Book Ends: Film

In the early days, a projector would have a beginning and an end slide.

Note that some Book Ends can be spoilers, so beware.

    open/close all folders 

    Films — Animation 
  • Some examples from the Disney Animated Canon:
    • Lampshaded in Disney's Pinocchio. Not only is the film set inside a book bearing the film title, opened by Jiminy Cricket, but near the beginning of the film, the Blue Fairy brings the eponymous puppet to life, and Geppetto celebrates by activating all his music boxes and dancing. He does the same thing at the end of the film when Pinocchio Becomes a Real Boy, and Jiminy remarks, "Well, this is practically where I came in."
    • Bambi and The Lion King begin with the births of Bambi and Simba, respectively, and end as the respective protagonists have Babies Ever After. The Lion King also begins and ends with its title appearing immediately after the ceremony on Pride Rock.
    • The Hunchback of Notre Dame is bookended by Clopin asking to figure out, "Who is the monster and who is the man?" and also to "sing the bells of Notre Dame." This is even referenced by the commentators.
    • The Princess and the Frog begins by showing the evening star, then fireflies flying down from the night sky onto New Orleans. The film ends by showing fireflies flying up from New Orleans into the night sky, encircling two evening stars.
    • Fantasia's The Rite of Spring begins and ends with the same sequence of notes, played on the same instrument.
      • An almost series-wide example would be the fact that at the near beginning of the first Fantasia film, the second segment involves several small fairies changing spring in summer, summer into fall, and finally fall into winter. At the end of the second film, there is a segment involving a larger fairy changing winter into spring, therefore bringing the series full circle.
      • The first song of the first Fantasia film, Bach's Toccata in Fugue, ends with what appears to be a sunset; the last song, Schubert's Ave Maria, ends with a sunrise. The second film starts with the "cutter-flies" of Beethoven's 5th Symphony and ends with the cloud of butterflies after the Firebird's Sprite restores the land.
    • Aladdin starts with the Peddler singing "Arabian Nights". Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Aladdin's final movie, ends with the Peddler singing a reprise of "Arabian Nights". The reprise was originally composed for the ending of the first movie, but rejected.
    • Treasure Planet: Jim has fun on his homemade solar surfer and then the police bring him to the Benbow Inn, which is absolutely packed, followed by an indirect view of Silver. And the entire thing doubles as an Ironic Echo.
    • Lady and the Tramp actually begins and ends on a Christmas Day.
    • Pocahontas begins with the first scene fading in from parchment, and ends with the last scene fading into parchment.
    • Verna Felton. The first character she ever voiced in her entire career was an elephant from Dumbo. Coincidentally enough, the last character she ever voiced before her death in 1967 was yes, an elephant from The Jungle Book.
      • Speaking of The Jungle Book, this is how Kaa and the Elephant Patrol are both introduced: at the very beginning of the film, Kaa appears, then the Elephant Patrol; and at the end, the Elephant Patrol appears, and then Kaa.
    • Hercules begins and ends with a shot of a Greek vase in a museum.
    • Atlantis The Lost Empire begins with the former Queen of Atlantis sacrificing herself as an attempt to save her kingdom from a tidal wave which then drowns said kingdom. The film ends with her daughter, Kida, becoming the next Queen as a result of her father, the King of Atlantis dying of internal bleeding.
    • The RKO logo at the very beginning of Alice in Wonderland is shown as a banner held up by two playing cards. So is the "The End" card.
    • Similarly, one of the opening title cards seen at the beginning of Dumbo is placed on an orange circle background. That exact same background was used again for the film's "The End" card.
    • Near the beginning of The Little Mermaid, Ariel and her friend Flounder can be seen exploring a sunken ship. At the end of the film, Ursula, now in her One-Winged Angel form actually traps Ariel inside a large graveyard full of sunken ships, one of which was actually used by her love interest Prince Eric to kill Ursula.
    • Beauty and the Beast begins and ends by showing stained-glass windows depicting the characters.
    • Similar to the Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron example below, Brother Bear begins and ends with an eagle (representing the late Sitka) in the sky.
    • The Emperor's New Groove begins and ends with Tom Jones (the Theme Song Guy) singing "Perfect World", with the first time happening after we see Llama Kuzco stranded in the jungle leading up to the flashback, but before Yzma turns him into a llama; while the second happens after Kuzco and Pacha defeat Yzma and turn Kuzco back into a human, but before we see Feline Yzma grumbling as her former crony Kronk starts teaching several children how to speak Squirrel.
    • Mulan: Little Brother the dog leading the chickens.
    • Frozen: When we first see Elsa and Anna as kids, Elsa creates a winter wonderland with her magic, she and Anna build a snowman named Olaf and the three of them skate together. In the final scene, Elsa converts the courtyard into a skating rink and she, Anna and Olaf skate together again.
      • Also, Elsa accidentally reveals her powers to the public by freezing the fountains and most of the surrounding courtyard frozen, prompting her to flee the castle. In the end, Elsa celebrates her powers by turning the courtyard into an ice rink and using the fountains as decorations.
      • Anna's first encounter with Hans ends with him accidentally falling out of a boat into the fjord. In their last encounter Anna punches him off a boat into the fjord after his attempt to kill Elsa.
  • The Triplets of Belleville begins and ends with the previous scene being shown on a TV screen, accompanied by the only real lines of dialogue in the film.
  • The opening shot of Toy Story and the final shot of Toy Story 3 are of a blue sky with uniquely-shaped white clouds, those of Andy's old wallpaper. (3 also starts with a sky, making both a film- and a series-wide bookend)
  • Spirited Away has the family walking through the tunnel with the mother chiding "Chihiro, don't cling like that, you'll make me trip."
  • The very first and very last shot of The Last Unicorn are almost identical, and a refrain of the opening song plays over the last minute or so.
