10 Original Endings That Would Have Ruined Famous Movies

This is why you don't stop at the first draft.

Terminator 2
TriStar Pictures

If your city's education system didn't fail you as a child, then you probably learned the importance of writing multiple drafts, whether working on a short story or a research paper. (For instance, if not for my high school English teacher, it's possible this article may have started with a very regrettable, moderately racist knock-knock joke.)

That lesson is especially important in Hollywood. If filmmakers always went with the first idea that popped into their heads, Indiana Jones would've been a pedophile, The Predator would've looked like a duck-billed platypus from the future, and Woody from the Toy Story movies would've been a sociopathic, dead-eyed ventriloquist dummy who enjoyed torturing the other toys.

It's important to be open to revisions, is what I'm saying.

A lot of really great movies came *this* close to being completely ruined in the final minutes due to a poorly thought-out climax. In some cases, a happy ending was haphazardly tacked onto the film, whereas other times the director seemed to relish bumming audiences out as much as possible, for no justifiable reason.

Luckily for us, the filmmakers eventually changed their minds - whether through their own accord or thanks to some well-timed test screenings - and revised these finales.

The end results are a drastic improvement.

10. Rocky Balboa - Middle-Aged Boxer Emerges Victorious

Terminator 2 Alternate Ending
MGM Pictures

The Actual Ending:

The sixth - and what was reported to be final - installment in the Rocky saga comes full circle, with the 55-year-old coming out of retirement for one last fight against the reigning Heavyweight Champion, Mason Dixon, only to lose by a split decision in the end.

Just like the original Rocky movie, it doesn't really matter that Balboa ultimately lost the fight. It's only important that the perpetual underdog was able to go the distance with a much younger fighter, proving that he still has what it takes to hang inside the ring.

The Ending We Almost Got:

Sylvester Stallone, who felt his lack of involvement behind-the-scenes in Rocky V had allowed the franchise to end on a sour note, had repeatedly pitched a sixth installment to MGM Studios in the hopes he could give his character some real closure.

That closure? Rocky once again becomes the Heavyweight Champ by laying the smackdown on Dixon in the final round.

It's a huge change that favors a brief feel-good moment in place of a deeper statement about the Rocky mythos. The best Rocky movies aren't about the judges' decision. They aren't about winning or losing on the scorecards. They're about one man proving to himself that he's something more than the rest of the world thinks he is.

The actual ending may not be perfect, but it does a better job of capturing the true spirit of the franchise.

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Contributor

Jacob is a part-time contributor for WhatCulture, specializing in music, movies, and really, really dumb humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JakeTrowbridge.