Paul Holmes, UK

Apollo 13 The movie - they stir the oxygen tanks, there is no explosion, they land on the moon and come home safely.

Dr No - James Bond dies in the final scene - ruining the whole Bond franchise.

Alien 2 - everyone agrees with Sigourney Weaver's suggestion of "Nuking the site from orbit" and the film only lasts for half an hour.
Danny, UK

How about Arnie promising us that he will NOT be back?
Ian S, Birmingham

The Abyss director's cut includes a better more apocalyptic ending that in the theatrical version.

The darker and less Hollywood alternative ending for Army of Darkness (Evil Dead 3) is also better in a lot of people's minds.

Clue the Movie has several all excellent versions of the film's ending (and the movie is great too).

If I remember correctly, the director's cut of Leon also has an interesting slightly alternative ending, and the alternative ending for Die Hard 3 (or was it 2 - I think it was 3) was darker and portrayed Willis character as a man who definitely holds a grudge.
David Beamish, UK

Star Wars: Luke Skywalker misses and fails to destroy the Death Star. Much of the rebellion is destroyed with the destruction of the Yavin moon base and Luke, Han Solo and several rebel fighters are taken prisoner by Darth Vader.

Leia escapes the destruction of Yavin and the second Star Wars film is a reversal of the first in which Leia has to rescue Luke and Han from the clutches of Darth Vader, whilst trying to destroy the Death Star from within and a final confrontation with Vader near the end from which they barely escape...
Martin Randall, Wakefield, UK

Bladerunner and Army of Darkness both had their endings changed, though Bladerunner also went through an overdub of Harrison Ford doing a Mickey Spillane novel. Both of these were changed against the director's wishes and were after the final print.

Raimi and Scott, like most directors, are artists and any external interference should be frowned upon.

I don't remember the last time I went to a cinema to see a film specifically because it was a Tri Star film.
John, Scotland, UK

For Dr. Strangelove, Kubrick actually had a custard pie fight in the war room written but abandoned it at the last minute...
Lewis Graham, UK

The last three Spielberg films would have benefited from greater trimming, to the tune of the last half hour on AI and the last 5 minutes on Minority Report. A bleak worldview is too often dismissed to the chagrin of serious storytellers. What would have become of Seven with an upbeat ending? That's exactly what the studio wanted but the filmmakers stuck firm. Most filmgoers go to the cinema to be entertained or stimulated, not to be made happy; we have drugs for that.
Murray Robertson, United Kingdom

I would like to change the ending to Crimson Tide. All the way through the film, Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington battle it out on board a US nuclear submarine over whether or not to carry out orders to launch a nuclear strike against Russia.

Denzal Washington's character does not want to launch nuclear missiles without confirmation and is the hero. Gene Hackman wants to launch because that is the standard procedure under the circumstances. Without an immediate launch Russia will launch first and destroy the U.S. He is portrayed as a racist and the villain.

I think it would have been great for the movie if the submarine regained contact with the U.S. to find a nuclear war has taken place and they should indeed have launched an attack.

In the circumstances of the movie both characters were right but Hollywood went for a happy ending.
Roy Matthews, UK

AI - Should have stopped after the first 5 mins.
Kevin Noble, England

I think that alternative endings should be left for DVD extras. Although it could offer the financial opportunities for cinemas for people to go back to watch it again and see a variation, it would cloud the path of stories that span more than one film, either intentionally or not.

One such example is the Rocky series in the first film - the original ending was for Rocky not to fight at all but to leave minutes before the fight and in the fifth film for Rocky to die at the end, both these were changed at the last minute by Stallone. If something isn't broke don't fix it, this is merely cinemas trying to cash in on extras that are now offered by DVDs.
Ross Reid, Northern Ireland

The very end of the original Friday the 13th movie should have been changed. Basically, the heroine, after defeating the killer, goes for a rest in a boat in Camp Crystal Lake. She is suddenly dragged under by the long-thought-drowned disabled boy Jason Voorhees, who's death prompted the killer to take revenge. Jason hasn't aged at all so it's not clear if he's a ghost or what, but it's really frightening. Unfortunately, the film ends with a silly coda in a hospital. The censor should have got rid of that, rather than edit the murder scenes.
John Tait, England

I could never understand why Luke didn't just join the Dark Side!
Jody, Oxford, UK

Not quite a different ending, but it would have been interesting if Oliver Twist in Oliver on asking "Please Sir, can I have some more"', was met with Mr Bumble's different reply: "Aye son, tuck in!"
Matt, UK

How about John Travolta becoming a bookworm at the end of Grease and the film could finish with him and Olivia Newton John in a library singing an upbeat song about the joys of education.
Tim, UK

Spartacus: "There's Spartacus. That's him, over there."
Stephen Shephard, UK

Quentin Cooper, film critic
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