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Old 09-25-2019, 06:43 AM
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Sequels that are better known than the original


So we've already got a thread for collecting sequels that are better than the original, as well as one for parodies that are better known than the original. How about we make a list of sequels that are better known than the original? (I know that there's a current thread where people are talking about movie series where they've seen only the sequel, but I didn't want to hijack it with this different interpretation of the topic.)

I'll start with a couple literary examples:
  • Last of the Mohicans is the second book of James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales series. Nowadays almost no one remembers the others, including the first in the series, The Pioneers.
  • Little House on the Prairie is the third in the Little House series, following Little House in the Big Woods and Farmer Boy. These predecessors are not widely known today, even though narratively Prairie is a direct continuation of Big Woods.

To the above one might add The Da Vinci Code and The Silence of the Lambs, which were both the second books in their respective series. But their sequelhood is much better known now that their predecessors have got their own films (Angels & Demons and Red Dragon, respectively).

Can anyone think of any other examples, maybe from TV or cinema?

Last edited by psychonaut; 09-25-2019 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:51 AM
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Mentioned by a couple people in the 'only seen the sequel' thread...

Mad Max - The Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome are both, IME, much better known than the original (at least in North America), and are certainly far more influential.
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:56 AM
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As I remarked in another thread, I suspect Rambo: First Blood Part II is better known than First Blood, despite that being in its title.

Silence of the Labs is certainly better known than the film Manhunter. That's a bit tricky, because, although SotL is based on the book that's the sequel to the source of Manhunter (Thomas Harris' Red Dragon), the one film isn't meant to be the sequel to the other, being made by different folks entirely.


If you want everything to be kep[t neat and tidy, though, the film Red Dragon, based on the same book, and made by the people who made SotL, is less well-known that Silence of the Lambs.
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:58 AM
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Arguably, The Lord of the Rings
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:59 AM
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Does it count when the sequel takes over the series name, the way Rambo took over from First Blood? ETA: Dang, ninjaed.

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Old 09-25-2019, 08:04 AM
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Oh, I just thought of another example, this time from the world of computer gaming. Wolfenstein 3D, which in 1992 almost singlehandedly popularized the first-person shooter genre, is much better known than 1981's Castle Wolfenstein and 1984's Beyond Castle Wolfenstein. 3D isn't strictly a sequel (though it was initially conceived of that way) but it retains the name and many aspects of the plot and gameplay, and so can be seen as a sort of spiritual successor.
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:06 AM
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When Disney made an animated movie from the Prydain books, they named the movie after the second one, The Black Cauldron, not the first, The Book of Three (though the movie includes elements of both). So people who know of the books only from the movie will know the sequel better than the original.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn might be better known than The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, though most folks know of both.

And both Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn and Army of Darkness have had a lot more impact on the popular consciousness than the original Evil Dead. Anyone who's actually seen the later movies probably knows they're sequels, but plenty of folks reference them without having seen them.
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:09 AM
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Arguably, The Lord of the Rings
If you're comparing it to The Hobbit, then I'd say probably not; most people who know of one probably know of the other, especially now that both have been adapted into major live-action motion pictures.. But if you're counting it as a sequel to The Silmarillion (which was written before Lord of the Rings but published after), then I'd say you're spot on.

Last edited by psychonaut; 09-25-2019 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:10 AM
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When Disney made an animated movie from the Prydain books, they named the movie after the second one, The Black Cauldron, not the first, The Book of Three (though the movie includes elements of both). So people who know of the books only from the movie will know the sequel better than the original.
That's a good one, and one which I'm ashamed I did not remember to include in my OP, seeing as I just saw the film a few weeks ago and spent a lot of time reading up on its history.
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:02 AM
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It took a while for The Pink Panther movies to hit their stride. I don't know if there's one film that's best known, but most of the hallmarks of the series (Clouseau's bumbling and accent, Dreyfus's hatred of Clouseau, and Kato's ambushes) started with A Shot in the Dark, which was the first sequel.
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:25 AM
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The New Testament vs. The Old Testament. And I think more people have seen Jesus Christ Superstar than its "prequel" Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:25 AM
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Susan Cooper's "Dark is Rising" series starts with "Over Sea, Under Stone" - "The Dark is Rising" is book 2, but gets to be the series name...
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:39 AM
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Most Americans associate The Avengers with Emma Peel (played by Diana Rigg).

