Movie trailers are one of the most effective means of advertising a movie. The only problem with movie trailers is that sometimes they give away too much information, other times they don’t give us enough information about the movie, and sometimes they include scenes that we anticipate seeing that are not in the movie.
Still, there is no denying, a great movie trailer can make us drag ourselves out of the house to a movie when nothing else can. How many advertisements make you say, “I’ve got to have that!” Not many. But how many movie trailers make you say, “I want to see that,” or “I’ve got to see that!” You know what I mean.
Great movie trailers are Hollywood’s hook. They can even get us to go with great expectations to see horrible movies. Whether we see them as previews in the theater or as trailers on television or online, you have to admit often the movie trailer can make a movie sink or swim.
If I were compiling a list of the best movies of all time, it would be extremely different than the best movies of all time. One reason is that as time and technology have progressed, so has the art of making movie trailers more appealing. Most of the best movie trailers have been introduced to us in the last two decades.
For your convenience, links to movie trailers have been imbedded within each of the ten best movie trailers of all time.
Titanic, arguably the best movie of all time, has one of the best movie trailers of all time.
Titanic is one of the few movies I can watch over and over again. I watched it three times at the theater, and that is something I’ve never done before. The trailer for Titanic gives you a glimpse of how the already famous story will be played out and that we will witness culture diversity, clashes between societal classes, and romance. However, it doesn’t give away the essence of the storyline and plot, even though we know it is built around the sinking of the Titanic.
Titanic (1997)was directed by James Cameron and starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
Avatar, one of the latest films taking the world by storm, also has a trailer that captivates the senses.
Avatar’s trailer creates a sense of awe and wonder that will be fulfilled by the watching the movie. The trailer is one indication that the movie will be an extraordinary movie, and I believe is one reason for the movie’s success. Having seen the preview, even before all the buzz and awards, movie-goers knew they wanted to see Avatar.
Avatar (2009) was directed by film great James Cameron and stars Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, and a host of others working together to make a film far more out of this world than the movie trailer convinced it would be.
Casablanca, another all time great movie, has an intriguing trailer.
Casablanca has one of the best movie trailers I have seen with an early movie. It shows action and adventure, intrigue, and romance. It gives audience a taste of all the elements they want to see in the movie, but doesn’t give the movie away at all.
Casablanca (1942) directed by Michael Curtiz starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
Shutter Islandis a very recent and very powerful movie trailer.
I have not seen the movie, but the trailer leads me to believe it is going to be one of the all time great psychological thrillers of our time. Mystery, drama, and adventure await DeCaprio at Shutter Island. I’ve heard from movie fans that have seen it that is much more than they expected even given the great movie trailer. I can’t wait to see it.
Shutter Island(2010) is directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Leonardo DiCaprio.
EThad a trailer that exposed some secrets, but left enough to the imagination.
The trailer for ET showed viewers that this was not just another alien abduction movie. In the trailer we saw the kids who would play lead roles and captivated our hearts during the trailer and even got a glimpse of the extraterrestrial being. ET didn’t have a green body and antennas, so we had to go see what it was about.
ET (1982) directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, and child-star Drew Barrymore.
An award winning film, The Last Station, has a brilliant marketing movie trailer.
The Last Station is one of the best movies of all time, and the trailer will convince you of just that, unless you’re strictly an action-adventure fan. The Last Station movie trailer offers a hint of things to come, in fact, you may walk away from the trailer thinking you know more about the movie than you do. Be advised, the movie is even better.
The Last Station (2009) is directed by Michael Hoffman, starring James McAvoy, Christopher Plummer, and Helen Mirren.
Slumdog Millionairewas an award winning movie with a big trailer.
The movie trailer for Slumdog Millionaire gave away a lot about the basic plot of the movie. Yet, it held back just enough to create intriguer that would draw audiences in to see a movie that Americans might have ignored otherwise. The trailer did not give away the ending, although it hinted at some of the motivations driving the plot.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008) directed by Danny Boyle, starring Dev Patel, Saurab Shukla, and Anil Kapoor.
There is a comedy on the list of best movie trailers of all time: Airplane.
Airplane, the movie and the teaser are just so plain silly they are hysterically funny. You have to get your mind into a really shallow place to appreciate the humor, but that’s not too hard for me. This kind of screwball humor is great, because not many people have the guts to try it anymore. Those who do try this kind of humor have a hard time finding and pulling off original jokes and gags.
Airplane (1980) directed by Jim Abrahams, starring Lloyd Bridges and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
One of the greatest movie trailers of all times was for the movie Jaws.
It wasn’t just the movie that scared people out of the ocean waters for so long. The preview, alone was enough to do that. A single woman swimming alone gets pulled under by Jaws. Fourth of July on the beach and a shark moves in to visit. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to swim in a pool after that.
Jaws is another excellent Steven Spielberg film starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss.
Bravehearthad a hardy and inspiring preview.
Regardless of how you feel about Mel Gibson or the history between the Scotts and English, the movie trailer for Braveheart was action packed and inspiring. Personally, I think it gave away a little too much of the story, but Braveheart was epic enough that there was no way to give away the thrust, other than the continual battle.
Mel Gibson directed and had a starring role in Braveheart.