Mount Rushmore – Movie Franchise Edition



One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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155 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

    The Godfather: I don’t necessarily consider it a franchise but the first two are classics. To me a franchise in theory means unlimited numbers of movies and reboots. Superhero comics are ripe for being franchises. Same with SF and Fantasy stuff.

    1. X-Men: The first two were great, the third one sucked, First Class had ups and downs, Days of Future Past looks promising.

    2. Star Trek.

    3. Superman. Only with Christopher Reeve in the title role though.

    4. Star Wars.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

      Your list skews nerdy. :-pReport

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw in reply to Kazzy says:

        I can’t think of a non-nerdy franchise. As I said, I don’t consider the Godfather to be a franchise. Maybe Rocky but only the first Rocky is good. I suppose Die Hard as well.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        How are you defining franchise?

        And there is nothing wrong with skewing nerdy, mind you.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Kazzy says:

        oh, how about the 3 stooges?Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw in reply to Kazzy says:

        I wrote an artier list. In my mind a franchise is largely something that can seemingly go on for infinity and have many many movies. This is why Superhero movies are really big. They tend to have sprawling universes and decades worth of stories. You can make X-Men movies until the cows come home. James Bond is also a good franchise. How did I forger James Bond?Report

      • Avatar Mo in reply to Kazzy says:

        @saul-degraw Take that back. Rocky III had Clubber Lang and Rocky IV had the speech that won the Cold War.Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

      I’m a huge fan of some of the X-Men films, but I think the absolute dreck that is X3 and the more entertainingly bad Wolverine: Origins keeps them from making the list. Similarly, the badness of Superman 3 and 4 makes their inclusion questionable.

      Star Wars definitely goes on ‘Mount Rushmore’. If the next two movies maintain the quality of the first two (first was good, second was great), I’d put The Hunger Games there as well. I’ve only seen the first Godfather (I know, I know, my family even owns Godfather II and I haven’t watched it, bad me), but it was a good movie and the franchise is a good pick.

      For the fourth one: Toy Story, hands down. All three of the franchise’s movies are fantastic. And we should recognize animation on our Mount Rushmore, when we’ve got such a good example of the art form.

      If I’m not allowed to choose Hunger Games for the reason of only two movies being released so far, the four franchise should be the James Bond films.Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Batman, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Spider Man, and Star Wars.Report

  3. Avatar Chris says:

    All three Indiana Jones films are awesome, especially the first and the third. So Indiana Jones for sure.

    Yes, I said all three.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Chris says:

      Cheater. You can’t cut the dead weight. If I have to deal with “Tokyo Drift” and Lil Bow Wow, you get “Crystal Skull” and Shia LeBouf.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Kazzy says:

        OK, well Raiders is pretty much a perfect film, so it can make up for Crystal Skull. I’ll go ahead and add the Terminator franchise (thank you, zic), the Connery Bond, and the Craig Bond (two Bonds!).

        Star Wars suffers from having only one actually good movie (Empire Strikes Back). I’d go with a Batman, but I’m not sure which (Keaton or Bale). I loved the Reeves Superman movies when I was a kid, but I haven’t watched them in years so I’m not sure how well they hold up.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        My irrational love for F&F is clouding my judgement. Terminator is another glaring omission. I might be giving too much value to horror movies in general (though I am generally dismayed by how they are almost completely ignored by the awards circuit).Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Kazzy says:

        If you want to get a horror franchise on there, I’d go with Romero’s Dead movies. Not that they are in and of themselves all that great, but because they have spawned such a robust population of descendants. Most ZA movies are basically taking place in Romero’s extended universe, one way or another.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Kazzy says:

        Does the fact that I’ve actually only seen 2 Fast, 2 Furious make me a bad person? Is it even worse that I mostly just remember this:


      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        The second one is the second worst, edged out by Tokyo Drift because it wasn’t even really part of the franchise. You missed out on Diesel and Walkers remarkably wooden yet remarkably effective on-screen chemistry.

        The movies also take them seriously enough that they aren’t completely stupid but not-so-seriously that they seem like failures. They really thread that needle well.

