Ever wonder who gets paid to come up with poetry like “This summer Jason Bourne comes home”? Then check out Portfolio.com’s illuminating article about movie tagline writers. It introduces us to a sushi-loving fellow named Jason Byers, who earns a comfortable six-figure income reducing movies to their punny, catchy essences. “This relationship is going to be a real mother,” from Monster-in-Law? “It’s time to kick some asteroid,” from Armageddon? Those are his.
If you think about it, a guy like Jason must make more money per published word than any other scribe in history. Lucky dog. And it got me wondering: who and where is the unsung hero who came up with “In space, no one can hear you scream” from Alien (pictured)? That, arguably, is the most famous poster tagline of all time, if we (in the interests of fairness) discount any line taken directly from the movie itself, like “Long ago, in a galaxy etc etc etc” and “They’re heeere…” and “Houston, we have a problem…”
Keeping in mind this restriction, what are your favorite movie taglines? I have two. See if you can guess which movies they’re from. (Answers, and more irresistible taglines, after the jump.) The first is old, and was the basis for a riveting Final Jeopardy question from ten or more years ago: “When these hands point straight up…the excitement starts!” Here’s the second one, and my absolute favorite: “The story of two people who got married, met, and then fell in love.” Who guessed both of these?
The first tagline is from High Noon; the second is from Green Card — and it’s so good, it’s like they thought of it first, then concocted a whole movie around it, don’t you think? As for other classic poster hooks, I gotta respect “If adventure has a name, it must be Indiana Jones” (Temple of Doom), “Can two friends sleep together and still love each other in the morning?” (When Harry Met Sally), and “He’s a man of peace in a savage land…Suburbia” (The ’Burbs). On a more serious note, I also endorse “The first casualty of war is innocence” from Platoon. What about you, P-Dubbers? Throw out some crazy ones, please.
And before we go, one more great one: “Detective Harry Callahan. He doesn’t break murder cases. He smashes them.”