  • Finding Nemo: "Wake up! Wake up! Time for school! Time for school!" note 
  • A Goofy Movie actually begins and ends with the sound of Goofy screaming.
  • Cars: "Well, I eat losers for breakfast."
    • The second film begins and ends with Mater rescuing Otis from a ditch and dragging him to Radiator Springs.
    • The series as a whole starts off in the middle of a race at the very beginning of the first film, and ends in the middle of a race during the finale of the second.
  • Rock-A-Doodle actually begins with an orbital shot of the Sun rising above the Earth. At the end of the film, when Chanticleer finally crows for the very first time since his departure, we see the exact same shot of the Sun rising above the Earth just right before it turns the evil Duke of Owls into an Eric Cartman-lookalike.
  • The eagle from Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.
  • Monsters, Inc. begins and ends with a monster sneaking up to a sleeping child's bed in silhouette.
  • Tom and Jerry: The Movie begins and ends with Tom and Jerry chasing each other, all without any dialogue.
  • Kung Fu Panda opens with Po having a dream where he is a great warrior, loved by many, and to whom even the Furious Five, the most elite fighters, respect and bow down to. It all comes true at the end.
  • How to Train Your Dragon has Hiccup's narration.
    Beginning: "This is Berk. It's twelve days north of hopeless and a few degrees south of freezing to death. [...] We have fishing, hunting, and a charming view of the sunsets. The only problems are the pests. You see, most places have mice, or mosquitoes. We have... dragons."
    End: "This is Berk. It snows nine months out of the year and hails the other three. The food that grows here is tough and tasteless. The people that grow here are even more so. The only upside is the pets. You see, most people have ponies or parrots. We have... dragons."
    • Also, in the beginning of the film, Hiccup opens a door, seeing a dragon flying and quickly shuts the door. The ending has the same thing, only this time the dragons have now integrated into the community.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2 begins and ends with a round of Dragon Racing.
  • Happy Feet begins and ends with a shot of Antarctica seen from Earth orbit.
  • The first and last Shrek films both begin with the DreamWorks logo in the middle of a nighttime sky. Since the DreamWorks logo at the end is static, Forever After also ends with the logo in a night sky.
  • The Plague Dogs begins with Rowf being drowned in a tank of water at a research facility. It ends with he and Snitter presumably drowning after trying to swim to an island that may or may not exist.
  • Rise of the Guardians begins at a lake when Jack awakens from where he had drowned as a human and ends at the same lake when he is initiated as a Guardian.
    • Jack's face in the beginning of the movie when a child runs through him has the same expression when Jamie hugged him.
  • In Monsters University, in the beginning of the film, little Mike walks past the safety line at Monsters Inc. At the end of the film, he does the same thing on his first day as a scare assistant after working his way up Monsters Inc.
    • When Mike first walks into Monsters University, he hesitates a moment before taking his first step through the gates. When he is expelled, he hesitates a moment before taking his first step out of the gates.
  • The Boxtrolls begins with Fish looking around for Eggs. In the end, Eggs is asking around for Fish.
  • Penguins of Madagascar:
    • The movie begins and ends with Private hatching out of something: his egg at the beginning and a chrysalis at the end.
    • Also the "95%" line.
      Young penguins stranded on an ice floe floating out to sea
      Skipper: Kowalski, What's our trajectory?
      Kowalski: 95% certain we're still doomed.
      Skipper: And the other 5%?
      Kowalski: Adventure and glory like no penguins have ever seen before!
      Penguins flying on jetpacks
      Skipper: Kowalski, What's our trajectory?
      Kowalski: 95% certain this will end in massive, flaming disaster!
      Skipper: And the other 5%?
      Kowalski: Irrelevant, sir! Jetpacks are AWESOME!
  • Strange Magic:
    • Subverted for the songs. The first song in the movie is "Only Fools Rush In" by Elvis Presley. Note  At the end of the film the Bog King starts singing it at the end of the film as part of his love confession, only to have Marianne interrupt him with "Wild Thing" by the Troggs. Note 
    • Played straight for the boutonniere. The film starts out with Marianne collecting flowers to make a boutonniere give her fiancee but never ends up giving one to him. At the end of the film, she gives the Bog King, her new Love Interest, a boutonniere. note 
  • South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut begins and ends with the song "Mountain Town" sung by the main characters.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Wes Anderson does this from time to time:
    • The Darjeeling Limited begins and ends with people running to get on a train as it pulls away from the station.
    • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou starts at the premier of Part One of the Jaguar Shark documentary, and ends at the premier of Part Two.
    • Moonrise Kingdom begins and ends with the Bishop children sitting in the house, reading and listening to opera.
  • The Sound of Music opens with panoramic views of the mountains, then zooms onto Maria (Julie Andrews) singing ecstatically how "the hills are alive with the sound of music!" before she rushes back to the nearby abbey. The movie ends with Maria and her new family, having escaped the Nazis at the same abbey, hiking through the same mountains towards the safety of the border. As the soundtrack sings "Climb Ev'ry Mountain", the camera pulls back to another panorama of those mountains.
  • Another Julie Andrews film, Darling Lili, opens and closes with scenes of Lili singing "Whistling Away the Dark" at two different concerts. At the second concert, characters she met during the movie are watching from the wings and encouraging her.
  • Star Trek
    • At the beginning of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Spock gives Kirk a copy of A Tale of Two Cities as a birthday present. Kirk opens it and reads out "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." At the end he recites from memory, "It's a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done before. A far better resting place I go to, than I have ever known." Bones is confused, but Kirk just says that he understands Spock's message.
    • Similarly, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier uses the scenes of Kirk, McCoy and Spock at the campfire (singing "Row, row, row your boat...") as bookends to the movie.