        And I’m not even a gear head!Report

  4. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    The only good franchise …

    Actually, no. Not even dead ones.Report

  5. Avatar j r says:

    No love for 007?Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to j r says:

      Oy! An oversight on my part. When I initially conceived this list, Bond was one of the first thoughts. Then again, the only movies I’ve ever seen in their entirety were the Daniel Craig ones. Bond should probably be on there ahead of both Krueger and F&F.Report

  6. Avatar Kim says:

    Lemon Popsicle
    Dr. Who (enough of the Storylines are movie-length, and some of them are really awesome).
    Marx Brothers

    … and since I’ve run out of kantankerousness:

  7. Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

    Revised Version

    1. Francois Truffaut’s Antoine Doniel films: The 400 Blows, Antonine e Collete, Stolen Kisses, Bed and Board, and Love on the Run. All are classics of French New Wave cinema and the series shows the full potential of film. We follow Antoine Doniel from a troubled 12 year old adolescent who gets sent to juvie to a 35 year old divorced father and first-time novelist. Antoine Doniel is played by Jean-Pierre Leaud in all films.

    2. The Man With No Name Trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars, A Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly).

    3. Johnnie To’s Triad Election. There are only two but a third one is in planning.

    4. Richard Linklatter’s Midnight movies.Report

  8. Avatar zic says:

    Dr. Who. And I don’t care that it’s not a movie franchise.

    Terminator/Conan, Arnold at his finest. We could have done without the rest of his life, particularly his shabby treatment of his wife. But people are complicated, they can do things I like, like make some of my favorite movies, and things I don’t like. And I always wanted to see Arnold play Nhi Vanye i Chya in CJ Cherryh’s Gate of Ivrel, he evoked my mind’s eye vision from reading the book.

    Star Wars. These were my brother’s childhood toys. He died of aids just before the fourth movie came out, and I gave his eulogy based on the series. As a boy, he’d imagined being Luke Skywalker, but he was really Obi Wan, and AIDS his battle.

    Presuming Mt. Rushmore won’t be carved for at least 50 years, a prediction on Veronica Mars. Awesome detective series potential.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to zic says:

      “And I don’t care that it’s not a movie franchise.”

      And that is why I love you, @zic .Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to zic says:

      If we’re going to include non-movie franchises, Blackadder.Report

    • Avatar veronica dire in reply to zic says:

      Wait, @zic , you like Conan also? Really? ’Cause I love that movie in all it’s awfulness.

      Just, you know, I wouldn’t expect you to share this view.

      Veronica Mars forever — and where do you think my name came from? 🙂Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to veronica dire says:

        My favorite movies are probably Terminator, Conan, Mad Max (1st one’s the best), Rumble Fish, Stranger than Paradise, Raising Arizona, Diva, Ballroom Dancing, Willow, the Dark Crystal, Repo Man (maybe #1 all time fav), and Momento.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to veronica dire says:

        @zic — OMG we neeeeeeeed a movie night!Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to veronica dire says:

        Totally. (Actually, a move afternoon? Like the 1st Thursday of nearly any month? Before my sweetie’s gig at the Lily Pad, which typically starts at 7:30?)Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to veronica dire says:

        @zic — Do I want to know what the “Lily Pad” is, and what comprises a “gig” there? 🙂Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to veronica dire says:

        The Lily Pad is in Inman Square; a performance space with a really, really nice grand piano.

        My sweetie plays that piano (perhaps some sax, too,) the 1st Thurs. of every month with one of his bands; mostly original music plus some jazz standards. Sometimes, I’m in the audience.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to veronica dire says:

        Oh wait! Here in town? I thought you were like hours and hours away in that state near Canada! The one with all the trees. 🙂Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to veronica dire says:

        Yup, we are. But he works and performs there; teaching electronic music (signal processing) at Berklee and gigging, plus he gigs in Ogunquit, ME most weekends.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to veronica dire says:



        Well, uh, you can reach me at, like next time you’re down 🙂

        I’ll go to a show. (Although right now I’m seriously on the find a new job path, so I can’t really commit to anything since that takes all my attention. But I bet I can make a show.)Report

  9. Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

    Revised Hollywood franchise list:

    1. James Bond. I suspect they will be making James Bond movies for a long long time. He might disappear for a few years but will always come back

