Farewell Movie Trailer Guy

Sad news. The man whose voice launched a 1000 movie trailers has died. You know the guy. He was a man…who spoke…two words…at a time. Yes, him. His name was Don LaFontaine and he provided the voice-overs for more than 5000 movie trailers.

5000! Bloody hell. That’s a lot of movies. This guy practically defined the Hollywood movie trailer format for much of his 33 year career. He did them all: “In a world where…”, “He was a man who…” and my personal favourite, “In a time of…”. You thought all those trailers sounded the same. Well, now you know, it actually was all one guy.

So he wasn’t so good at romantic comedies, and I don’t think he would’ve been right for kiddies movies about unicorns and sunbeams. But otherwise…he was the man. No seriously, think about how integral this one movie-trailer-guy, who at one time was doing up to 35 voice-overs in a single day, was to our collective understanding of American film. You could say he changed…the very nature…of the way we look…

…at movies.

All right. So he became a bit of punchline in the last couple of years. He even started parodying himself in trailers for the Simpson’s Movie. Maybe that’s what happens to legends who are too profligate with their gifts. But even with all the overexposure, you gotta admit, there’s no-one else who could take an utterly mundane statement and make it sound so compelling.

In any case, the man they called ‘Thunder Throat’ and the ‘Voice of God’ is no more. He was 68 years old. Our popcorn-munching, wrapper-rustling, movie trailer-watching experience will never be the same again. So let us all bow our heads and say in unison, “In a world where…men were men…women were women…and movies were movies…Don LaFontaine was king”. IMHO.

[Originally posted 03/09/2008]

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