IFC named the 50 greatest trailers of all-time and to be completely blunt I found the list shamefully inadequate. They felt "the best trailers are those that most effectively combine art and commerce, and that sell and entertain with equal skill."
I decided to compile a list myself of what I feel are the 10 greatest trailers of all time...I also added an extra handicap to my task by choosing trailers that are NOT on IFC's list which does happen to include some great trailers like Psycho, Eyes Wide Shut, Unbreakable and Dr. Strangelove.
I think a trailer should be evaluated for it's ability to make one's proverbial ass go watch the movie ASAP. Some of the movies on this list, are what I would call...pieces of shit. Which goes to show that the trailer was pretty damn good, since it fooled me into watching the film. I also LOVE trailers that don't reveal too much of the plot and don't ruin the entire movie for the viewer by showing the best action or comedy scenes. Lately most films are just long versions of the trailer.
Trailers are supposed to be just a tease not a complete synopsis with spoilers.
Here are my choices for best trailers that are NOT on IFC's list.
UPDATED: Honorable mentions:
The movie was a disappointment. But this trailer featuring Marlon Brando gave me goosebumps when I first saw it.
Star Wars Episode 1:
The wait for this film was unbearable and I don't think there's ever been a more anticipated trailer in the history of film.
And now the top 10!
10. The Godfather Part 3
There's no doubt Part 3 is inferior to the first two Godfather films. But that's alot to live up to isn't it? I think this trailer does a fantastic job of setting up the legacy of the first two films. Also don't tell me the viewer didn't get a chill when they first saw the image of an aged Al Pacino as Michael Corleone. The great casting of Andy Garcia as Vincent also increased expectations for the film, which obviously suffered from the absence of Robert Duvall.
9. The Exorcist
The Exorcist is the scariest movie ever. That's not debatable. This trailer is just as creepy and disturbing as the film. It's all done with showing no gore. It's all sound effects and our imagination. Chilling. Scares me just putting it on here.
8.Monty Python and the Holy Grail
This trailer is typical Python craziness. Hilarious and absurd. What I like about it the most is that it stands on it's own as a humorous piece.
7. Raging Bull
Classic Score. Martin Scorsese. Robert De Niro. One of the 10 greatest films. Nuff said.
6. Pearl Harbor
Titanic was still on everybody's mind when this trailer hit. People were hoping for the next great historical tragedy on film. Unfortunately, what we got was Michael Bay silliness. The truth is this trailer sold an audience a film that they never saw.
We all fell for it. To this day it pisses me off. The fact that it came out Memorial Day 2001 added insult to injury.
I never seen a crowd go crazy for a film like the time I first saw this trailer at the Mann Village in Westwood. People were screaming and cheering like a Lakers game at every image of and line recited by the Joker. The trailer itself is choppy and actually...um... not very good. But the film teased a genre of film to a generation who were desperate for a serious superhero movie. So it lands at number 5 for the historical significance. Jack Nicholson as the Joker was the highlight of the summer of 1989. If you were alive back then. Then you know what I'm talking about.
4. Wyatt Earp
This movie was ambitious and actually isn't that bad, but something just didn't quite click. The trailer illustrates the epic scale the film was aspiring to. I think what really sells the film is the amazing soundtrack in the trailer by Ennio Morricone. Ironically, Morricone did not do the score for the actual movie. Perhaps the fatal flaw of the actual film.
3. Kill Bill Volume 1
The score for this trailer is now a legitimate viral classic and has now been used in other movies, trailers and commercials. It all began here. Before this it was an obscure piece of score in a obscure foreign film. Now it'll be forever known as "THE music" for Kill Bill.
2. The Big Lebowski
Great trailer for a great film. So much going on. It's almost as fun as the movie itself. Almost.
1. Buffalo 66
This trailer isn't just a great preview. It's a friggin work of art. I'm shocked that it wasn't in the top 50 of IFC's list considering that it's exactly up IFC's alley. Amazing film too. If you haven't seen the film do yourself the favor.
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