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Don't Judge a Movie by its Cover

Tags: movie cover
Never judge a book by its cover. We've heard that a million times.

And the same could be said about movies. Sometimes movie posters (and their DVD covers) don't match what's inside.

The simple reason usually comes down to marketing... What the marketing people think will entice people to want to watch the movie. Because of that, you may see a few discrepancies.

If the marketing team doesn't know quite how to package the film (often because the movie doesn't fit neatly into a cookie-cutter-shaped film genre), they'll try to figure out some way to "sell" the movie. For example, a family film that happens to have a dog in it just might feature the dog prominently on the cover, even if the dog isn't that important to the plot. 

Think the original 1977 Star Wars poster. Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia look a little different than they do in the actual movie. It's almost like the movie has a split personality. (Even more interesting are the Russian versions of the poster.) But of course, Star Wars isn't the only movie to fall victim to this:
  • The DVD cover of the live-action adaptation of Animal Farm (1999), makes the movie seem like just another nice, kid-friendly fairy tale featuring animals that talk. (Wait till they meet Snowball.)
  • In The Incredibles (2004), Jack-Jack is shown with his family sporting their red super suits designed by Edna, despite the fact that, in the actual movie, we never SEE Jack-Jack wearing his suit. (This isn't a super-horrible misrepresentation; just a slight one.)
  • A VHS cover of the film, Julius Caesar (1970), proclaims that Charlton Heston plays the title role of Caesar. The only problem is that Heston actually plays Marc Antony. (There's a difference between the two characters that the marketing people didn't quite understand. Top billing doesn't always mean the title character...) 
  • All I Want for Christmas (1991) is a movie about two kids who want to get their parents back together for Christmas. The DVD cover shows them kidnapping Santa Claus.
  • The DVD cover for Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979) makes the movie look like it's all about a really happy family and how happy they are.  (By the way, the original poster for the movie is a little better. While it uses the same photo, the photo is smaller and looks like it's been dropped on the floor. Which works well for the symbolism of the movie.)
  • Reign of Fire (2002) shows London on fire in an end-of-the-world scenario with fire-breathing dragons in the air. If you watch the movie for this scene, you'll be disappointed as it only plays out in newspaper clippings.
  • From the poster, you'd assume that My Sister's Keeper (2009) is a nice, uplifting mother/daughter flick. The mom and daughter look so happy.
  • There's more! For a list of other such movies, check out this website.

Some posters or DVD covers are worse than others. Some blatantly lie. Some fib. The worst of the bunch make you scratch your head and wonder how they came up with that idea.

[Photo by aussiegall]

This post first appeared on A Moon Brothers Film..., please read the originial post: here

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Don't Judge a Movie by its Cover


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