Sunday Classic Trailer Picks 006: The Third Man (1949)

There’s more than one reason this trailer for The Third Man is a classic. It sets up the atmosphere of the film very well. It gives us the central mystery of the movie without giving away too much. Most of all, it highlights one of the most striking features of the film itself -its original score by Anton Karas.

“He’ll have you in a dither with his zither”? Yeah, you really don’t see lines like that come along very often, but in this case it’s true.

So what do you think? Does this trailer make you want to see the movie?  And do you know of any really good trailers? Or are there any classic films you’d like to see trailers for?   Let me know in the comment below.

Until next time, Happy Viewing!

Sunday Classic Trailer Picks 005: Basket Case (1982 ) and Shakma! (1990)

ShakmaOkay, let’s be honest: neither Basket Case nor Shakma! are actually “classics”. Well, not in any traditional sense of the word, anyway.

And as far as the trailers go, well… Let’s just put it like this: our local “arthouse”, “revival”, “alternative”, whatever you want to call it theater showed them in front of this week’s midnight showing of Escape from New York this weekend, and they are going to be showing them as part of their October line-up, and the crowd there ate them up, and I heard lots of murmurs of “Oh, yeah!”, and “I’m definitely coming for that!”, so unintentionally hilarious or not, one can’t deny that they actually do what a trailer is supposed to do: put the butts in the seats.

Of course, that may also say as much about the crowd that goes to the Belcourt’s midnight movies as it does about the trailers themselves, but in the end, if they work, they work.

So what do you think? Do these trailers make you want to see the movies?  And do you know of any really good trailers? Or are there any classic films you’d like to see trailers for?   Let me know in the comment below.

Until next time, Happy Viewing!

Sunday Classic Trailer Picks 004: The African Queen (1951)

african_queen_xlgLet’s face it, the purpose of a trailer is to sell a movie. To put butts in seats. And one of the best ways to do that is through the use of hyperbole.

See something you’ve never seen before!

This is the greatest [whatever genre the movie falls into] film of all time!

You won’t believe your eyes!

You won’t believe your ears!

You won’t believe your fingers!

You won’t believe somebody put up the money to make this movie!

Of course, few films can actually live up to all the hype that surrounds them before they come out. Fortunately, some do. One of those is 1951’s The African Queen.

What do you think? Does the trailer make you want to see the film? Does it live up to this amount of hype? And do you know of any really good trailers? Or are there any classic films you’d like to see trailers for?   Let me know in the comment below.

Until next time, Happy Viewing!

Sunday Classic Trailer Picks 003: Mata Hari (1931)

MPW-27669Trailers can really either be very good or very bad. They can often do a disservice both to the movie they are touting by completely misselling it, or giving away too much. What I’m wanting to focus on here, though, are trailers for classic movies that get it right. Those that really leave you wanting more, just the way they should.

Last week I posted a clip from the 1910 film Afgrunden which showed that movie’s star, Asta Neilsen, performing a rather (especially for the time) erotic dance. For this week’s classic trailer, I thought I’d follow that up a bit with a film that is all about a woman using her feminine wiles (including more than a bit of dancing) in order to become one  of the world’s best known spies. So, from 1931 (actually this trailer is probably for a later re-release) here’s the trailer for Mata Hari:

So once again, I have to ask: What do you think about this trailer? Does it make you want to see the film? And do you know of any really good trailers? Or are there any classic films you’d like to see trailers for?   Let me know in the comment below.

Until next time, Happy Viewing!

Sunday Classic Trailer Picks 002: The Old Dark House (1963)

Olddarkhouse1963Trailers can really either be very good or very bad. They can often do a disservice both to the movie they are touting by completely misselling it, or giving away too much. What I’m wanting to focus on here, though, are trailers for classic movies that get it right. Those that really leave you wanting more, just the way they should.

Actually, in looking around for trailers this week, I turned up one that surprised me. William Castle is an acknowledged master of ballyhoo who definitely knew how to sell a film. When I saw that he had teamed up with Hammer films for a remake of the 1932 James Whale classic The Old Dark House, I knew the trailer was likely to be interesting, and I definitely found that to be the case, but not for the reasons I expected. Here, take a look at this:

Okay, that’s fine, and though seemingly a bit low-key compared to some of Mr. Castle’s other trailers, it’s pretty much what I would expect. However, when I decided to do a little more digging to see if I could find a version that was a bit higher quality, I found myself confronted with this:

Wait, what? Yeah, you could say that looks (and sounds) a bit different. So what’s going on here? Well, from what I have been able to turn up, the second trailer was actually the original one cut by Hammer for the British release, and then it was adapted by Mr. Castle for his release of the movie in the US.

As far as the black and white versus color versions of the film, apparently it was shot in Eastmancolor, but was converted to black and white or at least shown that way here in the states which seems a very odd choice indeed. I suppose it was seen by Mr. Castle as a cost-saving measure as the prints would probably be cheaper to copy, but you might think that Hammer would have some objections to that, as their name was also going to be associated with the film. Honestly this has left me more curios about the film than before, and I’m somewhat interested to sit down with both versions of the movie to see what other changes were made for the US release.

So what do you think about these Old Dark House trailers? Is one more effective than the other as far as making you want to see the movie? And do you know of any really good trailers? Or are there any classic films you’d like to see trailers for?   Let me know in the comment below.

Until next time, Happy Viewing!

Sunday Classic Trailer Picks: Psycho (1960)

psycho-movie-posterI’ve been promising some new weekly features, and here is the first of them. Trailers can really either be very good or very bad. They can often do a disservice both to the movie they are touting by completely misselling it, or giving away too much. What I’m wanting to focus on here, though, are trailers for classic movies that get it right. Those that really leave you wanting more, just the way they should. So I thought I’d begin the feature today with a trailer that is actually a kind of short film in itself from a man who was a master at selling his films, namely Alfred Hitchcock. Hitch’s trailer for Psycho is basically an appointment with a real estate agent from hell, and the film maker obviously has his tongue planted firmly in his cheek throughout. Here, take a look:

Now that’s how you sell a film (though it may not be the best way to unload a property).

So what do you think about the Psycho trailer? Do you know of any really good trailers? Or are there any classic films you’d like to see trailers for?  And what do you think about this new feature? Let me know in the comment below.

Until next time, Happy Viewing!