Anthology Film Archives
The End (1953) by Christopher Maclaine (1923-75) was restored by Cineric
Labs and Anthology in early 1995. A 35 minute sound film made on 16mm, The
End depicts five different people on the last days of their lives. Visually
inventive (it was photographed by Jordan Belson) and brooding, the film has
always had a "problem" because the narration was poorly recorded in 1953,
and what was said by the narrator was important. Earlier this year Cineric
rerecorded the narration, removed much of the background noise, and
delivered a new print to Anthology. It is now possible to hear, as well as
see, the film the way Maclaine intended.
Journal of Film Preservation Volume XXIV No. 51 November 1995
I felt this film was a cry to humanity in general. The narrator is an
omniscient power throughout the entire film. However, the narrator's
omniscient power is not only limited to the film. Through statements like,
"try to find yourself," the narrator keeps the spectator on their toes as they
look within themselves to relate to each character. Through this
omniscience, MacLaine is targeting his audience as humanity in general.
Another element in which MacLaine uses to caution humanity is the
extensive visions of human destruction. The repeated visions or
understanding (sometimes we don't see any humans being wasted, but we
are told) of humans destroying themselves or other humans conveys the
carelessness with which many humans have for humanity. MacLaine is
warning humanity of destruction and what can happen if we all become to
acquainted with destruction.
--Eva Jones, 2000
This film lived up to it's name. it contained a beginning, middle and end. All
consisting of a person who's life is being portrayed as only going downhill
based on his faults. The film shows much symbolism and life through the
eyes of the character.
--John Bartruff, 2000
Christopher Maclaine Work