    2. Star Wars

    3. Star Trek

    4. X-Men

    My criteria are that you can go on for infinity with a franchise and not artistic merit. Indiana Jones is too associated with Harrison Ford. I can’t conceive of anyone but Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones. He is simply too iconic in the role. We have had numerous Bonds though and there are numerous ways to expand the Star Wars and Star Trek empires.Report

    • Avatar Scott Fields in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

      I’d guess people said similar things about Bond being inconceivable without Sean Connery at the time and that those people felt vindicated when George Lazenby had only one go of it before they went back to Sean. The franchise survived Roger Moore for heaven’s sake.

      I believe Indiana Jones will be revived with a different actor – they hint at that with the end of Crystal Skulls, but please don’t let that different actor be Shia LeBoeuf.

      As for me, I think Bond has to go on Mount Rushmore, along with Batman, the Man with No Name and Harry Potter.Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw in reply to Scott Fields says:


        Every generation gets the Bond it deserves. Connery was the perfect Bond for the 1960s and the best thing about his Bond movies is that they did not take the Cold War very seriously. He also really bridged the loosing of ties but before the hair went really down. A Playboy Magazine kind of Bond.

        Craig is the Bond we deserve.Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw in reply to Scott Fields says:

        I think Craig is the second best Bond but they are a very different beast from the Connery movies.Report

      • Avatar Scott Fields in reply to Scott Fields says:

        Saul –

        I agree on both counts. I prefer Craig over Connery now and I’m sure that is due to how his portrayal of Bond fits in this time, while the Bond of the 60s strikes me a quaint.

        By the way, I loved Roger Moore as Bond when I was a prepubescent boy, but now I find all his Bond movies hard to bear.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Scott Fields says:

        So the best man at our wedding sang the theme song for the movie Gold, Roger Moore’s other spy movie, which was proof that he’s a completely shitty actor and not worthy of the 007 franchise.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Scott Fields says:

        Daniel Craig’s easily my favourite Bond (and Casino Royale is the best Bond movie, no contest).

        I can’t enjoy the Connery movies. The sexism quotient is simply too high. I recognize they were made in the ’60s, but I can’t get a work of fiction that displays such an obvious contempt for me.Report

  10. Avatar Dan Miller says:

    Star Wars–basically defined the summer blockbuster, 40 years of cultural relevance, massive impact on movies as an industry and American culture. Can’t leave this one out.

    Rocky–I really wanted to put Indiana Jones here, but I can’t justify two Lucas-helmed summer blockbusters. You have to cover a broad range on Mount Rushmore, and this is a different beast than Indy/Star Wars, set closer to the real world and aimed at a slightly older age range.

    7-Up–Gets a lot of points for sheer persistence and stick-to-iveness. And proved that art movies need franchises just as much as blockbusters.

    Godzilla–You need a horror movie for sure, and this one is important. One of the biggest (pun intended) cultural exports from Japan; a prototypical “giant disaster/monster destroys city” movie that had a ton of influence on people like Roland Emmerich et al; and still an instantly recognizable figure decades later.Report

  11. Avatar Pinky says:

    Sylvester Stallone, Ian McKellen, Harrison Ford, Sean Connery. Seven franchises.Report

  12. Avatar James Hanley says:

    No love for The Hangover trilogy? It’s at least better then Fast and Furious. {ducks}Report

  13. Avatar Damon says:

    Gotta agree the Conan/Terminator movies were all pretty good.
    The prequels for SW? No reason to watch except for Natalie Portman.
    I will take issue with Tokyo Drift. I enjoyed that movie..if only for the “hot asian car chicks” 🙂
    Farscape. Hey, they made a movie!
    LOTR movies were very good too.Report

  14. Avatar Damon says:

    oh yah…
    The three Riddick movies. Those were good too.Report

  15. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Vin Deisel? Seriously? Man, you and Michael Bay.

    Here are the correct answers:

    1. The Kieslowski Three Colors trilogy

    2. The Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy


    4. The Sergio Leone “Man With No Name” trilogy, which I believe should also include 1985’s Pale Rider (but doesn’t have to).

