“Dude, that Was the Trailer?”

By | December 26, 2010

I don’t often read (much less quote) Youtube comments, but the title of this post was taken from the comments on this video, the theatrical trailer for the 1969 version of True Grit

Compare that trailer to the one for the new Coen brothers version of the same story and you begin to see the commenter’s point:

If nothing else has improved over the past 40 years (I tend to think quite a few things have, of course), we can all agree that movie previews are far more sophisticated and engaging than they used to be. There is a whole vocabulary of how images and sounds, words and actions are to be combined to hint at (or often give away quite a lot of) a much larger story. That vocabulary is what makes things like this possible:

Here’s another example. Would you rather watch this movie…

…or this movie?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/blech

    The modern Tron trailer, using clips from the 1982 film, is also a good example of how things have evolved.

    Perhaps it’d be interesting to go back through the last three decades or so, looking at the trailer for top-grossing movie of each year, to see whether there was a particular revolutionary point or if instead it was a gradual evolution.