In the decades since Hollywood first breathlessly sold its features to audiences, the art of movie trailers has changed dramatically. Click through our gallery to watch 15 of the greatest examples of coming attractions.
"The Sea Hawk" (1940)
Early studio system trailers were marvels of hucksterism -- grandiose ad copy that promised every movie to be GREATEST, the FUNNIEST, the MOST ACTION-PACKED, the MOST UNFORGETTABLE. In addition to a film's starry-eyed gloss, the trailers sold stars -- box office draws and beloved character actors -- to get moviegoers to shell out for even MORE tickets.
"The Sea Hawk" trailer has all of this and more. An evocative pitch for the Errol Flynn pirate adventure, the ad is notable not just for packing in so much in the way of thrills, romance and derring-do (plus Erich Wolfgang Korngold's stunning music), but for being that rare case when the film truly lived up to the superlatives heaped upon it.