The Strange And Interesting History of Movie Trailers

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These days, movie trailers are hugely important things. They set the tone for an upcoming film, and we salivate over them to the point that even the trailers have trailers. How did we get to this point? Culture blog Hopes and Fears has an neat look at the history and development of the movie trailer:

Movies were about to hit mass audiences and make people lots of money. A growing number of city dwellers were heading to nickelodeons and movie theaters to scream at reels of trains pulling into stations—or so the legend goes. But trailers weren’t originally used as they are today. Paramount executive Lou Harris told the Los Angeles Times in October of 1966 that the first “trailer” appeared in 1912 at the end of the serial The Adventures of Kathlyn.


Read the rest here, with plenty of examples to watch.

via Hopes and Fears.


You can tell a lot about a movie by it’s trailer. If the producers genuinely believe the plot has merit, they will not spoil any details. The PLOT has monetary value. When you see the entire plot line exposed in a single trailer, run away from that movie. It has no value.