Every so often, a movie captures the public’s attention so well that studios, writers and the cast get together and make another movie or two, or three, or more. These become franchises; moviegoers know the characters; so they know how the characters will act and react to different scenarios. Some characters become iconic; phrases from the movies make their way into the general lexicon. Phrases such as “I’ll be back,” “..Trust the Force,” and “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse,” all came from movie franchises.
Here are ten great movie franchises that have become ingrained in our culture. They are fun to watch for movie marathons and to have in collections. Watch them online, rent them or purchase the films. You can purchase the movies one at a time or save money by purchasing a box set when available.
In 1977, a movie became a phenomenon. People went to see a movie called “Star Wars” multiple times; a few individuals made local news by going almost daily. It was spectacular; there were new special effects, the story was new and the heroes win at the end. By the way, there was no nudity, no gore and no cursing. The franchise has kept this premise throughout the multiple films in the story line, something unique in Hollywood.
Based on the popular TV series, this 1979 movie introduced a story line that writers carefully crafted with the original cast. It didn’t matter to the audience that the actors were a little older, so were we all. Movies in the franchise are still being made with younger versions of the characters and audiences are standing in line to see them. Playing the iconic characters isn’t easy for the actors, but the talented cast has taken great care to bring them to life as people know them. There are phrases from the franchise that have made it into the public lexicon. These are:
- · “I’m giving her all she’s got, Captain!”
- · “I’m a Doctor, not an (insert profession here )!”
- · “Beam me up, Scotty!”
- · “Fascinating.”
The arrival of the New Millennium brought the first movie in the franchise. Based on Marvel characters from the comics of the same name, the movie was an instant hit. Fans of the comic knew the characters and wanted to see if the actors would play them correctly. No fan was disappointed; the cast was amazing. They still are, as movies with the characters are still being made. There’s even a movie-spin off of the Wolverine character.
Fast And Furious
The first movie to have this name was made in 1939, but the franchise actually started in 2001with Vin Diesel playing the character Dominic Toretto. The movies feature street racing, incredible stunt driving, action and non-stop drama. This franchise is also actively producing more movies in the franchise.
This is top grossing franchise of the movie universe. Since the release of the first movie in 1962, the films have raked in over 14 billion dollars worldwide. It’s not the first movie franchise, but is the undisputed king. Several actors have played the iconic character, including:
- · Sean Connery
- · Timothy Dalton
- · Pierce Brosnan
- · Daniel Craig
- · David Niven
- · George Lazenby
- · Roger Moore
- · Barry Nelson
- · Bob Holness
- · Bob Simmons
- · Christopher Cazenove
Few Sci-Fi films ever really scared audiences. The advertising phrase, “In space, no one can hear you scream,” brought people into drive-ins and theatres to watch a movie titled “Alien” in 1979. Beautifully written and acted, everyone in my group screamed when we saw the creature. We also screamed when the creature burst out of John Hurt’s chest. When it chattered like the family’s pet cat before scurrying off, my sister and I giggled- nervously.
This amazing franchise was introduced in 1976; people cheered for the underdog who was chosen to fight the champion as a joke match. The fighter, Rocky Balboa, knew he didn’t have a chance against the undefeated champion, so he set a goal to do what no one else had accomplished- to last 15 rounds. The movie wasn’t about winning, in fact, he didn’t. People cheered because he refused to give up and accomplished the goal of lasting to the end with an overwhelming opponent against incredible odds. That’s something everyone can and still does identify with.
Planet Of The Apes
This franchise started in 1968 with a story that was new and beyond belief. Astronauts land on what they think is another planet and are captured by talking, thinking apes carrying weapons. Things only get worse for the humans as the leader, Taylor, finally figures out that the crew didn’t land anywhere but on Earth in the future.
Each movie in the franchise was unique and executed perfectly by the cast. Today, some of the movies are being remade with different story lines and people are flocking to the theatres to watch.
1984 did not see George Orwell’s prediction about a totalitarian government in the US, but it did introduce one of the most incredible Sci-Fi franchises of all time. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a cyborg programmed to kill a waitress named Sarah Conner. It was sent back in time to prevent the birth of her child, John. In the near future, machines would take over the Earth and attempt to exterminate mankind. John Conner leads a resistance that suggests we could win.
In 1972, Marlon Brando and Al Pacino created characters that are still talked about today. The movie follows a Mafia family as the patriarch names his successor. Young Michael Corleone, a decorated war hero, wants nothing to do with the business until rivals attempt to kill his father. He steps into the family business and has to hide in Italy. In the end, he becomes more ruthless than anyone else in the family.
I own several of the franchises and love to watch them over and over. They never fail to entertain, thrill or scare me. They’re wonderful.
Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse subjects and skills such as DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and more.