Closing credits, inside a motion picture or television program, come at the end of a movie or show and list all the cast and crew involved in the production. They are usually shown on the screen in small characters, which either flip very quickly from page to page, or crawl from bottom to top of the screen. Credits which crawl either left to right or up and down are also known as rolling credits, which comes from pre digital days when the names were literally on a roll of paper and wound past in front of the camera. Increasingly, post-credits scenes are being added to the end of films.


The use of closing credits in film to list complete production crew and cast was not firmly established in American film until the 1970s. Before this decade, closing credits usually consisted only of a list of the major cast members, and in many cases, particularly in silent films, movies were released with no closing credits at all. For instance, David Lean's version of Oliver Twist (1948) lists all who had a speaking part in the film, plus all of the major credits, at the beginning. The final credits list only the cast of characters. Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist (2005), on the other hand, lists everyone, cast as well as crew, who worked on the picture, and boasts quite a long list of closing credits.

As in motion pictures, most television programs until relatively recently did not list the entire cast and crew. In the Baryshnikov version of The Nutcracker (1977), for example, the list of closing credits shown obviously does not include every single dancer, technician or designer who appeared in or worked on the program, while in more recent film and/or television productions of the work, the closing credits do tend to be quite long, and to list literally every single person who had been in or who had worked on the production.

Humorous creditsEdit

Some closing credits include out-takes from the show for humour. Sometimes, a parting scene is edited in after the credits conclude as a final joke. For example, in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Ferris appears and says "You're still here? ... Go home!" The Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker films have included fictional production members, credits unrelated to the movie ("Author of A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens"), cooking recipes and song lyrics in their closing credits, while Monty Python have included credits for ridiculous and non-existent production staff. On some occasions, the filmmakers will have a character come back and pop in during the credits to see the goings-on (a noted example is Finding Nemo, in which several characters interact with the credits like they are physical objects. Another noteworthy example is Daffy Duck appearing in the credits of Gremlins 2: The New Batch complaining about how long they run). On other occasions additional scenes to advance the storyline (as in Wild Things, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End) or set up sequels (as in Transformers and Iron Man) may occur after the credits roll. The closing credits for the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King have sketches of the characters and who portrayed them.

Sometimes the closing credits include bloopers. Many Jackie Chan films show takes of stunts gone wrong. This was spoofed in the closing credits of A Bug's Life, with shots of the animated characters fumbling their lines or knocking over the scenery. This tradition has carried over to other Pixar films, including Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc.

On Father's Day, Big Brother UK credits everyone using their father's name. For example, Steve Jones would be billed as "Adam Jones' son".

Reallocation of opening credits to closing creditsEdit

See also: Billing (film).

The elimination of full opening credits from many films has resulted in some films showing the major acting and production credits that would previously have been seen at the start of the film as part of the end-credits (sometimes preceded by the main title, which no longer appears at the start of every movie). Notable movies that omit opening credits include the Pretty Cure (starting with Max Heart) and Star Wars series. In such films the main credits are shown at the end in a page-by-page format followed with the bulk of cast and crew credits as a crawl. These credits would have ordinarily been shown at the start of the movie or within a specially created opening credits sequence, such as those made famous by the James Bond film series.

Marginalization for television promotionEdit

On American television, closing credits have started to become more of an afterthought. Most networks now run, instead of a show's usual credits, a split-screened version of the show's credits to allow for running a promo (known in some circles as "generic credits").[1] On some shows, the credits are reduced to either a rapid-fire crawl, or quick-flashing cards. In some cases, each credit would appear on-screen for less than one second. Many networks have begun a trend of placing credits at the lower third of the screen, in this format. Sometimes a promo would run shorter of the normal time it would take to run the credits at normal speed. Thus, the credits even "sped-up" near the end in order to show all the credits before the promo ended (a prime example of this is NBC's showing of Titanic, in which there were so many credits to be shown in so little time that credits would switch almost every frame, making it impossible for anyone to read even with a slow motion capability) However, full closing credits are still created by the production company and used in syndicated reruns of a program, and are always seen if the program is released as a DVD box set.

