The best movie endings

40 all-time greats that managed to end on a bang, not a whimper.

13. Shane

shane ending

Arguably the first revisionist Western, Shane delighted in playing with the established tropes of the genre, sticking to the rules while subtly turning them upside down at the same time.

Alan Ladd’s title hero is a drifter with a mysterious past who winds up in a small town and soon falls foul of the local bad guys, which is about as formulaic a setup as you could expect to find.

However, director George Stevens leans on formula to inform the story, leaving the ending deliberately ambiguous as Shane rides off into the sunset, leaving the audience to decide whether or not he’d survived his injuries from the third act shootout.