I just finished watching King of California yesterday. It's a good movie with fine acting by Michael Douglas and Evan Rachel Wood.
The final scene, which segues into the end credits, played to the song "California Stars" by Billy Bragg and Wilco pretty much summed up the entire film experience for me.
In my opinion, the final song in a movie can represent a film's entire soul.
Then, started to think about some other great films with spectacular final scenes set to great music.
Off the top of my head, here are ten great examples:
The Lively Ones' Surf Rider kicks in as Jules and Vincent exit the diner in flip flops and dorky t-shirts.
The Pixies' Where is My Mind brings it all together as buildings crumble while Marla Singer and Tyler Durden's alter-ego hold hands and contemplate their future.
THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY
The Farrelly Brothers and the rest of the cast ham it up with Build Me Up Buttercup from The Foundations.
As Jack's fate is sealed in the hedge maze, Kubrick tosses in one more red herring with a cut to the hotel and a slow camera pan to a small portrait of New Year's revelers (with a surprise guest!) circa 1921 set to the eerie music of Midnight With The Stars and You performed by the Ray Noble Band.
Had there not been any sequels, this ending set to Rage Against The Machine's Wake Up would have went down as one of the all-time best. It completely sets the tone of the entire experience.
THE BREAKFAST CLUB
As Principal Vernon finishes raeading Brian's hope-filled prose summing up a long day of Saturday detention, on the football field John Bender raises his arms in the air and The Simple Minds' Don't You Forget About Me kicks in.
Click here to listen to Anthony Michael Hall's Breakfast Club prose.
After going to hell and back, Alabama, her husband (minus one eye) and son are sitting beside a sunny beach. While we listen to her narration, our ears are dabbled with Hans Zimmer's feel-good score You're So Cool. Perhaps Tony Scott was foreshadowing a happy ending throughout the film with this musical choice?
Click here to listen to You're So Cool.
STAND BY ME
As an older Gordie Lachance (played by Richard Dreyfuss) types in the final sentence to his coming-of-age novel, Ben E. King's Stand By Me begins and the credits roll.
The viewer is taken on a journey of all the main characters while Gary Jules performs the Tears for Fears hit Mad World in this striking end sequence.
In this beautiful end sequence set to The Blower's Daughter by Damien Rice, Natalie Portman walks the streets of New York City to many rubbernecking males while, in London, Dan finally realizes the true identity of Alice Ayres.
I'm curious, what's your favorite? Are there any that I missed?