Most daytime soap operas used scrolling closing credits for many years. Most of the shows aired during the week (e.g., Monday through Thursday) would list just the main people involved with the production and a few of the principal actors and actresses. However, given the large number of people involved with the production of each serial, a full cast and crew credit crawl could last three minutes or longer. Because of this, an expanded credit roll (listing everyone involved) would often air at least once a week, such as on the Friday show. The closing theme often was an expanded version of the show's opening music. Starting in 1999, soap operas began eliminating the full-screen crawl in favor of the one-third screen credits/promo combination. While NBC and CBS soaps use the upper portion of the screen to show advertisements for primetime programming, ABC soaps show previews for the next episode. Soaps that are rerun on SOAPnet continue to use full-screen credits.

Daytime game shows worked in much the same vein as soap operas. A shorter version might list one or two people involved with the production, along with such plugs as for prizes and wardrobe providers. At least once a week, a full-length credit roll would air over the extended main theme (along with camera shots of such things as the contestant talking with the host and/or celebrities). By the late 1990s, The Price Is Right was the lone daytime game show remaining, and it would switch to marginalized credits.

Some cable channels have used credits to blur the lines between the end of one show and the beginning of the following program. TBS, TNT and Fox frequently run the previous show's end credits in small (sometimes illegible) type at the bottom of the screen while the next program begins at about three-quarters height. Similarly, on E!, Style Network, Nickelodeon, Noggin, Disney Channel, FX, PBS Kids Sprout, Oxygen, MTV, MTV2, CMT, Spike TV, VH1, Comedy Central, The N, TV Land, Superstation WGN, A&E, Bravo, and broadcast networks, the program-to-program transition is seamless. To do this, the networks have moved the closing credits for their programs to air within the first minute of a show, usually on the bottom 1/3 of the screen in small, translucent type.

Often, the network-to-local transition between the end of the network primetime schedule and late local news on broadcast networks will feature the network show credits on the bottom of the screen, while the local news teaser sequence, station identification, news opening, and then the top story will take place. Once the credits end, the local news broadcast zooms in to fill the screen and the handoff is seamless.

Despite some objections by television production unions, some programs, such as those that air in the Discovery Networks family and the U.S. version of the National Geographic Channel only air the credits during a program's premiere broadcast, referring viewers to a website to view the credits in subsequent broadcasts.

Some networks, such as GSN, have even begun cutting off the credits before they finish, most likely to allow more time for commercials. Many animated shows, however, still maintain and air the full version of the credits.

Notable exceptionsEdit

American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance are an exception to this, showing the full credits in a regular scroll as the shows close (along with voting disclaimers). Saturday Night Live has always done a full-screen credits scroll, though the credits are regularly cut off by NBC before the end to get in a promo. ABC's Dancing with the Stars also airs their intended credits, as Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris close out the show. The credits are in a Helvetica font, and are located at the bottom of the screen, against a shaded transparent background. Starting with the 2004 season, ABC's sitcoms air their closing credits at the bottom of the screen, during the closing scene in a format that keeps in-line with the networks generic credits look. These credits, however, air without the dark-colored bar that airs during their other primetime programs. In other words, the credits are superimposed over the closing scene's action.


  • Around the World in Eighty Days (1956) had one of the longest and most elaborate closing credit sequences of any film. It provided an animated recap of the movie's three-hour storyline, identifying the actors in the order in which they appeared.
  • The 2006 film Clerks 2 by Kevin Smith features an extended closing credits that included a list of anyone who joined Smith's "friends network" on in the months building up to the film's release. The very long list of credits (in multi-column format) has forced some theaters to either stop the projector early or to cut out sections of the film reel so that the theater can be cleaned in time for the following showing. Smith announced that he will continue the MySpace friends credit list through 2006 and would include any new names on the DVD credits when the film is released on DVD.
  • The film adaptation of S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders has the end credits (as well as the ending of the book) in the beginning of the movie and the end.

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