In Praise of Bitter Enders

I enjoyed this article about folks who sit all the way through movie end credits. Debbie and I fall squarely in the category of "bitter enders," rarely missing the final credits. We're usually looking for outtakes or "Easter eggs," but we also enjoy reading the obscure job titles of people who work on movies. I'd like to think that we're showing the assistant gaffer a bit of appreciation for her hard work at, uh, gaffing, and recognizing (or at least guessing at) the significant impact that work had on the movie we just watched.

I wish more movie reviews were sensitive to the needs of bitter enders by including something like "stay for the credits" (no need for spoilers) or "there's nothing in the credits but credits." We wouldn't change our habits based on those tips, but it might expand the ranks of our small but dedicated cadre.

Of course, ushers would be less pleased, but that's why they make the big bucks.


Donald Harrington (per one reviewer, "... not so much an undiscovered talent as an undiscovered continent"), in his book "Let Us Build Us a City - Eleven Lost Towns" wraps up his book in a tidy conclusion, ties a bow on it, and then at the end appends some obligatory acknowledgments. After a page or two thanking sources and editors and citing references, he begins to drop in some critical fresh plot development (it's a non-fiction work) ... and then detonates his story's nuclear climax and denouement. Still in the body of the "boring, rote acknowledgments" he notes he's done this to save the best part of his book for those special people who read the acknowledgments and end matter. (I'd have never known about same if I hadn't later read a critique of the book and then had to go back and read the acknowledgments. Harrington's a treasure, by the way.)

In some ways watching your favorite sports team to the very and sometimes excruciating end is analogous to reading the credits at the movie house. You never know what kind of nugget that might pop up after the crowd has given up. Dad was always big on that subject matter and would point out to us those who decided the game was over by the 3rd quarter. It was a matter of showing respect and loyalty to the players who entertained us.

I always enjoy watching the credits of a Mel Brooks movie or most comedy flicks. Nonsense and sillinest abounds for those who wait.I have found reading the credits of older movies quite entertaining as well. Rediscovering secondary characters or extras that later made it big in the business years or decades later is a lot of fun to spot. Thank goodness for Tivo so I can freeze the rapidly passing curtain of names on the screen

Eric, one of the things that keeps me watching till the bitter end, is the music credits - name/composer/performer of songs sprinkled among the film's soundtrack - which usually are very nearly the last credits to roll.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on August 6, 2010 3:13 PM.

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