The Golden Age of Hollywood

What do you suppose happened to the characters of some of your favorite classics? For instance, Billy Wilder stated he didn't think Fran & Baxter lived happily ever after once The Apartment ended. Or what became of Ethan Edwards after he dropped Debbie off & The Searchers ended.

Looking forward to seeing the fruits of your imaginations.

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This is a great topic - many of the best films have enigmatic endings, and though I don't think many agree with me, I think The Little Tramp and The Blind Girl do end up together after the end of CITY LIGHTS? Why? Because I think she really loved him for who he was on the inside, a truly beautiful person, and because I do not think she would be so shallow as to be put off by his appearance. Maybe it would not have lasted forever, but I think they were together at least for awhile. I will think further on this one and get back to you - I think Ethan might have continued on with his more or less solitary life, but not totally sure on that one.
I think Ethan would have turned to outlawry and been dead within a few years. He had nothing else to do. It was evident at the beginning of the film that's what he had already tried, and the film's classic closing shot shows how out of place he is with everyone else. Ethan will rob stages and banks until he's tracked down and killed. I think his spirit's crushed and he won't put up much of a fight for the first time in his life as he has nothing to fight for.
Witness for the Prosecution: I think Charles Laughton's character gets Marlene Dietrich's acquitted for the murder of her husband, assisted by a dramatic moment when he has a heart attack during his summing up. Later, he marries his nurse.
Too Many Husbands: Melvyn Douglas remains a charming thorn in the side of Fred MacMurray, and the three of them become inseparable (Jean sees to that). Melvyn buys the house next door, much to Fred's annoyance. Jean's first son bears both their names. As soon as one of them dies, Jean devotes herself to the other one, but secretly keeps the dead one's portrait in her bureau drawer.
Jezebel: Julie (Bette Davis) nurses Preston (Henry Fonda) back to life, but she unfortunately contracts leprosy on the island and cannot return with him. He goes back to Amy, but his heart will always belong to Julie (although he will never speak of it, being a gentleman).
Mothgirl, I also like to think that the Blind Girl and the Tramp end up together. When she says, "Yes, I can see now," she's referring, of course, not only to her eyesight but to suddenly seeing the greatness of his love for her. Seeing it is halfway to returning it, and I think she does.
I think I could go on and on with this topic, but I'll stop for now!
Great topic, Mickey!
The Wild Bunch: DekeThornton and Sykes fight in the Mexican Revoultion, and Sykes is killed. Deke stays in Mexico, opening a hotel/cantina in Mexico City. In 1936, a European screenwriter is waiting to be neutralized and spends his time in Deke's hotel. While getting to know his proprietor, he asks about 'the old days,' & hears Pike's story. Once in America, he writes it as a screenplay that he wants to produce, but due to the Production Code, it's too violent and he's turned down by every studio. Finally, he takes it to Howard Hughes, who loves it, and Howard Hawks is brought in. They agree that Walter Huston, who loves the script, is perfect for Pike. Edward G. Robinson is dying to play Dutch. A newcomer to Hollywood named Humphrey Bogart and a B actor named John Wayne are being considered for the Gorches. Harry Carey is the number one choice for Sykes. And Joel McCrea wants to play Deke. However, Hawks being Hawks and Hughes being Hughes--They want romance in the film and that isn't what the screenwriter/producer has written. He points this out, along with the fact that he's yet to sell his script, which they've merely been talking over. Hughes tells him jokingly, "I'll bet a million dollars that without me that script never gets made." When the man takes him up on the bet, Hughes asks him where he's going to get the money. "From you, Howard."
Fast forward to 1967: Walon Green is at the screenwriter's home and asks if he has anything he [Green] might be interested in. The man gives Green the script, and when Green, who loves it, asks what he wants for it, he's told nothing as he'll get what's due him. Two years later, when The Wild Bunch hits the screen, the man gets a certified check for a million dollars - courtesy of Howard Hughes.
WOW!..Excellent!...heh heh..Walter Brennen might have made a good Sykes too...for some reason,all I can come up with for the Strother Martin and LQ Jones parts are Olsen and Johnson!..Its probablly were you'd place your comedy relief anyway..
Tho not a true story,its always interesting how these bloody,messy,un-heroic events in history get bantered about by moguls and actors,some of who may have been a part of the actual event,and how they eventually materialize on the silver screen,all clean and shiny..
Christopher, I have to admit to cheating. That one is something I've bounced around for a for weeks as a novel. Brennan as Sykes is a great idea. Olsen & Johnson? Dunno . . . .

Now with your fertile imagination, let's see you add on to some endings.
part of my demented imagination I guess,but seriously,Olsen and Johnson are the only comedy duo I can picture as being "darkly humorous'circa 1936..helped by the fact that they were fairly unkown to "film" go'ers of the time..I wouldn't go with them..but still,it would be a fun challenge to cast!..
I love the idea of historical events being brought to film tho...One of my fave things dealing with this is in Larry McMurty's ,sadely ignored!! little masterpiece,"Anything for Billy"..where an eastern gentleman,who supposedly rode with Billy the Kid,enters a movie theatre around the turn of the century,and grows sad and sentimental as he begins to remember his old lonely misfit saddle pal..
I'm so glad you agree with me about CITY LIGHTS, Rosie. They already had a wonderful rapport before she could "see", so why would that not continue, you know? As to the ending of THE SEARCHERS, I don't think Ethan would have gone on/back to a life of outlawry, because in his act of saving Debbie, he has redeemed himself, so to speak. I llike to think he went forwards in his life from that point on, and not backwards. Also just as a point of interest, and some here may already know this, in the last shot of him looking in the doorway at Olive Golden, he did something that was not in the script, but was improvised by him spontaneously. Her husband, the great Harry Carey had passed away, and he had a mannerism of holding one of his arms with the other - as Wayne was looking back at her, he did the same exact mannerism as a tribute to her late husband. Knowing this makes that scene even more poignant and moving.
But also, Ethan leaves, knowing he doesn't fit in. The dust stirs up and he disappears into it. I doubt he lasted much longer. His hate was all that was keeping him alive.
He didn't fit in there, no, but that's not to say he could not have found some kind of better life for himself. I didn't see him as being such a hateful person - I think he is a decent fellow at heart. He saved Debbie, so I think he worked some of that anger you spoke of out in so doing - with that resolved, I think he might have gone on to a new chapter in his life and be more at peace with himself. The great thing about these imagined endings is we can interpret them differently and still agree that we enjoyed the film.

Stalag 17: Does Sefton make it to safety? I get the impression he does. After the war, he manages to talk his way into a position with the company owned by Dunbar's father. His powers of persuasion are really his only abilities, and he manages to use those to obtain promotion after promotion. Along the way, he manages to meet Dunbar's friend, Frank Loesser. Impressed by Sefton's gift of gab and the way the former sergeant manages to use it, Loesser eventually uses him for the inspiration for How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.
He absolutely makes it to safety, and for all the reasons you cited. I can't imagine it any other way. It's been awhile since I've seen that one, and would love to see it again - one of William Holden's finest roles, for which he won the Best Actor Oscar that year.


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