That was actually the fourth season. Less well-known are the second and third seasons, which had Cathy Gale (played by Honor Blackman) and a couple of others.

Most Americans are unaware of the first season, in which John Steed was the sidekick, and the leading role was David Keel (played by Ian Hendry).
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:52 AM
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Most Americans associate The Avengers with Emma Peel (played by Diana Rigg).

That was actually the fourth season. Less well-known are the second and third seasons, which had Cathy Gale (played by Honor Blackman) and a couple of others.

Most Americans are unaware of the first season, in which John Steed was the sidekick, and the leading role was David Keel (played by Ian Hendry).
Iin South Africa, we only got the New Avengers, so here it's Purdy and Gambit and Steed who were best known.
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:53 AM
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Most people are aware that the 1932 film The Mummy, starring Boris Karloff, started the Universal Studios mummy franchise. But most of the tropes in the genre come from the reboot series in the 1940s, with Tom Tyler and Lon Chaney Jr.
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mbh View Post
Most Americans associate The Avengers with Emma Peel (played by Diana Rigg).

That was actually the fourth season. Less well-known are the second and third seasons, which had Cathy Gale (played by Honor Blackman) and a couple of others.

Most Americans are unaware of the first season, in which John Steed was the sidekick, and the leading role was David Keel (played by Ian Hendry).
Likewise, up until the revival series, Tom Baker was the best-known Doctor (of Doctor Who) in the US, even though he was the fourth person to play the role in the series.
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:03 AM
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How about the horror movie Ben? I suspect most people who have seen it have never seen (or maybe never even heard about) its predecessor, Willard.
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:16 AM
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I'm not sure about this one, but I think that the Voltron that was most familiar to American audiences, the one with the five lions, was Voltron 3, and the one with the twenty assorted vehicles was actually Voltron 1. But don't ask me where I ever heard those numbers attached to them.

And the Ultima computer games became a lot more popular with Ultima 2: Exodus and (especially) Ultima 3: Quest of the Avatar, both of which had releases on the NES. I couldn't even tell you anything about the first one.
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:28 AM
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And the Ultima computer games became a lot more popular with Ultima 2: Exodus and (especially) Ultima 3: Quest of the Avatar, both of which had releases on the NES. I couldn't even tell you anything about the first one.
You've got an off-by-one error there. Exodus was the third in the series (originally branded as "Exodus: Ultima III"), and Quest of the Avatar was Ultima IV.
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:54 AM
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OK, then, I couldn't tell you anything about the first two.
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:15 AM
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Most people are aware that the 1932 film The Mummy, starring Boris Karloff, started the Universal Studios mummy franchise. But most of the tropes in the genre come from the reboot series in the 1940s, with Tom Tyler and Lon Chaney Jr.
Maybe yes, maybe no. I think that more people are familiar with Im-Ho-Tep (partly because of the use of the name more recent updates) and the search of Im-Ho-Tep for his reincarnated beloved (although that was duplicated in the 1940s sequels; it was also retold in the recent remakes) than with Kharis as the mummy's name, or of his animation with Tana Leaves than with the Book of Thoth.
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:20 AM
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Ultima II was a great game for its time, though it hasn't aged as well as the others. Single character, no zoom in tactical to fight as a party. There was also an alien spaceship and space travel, which for some mysterious reason never made the cut for inclusion in subsequent Ultimas.

That being said, I never played the original Ultima, so Ultima II would still count in my book.
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:02 PM
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To the above one might add The Da Vinci Code and The Silence of the Lambs, which were both the second books in their respective series. But their sequelhood is much better known now that their predecessors have got their own films (Angels & Demons and Red Dragon, respectively).
I don't think the film Angels & Demons ever addressed when it took place in relation to DaVinci Code. I imagine there's plenty of people who have only seen the movies who think Angels & Demons is the sequel.
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:22 PM
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Mentioned by a couple people in the 'only seen the sequel' thread...

