Great Trailers on DVDs—especially 70s trailers

Discussion in 'DVD' started by StephenALT, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. StephenALT

    StephenALT Agent

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    I’m a big fan of trailers—at least I was growing up. I’m sure it’s some kind of rite of passage to tire of them, but the cynic in me does think they’d become rather uniform in the last 15 years. But rather than complain, I’d rather praise the virtues of the trailers from 67 to 79, (what I think is) the glory years for trailers. There are so many that evoke the film instead of spoiling it, so many that use the tricks of advertising (optical printing, animation) to suggest what you can expect. It’s another reason DVDs are so great (and laser discs before it) bec. it make it easier to gather these together and get the full picture.

    I’ve listed my favorites below, chronologically, from that time period, and am eager for suggestions for other great trailers (from that period or any other time in cinema) that really make you say, “Damn, I can’t wait to see this film!”

    Bonnie and Clyde
    Cool Hand Luke (which makes the film’s most memorable line a catchphrase BEFORE the film was released)
    In Cold Blood (great use of on-location stills and pics of the original killers)
    The Boston Strangler
    Russ Meyer’s Vixen
    The Honeymoon Killers
    Bananas (a 3 min. interview with Woody Allen made just for the trailer!!)
    Clockwork Orange (it’s the entire film in one minute without a single spoiler!)
    McCabe & Mrs. Miller (captures the mood of the film without a single line of dialog)
    Straw Dogs
    The Godfather
    Pink Flamingos
    Deliverance
    What's Up, Doc? (on-the-set footage)
    The Exorcist (the TV spots and the teaser with the B&W stills—as scar as the film itself)
    American Graffiti (more of Mort Drucker’s great print advertising!)
    Female Trouble
    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
    Young Frankenstein (narrated by Mel Brooks)
    Monty Python & The Holy Grail
    Jaws
    The Sunshine Boys (footage of Matthau and Burns at the Friars’ Club)
    All the President’s Men (I can’t wait for this to come out on DVD!!)
    The Exorcist II: The Heretic
    Suspiria
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers
    Real Life (like Bananas, this was shot specifically for the trailer—and in 3-D!!)
    Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
    Alien (uses the poster art of the egg)
    All That Jazz
    Kramer vs Kramer
    Manhattan

    “All that Jazz” includes shots of the stage lights (from the film’s intro) that are not used in the film, which gets into another area of interest: Trailers that have shots that are NOT in the film. These include alternate angles or takes of what was ultimately used in the film (I believe this is bec. trailers were normally cut from outtakes) or scenes that didn’t make it into the final film (the most famous of which, I think, is for “Rope,” which includes shots of a scene that occurs outdoors before the film’s narrative takes place). Some samples of the former include:
    -Young Frankenstein
    -Paris, Texas
    -Creepshow
    -Raging Bull
    -After Hours

    Can anybody remind me of others?

    (Hope this isn’t a repeat of a forum that’s already been posted!)
     
  2. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    i was disappointed that the Superman dvd didn't include the trailer that i had seen at the theater in '78.
    it was the clouds/credits trailer but with a narration "he began as a simple line drawing..." and interspersed with stills of the stars.
    i hope the new edition will finally include it.

    The Black Hole had a great trailer, although again, the one i see on the disc is slightly modified from the one i remember in the theater- the difference being the one i saw had no film footage at all, it was just the computer graphic (which was very startling and very new at time) and a great, ominous narration from one of the 70s most iconic trailer voices ( same guy who did Jaws and others)

    and to keep this relevant to this sub forum- i recently picked up 42nd Street Forever, which is a trailer comp disc from synapse of grindhouse, schlock and exploitation fare-
    very entertaining and highly recommended- the trailers generally have great quality prints and there is a fairly wide variety of genres present. i bought i primarily for the Starcrash trailer (even though i have the lamentable R2 release). still pining away for a decent release of that one.
     
  3. StephenALT

    StephenALT Agent

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    Great suggestion, Paul. I'll look into that 42nd St. DVD for sure.

    Interesting that you point out that a trailer isn't like you remember. That's happened to me a couple of times, most notably with "The Elephant Man". The one on the DVD is above-average and is pretty much a string of small clips--not much in the way of juxtaposition--and all without a single shot of John Merrick. Then, at the very end, there's that one glorious dolly past his sleeping head and craning into the eyehole of his hood. The shot's as effective as it is in the film except for one major difference: since we don't know what John Merrick looks like, this glimpse of the TOP of his head ONLY is fascinating! I remember wondering if that's really what his face looked like. (Another neat thing about the trailer is that John Hurt's reading of "I am not an animal. I am a human being" is NOT from the scene in the film; this reading is delivered more as a quiet plea not a screaming plea.)

    BUT here's what I remember: ONLY the dolly across Merrick's head. No minute's worth of clips from the film beforehand. Now either I'm wrong--totally possible--or there was a teaser trailer and it isn't on the DVD.

    Also, are there 2 versions of the great, great, great trailer for "The Shining"? The one on the DVD is the one I remember--blood from the elevator fills the screen and it goes to black (which I saw before "The Jerk"!!)--but I feel like I've seen another where, as the blood is filling the screen, there's insert shots from the film. Does anyone remember this too?