    • In the 2009 Star Trek, a scene near the end of the first act features a special assembly of the Starfleet Academy, then immediately cutting to a scene of the Captain of the Enterprise addressing his crew before the depart. The end of the movie features another special Academy assembly and once again cuts right to the Captain of the Enterprise addressing his crew before they take off.
  • Charly, based on the book Flowers for Algernon, begins and ends with Charlie Gordon playing on a swing in a playground.
  • Big Game begins and ends with a shot of Oskari's family's Trophy Room, although in the end, a photograph of Oskari with his "hunt" is added to the row of photos.
  • An early scene in Star Wars: A New Hope features Luke Skywalker gazing out at Tatooine's binary sunset. Revenge of the Sith ends with Owen and Beru Lars in the same position holding an infant Luke and also watching the suns set.
    • The binary sunset in Star Wars: A New Hope also serves as a bookend with a scene near the end of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, where Luke is watching his father's funeral pyre, down to similiar musical cues.
    • Likewise, the first line of A New Hope and the last line of Revenge of the Sith are both spoken by C-3PO aboard the Tantive IV, the first ship ever seen in the Star Wars universe.
    • Chronology-wise, both The Phantom Menace and Return of the Jedi end with a funeral and a celebration.
    • In the original trilogy, the first and last lightsabers activated onscreen were both Luke's: Anakin's former lightsaber in A New Hope (the first ever activated in the Star Wars universe), and his own in Return of the Jedi.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey has shots of the Earth, Moon, and Sun, accompanied by "Thus Spoke Zarathustra". There's a theory that the opening shot is actually from the Star-Child's perspective, and that the rest of the film is a flashback.
    • The first and last twenty-five minutes also have no dialogue and start and end with a two minute blank screen of just music.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • It ends its trilogy with Jack Sparrow in a one-man dinghy, having lost the Black Pearl to Barbossa; as an echo of his iconic introduction in the first film. And the trilogy really opens (before the title) and ends (after the credits) with a child singing a song about piracy.
    • Near the start of the first movie, Pintel finds Elizabeth in a closet, and growls a menacing "'Ello Poppet." In the end, as Elizabeth is saying her goodbyes, Pintel waves with a sorrowful "Goodbye Poppet."
    • The first film alone begins and ends with young Elizabeth and Jack Sparrow respectively singing "A Pirate's Life for Me" to the sea.
      • Even more applicable to what Elizabeth's son is singing in the third film's Stinger, as he's about the same age his mom was at the start.
    • The first time we meet piratical Mr. Gibbs, Jack is waking him with a bucket of water. At the close of At World's End, Mr. Gibbs is once again, passed out and Jack wakes him with a cup of... Grog?
    • In the first film, it's mentioned that Jack was marooned on a remote island by Barbossa with only a pistol with a single shot. In the fourth film, Jack does the exact same thing to Angelica.
    • In the first film, Elizabeth's first encounter has her giving Barbossa Will's surname as her own, to which he responds by excitedly repeating it to the whole crew: "Miss TURNER..." When they part company for the final time in At World's End, he respectfully (and a touch affectionately) greets her as "Missus Turner," after she has become Will's wife.
    • Similarly, in the first film the pirates ready a boat to take Elizabeth to Isla de Muerta, saying "your chariot awaits, Highness" as a sarcastic and condescending remark. By the time of the third film, Elizabeth is elected Pirate King, and Gibbs says this line quite earnestly as he presents a boat for her.
  • In the 1993 film version of The Secret Garden, Mary mentions at the start that she didn't know how to cry. At the end of the film her closing narration says that her uncle learned to laugh and she learned to cry.
  • The film version of Sin City begins with an unnamed hitman claiming his victim before the opening credits. He is not seen again until the end of the film when a character who turned traitor encounters him in an elevator. He introduces himself to both of them the same way.
  • Director Terry Gilliam is an obvious fan of this trope and uses quite regularly:
  • Easy Living begins with a mink coat landing on an unsuspecting girl, and ends the same way.
  • Citizen Kane: Opens on a "no trespassing" sign before moving in closer to Kane's mansion. At the end, when the audience but not the characters learns the secret of Kane's final word "Rosebud," the camera retreats from the mansion and ends on the same sign, signifying that Charles Foster Kane will forever remain a mystery.
  • Juno: Begins and ends with a shot of a chair, with the narration explicitly pointing it out.
  • King Richard is shot in the neck during the battle at the beginning of Robin Hood (2010), and Godfrey ends up shot in the neck by Robin during the final battle.
  • Bride of Frankenstein: Opens with Mary Shelley, played by Elsa Lanchester, telling the story of Frankenstein. As she begins relating the sequel, she spreads her arms wide... and at the end of the film, the Bride of Frankenstein, also played by Lanchester, makes the same gesture.
  • Notting Hill: This film begins and ends with the song "She". There is also a walk through the seasons scene which starts with a pregnant woman and ends with the same woman holding a young child.
  • The Mask of Zorro: Begins and ends with a man recounting his adventures to his baby, seeing his wife, and saying that he never did anything that foolish again.
  • Saving Private Ryan: Opens and ends with a shot of the American flag.
  • The Other Boleyn Girl: Starts and ends with 3 children playing in a meadow.
  • Forrest Gump: Starts and ends with a shot of a floating feather and Forrest waiting for a bus.
  • The Jerk: Ends with the hero singing and dancing on their porch just like at the start.
  • Grand Hotel: This 1932 drama opens with a character stating of the title locale: "People come, people go...nothing ever happens." At the film's end, and following numerous dramatic episodes, the same character repeats the line with unknowing irony.
  • Serenity:
    • Starts and ends with majestic, sweeping shots of the ship, quickly interrupted by a part falling off the ship and Mal asking "What was that?"
