Cinema has created some of the most inspiring, hopeful, and beautiful moments captured on celluloid over the last century. We all take our seats, ready to experience the best movies have to offer. Whether to entertain, educate or shock us, we all want to walk away seeing a happy ending. Good triumphing over evil, the protagonist or antagonist getting what they deserve at the film’s end.
However, in post-war America and the rise of the counter culture movement, movies became more cynical, violent, and explicit, reflecting the changing values of the time with a new wave of young directors wishing to tell ‘real’ stories. And with that reality came stories where the hero in the white hat didn’t ride off into the sunset and that as much as we wanted to escape our daily lives through cinema, life can be brutal sometimes.
With that, the American New Wave sometimes called the Hollywood Renaissance, gave us some now iconic stories where the ending left us shocked, horrified, and utterly devastated. Holding up a mirror to the reality of the world we truly live in. So, here are 6 cinematic classics that didn’t pull their punching with their endings.