Mad Max - The Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome are both, IME, much better known than the original (at least in North America), and are certainly far more influential.
I'd say The Road Warrior almost qualifies as a remake of Mad Max rather than a sequel. Desperado the same for El Mariachi.
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:24 PM
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I guess the least well known of the Wallace and Gromit movies is the first, A Grand Day Out.

Aside:

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Old 09-25-2019, 01:31 PM
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World War II
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:34 PM
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Does it count when the sequel takes over the series name, the way Rambo took over from First Blood? ETA: Dang, ninjaed.
Fun trivia/bar-bet fodder: Who starred in Rambo II? Answer: no one. There never was a Rambo II.
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:41 PM
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Fun trivia/bar-bet fodder: Who starred in Rambo II? Answer: no one. There never was a Rambo II.
I think I can top that one: In the House horror movie franchise there was a I, II and IV, but no III.
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:51 PM
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I'd say The Road Warrior almost qualifies as a remake of Mad Max rather than a sequel.
Huh? How do you figure? Road Warrior is what happened to Max after the first movie. Plots totally different.

Bikers destroy his life, he gets Mad, ends up roaming the waste-land. Cue the second movie.

Last edited by Gatopescado; 09-25-2019 at 01:52 PM. Reason: Price of gold is $1505!
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:51 PM
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And the Ultima computer games became a lot more popular with Ultima 2: Exodus and (especially) Ultima 3: Quest of the Avatar, both of which had releases on the NES. I couldn't even tell you anything about the first one.
You've got an off-by-one error there. Exodus was the third in the series (originally branded as "Exodus: Ultima III"), and Quest of the Avatar was Ultima IV.
And before Ultima, there was Alkabeth.

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Ultima II was a great game for its time, though it hasn't aged as well as the others. Single character, no zoom in tactical to fight as a party. There was also an alien spaceship and space travel, which for some mysterious reason never made the cut for inclusion in subsequent Ultimas.

That being said, I never played the original Ultima, so Ultima II would still count in my book.
Ultima and Ultima II aren't really all that different. Same basic gameplay mechanics, same basic plot, but different settings. ETA: "settings" as in the world the game took place.

I'd have to agree that Ultima III was when the series really began to be known, though. It was the first one I played, at the time of its release. I'd seen a few friends playing the first two, and decided I wanted my own copies, and had a hell of a time finding them. Ultima III was always on the shelves, though.

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Old 09-25-2019, 02:04 PM
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What about Disney's The Rescuers Down Under? Maybe it just seems that way to me because the first movie came out before I was born, while the sequel came out when I was a kid. I hadn't even heard of the original The Rescuers or realized The Rescuers Down Under was a sequel to anything until I was an adult. But I don't know if that's true for the general public, or if it's just me, of perhaps people in my general age group.
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Old 09-25-2019, 02:30 PM
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I think I can top that one: In the House horror movie franchise there was a I, II and IV, but no III.
Maybe they were afraid of the "odd numbers suck" meme.
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Old 09-25-2019, 03:34 PM
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The sequels to the original Friday the 13 are probably better known than the original movie. If only because:

SPOILER:
In the original movie Jason's mother is the killer not Jason himself.
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Old 09-25-2019, 04:22 PM
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I'd wager that Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is better known than Star Trek: The Motion Picture—not in the sense of people not knowing of the existence of the earlier movie, but in the sense of a lot fewer people knowing anything about the movie or what happens in it.
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Old 09-25-2019, 04:40 PM
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Because of the Disney film, the Black Cauldron is the second and best known Prydain book. The movie really mushes together the first two books.

I'd argue Ultima IV is the most iconic.
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:23 PM
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Maybe yes, maybe no. I think that more people are familiar with Im-Ho-Tep (partly because of the use of the name more recent updates) and the search of Im-Ho-Tep for his reincarnated beloved (although that was duplicated in the 1940s sequels; it was also retold in the recent remakes) than with Kharis as the mummy's name, or of his animation with Tana Leaves than with the Book of Thoth.
The cartoon image of a dessicated guy lurching around wrapped in bandages is from the Tyler/Chaney movies. Karloff was quite spry after he was revived, and had no trouble passing for a (relatively) normal human.