    • Before the opening credits, The Operative makes a short speech about The Power of Love. At the end, Mal makes a short speech about the importance of love.
    • In the beginning, Mal is telling Simon that River has to go on a job to earn her stay on the ship. Simon, of course, says that what he does should pay for both of them, and then Mal says that she should learn from his fine example. She winds up being his new pilot since their previous one died.
  • The Maiden Heist: Begins with Christopher Walken staring in wonder at a beloved painting. It ends with a guard at the Danish museum looking at the fake painting and getting the same reaction.
  • 28 Days Later: An alternate ending for this film has the protagonist dying in a hospital, having woken up in one at the beginning of the film. The movie has a bookend even without that scene. In the theatrical version the first line spoken is hello, which is also what the sign the survivors hold at the end says.
  • The Searchers: Begins with the camera moving from a darkened interior, through an opening door, to the spectacular vista of the Utah desert. The reverse happens at the end.
  • The Bourne Series:
    • The Bourne Ultimatum ends with Jason Bourne being shot at from behind, falling into water, and being lost and presumed dead by his pursuers. This directly mirrors the events preceding the first film, where we first meet Bourne being rescued from the ocean, having been shot in the back and left for dead by Wombosi and his men.
    • And like The Bourne Identity, it turns out that he's not quite dead although unlike TBI, Bourne swims away under his own power in TBU.
  • The Ultimate Gift: At Red's funeral, a series of statues framed by dark clowds are shown to set the scene in the graveyard. When Emily dies, the same statues are seen from the same angles, with a clear blue sky in the background.
  • When Trumpets Fade: Begins with Manning giving his wounded friend Bobby a piggyback ride. The film ends with Manning being given a piggyback ride by Sanderson.
  • Total Recall (1990): The original film begins and ends with Quaid and Melina looking towards the Martian horizon.
  • The Men Who Stare at Goats: Begins with a flashback of General Hopgood attempting to run through a wall... and failing. At the end, it features Bob attempting to do the same thing... and succeeding.
  • Pulp Fiction: Begins and ends with Pumpkin (AKA Ringo) and Honey Bunny.
  • American Beauty: Begins and ends with an aerial shot of the residential street the majority of the story takes place at.
  • Shaun of the Dead: This film is bookended with shots of the title character shambling in a zombie-like fashion after waking up in the morning.
  • V for Vendetta: Begins and ends with a British landmark getting blown up to the tune of the 1812 Overture on November 5th. The fact that everything else is so different between the two events shows just how much can happen in a year.
  • Starship Troopers: The movie, begins with Rico watching the ad to enlist as soldier, and ends with him starring in an otherwise identical ad.
  • Lawrence of Arabia: Begins with Lawrence's death in a reckless motorcycle accident. The rest of the film, which is told in flashback, ends with Lawrence being driven along a road in a jeep, while a man on a motorcycle speeds by and recklessly passes him.
  • Glengarry Glen Ross: Starts and ends with a shot of a passing train.
  • Blue Velvet: Begins with shots of rose gardens and smiling firemen and ends with the same images. The opening credits play over an extreme close-up of Dorothy's blue velvet robe, lightly swaying. The last shot is the close-up again, making it seem almost like opening and closing curtains.
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: A particularly sad example involving a clock.
  • Pretty Woman: The Happy Man walks by both near the beginning of the film and at the end, telling us that this is Hollywood, the Land of Dreams, and asking, "what's your dream?" The first time his appearance is ironic, the second time it is meant to be taken at face value.
  • Hellboy:
    • Compare the opening monologue:
      Dr. Trevor Bruttenholm: What is it that makes a man a man? Is it his origins, the way things start? Or is it something else, something harder to describe?
    • To the ending monologue:
      Agent John Myers: What makes a man a man? A friend of mine once wondered. Is it his origins? The way he comes to life? I don't think so. It's the choices he makes. Not how he starts things, but how he decides to end them.
  • The Lovely Bones: Has Susie's narration of "My name is Salmon, like the fish. First name, Susie. I was fourteen years old when I was murdered on December 6th, 1973." said near the beginning and at the end of the movie.
  • Marmaduke: The Av Club review of this movie notes that it book ends itself with a fart joke. Which pretty much sums it up.
  • The Big Red One: Begins with TheSargent (played by Lee Marvin) stabbing a German claiming that the armistice has been signed at the end of World War One, and returns to base to find out that it actually had. Repeated almost exactly at the end of World War II but when he finds out the war ended, he goes back and saves the life of the man he just stabbed.
  • Eight Legged Freaks: Starts and ends with Harland's radio broadcast.
  • Shane: Begins with him riding into the valley on a clear morning and ends with him riding away in the middle of the night.
  • The King and the Clown: Begins with Jaeng-sang and Gong-gil on a tight-rope doing their usual routine and ends with their final performance.
  • (500) Days of Summer: Has three, Tom examining his relationship with Summer in each. The Simon & Garfunkel song "Bookends" even plays during one of them.
  • Temple Grandin: This film begins and ends with Temple looking right into the camera and saying "My name is Temple Grandin!" While in the beginning, she was standing in front of a closed room, at the end it's in front of a wide-open sky.
  • Daybreakers: The first and last shot in this movie is that of a bat flying overhead.
  • X-Men:
    • X2: X-Men United: Closes with Jean Grey (in narration) giving the same spiel about evolution that Professor X narrates over the opening of the first film.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: Both the beginning of the first movie and the ending of the third feature Magneto. Or in a more technical way, feature Xavier: the trilogy begins on his "mutation" speech, and The Stinger of The Last Stand has Xavier awakening in a new body.
    • The Wolverine: "I'm your bodyguard."
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:

      The film opens and closes with narrations from both the old and young Charles Xavier, respectively; the former contemplates the future while the latter reflects on the past.

