Up there with Groundhog Day for philoso-comedy. Carl Reiner makes every second count. Dom is desperately lovable. Sally shows she can act. And Burt is at his understated best. Unfortunately for Burt, he was 25 years too early with this now timely reflection on death and dying -- boomers did not want to be worried about death in 1978. Now that we are beginning to realize that we too are mortal, this movie should get the appreciation it deserves. Those of you who are turned off by movies dealing with ethical and personal dilemmas won't like this movie. You would think that with all the <more>
attention paid to the ethics of extending life and assisted suicide that this movie would be required viewing for the right AND left. I am convinced the Burt will be remembered because of this movie. Death be not proud.
This is an extremely funny movie. The humor is timeless; easily transcending it's 1970's origin. Burt Reynolds plays Sonny Lawson, a divorced and shady real estate salesman. The movie opens with Sonny being told he has a fatal blood disease and a two month to one year life expectancy.The humorous tone of the film is set early in the exchange between Sonny and his doctor, played wonderfully dryly by Norman Fell. Sonny is, to put it mildly, shallow. Not exactly evil and certainly not good, Sonny is an aging hedonist whose only truly valuable contribution to life is his daughter Julie. <more>
Still, even with all the limitations of his character, Sonny tries to get around The End. The bulk of the movie involves Sonny's attempts to weasel out of his inevitable End. Burt Reynolds plays Sonny with just the right blend of whine and bravado. The results are hilarious. Characters come and go throughout the movie. All of them are as shallow as Sonny and hence cannot be of any help. Robbie Benson is hilarious as Father Dave and Sally Field is wonderful as the free spirit or as we say now 'new age' love interest. A truly exceptional performance however comes from Burt's co-star Dom DeLuise. I think that Dom deserved an academy nomination for his brilliant performance as the psychiatric patient Marlon Borunki. His character is a blend of gentle self deprecating humor and maniacal danger and he is the man to watch in every scene he's in. His instant changing of mood, voice and emotion is simply brilliant. There are some movies which provide a catch-phrase that you can use in real life. I never did relate too much to Arnie's "I'll Be Back" line but one which has made it into my personal use is Dom's rather strangled version of "I Understand". Watch 'The End' and you too will understand.
Burt's friend is a lawyer and Jewish so he knows about pain... (by gbhamilton1966)
This is a seriously black comedy which, although it contains a fair bit of slapstick, also features some of the most subtle comedic touches I've seen in a film. Little things which may be missed on a first or casual viewing can delight a dedicated fan of 70s comedy.I've been a fan of this film since I came across it by accident as a teenager and now as I approach forty, it hasn't lost any of its delights for me and I was lucky enough to pick up an old second hand copy of the video so I can sit back and watch it if I'm ever in need of a good laugh.Do yourself a favour and watch <more>
Dom's Finest Moment, One of Burt's Finest Too (by bbbaldie)
This was, without a doubt, the most hilariously comic performance that the brilliant Dom DeLuise had on film. When, in the midst of a depressed "woe is me" rant, he looks up and asks "Do you think we'll ever switch to the metric system?", well, it just don't get no funnier than that. His botched suicide attempts, as well as his eagerly wanting to help Burt with HIS suicide, oh heck, just go rent it yourself! You'll love it.Burt was brilliant too. He holds a thin line between wanting to die and wanting to live that is believable. It's a real shame that this <more>
movie often gets me blank stares when I tell others about it. More people know about Four Weddings and a Funeral a movie so horrid that I still refuse to watch another Andie McDowell flick than this quiet classic. sigh
Touching yet hilarious, a highly original black comedy (by barfly99)
THE END should be, and one day will be, reappraised and acknowledged as the classic it is. The premise isn't great for a comedy - a dying man reordering his life in light of his impending demise - so that it works at all is a credit to Burt Reynolds as both director and star. The balance of tragedy and humour is perfect throughout, particularly in Burt's various suicide attempts, and it was a masterstroke casting Dom DeLuise as the amiable lunatic so keen on helping him die. The final reel is one of the funniest in movie history, and Frank Sinatra's "My Way" has never <more>
been put to better use in a film. Doctors should lend this film to patients when they inform them of terminal illness - death has never been so much fun.