    Honorable mentions, were such allowed on Mt. Rushmore, would be given to Manon/Jean de Florette, the original Star Wars trilogy, Harry Potter, and the Thin Man series.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I recently saw someone misspell “Michael Bay” as “Michael Bey”. Which then got me thinking about “Michael Beyonce”.

      Someone needs to make that happen.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Kazzy says:

        “We open up on a bed with silk sheets, and Beyonce is lying on them in neglige, and she’s singing about how you’re the only man she’s ever love, and then suddenly the night table explodes in a huge fire ball, and bullets are flying everywhere, and robots from the future start blowing up all of Washington DC!!!

        And then there’s a nice dance sequence.”Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:


        I will say — in all seriousness — that if future robots did attack, Beyonce would be on the short list of people I’d feel comfortable leading the resistance.

        She really can do it all.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Kazzy says:

        I dunno, after this week, I’m going to make Solange the leader.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Kazzy says:

        Also, can I make a quick confession here? I never, ever, feel this way about my own stuff, but I really do love that Easter movie post. I think it might be my favorite thing I’ve ever done here.Report

    • Avatar Damon in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      props on Clint..I’d forgotten them.

      What can i say, I like the character of Riddick.Report

    • Avatar veronica dire in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Wouldn’t Manon/Jean de Florette (and isn’t that backwards?) count as one big long movie they figured out how to get me to buy two tickets for rather than a franchise?Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I don’t get the hate for Crystal Skull. Sure, it was mediocre, but it was nowhere near as bad as Temple of Doom, which is outright painful to watch.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to KatherineMW says:

        I know that Spielberg’s a genius because everyone says that Spielberg’s a genius, but when the pre-film publicity has him saying “We finally found a script worthy of the franchise” and then you see how awful the script in particular was, well, maybe he’s a genius at something different, like lawn bowling.

        Really, the first movie was fun because it was fresh and different, and the third was fun because it added Sean Fishing Connery. The even-numbered ones were just uninspired attempts at more of the same. Star Wars too: if Lucas had stopped after the first one, no one would be saying “But there was so much story left to tell.”Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to KatherineMW says:

        1.). I haven’t seen Temple of Doom since I was a kid, but I saw it multiple times then and thought it just fine.

        2.). It’s cool to hate on Spielberg now? He’s not without his problems (a weakness for schmaltz among them) but he’s one of the more skilled, prolific and varied craftsmen of quality popular American film we’ve ever had, up there with Capra. Seriously, he’s rarely less than good, and has often reached great.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to KatherineMW says:

        Schindler’s List is awesome. The first scene of Saving Private Ryan is one of the most powerful things ever filmed. Empire of the Sun is kind of a mess, but a brilliant mess.

        The Indiana Jones films are light entertainment, period, and half of them are successful at that.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to KatherineMW says:

        A writer friend of mine has Temple of Doom as his favorite in the franchise.
        Although the audience reactions to “I suddenly remembered my Charlemagne” are absolutely amazing.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to KatherineMW says:

        Alright, Spielberg good-to-great time.

        Just the ones I’ve seen, and that he directed:

        Minority Report, War of Worlds: not great, but not awful

        Duel, Doom, Crusade, Lost World, Catch, Munich: good

        Jaws, Close Encounters, Raiders, ET, A.I. (yep, I said it), Schindler’s (aside from a near-fatal misstep near the end), Jurassic (Jaws, but better), Ryan: great

        Poltergeist: also great (but only half-credit, with Tobe Hooper)

        And that leaves out a lot of good stuff he’s been involved with as producer.

        If that’s not enough to say ‘genius’, it’s pretty close.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to KatherineMW says:

        “It’s cool to hate on Spielberg now?” I don’t much care if it’s cool, but I’ve never been a fan. Admittedly, I haven’t seen a lot, because I don’t enjoy him. He’s unsubtle emotionally. Looking over your list, I can’t think of one character in those which I’ve seen who goes through an internal change. And I can’t think of any nuanced bad guys.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to KatherineMW says:

        To put it less critically: he operates on awe.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to KatherineMW says:

        @pinky – agreed he’s often not subtle emotionally (that misstep I refer to in Schindler’s being a prime example) but his bad guys are sometimes nuanced: There’s the moment in Schindler’s when Ralph Fiennes’ Nazi death camp commandant…almost…tries to do the right thing; only to realize, no, it’s too late for him, he’s already damned, so full-speed ahead.

