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Chicagoist's Favorite Movie Taglines

By Eric Hehr in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 26, 2011 7:00PM

“Houston, we have a problem.”

Upon reading this tagline, you probably made the connection to Apollo 13, a film about NASA’s problematic moon-bound mission. Since it's release in 1995, Apollo 13's infamous tagline has become synonymous with the film. Even those who have never seen Apollo 13 know the phrase “Houston, we have a problem,” and can connect it back to the film.

“Tagline” is a film term for slogan. Much like a business motto, a tagline is a short, catchy phrase used by studios to sell feature-length films. Depending on how a studio chooses to market a film, the tagline will sum up the basic plot (“The adventures of a young man whose principal interests are rape, ultra-violence and Beethoven.” A Clockwork Orange (1971), establish the tone ("There is nothing in the dark that isn't there in the light. Except fear." Cape Fear (1991), or advertise it’s stars ("The Bogart suspense picture with the surprise finish - " In a Lonely Place (1950). Sometimes a tagline will be purposely ambiguous to entice an audience ("Where were you in '62?” American Graffiti (1973). Other times, it will be obviously blunt in hopes of stirring up controversy, hence creating “buzz” for the film ("To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'" The Last House on The Left (1972).

Most taglines appear on film posters or film merchandise. The best taglines, however, transcend a film’s theatrical advertisements and embed themselves within the consciousness of an entire culture, enduring the test of time and becoming a common aphorism.

We here at the Chicagoist have selected our favorite movie taglines of all time. Some are iconic, some are ironic, but all are inseparable from the films they advertise. We may have missed a few, so feel free to let us know what your favorite movie tagline's of all time are!

PSYCHO (1960)
"No one…BUT NO ONE…will be admitted to the theater after the start of each performance of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho." Rob Christopher

Alien (1979)

Alien (1979)
“In space, no one can hear you scream." Jon Graef

Jaws 2 (1978)
"Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water." Steven Pate

Cocktail (1988)
"When he pours, he reigns." Eric Hehr

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
"One man's struggle to take it easy." Laura Stolpman

Star Wars (1977)
"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." Chuck Sudo

Bonnie and Clyde (1968)
"They're young...they're in love...and they kill people." Eric Hehr

Say Anything (1989)
"A Lloyd meets girl story." Kimberly Bellware

Cool Runnings (1993)
"One dream. Four Jamaicans. Twenty below zero." Caitlin Klein

Stand By Me (1986)
"“If I could only have one food to eat for the rest of my life? That’s easy. Pez. Cherry flavor Pez. No question about it.” Eric Hehr

Ghostbusters (1984)
"Who you gonna call?" Samantha Abernethy

Friday (1995)
"A lot can go down between Thursday and Saturday." Steven Pate

The Graduate (1967)
"This is Benjamin. He's a little worried about his future." Eric Hehr

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
“Sister, sister, oh so fair, why is there blood, all over your hair?” Chuck Sudo

Easy Rider (1969)
“A man went looking for America. And couldn’t find it anywhere…” Eric Hehr