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In the 2018 movie Vice, an "early credits roll" was used for comedic effect about halfway through the film. It was used in conjunction with text overlays with a sarcastic tone to them.

I found this to be very funny, because I have never seen this before and did not expect it. Has this technique where the end credits were shown early for comedic (or other) effect been used before?

For clarification: The credits should roll during the film, not at the beginning. After the early credits, the film should have a substantial running time left, i.e. after-credits bonus scenes do not count.

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    Did the false ending of Wayne World falls in that category ? I don't remember if there is actually credits after the first ending. – dna Feb 26 at 11:43
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    @DarthLocke Police squad did things like that. "Each episode featured end credits over a 1970s style freeze frame of the final scene, except that the frame was not frozen – the actors simply stood motionless in position while other activities (pouring coffee, a convict escaping, a chimpanzee throwing paper) continued around them." – Tim B Feb 27 at 13:39
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    Maybe not quite what you meant, but this is actually a favorite running-gag of a certain group of internet film reviewers, most notably Phelan Porteous (a.k.a. Phelous), Brad Jones (a.k.a. Cinema Snob), and a few others from that group. They'll show a clip of the movie with a tragic moment and just pretend it's the end and roll credits for comedic effect, sometimes multiple times in the same review. – Darrel Hoffman Feb 27 at 14:04
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    I really recommend this link: tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CreditsGag it features "credits gags" in a generalized way, so many things are not what you are looking for here, but it could be interesting too. – Andrea Feb 27 at 15:20
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    Although this involves the opening credits, rather than closing, the film Last Action Hero did something like this. The actual film has no opening credits at all, but the credits for the "film within a film" are presented several minutes in, as if they were the opening credits for the film. – GalacticCowboy Feb 27 at 21:10

10 Answers 10

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Monty Python's Flying Circus did this. According to TV Tropes:

Credits Gag: In addition to many Creative Closing Credits, the placement of the credits in the show's sequence was a gag in itself.

  • Of particular note is the episode "The Golden Age of Ballooning", where the closing credits ran about halfway through the show.
  • The next episode, "Michael Ellis", went one step further. The end credits ran immediately after the Title Sequence. That is, less than 30 seconds into the show.
  • The episode that started with the "Summarize Proust Competition" sketch rolled the credits right after that sketch.
  • Conversely there are episodes in which the opening credits aren't run until more than halfway through.
  • After the credits roll in the How Not to be Seen episode a BBC announcer states that the episode would be replayed for those that missed it. After the entire episode is indeed replayed in a highly compressed format, the credits are allowed to roll for a second time.
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    Oh yes, that's what I was thinking of! – Joachim Feb 26 at 17:12
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    They also did something like this in "the holy grail". They did the end credits right at the start and then ended with the policeman grabbing the camera. – Tim B Feb 27 at 13:41
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    @TimB credits at the start of a film used to be usual. – OrangeDog Feb 27 at 16:03
  • @TimB - It was actually sort of an opening credits scene, of the kind you'd typically see after the first scene in a James Bond movie (except of course funny and not nearly so high-budget). However, IMHO that counts, and I came here to provide that as an answer if nobody else had done so already. – T.E.D. Feb 28 at 21:59
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I believe the notorious film Irréversible does this as part of its "reverse chronology" gimmick. The credits roll right at the very beginning, reversed so they scroll from top-to-bottom instead of bottom-to-top.

Even though it doesn't count, as it's not a movie or TV show, I feel obliged to mention Donkey Kong Country. You defeat King K. Rool, a fake set of credits roll, and then he gets back up and you have to defeat him all over again, at which point the real credits roll.

