The End

New York
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