For months leading up to this month's release of 'Black Swan,' we've been hearing about the steamy kiss scene between Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. We haven't heard this much buzz about an on-screen kiss since Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger locked lips in 'Brokeback Mountain,' or goody goody Neve Campbell (playing a bad girl) planted one on Denise Richards in 'Wild Things.'

Of course, if you wanted to see Jake kiss Heath or Neve lock lips with Denise, you actually had to go see the movie. Not so with 'Black Swan.' Why? Because it's in the trailer. That's right. The one moment that may compel people otherwise completely uninterested in some arty ballet thriller to shell out $14 to go see it is just given away. On the big screen, too -- I've already seen it at least three times during the previews before other flicks. As the old saying goes, why would anybody buy the cow when they're already getting the milk for free?

We can only assume the high-paid movie marketing honchos know what they're doing. But it really does seem like trailers these days are giving it all away, instead of leaving you wanting more. Remember the trailer for that other Portman flick, 'Brothers?' I didn't feel the need to see the movie after seeing the trailer. It gave away several major plot twists in less than three minutes. There may have been more, for all I know, but for me the movie already felt spoiled. In the case of 'Black Swan,' it's understandable the marketers would want to include the Portman-Kunis kiss scene as part of their promotional arsenal. However, there are better ways to tease a buzzworthy scene. Tease being the operative word here.



With that in mind, here are my top five picks for classic movie moments that would be unthinkable to include in the trailers. Scenes that were so talked about, you had to rush out to the theatre to see them for yourself. Y'know, to avoid standing speechless, like an idiot, everywhere the scene was being feverishly discussed. Like the watercooler. Cocktail parties. PTA meetings.

'Basic Instinct'
You know the scene I'm talking about. That's right. The moment that has apparently inspired hundreds of attention-seeking socialites to exit vehicles sans underpants. The trailer certainly alludes to Ms. Stone's naughty behavior while being interrogated by Newman, but it doesn't give it all away. Will she completely uncross her legs? Is she wearing underwear? Do you see everything? You have to see the movie to find out.


'Alien'
The 'chestburster' scene: This has got to be one of the most talked about movie moments of all time. People still reference it today, over 30 years later. So gross. So unexpected. So... hard to describe. You really have to see it.


'The Phantom of the Opera' (1925)
The unmasked scene. Who doesn't want to know what the phantom really looks like under there? The entire plot of the 'Phantom of the Opera' capitalizes on the ongoing hope of getting a glimpse at his beautifully disfigured face. We're held captive the entire movie, waiting for the big payoff. Of course they wouldn't give away that money shot in the trailer. (If there even were trailers back then!)

'The Exorcist'
The full swivel scene. There are plenty of memorable scenes in this classic. (The peeing at the cocktail party scene comes to mind). But none were more talked about than when poor little Regan's head does the full swivel. Back in 1973, I would imagine that would be quite the technical feat. This trailer really masters the tease, leaving us wondering what the heck is happening to that poor girl and her hapless mother.


'Reservoir Dogs'
The ear scene. Can't figure out why everyone you know is totally creeped out by the seemingly innocuous song "Stuck in the Middle With You?" Then clearly, you haven't seen one of the most memorable torture scenes in cinematic history. Obviously it's too graphic to be included in the trailer. But still, I'd like to think the decision to keep this famous scene out of the trailer could also be attributed to good sense.

CATEGORIES Columns, The Rundown