        And his version of Jurassic takes John Hammond from an evil mustache-twirler (in the book) to a genuinely intellectually-curious ambitious dreamer who wants to bring wonder back into the world, only to see that hubris go catastrophically, heart-breakingly wrong.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to KatherineMW says:

        Jaws and Raiders are basically flawless. Every scene furthers the story, every character is relevant to the story, the pacing is perfect, etc., etc. If you wanted to teach teenagers who were thinking of film school how to put a movie together, you couldn’t find two better examples.

        Saving Private Ryan is a perfect example of Spielberg’s strengths and his weaknesses. It is two great action films (one at the beginning, one at the end), surrounded by schmaltz and a poor attempt at dealing with some difficult moral issues. And it’s all ruined by the “earn this” moment, of course.

        It also has one of the few scenes in film that I simply cannot watch.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to KatherineMW says:

        Oh yeah, I forgot about the “earn this”, the unnecessary flash-forward crying stuff in Ryan. Yeah. That was another perfect example of his weakness for unsubtle schmaltz. The Schindler’s bit is awful too (it’s basically a “NOOOOOOOOOOO!” moment), and just doesn’t belong in an otherwise very powerful film.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to KatherineMW says:

        Per Big Bang Theory, Raiders is actually flawed in that Jones has no actual impact on the events of the film. I still love it though.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to KatherineMW says:

        Jones has no actual impact on the events of the film.

        And Spade has no actual impact on the events of Maltese Falcon. It ain’t that kinda universe.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to KatherineMW says:

        I’m not sure that Schindler’s List or Ryan were particularly endable movies.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to KatherineMW says:

        Raiders is a perfect film and perfectly fatalistic. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with fatalism. It built the Russian Empire.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to KatherineMW says:

        @chris – now you are making me wonder – are there any popular representations of hardboiled Russian gumshoes? I assume they would make Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe look downright Pollyannaish.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to KatherineMW says:

        @glyph Not exactly what you are looking for but there was an HBO movie in the 80’s called Citizen X starting Stephen Rea. It was set in commie era soviet union. He played a police detective searching for a Russian serial killer. Based on a true story fwiw. Good flick. As i remember the bureaucracy and incompetence thing was more prominent then the violent authoritarianism thing.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to KatherineMW says:

        @greginak – that sounds interesting, I will try to track that down, thanks.

        And I’ve gone on about this before, but Raiders and Falcon share a LOT of the same DNA.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to KatherineMW says:

        Yeah MF and Raiders have very simalar vibe, but its a good one. And good hats….lots of guys in hats. Spade, though, does have an impact on the plot.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to KatherineMW says:

        Spade may impact the plot some, but he doesn’t get the girl or the priceless ancient MacGuffin at the end. He spends a lot of his time getting beat up and knocked out in his one-step-behind dogged pursuit. They explicitly cast Toht in Raiders because the actor reminded them of Peter Lorre (and if you really want to go down the rabbit hole, Lorre’s character in Falcon is named “Cairo”, and “M. Falcon”: Harrison Ford, and IT’S ALL CONNECTED MAN)Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to KatherineMW says:

        By the way, doesn’t Indiana Jones actually find the location of the arc? The Nazis had a staff that was too short, right? Isn’t that an impact? Or would the Nazis have found it anyway?

        What he doesn’t have an impact on is the ending, which was inevitable once the Nazis got ahold of the thing.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to KatherineMW says:

        Yes, Jones actual only impact is to help the Nazi’s find the arc or at least find it sooner. They were looking in the wrong place so they may have never found it. One of the major parts of most film noirs, of which MF is considered one of the first, is that the protagonists often have little clue about what is going on, no control and are led to their inevitable ends based on fate and their own flaws. Jones is a Hero not a fatally flawed Noir character but there is a similarity there.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to KatherineMW says:

        I just want to say how glad I am that wht amounted to a love letter from me to Vin Diesel and Paul Walker has turned into a thorough and informative film analysis.

