Because of their diversity and prevalence (they have existed since at least 1910 and occur across a large range of countries), beach endings are the main focus of this study. In this introduction, earlier books and articles about the connotations of beaches—both within western culture generally and within international films—are discussed. These works refer in addition both to the Christian religion (e.g. the absence of beaches in the Garden of Eden) and to paintings. The criteria for the inclusion of films in the appendix of beach endings are explained, and 1954 identified as the key year for the emergence of the cinematic beach ending. Two ending tropes—sunsets and the voice-over—are discussed further in relation to beach endings.
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