      Logan waking up in a daze to Roberta Flack's 1969 cover of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" in both 1973 and the new Alternate Timeline (playing on an oldies station on Internet satellite radio.
  • The Prestige: Every magic trick consists of three parts, or acts...
  • Going the Distance: has in the beginning and towards the end, Dan contemplating that there are no baby pigeons in New York and Garrett playing Pac Man at the bar.
  • Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story: Begins and ends with a commercial for a successful gym, as well as the rivals' response to them: "Spare me."
  • Enchanted: A subtle one was that the first song sung in the film contained the lyrics "I've been dreaming of a true love's kiss." The last song sung by Carrie Underwood in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue contained the lyrics "I've been dreaming of a true love's kiss."
  • The Last Picture Show: Opens on a shot of the Royal Theater and pans left along Anarene’s main street. The closing shot of the film is the exact reverse — the camera pans right and pauses on the closed and shuttered movie house before fading to black.
  • Outlander: Averted Trope, where even though the final version of the film ends with a Viking Funeral, a deleted alternate opening was actually originally going to begin with one too.
  • We Were Soldiers: Also averted in this film, where an alternate ending actually shows a lizard emerging out of its hiding spot just right after the Americans leave Vietnam (when the Americans arrived there at the very beginning of the film, the lizard ran away).
  • Labyrinth: Begins with a barn owl flying into a park in time to observe the arrival of the heroine, and ends with it flying away after observing her and her newfound friends celebrating her triumph at her house. In the interim, this creature has been revealed as the villain's shapeshifted form.
  • Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers: The ending would have applied this to the entire series, had the film bombed and no more sequels been made. The theatrical cut of Zombie's Halloween II (2009) ends with Laurie committed to Smith's Grove, and having the same vision young Michael had at the beginning of the film.
  • The Lives of Others: Features a play written by Dreymann, one of the film's protagonists, at the very the beginning and towards the end. The first time, it takes place in Soviet-controlled Berlin and Dreymann's girlfriend has a lead female role. The second time it's shown, Communism has fallen, Christa-Maria has been Driven to Suicide and the play has gone a drastic change in tone and costume.
  • The Da Vinci Code: Begins and ends with a dead body in the Louvre. The first time it's Jacques Saunière's. The second time it's the corpse of Mary Magdalene, whose tomb was hidden under the Louvre by the Priory of Sion.
  • Saw: The series begins and ends in the same Disgusting Public Toilet. In addition, the first shot of the main character in the series is also the last via the last of the series' trademark flashback montages.
  • Metropolitan: The plot is set in motion when the protagonist shares a cab with the other main characters, after they refuse to steal it from him. Late in the movie, he hails a cab, in the process stealing it from another person he barely notices.
  • Mystery Team: Begins and ends with the eponymous trio getting a new case.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The music which plays at the end of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone when Hagrid is waving off Harry, Ron and Hermione at the train station is 'Leaving Hogwarts'. The same music is played in the epilogue of Deathly Hallows Part 2 when Harry, Ron and Hermione are waving off their own children at the train station, as the movie ends. Cue tears/emotional breakdowns for anyone who watched the first movie as a kid and has grown up with the series.
    • In the first book, Harry arrives at the Dursleys when he was just a baby, brought there by Hagrid on Sirius' bike. In the last book, Harry leaves the Dursleys when he was an teenager, being taken away by Hagrid on Sirius' bike. Hagrid even lampshades this.
    • Also, near the end of the first movie, Harry hugs Hagrid. Near the end of the last movie, they embrace again.
    • Dumbledore says the the first line of the series, while Harry's son - who is named after Dumbledore - says the last line of the series.
  • Shinjuku Incident: Has Jackie Chan's character save detective Kitano from drowning in the sewer near the beginning, and ends with Kitano trying to save Chan from dying in the same way.
  • Transformers:
    • The live-action Transformers films actually does this twice: In the first film, we see two Decepticons named Scorponok and Barricade, who only appear during the first half of this film, and they both disappear about halfway. However, Scorponok eventually returns during the climax of Revenge of the Fallen, and Barricade does the same in Dark of the Moon, where they are both immediately killed off.
    • Each film also begins and ends with Optimus' narration. Had the line not been cut, the ending of the third film would have even reflected the closing line of the first (the Dark of the Moon line survives in the novelization):
    Optimus: [Transformers] I am Optimus Prime, and I send this message to any surviving Autobots taking refuge among the stars. We are here. We are waiting.
    Optimus: [Dark of the Moon] I am Optimus Prime, and I send this message out into the universe. We are here. We are home.
  • The Mouse That Roared: Actually begins with the Columbia Pictures Torch Lady being scared off by a mouse on her pedestal and dropping her torch, and ends with the same scene shown in reverse.
  • Walkabout: Has Bilingual Bonus Book Ends. The film opens with the sound of a roulette wheel, and the croupier's call to place bets "Fait vos jeux, mes sieurs, dames." (Make your plays, sirs, madams.) It ends with the printed text "Rien ne va plus" (Nothing goes any more), the croupier's call for no more bets. Perhaps a reference to the way that the protagonists lives were thrown to the whims of fortune by the events at the start of the film, and to the way that this has now reached a conclusion, and perhaps not the happiest one.
  • Tomboy: Near the start of this film, Laure introduces herself as a boy named "Michael" and at the end as "Laure".
  • Centurion: My name is Quintus Daius. I am a Centurion of Rome. And this is neither the beginning, nor the end of my story.
  • The Red Violin: A musical version. The first music of the film is a woman humming a few notes — "Anna's Theme." The woman's voice changes, gradually, to the tone of the violin playing that same melody. That melody becomes the basic theme for the violin's long journey through the years. Then, the End Titles music is the violin returning to that simple melody, for it to shift back gradually into Anna's voice.