        You’re welcome.Report

  16. Avatar Glyph says:

    I feel like we need a more precise definition of “franchise” (though admittedly, I am not sure exactly where the lines should be drawn). To me, a multi-movie run in a a self-contained universe, by the same director, is not really a “franchise”, which implies, as Saul notes up-top, the ability of near-infinite expansion of its universe and multiple franchise “owners” (in this case, directors).

    So Godfather is not a franchise, it’s a self-contained trilogy (at least until DC Comics decides to make Before Godfather, with Zack Snyder directing in lots of slo-mo). It’s just a movie in three parts, or a triptych of movies, or whatever.

    But Star Wars and Star Trek and superhero movies are franchises, by dint of infinite sandbox universes and multiple directors.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

      Much like Indiana Jones is three movies, the Godfather series only has two movies.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Chris says:

        See, Indiana Jones is a weird case – because even though there’s only been one director thus far, it certainly SEEMS like it was designed for infinite expansion. So it seems like a franchise.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Don’t forget The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, or whatever the TV series was called. Infinite possibilities!Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw in reply to Chris says:


        I think the oddest thing about that series was using Edith Wharton as a character. Edith Wharton!!!!Report

      • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Chris says:

        Nope. Like was said above, you don’t get to drop the mediocre entries and keep the best, otherwise we’d have to give a lot more attention to a bunch of series with two strong titles and one or more weak ones:
        – Terminator
        – Alien
        – Beverly Hills Cop (although if I can drag in “Fletch” due to the thematic similarities and Harold Faltermeyer connection, I could see it on the shortlist for the OP)
        – Lethal Weapon
        – Pirates of the Caribbean (arguably, like “Lord of the Rings”, an episodic story rather than a franchise)Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Glyph says:

      I chose the word “franchise” because I didn’t want to limit ourselves to trilogies. I didn’t think about the term quite as specifically as others are, though the feedback is warranted. What I was going for was movies that would come together in a box set. A Bond box set might include ALL the Bond movies or maybe just the Connery ones, so either set could be submitted. The Godfather box set will have all three. At this point, a Rocky box set is probably going to have all 6 (or is it 7? Ugh). Batman has multiple box sets; no one is going to package Bale and Keaton together. Star Wars? I’d venture to guess you can get various configurations: original three, new three, all six.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        Though F&F is DEFINITELY a franchise but I’m not sure it has endless possibilities.

        Then again, they’ve conquered three continents already. Four if you count “Tokyo Drift”.Report

  17. Avatar zic says:

    Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti westerns.

  18. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    We might need to include the ur-franchise, the Thin Man Series. It had all the ingredients, a popular source, recurring characters and plot devices, and infinite possibilities.Report

  19. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    I think Charlie Chaplin’s “Tramp” films would probably count as a franchise – they follow essentially the same character through a consistent world, and there was no theoretical endpoint where the story was all told.

    Also, I think they’re both good, and influential, enough to go up on Mount Rushmovie.Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to dragonfrog says:

      Although the one-director restriction fails there – they weren’t even all with the same studio.

      Times have changed a lot – the best films in that family couldn’t have been made under modern practices, as the studios he’d worked with previously would probably have sued over the later ones.Report

      • Avatar Ken S in reply to dragonfrog says:

        I vote that we quash that rule. It says that we can’t count Young Frankenstein in the Frankenstein franchise. It was the best one!Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to dragonfrog says:

        Hey! I didn’t make any one-director rule! All I said was that reboots qualify as a new franchise. But don’t listen to me! Make your own damn rules!Report

      • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to dragonfrog says:

        @kazzy I misunderstood your comments about e.g. the “Nolan Batman franchise” (I have only watched a couple of batman movies, no particularly recent ones, and anyway I’m probably disqualified from having an opinion on those because my favourite by far is the 1966 Adam West / Burt Ward one)Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to dragonfrog says:

        My favorite Batman is Danny Pudi.Report

  20. Avatar Hoosegow Flask says:

    Marvel Cinematic Universe – Kinda cheating, but I’m throwing it in anyway. They keep continuity and fit together through the Avengers movies (and usually the after credits scenes.)

    Toy Story – Touching stories, very well done.