Quote:
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I'd say The Road Warrior almost qualifies as a remake of Mad Max rather than a sequel. Desperado the same for El Mariachi.
In each case, the second movie contains flashbacks to the first. In each case, the second movie makes a point of mentioning that the hero is handicapped from an injury he sustained in the first.




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I think I can top that one: In the House horror movie franchise there was a I, II and IV, but no III.
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Maybe they were afraid of the "odd numbers suck" meme.
The third movie was released in Australia as House III, but in the U.S. as The Horror Show. The second and third movies had no onscreen connection to the first, just some production crew in common, and the "strange things happen in this spooky old house" motif.
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:28 PM
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Since The Wrath of Khan got so many reviews that were better than Star Trek: The Motion Picture's, I wouldn't be surprised if more people outside Trek fandom have seen the former without ever seeing the latter.
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:07 PM
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I surprised nobody has mentioned Bill Cosby's Leonard Part 6. I don't know anybody who's seen parts one through five.
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:21 PM
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Though it's a well-known film, I'd reckon that the more current Bond films are better known than Dr. No - or at the very least, it is not the best-known Bond film.
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:06 PM
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Batman Begins is not an unknown movie but The Dark Knight is much better known.
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:26 PM
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What about Disney's The Rescuers Down Under? Maybe it just seems that way to me because the first movie came out before I was born, while the sequel came out when I was a kid. I hadn't even heard of the original The Rescuers or realized The Rescuers Down Under was a sequel to anything until I was an adult. But I don't know if that's true for the general public, or if it's just me, of perhaps people in my general age group.
Dunno. My brother and I (36 and 42) had seen The Rescuers before Down Under came out. It might be a function of availability in the 80s give the whole Disney vault bs. We saw it primarily because we went to an independently owned video store owned by someone who got every Disney movie he could get his hands on, which is also why my favorite Disney movie as a little kid was one almost no one I've mentioned it to is familiar with: Toby Tyler or Ten Weeks with a Circus.
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:55 PM
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Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo? I long ago forgot about the original, but remember the sequel because of the expanded title.

I admit I didn't actually see either of them, though.
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:01 PM
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I also remember The Rescuers rather than The Rescuers Down Under. This is likely correlated to age at time of release given that they are children's movies with a 13 year gap between releases.
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:09 PM
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Going with my username, Godzilla vs ____ sequels were more well-known than the original Gojira movie. Especially before DVDs and the Internet.

Back then, people associated Godzilla with the rubbery monsters battling, miniature props and mismatched lip movements on Sunday afternoon UHF television. Those focused on the late 60s and 70s Godzilla movies, where the budgets went way down. "Godzilla vs Megalon" is considered the nadir of the series with horrible production values. It unluckily fell into public domain in the US, and was all over TV and bargain VHS bins. Therefore, it's often the lasting impression of a cheesy Godzilla movie.

When the 1956 original Godzilla movie became easily available, I know I was surprised by the dark, somber, nuclear-war theme. If you watch the original 1954 Japanese version sans Raymond Burr, it almost has a film noir quality.
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:13 PM
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I surprised nobody has mentioned Bill Cosby's Leonard Part 6. I don't know anybody who's seen parts one through five.
They were just as unwatchable as the 9 movies preceding "Malcolm X".
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:20 PM
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The game Dune II is the archetypal RTS game. Nothing before it was close, the Warcraft and Starcraft series follow very clearly in its footsteps. Twenty years later in 2012, Time named it one of the 100 greatest video games of all time.

Dune I was a forgettable action adventure game that broke no new ground. I never played it.
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:25 PM
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They were just as unwatchable as the 9 movies preceding "Malcolm X".
No one ever talks about the first 29 xXx movies.
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:31 PM
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The first Die Hard being technically a sequel to a Frank Sinatra movie is on every "bet you didn't know" list for the movie. I've never actually seen The Detective.
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:40 PM
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The first Die Hard being technically a sequel to a Frank Sinatra movie is on every "bet you didn't know" list for the movie. I've never actually seen The Detective.
In what way is it a sequel?
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:43 PM
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No one ever talks about the first 29 xXx movies.
Heck, there were 50 prequels to LI.

And 999 to M.

Can any movie top the 1999 to MM?
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