  • Killshot: The opening and closing lines are both Mickey Rourke's character reciting/narrating the set of rules that he lives by as a contract killer, albeit in truncated form the second time around:
    You gotta know what you're doing when you go in. You gotta have it figured out. Those are the rules. How you get in, how you get out. How many shots you're gonna need. Make sure you know where everybody is. Make sure nobody sees you. Don't hang around. Don't get interested. And you don't make mistakes.
  • Final Destination 5: Flight 180. Yes, the same flight 180. "Boy, it's a good thing we survived that whole bridge collapse and aftermath, now we can enjoy our flight to Paris. Hey, why are those students getting kicked off the plane...?"
  • The Social Network:
    • Begins and ends with a more grounded female character assessing Mark Zuckerberg, specifically whether he is an "asshole".
    • An Ironic Echo version - the movie begins with Mark working with Eduardo on Facemash after being dumped by Erica. The movie ends with Mark trying to friend Erica on Facebook after seeing how much of a chasm had grown between him and Eduardo.
  • Love Actually: Begins and ends with the arrival's gate at Heathrow airport, with shots of families and friends reuniting.
  • The Guardian: Begins and ends with narration of the legend of the Guardian.
  • Dirty Harry: This Clint Eastwood film begins and ends with Harry facing down a criminal and doing a version of the 'do you feel lucky punk?' speech. In the opening sequence he's phrasing it to intimidate the criminal and keep him from taking a shot. In the final sequence, he's phrasing it to get the killer to take a shot at him so he has an excuse to kill him.
  • William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: Begins and ends with a news broadcast on TV.
  • De Laatste Zomer (The Last Summer): The film starts with the main character at home during the start of summer vacation. After a fair bit of drama and adventure the film finishes with him sitting at home again and with his family returning from their vacation.
  • Taxi Driver: Begins and ends with Travis Bickle driving his cab on depressing, nighttime streets.
  • Richie Rich: Has the titular character wanting to play baseball for a group of kids but is pulled away before he could in the beginning of the movie. The end of the film has Richie playing baseball with that same group of kids.
  • The Hitcher: The original Hitcher begins and ends with C. Thomas Howell's character lighting a match, although photographed in very different ways.
  • The Wizard of Oz: Begins and ends in a sepia toned Kansas.
  • La Moustache: Begins and ends with Marc shaving off his moustache. The second time he doesn't cause any problems.
  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie: Gavan first appears to the Gokaigers beaming down from his spaceship, landing on top of a flight of stairs. At the ending, for old time's sake, Gavan, with Battle Kenya and Denzi Blue, poses on top of those same stairs before saying goodbye.
  • The Matrix: The movie begins with Trinity in the Heart of the City hotel. One of the last scenes is Neo's fight with Agent Smith, which occurs in the same hotel.
  • Almost Famous: The intro music starts with the sound of a record needle being placed, the end of the credits finishes with the sound of a needle hitting the lock-track.
  • Hard Eight: The movie opens and closes with scenes at the same diner.
  • Letter From An Unknown Woman: The film begins and ends with the male lead being escorted to/from his apartment in a carriage.
  • The Raid: A pistol runs out of bullets near the beginning and near the end. The consequences are different.
  • Sling Blade: Opens and closes with the protagonist in a mental hospital, gazing out of the window.
  • The Ten Commandments: Began and ended with "So let it be written. So let it be done".
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Starts and ends with Ferris in bed.
  • The Breakfast Club: The opening narration is Brian reading an essay about the events that are about to unfurl. The closing narration is presumably the final version of the essay, with some differences and each of the five students on detention reading their description (a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal).
  • Heathers: Begins and ends with the song "Que Sera, Sera".
  • Broadway Danny Rose: Uses a Framing Device to tell the story. The movie starts and ends with the story teller and his listeners at a diner.
  • Rambo: The first installment of this franchise, First Blood, opens with Rambo walking along a lonely road to visit a friend. Rambo IV ends with him walking a road which will lead him home.
  • Avatar: Begins and ends with Jake's eyes opening. In addition to that, the last background shot of the credits before the fade to black is identical to the very first shot of the movie.
  • The Ox Bow Incident: Begins with two men riding into the town and ends with them leaving the same way.
  • Hanna: Opens and closes with Hanna shooting her prey with a bow, running it down, saying, "I missed your heart" and finishing the job with a gun. At the start of the movie, it's a moose. At the end of the movie... it's not.
  • The First Wives Club: Begins with the 3 women attending their friend's funeral and their all wearing black. It ends with them celebrating the opening with opening of a Crisis Center for Women dedicated to their friend and their now wearing white.
  • Color of Night: Begins and ends with a suicide attempt in Capa's presence. The first is successful, causing him to lose part of his color vision (the color red), and the second is interrupted, causing him to regain it.
  • Pauline at the Beach: Opens and closes with the same shot of the gates leading to the summer house.
  • Wings: Begins with Jack and Mary repairing a car. Mary paints a shooting star on it, and tells Jack that when you see a shooting star, you could kiss the girl you love. Jack then drives away to visit wealthy Sylvia. At the end of the movie, Jack and Mary watch a shooting star in the sky from inside Jack's car. Mary again reminds Jack what a man could do after seeing a shooting star, so he gives her a kiss as the film fades to black.
  • Undercover Brother: At the beginning of the movie Undercover Brother jumps from the top of a building and deploys a parachute to drift to safety. At the end of the film he jumps from the top of a cliff, but one of the other characters says that he doesn't have his parachute! Not to worry, his bell-bottom pants act as a parachute.
  • Memories Of Murder: Starts and ends at the corn field where one of the bodies was found.
  • Love Story: The opening and closing shot are the same, with the male protagonist at Central Park during winter.
