Do all Scorsese films end the same way?

For some reason, it just now occurred to me that the last line of Shutter Island and the key closing line of The King of Comedy are almost identical.

"Now, tomorrow you'll know I wasn't kidding... and you'll think I was crazy. But, look, I figure it this way. Better to be king for a night than schmuck for a lifetime."

"Which would be worse, to live as a monster or to die as a good man?"

And then, I started thinking about other Scorsese films.

Raging Bull closes with a quote on a title card: So, for the second time, the Pharisees summoned the man who had been blind and said: / "Speak the truth before God. / We know this fellow is a sinner." / "Whether or not he is a sinner, I do not know," / The man replied. / "All I know is this: / Once I was blind and now I can see." - John IX, 24-26 / the New English Bible

Casino ends with: "But in the end, I wound up right back where I started. I could still pick winners, and I could still make money for all kinds of people back home. And why mess up a good thing?"

GoodFellas closes with, "I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook." (smile) (cut to Tommy shooting his gun at camera a' la The Great Train Robbery) (Henry walks back into his suburban home)

Even The Last Temptation of Christ closes with, "I fought you when you called. I resisted. I thought I knew more. I didn't want to be your son. Can you forgive me? I didn't fight hard enough. Father... give me your hand. I want to bring salvation! Father, take me back! Make a feast! Welcome me home! I want to be your son! I want to pay the price! I want to be crucified and rise again! I want to be the Messiah! It is accomplished! It is accomplished."

Every one seems to be about a man who has realized the dichotomy of his life and making a choice. Once blind, now seeing... for better or worse.

At the end of The Color of Money, Eddie finally sees what he is and decides to keep moving in that same direction. At the end of Gangs of New York, Bill The Butcher realizes he is at the end of his time and sacrifices himself to Amsterdam. InThe Departed, Costigan makes his decision and while the story then takes the choice away from him, it finds another way to force Sullivan to face his truth before his choice is also taken away.

Have I missed this simple truth about Scorsese all these years? Are these all, in the end, the same story?


Commentary, Directors

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