10 Classic Movie Trailers

Saturday, February 5 by George Root

These 10 classic movie trailers were teasers for some of the best movies ever made. In some cases, the trailer wound up being better than the movie. But regardless of how good the movie was, the best classic movie trailers of all time did their marketing job.

  1. "Cloverfield" (2008). The reason the trailer for "Cloverfield" (2008) is one of the best classic movie trailers of all time is because it never told you what the movie was about. The trailer got you interested in the movie, but it never told you what the movie was supposed to show you.
  2. "Gone With The Wind" (1939). From the moment the book "Gone With The Wind" came out, this became one of the most highly anticipated movies of its era. The trailer is dramatic and a movie unto itself, which is what makes it one of the classic movie trailers of all time.
  3. "The Ten Commandments" (1956). The trailer for "The Ten Commandments" (1956) features producer Cecile B. Demille standing in front of a red curtain and explaining the origins of the movie. Then, this member of the list of classic movie trailers bombards the audience with action scene after action scene from the movie and draws you into wanting to see this classic film.
  4. "The Exorcist" (1973). It can be difficult to explain a movie to an audience when they have never seen anything like the movie before. The trailer for "The Exorcist" (1973) is one of the best classic movie trailers because it is nearly as terrifying as the movie.
  5. "The Blair Witch Project" (1999). The trailer for this movie is simply the opening graphic explaining that three college students disappeared and left the film behind. It was extremely effective and helped this movie to become a box office sensation.
  6. "Sands of Iwo Jima" (1949). Some have said that no one was more effective in a three minute trailer than John Wayne. The powerful trailer for this World War II epic is living proof of that statement.
  7. "Alien" (1979). The beauty of this member of the list of classic trailers is that it sells you on the visual parts of the movie without ever telling you the plot. The trailer is disturbing but extremely effective.
  8. "Patton" (1970). The trailer for this movie opens the same way the movie does, with George C. Scott giving his opening speech against the backdrop on the American flag. When you were done seeing this trailer, you just had to see the movie.
  9. "Caddyshack" (1980). What better way to sell one of the greatest comedies ever made than a trailer consisting of a bunch of one-liners from the movie? The producers managed to leave many of the best parts of the movie out of the trailer, but that does not stop it from being effective.
  10. "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968). The trailer for this movie is just as bizarre as the movie. That is probably why it was so effective at drawing an audience in to see the film.
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