Long before TV commercials became the preferred way of getting out word about a film, Hollywood relied on movie posters to do the job. Two elements make for a successful movie poster. The first is visual – a drawing, a photo, a graphic image that will come to be identified with the film. The second is a tag line, a sentence (or just a couple of words) that is catchy, easily remembered and which either helps explain what the movie is about or which teases us enough to pique our interest in the product. Below are some great (and in at least one instance, not-so-great) movie tag lines. See if you can match them to the appropriate film.
A. "It takes leadership to confront a nation’s fear. It takes friendship to conquer your own."
B. "Look closer."
C. "An epic drama of adventure and exploration."
D. "Two men went looking for America and couldn’t find it anywhere."
E. "Never give a saga an even break!"
F. "The mission that became a fortress...the fortress that became a shrine."
G. "Life is in their hands. Death is on their minds."
H. "For three men the Civil War wasn’t hell. It was practice!"
I. "A new and altogether different screen excitement!!!"
J. "It’s terrific!"
K. "He was either the most neglected hero in history or a liar of insane proportions."
L. "Everyone has a breaking point."
M. "He doesn’t break murder cases. He smashes them."
N. "Love means never having to say you’re sorry."
O. "In space no one can hear you scream."
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
2. Easy Rider (1969)
3. Love Story (1970)
4. Alien (1979)
5. American Beauty (1999)
6. The Alamo (1960)
7. Citizen Kane (1941)
8. Straw Dogs (1971)
9. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
10. Little Big Man (1970)
11. Blazing Saddles (1974)
12. 12 Angry Men (1957)
13. Psycho (1960)
14. Dirty Harry (1971)
15. The King’s Speech (2010)
About the Author
Robert W. Butler is a lifelong Kansas City area resident, a graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School and the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. For several decades he was the movie editor of the Kansas City Star; he now writes a movie-themed blog at butlerscinemascene.com. He's married to the former Ellen Vaughan; they are the proud parents of LA-based comedian, writer, director and TV personality Blair Butler. He used to be a dog person but now lives with two cats, thus demonstrating the flexibility of the human condition.
A-15 | B-5 | C-1 | D-2 | E-11 | F-6 | G-12 | H-9 | I-13 | J-7 | K-10 | L-8 | M-14 | N-3 | O-4