"I Never Had My Own Dog". . . "The Note; I forgot the Note." (by TedMichaelMor)
Burt Reynolds' film "The End" delights me. From beginning to end, the movie charmed me with one set piece after another with relentless gifted performances emerging as the protagonist Wendell Sony Lawson encounters one person after another discounting him and his impending end. The pace seems a tad slow, but that does not diminish the flow of the story. Nothing interferes with that flow.The silliness here works. I think that in some ways Dom Deluise almost overwhelm the second half of the film, but for most viewers his performance seems to make the movie and I suppose it does. I <more>
love the confession that Sonny tries to make early in the movie to the unfocused youthful priest played by Robby Benson. The telephone call to an indifference suicide hot line is also lovely, along with the sour milk used to down sleeping pills.I very much liked the score and the editing. Nine migth be tad high, but I do like this film.
Death is serious business, no doubt. No moreso than the people who come in contact with it. In fact, is there ANYTHING funny about dying?If you're Burt Reynolds and you find out you only have a few months left to live, then YES. And the evidence is in one of his maiden directing efforts, "The End".As a terminally-ill man, Reynolds practically drives himself crazy trying to get his life in order and end it at the same time. However, he has to deal with an inattentive ex-wife Woodward , flaky parents Loy and O'Brien , an even-flakier girlfriend Field , an overly-mature <more>
daughter MacNicol , a dense lawyer Steinberg , a novice priest Benson and a schizophrenic mental patient DeLuise who wants to help Reynolds reach his end goal in the worst way.The topic is morbid, to be sure, but there are indeed dark laughs here. Reynolds' hand never falters and he makes the most of every scene he's in as a man who's at the end of his rope literally, in one case and can find no solace even in chasing down a funeral procession to find out what the guy in the hearse died of.To say that DeLuise steals the movie isn't enough; he steals it, runs for the border, makes a clean getaway and never looks back. There is more bad taste to be had when we discover his character is Polish and Dom then rattles off a few bad Polish jokes to Reynolds. "Kids can be cruel", Reynolds consoles. "What kids", DeLuise responds, "I heard these from my parents!" How inspiringly nasty. My one favorite scene has to be where Dom tries to help Burt jump out of the bell tower in the mental institution he is incarcerated in You're right: it's not high enough!" . It's great and there's a lot more scenes like that, sprinkled throughout.For some of us, though, it's hard to laugh at suicide, let alone death. But the morbid, gallows humor here doesn't celebrate death like a lot of bigger-budget movies do - this is a movie about life, living and doing everything you can while you have the chance. And THAT is really what "The End" is about - not the end but everything you do before the end gets here. And in that respect, Burt succeeds.Eight stars and a golden noose for "The End" - the movie that'll make you love life...and think twice about coming near Dom DeLuise with a Polish joke. Ever.
For a guy diagnosed with a terminal disease, Burt Reynolds sure pumped a lot of life into this film. This is the ultimate in black comedies, a man is told he's got a little over a year to live. We would all react in different ways. Burt Reynolds gets this cheerful bit of news and goes immediately berserk and starts acting all kinds of crazy. Of course everyone around him sees him differently. Wife Joanne Woodward, girl friend Sally Field, parents Pat O'Brien and Myrna Loy. Burt pushes all their buttons except O'Brien who seems oblivious to all.Reynolds always had a marvelous gift <more>
for comedy that in his prime period of the seventies was utilized rather well. His career seemed to go in the same path as Tom Selleck's, I think they could have played a lot of each other's parts.Of course it was nice to see two veterans of old Hollywood, Myrna Loy and Pat O'Brien in support. They never disappoint.My favorites though are Strother Martin as the officious head of a mental institution where Reynolds gets committed after some bizarrely unsuccessful suicide attempts and Dom DeLuise as another patient there.DeLuise when he gets going approaches Robin Williams kind of zaniness and he was working on all cylinders in this film. He's ready to offer all kinds of help to Burt to fulfill his mission.
There's more to life than just ending it, just because you are terminally ill. For Wendell Burt Reynolds he just want to die fast and not be in so much pain. We all know that suicide is a act of selfishness when that person wants to rid himself off the Earth. That really brings more pain than ease to others. Every time when Wendell tries to get rid of himself, those plans are intervened by something else. He tries to OD Overdose on some pills, the milk he drinks has soured. He gets committed to an asylum the suicide attempts there are thwarted, after he meets another mental patient who <more>
happens to be more off than himself. Marlon Dom DeLuise, 1933-2009 is so unhappy with himself, he bungled all tempts to help put Wendell out of his misery. Wendell on the other hand decided to see what he is doing to himself and just live life the way it is despite his condition of health. If I was terminal, I would enjoy myself everyday, until the end of time. A very funny movie with a touch of serious in the mix. Enjoy it! R.I.P., Dom Deluise! 3 out of 5 stars!