    The Matrix – I know some people hated the 2nd and 3rd, but I found them enjoyable and spent many hours discussing the movies with coworkers.

    Lethal Weapon – The epitome of the buddy cop movie, back when you could still like Mel Gibson.

    I had also considered Mad Max, Shrek, and Lord of the Rings, but they lost out.Report

  21. Avatar Kazzy says:

    No one has mentioned the Alien franchise. Was “AVP” that bad?Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Kazzy says:

      I wouldn’t really include the AVPs in the Alien franchise. (Though I would be tempting to include Spaceballs and South Park: Imaginationland.)Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Kazzy says:

      They only made two Alien movies.

      There were no others.Report

      • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Glyph says:

        I think the third Alien movie deserves consideration. However, if we all agreed that there wasn’t a fourth, that Prometheus doesn’t count at all, and that both AVP movies never happened, I’d be cool with that.Report

      • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Glyph says:

        Kind of shocked that the Bourne movies didn’t warrant mention. Even if the fourth one was awful – and I’ve never seen it because I refuse to even consider the possibility of such a dumb thing – the first three were awesome thrillers.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

        The first three were pretty awesome.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Glyph says:

        You’re saying that the one with Paul Reiser is one of the good ones?Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        “You’re saying that the one with Paul Reiser is one of the good ones?”

        Let me answer yr question with a question – does Reiser play an annoying weasel who gets his face eaten off by a xenomorph?Report

  22. Avatar veronica dire says:

    Too bad there weren’t any Matrix sequels or I woulda picked that.Report

  23. Avatar Kolohe says:

    1) Kaiju

    2) Bond

    3) Trek

    4) MuppetsReport

    • Avatar veronica dire in reply to Kolohe says:

      Isn’t Kaiju more of a genre than a franchise?Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to veronica dire says:

        Possibly, but ‘Godzilla’ by itself I feel is too limiting, as imo, the franchise includes non-Godzilla works, like early Mothra.

        If kaiju is a category error, The King of the Monsters is indeed a big enough player to be on Rushmore on his own resume. (it’s going to be his face up there anyway)Report

  24. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Man, this was a tough one…

    Star Wars (I will include all 6 movies because honestly, 2 wasn’t that bad and 3 was actually quite good)

    Lord of the Rings (I never read the books and I thought the movies were beautifully done)

    Indiana Jones (the reason I became an archaeologist)

    Harry Potter (the series got weaker as it progressed but my memories of seeing all 8 movies with my daughter are one of my favorite parenting experiences)Report

  25. Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

    1. Bond. This was a heinous oversight in the OP. Fast and Furious????
    2. Star Wars
    3. Die Hard
    4. Terminator

    I think the thread binding these series is that each has created its own universe, and has explored it for better or for worse.

    For me, trilogies don’t count as franchises since the story is self-contained. I would have loved to have included The Matrix, but the story was over with Revolutions. Likewise, with The Lord of the Rings. A masterful piece of filmmaking (even the extended box set version doesn’t seem padded), but it’s all over when Frodo, et al., set sail. And don’t even get me started on what a god-awful film Hobbit 1 was. Blech.Report

  26. Avatar Shazbot3 says:

    If you watch all the Friday the 13th movies back to back, you will die. (Sort of like The Ring) This is not a myth. It is proven scienceology.

    In that way, it becaeme the scariest movie franchise of all.Report

    • Avatar Sam in reply to Shazbot3 says:

      Twice in my life, I’ve watched Friday the 13th 1-9 in a single day. 6, 3, 8, 4, 5, 9, 2, 1, 7 is there rank in terms of overall quality, in case you were wondering.

      Hands off ladies, I’m married.Report

  27. Avatar Pinky says:

    Odd, no one’s mentioned Highlander.Report

  28. Avatar Shazbot3 says:

    The Leprechaun franchise had a leprechaun. That is something.Report

  29. Avatar Patrick says:

    I will second The Thin Man Movies, and Bond. Bond has some weak ones, but it’s the gold standard for a series of movies, c’mon.

    Raiders is one of the best movies ever made, but as a series, there are four, and the last one is a boat anchor. Clint’s man with no name movies… tough contender.Report