10 Original Endings That Would Have Ruined Great Movies

Han Solo dying? They'd have been crazy to do that...

Star Wars Return of the Jedi Darth Vader Unmasked
Lucasfilm

The ending of a movie is arguably the most important part. Having sat down in a darkened room for up to three hours with a bunch of strangers, audiences want to leave the theatre in a mood that best sums up their experience. That's where the ending comes in: it has to leave you thinking about the movie for as long as possible, especially if the studio has any hope that you'll pick up the DVD at a later date.

And movie endings come in all shapes and sizes: happy, sad, bizarre, twisty. Some are even downright perfect. But sometimes the ending of a movie - perfect as it may seem - wasn't what the filmmakers originally intended. And that's usually because during some test screening, audiences wrote banal comments on their test cards, stating things like: "It was too depressing and I'm offended by the content", or "I'm an insufferable waste of life with no knowledge of the process but I think the ending was plain wrong".

A lot of good endings have been lost that way: studios have been scared into swapping them for lighter, happier affairs. But now and again, those infernal test audiences get it 100% right. That's the case for the 10 movie endings included here, anyway - rightfully abandoned and re-thought just in the nick of time.

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