Years ago Variety‘s Joe Leydon mentioned the scene in Vertigo in which Judy Barton (Kim Novak) comes out of the bathroom with her Madeline Elster hair and outfit complete, and how this melts the heart and arouses the libido of Scotty Ferguson (James Stewart) and leads to heavy breathing.

Leydon suggested that if Hitchcock had bravely ended Vertigo with this scene, it would have been hailed as an art film all the more. The message would have been “who cares who killed the wife?….what matters is that Madeline has been reborn and Scotty is making love to her once again…glorious!”

Leydon was correct, but of course for this ending to work Hitchcock would have needed to omit the earlier flashback scene in which we learn that Judy was part of Gavin Elster‘s attempt to make Scotty an unwitting accomplice in the murder of Elster’s actual wife.

Imagine the balls of a movie that is ostensibly a drama about ghosts and murder…imagine such a film ignoring the murder plot in order to focus on the love story and the forcible transformation of a murder-plot accomplice (Judy) into the victim…mind-blowing!

A few years ago I suggested an alternate art-film ending for Michael Mann‘s Thief. The film should have ended, I said, with that big Los Angeles safe-cracking job involving a super-sized blowtorch. Forget Robert Prosky and the settling of scores and the nihilistic finale — what mattered was doing the job well.

HE is requesting the readership to come up with other alternative endings to classic films — endings that might not have satisfy from a conventional climatic perspective, but which would deliver on a whole ‘nother level.