    I agree with you about Superman, too. I remember that!! I do like the fact that the one of the trailers used the comic book font for the title, tho.
     
  4. James Luckard

    James Luckard Stunt Coordinator

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    Harold & Maude also has two amazing trailers on the DVD, both featuring Cat Stevens songs from the film and managing to convey every feeling in the film without giving away any plot whatsoever.

    I've read that the Black Sunday trailer is amazing, especially for its use of split-screen and score from the film, apparently Tarantino based the Darryl Hannah nurse scene in Kill Bill on it, but it's sadly not on the Paramount DVD.
     
  5. StephenALT

    StephenALT Agent

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    Thanks for the Harold & Maude tip. I've been on an Ashby kick and I'm due to rent that one soon.

    Shame about Black Sunday.
     
  6. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    I saw it before I think it was EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Not the trailer you want to show before a PG rated film.

    It really freaked me out.
     
  7. StephenALT

    StephenALT Agent

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    So true. I think they have it down nowadays, when they have the trailers for films that have a similarity to the film you're about to see.

    I know "The Jerk" was rated R, but come on! That trailer for "The Shining" scared the hell out of me.
     
  8. Kenny Neal

    Kenny Neal Stunt Coordinator

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    The unused "faces" trailer for The Exorcist is one of the scariest I've ever seen. It's on the 25th anniversary DVD (but not on "The Version You've Never Seen" DVD, I believe).
     
  9. StephenALT

    StephenALT Agent

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    It's def. as scary as anything in the film. And so fundamental. I don't believe that piece of music is in the film either, tho I could be wrong. I don't know anything about it. When you say "unused", what do you mean? I always thought it was a teaser made from whatever scraps they had laying around (i.e. Linda Blair's make-up test). I don't remember if they say anything about it on the DVD.

    I only have the original DVD release, not the Version You've Never Seen DVD.

    And what about the Exorcist TV spot with the girl cowering next to her boyfriend and then looking like she just had sex? So weird!
     
  10. Mike D

    Mike D Stunt Coordinator

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  11. StephenALT

    StephenALT Agent

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    I don't that's off-topic at all. First, it's the funniest thing I've seen on the internet in a while. Second, it's exactly what I'm talking about. There were bad trailers in the 70s, sure--but not in this style!
     
  12. Mark Edward Heuck

    Mark Edward Heuck Screenwriter

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    Since someone mentioned THE JERK, I've always loved the teaser for the film. The entire teaser has a big "NOT FOR PUBLIC VIEWING" border around it as Steve, thinking he is talking only to theatre owners, starts making lavish promises about the movie that are entirely not true.

    This teaser is also listed in Guinness, as it was the first time a full-scale Hollywood premiere was held for it's first screening, in keeping with Martin's early penchant for mischievious publicity gags. (During a show, he once went to a nearby fast food restaurant, ordered 10,000 burgers, then tried to change the order to one french fry.)

    Sadly, it is not on Universal's new DVD.
     
  13. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    I knew i wasn't crazy!
    i remembered this teaser and in the thread on the Jerk dvd last year i mentioned it and it felt like i got nothing back but blank stares.
    in fact, it was due to this that i learned and started using the term 'trailer'-long before the term was commonly used or even known by the general audiences.
    i felt a sense of pride to be such a movie buff that i was familiar with true industry lingo at the tender age of 12.
    of course outside of the theater projectionists, who i would quiz to find out which auditorium i should sneak into next to catch the good previews, everybody else thought i was weird for talking like that.
     
  14. StephenALT

    StephenALT Agent

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    Why not?! That kills me when something like that gets away. Hell, they own it and it wouldn't make sense to have it anywhere else. Even if they lost it, would it be that hard to locate?

    As someone who was raised on Steve--as I imagine a lot of us were--every little glimpse of him back then was an event.

    OFF-TOPIC: Do you think we'll ever see his handful of TV specials on DVD? The first especially was funny. I remember seeing a videotape of some of them, but then again, that was over 20 years ago, so...

    Man, time's a trip.
     
  15. Michael Rogers

    Michael Rogers Supporting Actor

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    The flashing faces trailer from "The Exorcist" uses the music written for the film by Lalo Shifferen. The music was not used by William Friedkin in the movie. Shifferen later adapted the score for "The Amityville Horror"

    The trailer uses shots (with processed high contrast effects)of made up Linda Blair and her double Eileen Deitz.

    As far as unused is concerned, I think it wasn't shown in theaters.

    But bits of the trailer show up in TV spots. I think the TV spots are real scary. Especially the one where they show the lead up to the Exorcism with Merrin and Karris and periodically show a zoom in on Regan's door with her shouting "MERRIN!". In the ad I think the voice was processed Linda Blair instead of Mercedes McCaimbride.
     
  16. Kenny Neal

    Kenny Neal Stunt Coordinator

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  17. StephenALT

    StephenALT Agent

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    Thanks for all that info, Michael!

    I frequently show that trailer when we have guests over since it scares the hell out of them. I've heard stories about Friedkin and the music for The Exorcist (I believe this is the was the film where he asked Bernard Herrmann to give him a score as good as he did for "Citizen Kane", to which Herrmann replied, "Then give me a film as good as 'Citizen Kane'.")

    Those TV spots are amazing. All are different from each other. So imaginative.
     

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