  • Clerks: The first Clerks starts in black and white, with the guys opening the Quick Stop. At the end of Clerks II, the guys are at the quick stop, the color goes away and the guys are at the quick stop.
  • Identity: Opens with a recording of Dr. Malick's session with Ed Dakota, where Ed tells the doctor the "man going up the stairs" poem. At the very end, Timmy, Malcolm Rivers' only remaining personality, forces Malcolm to murder Dr. Malick, and whispers the poem just before the screen fades to black.
  • Tommy: The movie based on the book opens with a shot of Captain Walker on a cliff, looking at the sunrise. The final shot is Tommy on the same cliff, watching it set.
  • Take Shelter: Begins and ends with similar dream sequences.
  • White House Down: Opens and closes with President Sawyer requesting that the Marine One helicopter pilot do "the thing", a flyover of Washington D.C. ending with the helicopter skimming over the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
  • The first Hellraiser ends right where it started, with the Chinese man selling the retrieved Lament Configuration to another unwitting explorer of the boundary between pleasure and pain, just as he did with Frank:
    Salesman: What's your pleasure, Sir?
  • TRON : Another one that crosses sequels: The first film ends with the city skyline fading from daylight to night, the contrast of neon and darkness making it almost indistinguishible from cyberspace, and carrying the message that humans are Not So Different from their Program creations. TRON: Legacy ends with the second movie's protagonist shutting off the computers, hopping on his Cool Bike and taking Quorra for her first sunrise, acting as an Ironic Echo: "We are very different."
  • Pacific Rim: The beginning and the ending of the film involve Raleigh being Not Quite Dead despite everyone else thinking otherwise.
    • The end of the Jaeger era began with Gipsy Danger being brought down by Knifehead, proving that Jaegers weren't invincible. The end of the Precursors began with Gipsy Danger self-destructing and destroying the Precursors' labs and Kaiju production facility, proving that they aren't untouchable. The movie starts and ends with one side realizing their finest weapons have failed.
    • Also the first fight in the film has the Jaeger's arm on Raleighs side being ripped off/damaged. Guess what happens in the last fight?
  • The Fugitive begins with a shell-shocked Richard Kimble being put into the back of a police car to be taken to the station for questioning about his wife's murder. It ends much the same way, albeit on a far more triumphant note, as now Kimble has finally caught those responsible for her death and is in fact about to start the process of reclaiming his freedom.
  • Pride and Prejudice begins and ends with a sunrise.
  • State Fair has both versions of the film begin and end with a billboard advertising the titular state fair.
  • Rush begins and ends with Niki Lauda Flipping the Bird to James Hunt. In the beginning he does it in anger after James calls him a chicken in Formula Three. By the end, they're both Formula One World Champions and finally regard each other as equals worthy of respect. James had just joked that Niki's burns from a horrific accident actually made him look better and Niki grins as he flips him off, so it could almost be considered affectionate.
  • Trainspotting: Renton's "choosing life" speeches. The speech at the beginning is bitter and cynical, with Renton explaining that he chose heroin instead of life. The speech at the end is sincere and hopeful, as he expresses his intention to choose life for real.
  • Cloud Atlas opens and ends with old Zachry telling a story.
  • The movie version of Bye Bye Birdie begins with Kim singing the title song, lamenting how dull her life will become without Conrad Birdie. At the end, she sings a rewritten version, proclaiming that she's ready to get over Birdie.
  • The Last Picture Show opens and closes with the same shot of an empty street in a dying small town.
  • Gladiator starts with Maximus imagining himself walking through the fields of his home, and ends with him walking through similar, perhaps the same, fields in Elysium, reuniting with his murdered family.
  • Lord of War starts and ends with Yuri providing exposition standing in a war-torn and apparently abandoned village, the ground almost completely covered in bullet casings.
  • Blue Is The Warmest Color: The hangdrum music plays when Adele sees Emma for the first time and it also does when she leaves the gallery which could possibly be the last time she'll ever see Emma.
  • Ready To Rumble begins with Sean Dawkins talking to some children at the Lusk Stop 'N Shop about Jimmy King, before he and Gordie Boggs get verbally abused by the Jerkass shopkeeper. At the end of the film, Sean is back at the shop talking to the same kids, and the shopkeeper gets thrown through a glass door by Gordie, King, and Goldberg.
  • In the opening scene of Blade II, the titular character kills several vampires, and tells the single remaining one that he'll be back for him. As the scene goes on, the character doesn't reappear, but guess where it does?
  • Frank Stokes briefs President Roosevelt on the need for The Monuments Men, and President Truman on what they achieved.
  • At the start of It Happened Here the SS are shown massacring civilians found in a restricted area. At the end of the movie La Résistance gun down unarmed prisoners from the British Legion of SS.
  • Ass Backwards begins and ends with the two female protagonists dropping their pants to urinate in public.
  • Captain Phillips begins with one woman (his wife) asking Phillips if everything is going to be OK, and ends with another woman (the Navy medic) telling Phillips that he's going to be OK.
  • Side Effects begins with a helicopter shot zooming in to the window of Emily's apartment, and ends with a helicopter shot zooming out from the window of her new residence.
  • Her begins and ends with Theodore Twombly writing a heartfelt letter and sending it. At the beginning, he's writing a letter as somebody else as a part of his job. At the end, he's writing a letter of apology as himself for his ex-wife.
  • Sightseers: "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell plays when Chris and Tina are driving away from Tina's mother's house. "Tainted Love" by Gloria Jones plays over the end credits.
  • Doubles as a Meaningful Echo in What Dreams May Come. At the beginning and end, Annie and Chris meet at a lake when their boats crash into each other. At the beginning as adults with actual boats, and at the end as children with remote-controlled toy boats. Both times sandwiches are being shared. Chris even says the same line from the beginning of the movie.