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    I appreciate the video game reference! The other example does not seem to have the same effect, though. – Ian Feb 26 at 12:34
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    You did say "for comedic (or other) effect" in the question, so I figured Irreversible fitted under "other". If you're looking for strictly comedic examples, I'll see if I can find one. – F1Krazy Feb 26 at 12:36
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    That is true, but I am looking for cases where the credits come early but not right at the beginning. – Ian Feb 26 at 12:38
  • Bayonetta (video game) also does this. – Ave Feb 27 at 12:11
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    Borderlands' DLC "The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned" does this too. After fighting through a (supposedly*) hard slog of enemies, the final boss is, comedically a relative push-over - just strong enough to not be unbelievable, and hamming it up the whole time. After killing him, the end credits roll, and about halfway through that, he transforms into a giant monster and tears through the credits to get at you, triggering the actual boss fight. *(there were some balancing issues with that game) – Baldrickk Feb 28 at 17:07
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The 30 Rock series finale was longer than most episodes and had the start of a early credit roll (just the "Lorne Michaels" part) before Liz quickly brought the show back to finish up the finale.

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    I love this one especially, because the show is about a TV show, and another character is trying to force the in-show TV show to end early. – ferret Feb 27 at 18:21
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The 1999 comedy Man on the Moon starts with the main character saying that the film isn't very good and that he has cut out all of the baloney. In fact, he says, this is the end of the movie.

The credits then roll. Then the screen fades to black.

See

  • This might be the best movie-related answer so far! Thanks for adding the YouTube video. – Ian Feb 28 at 7:09
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In the Garry Marshall comedy Young Doctors in Love (1982), the main character's love interest appears to be dying or dead. The main character is walking away sadly, alone, and the credits start rolling up from the bottom of the screen. The main character looks at the camera and says, "No, not now." The credits reverse direction and scroll back off the bottom of the screen

  • That's a good one! Pretty close to the end, but valid in my opinion. – Ian Mar 1 at 6:33
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Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion was created as an alternative version of the two last episodes of the TV series, so they put the credits at the middle to presumably emphasize this fact. According to Wikipedia, the episodic version of the film includes two endings, one for each episode, and even a next-episode-preview section in the first one.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth and Top wo Nerae! & Top wo Nerae 2! Gattai Movie!!, both made by Gainax, did something similar, but instead of credits there's a musical intermission.

1

The French film Mais qui a tué Pamela Rose ? (2003) does this too. The credits roll for no particular reason, and the film restart few seconds later, like nothing happened.

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Jan Kounen's 99 francs includes a fake credit sequence in the final quarter of the movie.

The movie features two alternative endings of sorts. After the first ending plays out, the credits start to roll, but after a while, the protagonist interjects and forces the movie to continue, partially undoing some of what was shown before.

This is very much in tone with the highly stylized and intertextual motives used throughout the movie.

As a more recent example Shinichirou Ueda's One Cut of the Dead rolls a fake credit sequence in the middle of the movie, after the

movie-in-the-movie zombie segment concludes. The remainder of the movie tells the story of how the zombie movie shown in the first half was filmed.

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Liza, the Fox-Fairy (2015) might be an example. Although the running time after the fake end credits is not substantial (only slightly more than two minutes), it is not an after-credits bonus scene, but part of the movie.

The movie seems to end in a cliffhanger, the frame freezes, and the credits start to roll, with a corresponding music. Then the credits screech to a halt, and a narrator steps in, saying "Stop, stop, stop! This is stupid! We've not finished!" After that, a proper ending is shown.

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This should still qualify - there was a Seinfeld episode which was filmed in reverse order so the ending credits actually appeared in the first scene. This doesn't violate what you wrote when you said "The credits should roll during the film, not at the beginning." because this was technically the END of the episode.

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    did they roll before or after the first scene? The question states "For clarification: The credits should roll during the film, not at the beginning[...]" – Doktor J Feb 26 at 22:15
  • Well, they rolled at the LAST scene, technically.But since the episode was in reverse order, the last scene was played first. But symantically it was the LAST scene in the episode. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Betrayal – Tensigh Mar 1 at 0:21
  • Having found a copy online, I'd say this doesn't count. The Castle Rock logo and executive credits are shown before any in-episode footage, and the remainder of the credits roll at the end. – Doktor J Mar 1 at 15:16

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