Is there a name for text - mostly at a film's conclusion - that gives a summary of events that follow?

For example, at the end of Savage Messiah (2002) there appears writing on the screen that outlines what happened to characters after the film's conclusion.

Is there a specific term for these summaries at film's end?

Here is an example.

And picture enter image description here


1 Answer 1


Technically, any dramatically expository end titles used as a summary, addendum, epilogue, conclusion, post-script, coda, appendix, tailpiece, supplement, etc. after the resolution of the dramatic climax would be part of the:

(From the French dénouer for "to unknot" or "to unwind")

  1. the final part of a play, movie, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.
  2. the climax of a chain of events, usually when something is decided or made clear. enter image description here

...and any of the above synonyms are apropos to describe the end notes detailing a character's trajectory or subsequent consequences resulting from the conclusion of the dramatic action. In the above graphic, you can put a summary epilogue towards the end of the denouement line, then end credits and possibly a "teaser" or "post credits scene" (like in so many of the recent Marvel movies) - "also called a a tag, stinger, credit cookie, or coda."

As for usage, it is somewhat arbitrary, but here are some literary thoughts on how to use the terms:

From "Prologue, Denouement and Epilogue"

An Epilogue is best used to show how the story resolution affected the characters after a period of time has passed. Yes, it’s enough to catch a perpetrator and everyone return to their normal lives in the denouement. However, in River Bones, I used an Epilogue to not only wrap up the strongest subplot, but to create a situation where it leaves the story open for a sequel.

From "Epilogue vs Denouement"

The denouement is a more immediate wrap up of the aftermath of the story. It's the "yes" to the hero’s proposal, the banishment [of] the traitor and the adulation of the tribe.

And the modern epilogue is usually clearly labeled and can be weeks, months or years later. As the end credits roll, we see the final fates of friends and foes play out.

Yet for me, that makes the most succinct of classic endings, “... And they lived happily ever after,” in a gray area.

To be precise, it is more of a narrative convention than any particular "technique."

  • That might be a little too general a term for such a specific thing the question asks for. Usually the denouement is still part of the actual on-screen action.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Mar 27, 2017 at 2:05
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    This answer has nothing to do with the question. What the OP is talking about is more like an epilogue, if anything. It happens when they (usually) show a freeze frame of a character and put text like, "Jim went on to become president of the company," then move on to the next person - "Sally left the company and married the postman!" etc. Mar 27, 2017 at 2:11
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    @Mr.Kennedy right Ill do some reaserch on denoument to see if it fits the bill. Mar 27, 2017 at 3:25
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    I have answered the question already it is unrelated to my question but you can view it if you like. movies.stackexchange.com/questions/38915/… I was writing my answer and wondered if there was a more correct term than "summery" this following link is to the on screen "epilogue" I was after the name for youtu.be/iXfIGXLotvg?t=4374 Mar 27, 2017 at 4:05
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    @YetisasquatchAlienbeliever thanks. Maybe something more for "english usage.SE" but see the edits to my answer. I haven't seen Savage Messiah (unfortunately the YouTube content in your "example" link is blocked for me) but "summary" is certainly adequate, tho maybe "epilogue" is more literary?
    – MmmHmm
    Mar 27, 2017 at 4:12

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