Saturday, July 25, 2009

The 50 Greatest Trailers of All Time

You've got to love this from IFC, I wasted quite a bit of time on it yesterday, enjoy:

The 50 Greatest Trailers of All Time
By IFC on 06/25/2009
Read the original post from IFC here >>

They should be called leaders.

We know them as trailers, but they don't trail anything; they play before the movie, not after it. The name dates to their earliest incarnation, when they actually did follow the feature. The documentary "Coming Attractions" dates the very first trailer to a 1912 Edison serial entitled "What Happened to Mary?" After each installment, a black card with white text would appear to inform audiences "The next incident in the series of 'What Happened to Mary' will be shown a week from now." Not exactly "In a world..." but it did the trick back in 1912.

What happened to Mary wasn't nearly as important as what happened to trailers, which have grown into one of the most popular forms of advertising in the world. Some think they spoil the movies -- Gene Siskel famously hated them so much he wouldn't enter a theater while they were playing -- but for the rest of us, they're a treasured part of the moviegoing ritual, a delicious cinematic appetizer to prepare us for the main course.

There are many ways to measure a trailer's quality, from the persuasiveness of its salesmanship to the cleverness of its copywriting. Ultimately, we decided that the best trailers are those that most effectively combine art and commerce, and that sell and entertain with equal skill. Some of the previews on our list are for classic films, but many are for mediocrities. Some are for absolutely bombs. That speaks to the magic of the trailers. You could argue that these clips play to our basest instincts in order to convince us to see movies that aren't always good. But considered from another perspective, trailers provide a version of cinema that's essentially utopian, in which every film is perfect, if only for two and a half minutes.

Now, in an online world ruled by pop culture lists, comes one film website that would dare to do the impossible. Pursued by a ruthless cyborg programmed to destroy it, is about to engage in a battle to decide the fate of the human race!

No, wait, I'm sorry. That's actually the copy from the "American Cyborg" trailer. This is's list of the 50 Greatest Trailers of All Time. No ruthless cyborgs here, unless our choices so enrage you that you send one after us. Please don't.

Drum roll ...... the Number 1 is:

The full list (with links to all):
50. Night of the Iguana (1964)
49. Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
48. The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)
47. Magnolia (1999)
46. Watchmen (2009)
45. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
44. The Big Sleep (1946)
43. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
42. Little Children (2006)
41. Maximum Overdrive (1986)
40. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)
39. Zabriskie Point (1970)
38. Face/Off (1997)
37. The Strangers (2008)
36. Spider-Man (2001)
35. The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)
34. The Minus Man (1999)
33. Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
32. The Matrix (1999)
31. Corruption (1968)
30. Femme Fatale (2002)
29. Point Blank (1967)
28. The Bishop's Wife (1947)
27. A Night at the Opera (1935)
26. Speed (1994)
25. Real Life (1979)
24. Schindler's List (1993)
23. Red Eye (2005)
22. Sin City (2005)
21. Strange Days (1995)
20. She's Gotta Have It (1986)
19. Unbreakable (2000)
18. Sleeper (1973)
17. Charade (1963)
16. GoldenEye (1995)
15. Pulp Fiction (1994)
14. Garden State (2005)
13. Mr. Sardonicus (1961)
12. Independence Day (1996)
11. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
10. The Shining (1980)
9. Mission: Impossible (1996)
8. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
7. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
6. Citizen Kane (1941)
5. Comedian (2002)
4. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
3. Cloverfield (2008)
2. Psycho (1960)
1. Alien (1979)

3 John 8
Bill H.

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