    Chris: "When I was young, I met this beautiful girl at a lake."
  • Godzilla (2014) has Godzilla's first appearance in the opening sequence come in the form of his spines rising from the ocean, while the film ends on Godzilla's spines submerging as he goes back beneath the sea.
  • The new restored Final Cut of the 1973 orignal The Wicker Man begins with a Christian Mass and ends with an pagan bonefire.
  • The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy starts with the dophins leaving Earth and singing "So Long and Thanks For All The Fish." The movie ends with the dolphins returning to the new Earth and fthe credits playing a new version of "So Long and Thanks For All The Fish."
  • Das Finstere Tal begins and ends with shots of Greider riding in and out of town, set to the song "Sinnerman."
  • The Chinese film Assembly begins and ends with a crane shot of a war memorial (for the Communist/Nationalist civil war). In between is the battle in which the men died, and the sole survivor's struggle to have them recognised as dead and deserving a memorial, and not just missing in action.
  • A rare one that doesn't span the entire movie occurs in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. After it switches from cartoon to live-action and the opening credits song fades out, we hear Clark and Ellen singing the last two lines of "O Come All Ye Faithful" while in their car. As the scenario ends with their car driving away, not only do we hear an instrumental version of the same song, it's only the last two lines.
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 opens with Katniss waking up in a District 13 hospital after her rescue from the Arena. The movie ends on Katniss waking up in the same hospital after Peeta almost strangles and beats her to death.
  • Bruce Almighty starts with Bruce recording a news report, annoyed at being there. The final scene is Bruce recording another news report, loving it.
  • Galaxy Quest opens and closes with the main theme — Starting with the end of the last episode of the "Galaxy Quest" show and ending with the title theme of the renewed series.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy begins and ends with Bruce Wayne presumed dead.
  • Into the Woods begins and ends with a shot of the sky, as well as the narration starting the story over.
  • Akira Kurosawa's Dreams: the first dream features a wedding parade, and the last dream features a funeral parade.
  • Near the beginning of Kingsman: The Secret Service, Harry Hart beats up some of Eggsy's mother's boyfriend's Mooks in a pub. At the very end, the scene is repeated, with Eggsy emulating Hart's every action. The look on the Mook's faces when they hear "manners maketh man" again tells you exactly what happens after the credits roll. The film also opens and ends with a zoom out shot of a radio.
  • Beyond The Lights starts with Noni singing "Blackbird" by Nina Simone at a local talent competition and winning massive appeal from the audience but disappointment from her mother when she places second. The film ends with Noni debuting a song she has written titled "Blackbird" at a concert in London while her mother listens wistfully via a cellphone in America.
  • The film The Rookie (the one with Charlie Sheen and Clint Eastwood) begins and ends with a cop being called in by his boss to partner with a rookie. Much of the dialogue and action are the same.
  • At the beginning and end of Tammy and the Bachelor Tammy drops a key down the front of her dress. It falls to the floor during the former instance due to not having sufficiently developed her...assets yet.
  • In Back to the Future, the 1955 Doc sends Marty back to 1985 by using the lightning storm that stopped the Hill Valley clocktower. In Back to the Future Part III, Doc and Marty attend the 1885 ceremony in which the clocktower was first started, which Doc lampshades.
    • The first and third movies have a Fly-at-the-Camera Ending featuring a time-travelling vehicle: the DeLorean in the first, a train in the third.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man 3:
      • The Incredible Hulk ends with a cameo from Tony Stark. Iron Man 3 ends with a cameo from Bruce Banner.
      • The movie begins and ends with narration from Tony.
      • The first and third movies end with Tony saying, "I am Iron Man."
      • The film begins with fireworks in 1999 and ends with "fireworks" in 2013.
      • In the first movie, Pepper has Tony's first chest-mounted arc reactor mounted in a glass case with a brass plate reading "Proof that Tony Stark Has a Heart". At the end of the third movie, after having the arc reactor housing surgically removed from his chest, Tony gives Pepper a heart shaped pendant made from the last fragment of shrapnel that was embedded in his heart. Proof that Pepper Potts has Tony Stark's heart.
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier:
      • Steve jumps into the sea at the start of the film as part of a rescue mission, confident and with a plan. In the final fight, he falls into a river from a destroyed Helicarrier, battered and with everything he's believed in thrown into question.
      • Steve repeatedly tells Sam "On your left" when they first meet and again when Steve wakes up while in the hospital with Sam watching over him.
      • Not counting credits scenes, the film opens at sunrise and ends with the Sun falling.
    • Avengers: Age of Ultron
      • In Clint and Pietro's first encounter at the Sokovian HYDRA fort, Clint is injured by gunfire after Pietro distracts him. In their last encounter, Pietro sacrifices himself to save Clint from gunfire.
      • The movie begins with the original Avengers already knee-deep in action and working as a team. At the end, most of the team has either left or is missing, leaving Steve and Natasha to assemble a new unit that's yet to work together before.
      • The movie's first and last setpieces are in Sokovia. However, the team is fighting against an existing enemy (HYDRA) at the start, and a new one (Ultron) at the end.
      • Pietro and Wanda start the movie with only each other in this world. At its conclusion, Wanda has lost her only surviving kin, but gained a new 'family' as part of the Avengers.
      • Falcon shows up at the start of the movie and is bummed about not being an Avenger. In the final scene, he shows up as part of the new Avengers line-up.
      • Ultron first appears to the Avengers in a badly damaged robotic body. Ultron's last body is confronted by The Vision, badly damaged.
  • The Hindenburg (1975) starts and ends with a shot of the eponymous airship flying across the sky and disappearing into the clouds, accompanied by narration.
  • The opening monologue of The Duff is exactly the first sentences from Bianca's final article, which is also her closing monologue.

Remember that any and every film has both a beginning and an end.