IMDb Polls

Poll: The Climax is in the Title

*SPOILERS in the Descriptive Texts

Some titles get their full meaning when the movie reaches its climax.

Of course, sometimes, we expect the titular 'plot element' to play a key role at the climax, sometimes, we don't even know what the title means (is it literal or symbolic?) until that very part but either ways, the film's final impact is twice more satisfying because it's both emotionally rewarding and it gives the title its meaning.

So, which climactic moment best met the expectations you made from the title?

Discuss here

Titular settings and protagonists are not included as they're expected to be part of the climaxes.

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!

    Ratatouille (2007)

    The title is more than a play on word about the film's main animal species, it's the central piece of an original climactic moment, consisting on a food critic tasting a piece of ratatouille and having an extraordinary life-changing Proust madeleine's moment.
  2. Vote!

    Free Willy (1993)

    This one isn't much of a spoiler as it's already given away by the poster.
  3. Vote!

    Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)

    Another 'the title says it all' case.
  4. Vote!

    The King's Speech (2010)

    There have been climactic speeches before, but only this one was no mystery for us and relied on the delivery rather than the content. While he's delivering his historical war speech, an inspiration to all the British people, the King is just an ordinary man watching a friend smiling to him, while listened by his beloved family. And that was the point, Albert didn't have to cure the stammering to become a respected king, but started to respect himself, to appreciate the good man he truly was, to triumph over it.
  5. Vote!

    The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

    Col. Nicholson realizes he's been blinded by his military zeal all the time, when he helped building the bridge over the River Kwai and out of 'paternal' instinct, acted like a traitor when trying to prevent the explosion. "What have I done!" he says before a posthumously 'heroic' act that would destroy the bridge, killing even more people and making Clipton shout: "Madness!"
  6. Vote!

    Chinatown (1974)

    'Chinatown' resonates as a resurgence of Gittes' haunting past, when he failed to protect a woman and caused her death, and the tragic irony is that we get the meaning of "as little as possible" when it's too late, when he's already urged to forget the whole thing, because "it's Chinatown".
  7. Vote!

    They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)

    Depression is like a feeling of psychological claustrophobia in an agoraphobia-inducing world, too many people and not enough souls to reach you or to reach. The dance-marathon ballroom is the extraordinary metaphor of this Depression, as both an era and a state of mind. And Gloria conveys her sadness so convincingly that we no longer feel sorry for her when her partner Robert pulls the trigger. As he says to the disbelieving cops: "they shoot horses, don't they?". Gloria didn't break her leg though, only her spirit, but can one ever recover from that?
  8. Vote!

    Back to the Future (1985)

    Even if he's not expecting to stay in the 50's, Marty's top priority during most of the film is to make his future parents fall in love. Once this is done, it's literally a race against the clock to get him back to the future, and it's a heart-pounding and iconic climax on the clock tower driven by Alan Silvestri exhilarating and 80's-defining score, the only sequence to appear in the three opuses.
  9. Vote!

    The Sting (1973)

    Another case of a long build-up before the final chapter gets us to the 'sting' And what makes the ending work is the fact that it fools us, the viewers, as much as Lonnegan and Snyder.
  10. Vote!

    Bicycle Thieves (1948)

    After fruitless attempts to find his bicycle, Ricci has lost hope as much as his bread-job and his pride, he's got nothing to lose anymore. If a thief could get away with it, so be it, he becomes, in an ironic twist of fate, a bicycle thief himself, with worst luck though as he's immediately stopped by-standers. His son's cries save him from jail but not the disgrace that concludes a heartbreaking journey.
  11. Vote!

    The Great Escape (1963)

    Steve McQueen jumping the barbed wire fence on a Triumph motorbike remains one of the most iconic cinematic jailbreaks, this scene has indeed the words 'great escape' written all over it.
  12. Vote!

    The Verdict (1982)

    The verdict gives its true meaning to the word 'justice', it is not about values, it's about faith, it's a blind faith which makes us take all the risks, because ironically, justice can only be accomplished through 'illegal' ways when the opposite side buries important elements under obscure judiciary concepts and in these cases, when the system is against Justice. Frank Galvin was against the system all the time, and believed in Justice. The verdict proved him right, and made him a hero.
  13. Vote!

    Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)

    The depth displayed in the second opus of the Bride's revenge journey allowed the climax to be more meaningful. Bea understood she had to kill Bill, less for the chapel massacre than to protect her daughter from his influence. The reasons changed and so did the fight style: while we expect a bloodfest, it ends abruptly with the five point palm-exploding heart technique that catches Bill and us by surprise. Bea didn't tell that Pai-Meei taught her the technique, why? Because she's bad, or just because she, like any others, wants to win the fight, and it's the perfect ending, as we tasted enough blood to rather appreciate an emotional farewell.
  14. Vote!

    High Noon (1952)

    Shot in real time, the film is punctuated with many clocks' close-ups indicating the time left before noon. The plot is a long build-up, carried by the score resonating with a growing solemnity, as the editing's pacing accelerates. Inevitably, the suspense culminates at high noon, where we see all the protagonists in close-ups, contrasting with the deserted sight of the town, until the train whistles, announcing John Miller's coming.
  15. Vote!

    Sophie's Choice (1982)

    The choice remains one of the most heartbreaking moments in cinema's history amplified by the genuinely frightened look of Sophie's daughter and her piercing cries while she's taken in the misty dark under her mother's powerless look. This moment puts an end to any attempt on intellectual understanding, whether for us or for Stingo, as all the intelligibility of the world can't get over the shock deeply rooted in that experience.
  16. Vote!

    Last Tango in Paris (1972)

    All through the film, sex was a physical communion between two lost souls who met regularly in the same apartment, the only area where their identities didn't matter. Together, they embodied the most intimate and desperate passions, beyond social conventions, out of true savage mutual devotion. It all ends with the last dance in the 'tango bar', the first place where Paul and Jeanne lose their anonymity and maybe something more. Paul goes crazy as he feels he needs Jeanne to save his soul from drowning, but Jeanne rejects him, feeling like he wants her soul to drown with his.
  17. Vote!

    Rosemary's Baby (1968)

    The irony of Rosemary's condition is that she was both the most and the least likely person to know about the 'secret', carrying it but incapable to see it. And the moment where, dressed in her pajamas, she sees her baby in the cradle, bugles her eyes and puts her hand in her mouth as to hide a horrific scream is probably one of the most iconic moments ever captured in a horror film.
  18. Vote!

    Bridge of Spies (2015)

    Donovan plays the Cold War diplomatic game perfectly, learning how to be mild-mannered or authoritative. The chess game leads to the climactic exchange of prisoners on a bridge, making the title work on both a symbolic and literal level.
  19. Vote!

    Saw (2004)

    After hours of psychological torture, Dr. Gordon decides to 'play the game' and finally get rid of his chains by sawing his foot, under the horrified look of his companion in misfortune. He owes his survival to that sacrifice, having played fair with the rules.
  20. Vote!

    Don't Look Now (1973)

    The whole film is a sophisticatedly complicated puzzle whose only certitude is that this will lead somewhere, because the imagery contributes to a feeling of continuity. So when, the psychic lady predicts some horrific things, we know this will be the pay-off of a patiently built up suspense. And even if the title tells us to look away we know, we should look. And that goes for John, too.
  21. Vote!

    There Will Be Blood (2007)

    Plainview believes in oil and money, the rest is made of abstractions, the worst of all, being religion, the cancer that gangrenes the progress. But Plainview, a pragmatic man, exorcises his misanthropy by using people's beliefs and feelings to achieve his plans, exploiting God like he exploited his adopted son, the end justifying the means. Good implies the use of one own conscience but this is another abstraction. From our perspective, Plainview's rise is also a descent into vileness culminating with the final bloody act and his line "I'm finished" as if he knew his life was nothing but an imminent downfall.
  22. Vote!

    Saving Private Ryan (1998)

    For all the action and the tense and thrilling moments it provided, the climax is an emotional one about life value. Tragically, Ryan's life was cost the lives of soldiers who were no less deserving to survive. Captain Miller's "earn this" reveals the whole point of the film, it's not about saving Ryan, but making this act worthwile, the only way to honor the memory of the men who tried to save him.
  23. Vote!

    Se7en (1995)

    With John Doe's death, dies the seventh 'victim' and Mills' soul, forever shattered as the sixth one (although in an indirect way')
  24. Vote!

    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

    Just like Brad Pitt would say in famous perfume ad: "inevitable"
  25. Vote!

    Soylent Green (1973)

    Soylent Green ' one of the mundane-looking processed food products distributed to the masses in this squalid overpopulated dystopia, and the one in most demand. At the climax, we find out what it really is.

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