When a movie does well, producers often want to capitalize on the buzz and create a sequel. Sometimes, the second movie is a total bust. However, some stories are well thought out and filmed in such a way that making more movies just make sense. Here is a list of the best movie trilogies of all time. Don’t miss them!
When you say “the first 3 Star Wars movies” do you mean the first ones made, or the first ones in the series (i.e. the last ones made). That is the confusing part of Star Wars. The original Star Wars, “A New Hope” released in 1977, is actually the 4th film of the series (Episode IV). It was followed by “The Empire Strikes Back” (Episode V) in 1980, and “Return of the Jedi” (Episode VI) in 1983. This trilogy became a worldwide phenomenon. Nothing of the sort had ever been done before on film. 16 years later, the prequels began, starting with “The Phantom Menace” (Episode I) in 1999, “Attack of the Clones” (Episode II) in 2002, and “Revenge of the Sith” (Episode III) in 2005. George Lucas, has mentioned that he is not interested in making episodes 7, 8 or 9… that Star Wars is meant to be a 6 part series. Time will tell.
The Lord of the Rings
Who doesn’t know that this trilogy is based on the novels by the same name written between 1937 and 1949 by J.R.R. Tolkien, as a sequel to his book “The Hobbit”. The first movie (The Fellowship of the Ring) was an astounding success at the box office and sets the stage for the epic battle against the Dark Lord Sauron and the journey to destroy his source of strength, a magical Ring of Power. Many say that the second movie (The Two Towers) is the worst out of the 3, but to some, it is one of the most enjoyable. In addition to Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) whom we know from the first movie, we’re introduced to Eomer (Karl Urban) and Faramir (David Wenham). The third movie (The Return of the King) is a masterpiece which won 11 academy awards (well deserved!). If you are going to watch these movies on DVD, please do watch the extended versions… over 3 hours each, but very much worth it!
7 books by J.K. Rowling are made into 8 movies. If you haven’t heard of Harry Potter, you must be living in a cave somewhere. This series is only the best selling kids books in the world. The great thing about it, the story is superbly written, the same actors are used throughout the series, and it’s not only for children. Harry Potter and his friends grow up right before our eyes, and have adventures which no child, or teenager, should ever have to live through. It is a great tale of good versus evil, and it’s magical!
This trilogy delves into the world of the Italian Mob. Familial bonds, trust, deceit and betrayal, guns… what’s not to love. The patriarch of the family, and Mafia don, wants to transfer his “business” to his apprehensive son. With Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duval, Diane Keaton… and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, it is a must see! The first Godfather movie came out in 1972, The Godfather, part II was in 1974, while The Godfather, part III was released in 1990.
This is a story about perseverance. In the first installment, Rocky is the absolute underdog who gets a chance in a big fight against Apollo Creed, the undisputed champ. Rocky is not taken seriously, but determined to prove himself, he takes his shot. Despite fighting an uphill battle against a better opponent, his heart and determination make him prevail. His attitude wins over the crowd and he becomes a hero to many. The series of movies was delivered over 4 decades; Rocky (1976), Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), Rocky V (1990) and Rocky Balboa (2006).
The Bourne series
Starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a man who, waking up with amnesia, discovers he has scary talents – such as knowing where all the exits are in case of emergency, or how to kill an assailant with his bare hands – and people who are trying to kill him. The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), are based on the novels by Robert Ludlum. Subsequent books have been written by Eric Van Lustbader. I would be surprised if a fourth movie was made, but would be thrilled if it does.
Created by author Ian Flemming in 1953, British Secret Agent 007 is probably one of the best known spies in the world. In now 22 films, this fictional character has been played on screen by a total of 7 actors. Sean Connery was the first to ever portray this ‘ahem’ male chauvinist, while actor Daniel Craig has been the latest (even with his blond hair, which was a problem for some die-hard Bond fans when he was given the job).
Laugh all you want, but with the money they are making and the twi-hard fans, this just can’t be omitted from the list. Based on the books from Stephanie Meyer, a vampire (Edward) falls in love with a human girl (Bella) – or it could also be vice-versa – and her best friend (Jacob), who also loves her, finds out later that he’s a werewolf. If you haven’t heard of this series, you have been living under a rock somewhere, secluded from everything pop culture has to offer! The books, of course, have much more detail than the movies do – it’s always like that – but the movies are well made, have great looking actors – who can also act – and the “love story” has some interesting action scenes. Great for everyone.
With the all time best Keanu Reeves line: “I know Kung-Fu!”, the Matrix is a science fiction action movie series also starring Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, and Hugo Weaving (who also played in The Lord of the Rings – talk about great movie roles). In this series, what humans perceive as reality is in fact a simulation created by machines. With great special effects, an interesting story line, and great actors, this is a movie that will stand the test of time (unless we really are living in a simulated reality… then the computers could just erase it from our memories).
Portrayed by Harrison Ford, Indiana Jones is an archeology professor who finds himself in unimaginable adventures while trying to recover artifacts, or prevent someone from stealing them. Indiana Jones was introduced to the public in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” released in 1981. The prequel “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” was released in 1984, while the third film “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” was released in 1989, and is actually the third movie of the series. Everyone thought it was the end of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, until a fourth movie “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” was released in 2008. Tom Selleck was originally cast as Indiana Jones, but contractual obligations prevented him from filming the movie. Unfortunately for him, the scheduling conflict which had him decline the role didn’t materialize. He could have filmed the movie, and kept his other obligations (Magnum, P.I.). We will never know if he would have made a better Indiana Jones… but it’s hard to imagine this series with anyone other than Harrison Ford.
And a bonus 11th movie series:
The Pink Panther
Original series with Peter Sellers, of course. – If you’ve never seen these, you are missing something hilarious. Do not think that the new versions with Steve Martin are similar… They are nowhere close to being as brilliantly funny as the originals. The Pink Panther series owe their success to the comedic genius of Peter Sellers who is also featured in one of the greatest comedy classics of all time, The Party.