I was talking with Shawn Robare of Branded in the ’80s over Twitter a while ago (click here to follow him) and he came up with a great movie game: unofficial movie trilogies. The idea was to name three movies that weren’t sequels or remakes of each other, but had some type of over-arching connection through subject matter or archetype. Shawn originally focused his trilogies on ’80s movies, but I started ignoring his “rules” and opened it up to include ’70s – 2000s. However, after doing this, I noticed the majority of our answers did in fact come from the ’80s and ’90s.
So, we tweeted back and forth different lists of movies we grouped together in these “unofficial trilogies”. Just looking at the movie titles you couldn’t tell what they may have in common, but when you look deeper, the connection becomes apparent. It reminded me of that board game, Tribond.
In TriBond, for those that don’t know, you are given three seemingly unrelated things and you have to name what they have in common. For instance, on the box above, you have pie, Earth and bread. How are those three things related? The answer, they all have a crust. See? How about another one; Florida, door, piano. What do they have in common? Give up? It’s keys. They all have keys. Clever right? Well, that was Shawn’s idea, relate three previously unrelated movies. So we went back and forth giving our answers and we came up with some good ones. I thought I’d share them with you guys and let you in on the fun.
As a special treat, Shawn has agreed to write a companion piece over on Branded in the 80s. I’ll be discussing my list of movie trilogies here at the Cavalcade (you are reading it now) and Shawn will discuss his list of movie trilogies over on Branded. It was fun to do this with Shawn and I think you guys are going to like it. Let’s get started.
Tim Matheson “Eric Stratton” trilogy – In 1978 Tim Matheson played Eric Stratton in Animal House. It was a classic role that pretty much jump started his career. Don’t get me wrong, Tim was in a crap-ton of stuff before Animal House, but Eric Stratton would pretty much define his career. Not surprisingly, Tim would play a similar irreverent jokester character, Bob McGraw, in the 1984 college romp, Up the Creek. I couldn’t find a trailer, but here’s a funny 5 minute clip from the movie. Then, to cap off the hat trick, Tim would play Van Wilder’s dad in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, thereby coming full circle as Animal House was also by National Lampoon and in the movie Van’s dad is inferred to also be a former partier. As an adendum, Tim would play a famous college alum in American Pie: Book of Love (2009). He would appear in a scene with other actors who portrayed famous high school/college characters like Dustin Diamond (Saved by the Bell), C Thomas Howell (Red Dawn, My Secret Admirer), Christopher Knight (Brady Bunch) and Robert Romanus (Fast Times at Ridgemont High).
Kevin Costner “Crash Davis” trilogy – In 1988 Kevin Costner made Bull Durham and introduced the world to “Crash” Davis, catcher extraordinaire and mentor to “Nuke” LaLoosh. It was a career defining role and one many consider to be his best. In 1999 Costner would return to the baseball diamond in For Love of the Game. Costner played a pitcher, Billy Chapel, about to pitch the last game of his career. Then, in 2005, Costner played retired baseball player, Denny Davies in Upside of Anger. While Billy Chapel wasn’t as irreverent and funny as Crash, Denny Davies was every bit as irreverent and funny as Crash. I’m surprised they didn’t just name him Denny Davis and maybe have one mention of his nickname being Crash or something. The roles are really that similar. I was close to putting Tin Cup in this group mainly because that character is essentially “Bull Durham on a golf course”, but I like the idea of three baseball movies.