Post-Credits Scenes: A Brief History
For movie enthusiasts, sitting through the end credits of a film has become a customary part of their routine. This is because, over the years, filmmakers have added post-credits scenes that tease or hint at what’s to come for the story or its characters. Nowadays, it’s rare to find a blockbuster movie that doesn’t feature an additional scene during or after the credits. However, this wasn’t always the case.
The 1966 spy comedy film titled The Silencers, directed by Phil Karlson, is credited with being the first movie to feature a post-credits scene. The movie was part of a series of films adapted from Donald Hamilton’s Matt Helm novels, where the protagonist was a retired American spy. The end credits of The Silencers showed Helm being surrounded by models, followed by a message that read Coming soon: Matt Helm meets the lovely Kravezit on Murderer’s Row.
The Silencers’ post-credits scene may seem underwhelming by today’s standards, but in 1966, it was groundbreaking. It was a way to keep audiences engaged beyond the climax of the narrative and to make them eager for the next installment.
However, post-credits scenes didn’t become mainstream until many years later. It was only in the 2000s that they started to pop up regularly in superhero films. Marvel Studios, in particular, is known for its post-credits scenes, which often tease upcoming Marvel movies. Fans have become accustomed to waiting until the very end of the credits to see what’s next.
But it’s important to note that not all post-credits scenes are used to tease future stories. Some are used to add depth to a movie’s narrative or to provide closure for characters. The Coen Brothers, for example, had a post-credits scene in their film No Country for Old Men that served as a coda to the story.
In conclusion, post-credits scenes have become an essential part of modern movie culture. What started as a way to tease future installments for characters, has evolved to tell more stories and enrich the cinematic experience. The Silencers may have been the first movie to use a post-credits scene, but its legacy lives on in every viewer who stays glued to their seats until the very end.