The art of the movie tagline

 

I remember the first time I noticed a tagline for a Tom Cruise film, on an advertisement for his 1988 bottle-flipping bartender romance "Cocktail." From that moment on, I became a lifelong fan - not of Cruise's acting but of the snippets of text that appear on his movie posters.

There was Cruise like Thunder for "Days of Thunder,"Drink from me and live forever promoting "Interview With a Vampire" and Expect the impossible ... again for "Mission Impossible II." And even as the actor's career continues into the 21st century, he can still bring it. Many saw evil ... they dared to stop it on the poster of the current release "Valkyrie" isn't as overwrought or self-referential as Cruise's best work. But it's still the product of a man who, after more than a quarter century in the business, is near the top of his game.

Taglines are the promotional lines for a film, usually anywhere from a few words to three sentences in length, that appear on movie posters and other advertising. They're often more entertaining than the film itself. I haven't paid to see a Steven Seagal film in a theater since 1995, but I eagerly await each of his taglines, which remain among the best in the business.

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Film Business, Hollywood


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