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History of the Movie 'Stinger'

Updated on December 5, 2017
Justus D. Barnes in 'The Great Train Robbery' in 1903. Meme: under25words media
Justus D. Barnes in 'The Great Train Robbery' in 1903. Meme: under25words media

The Movie 'Stinger' has become an important part of the progression of a major movie franchise. The 'Stinger' was named after the 'Stinger extension cord' , which is used on movie sets to add a little extra reach to your normal lead when needed. At the moment The Marvel Cinematic Universe has made the after credits scene nearly as important as any scene featured in the actual movie. It is a good way to give the viewer a taste of what is to come in the next chapter of the story. It can reveal a new character, solve/create a mystery or simply just be a piece of comedy for the hardcore viewer willing to stick around for something special after the credits have rolled.

The first ever movie 'Stinger' is rumoured to be the very last scene in 1903's black and white silent film The Great Train Robbery. It is a Western Film Written, Produced and Directed by Edwin S. Porter. The plot consists of four bandits who rob a train and end up in a shootout with the locals of a nearby town. The film only went for a total of twelve minutes on a budget of $150.

The townsfolk get their possessions back after all the bandits are shot dead, or so we thought. Then comes the shock 'Stinger', the movie's main bad guy played by Justus D. Barnes appears in a close-up shot. He slowly raises his pistol and aims directly at the camera (giving the viewers the impression he is aiming at them) and fires a shot. Back in these days this was indeed shocking and story has it many punters where said to have 'ducked' to avoid a 'bullet' because of how realistic it felt.

The 1960 film Ocean's 11 that starred famous members of the 'Rat Pack' Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. contained a scene (as the credits rolled) of the three mentioned stars along with their casino robbing gang walking down a Las Vegas Boulevard.

In 1963 after credit scenes evolved further with simplistic title cards teasing a sequel in the James Bond film 'From Russia With Love'. The effective plug for the next Ian Fleming thriller 'Goldfinger' was shown at "not quite the end".

The title card in "From Russia With Love" from distributors United Artists.
The title card in "From Russia With Love" from distributors United Artists.

The Muppet Movie

In 1979 Jim Hensons Studios created a movie based on his popular tv show creation 'The Muppets'. The movie entitled The Muppet Movie did not only include a 'Stinger' but also featured live action all throughout the ending credits. It is said that the movie became a pioneer when it comes to action during the credits.

At the very end of the last scene we see character 'Sweetums' come crashing through a cinema screen (turns out the Muppets are actually watching the movie in a muppet cinema!) saying "I knew i would catch up to you guys!". 'Sweetums' missed his ride with fellow characters 'Kermit' and 'Fozzy' at the beginning of the film and spent the whole movie trying to catch their car on foot.

The after credits scene shows character 'Animal' telling the cinema crowd to "Go home...Go home...bye bye!".

The Muppet Movie (1979). Image: The Walt Disney Company
The Muppet Movie (1979). Image: The Walt Disney Company

Airplane!

In 1980 the comedy movie 'Airplane!' uses a supporting actor from the first scene in an after credits scene. The movie which was directed and written by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker shows the actor jumping into a taxi which happens to be pulled up by our protagonist the taxi driver. He explains to the customer that he will "be back soon". Obviously he continues on through the movie but we see our supporting actor again post credits still sitting in the back of the taxi waiting for his ride. "I'll give him another twenty minutes!".

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Arguably the most famous stinger of all time comes from the 80's classic 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'. The movie itself is one of the greatest 80's movies ever made and was written, directed and co-produced by John Hughes (and also co-produced by Tom Jacobson). At the end of the film when the credits finish the character Ferris (played by Matthew Broderick) tells the crowd in the cinema to "go home!". Much like 'The Great Train Robbery' and 'The Muppet Movie' mentioned earlier, the tearing down of the 'fourth wall' method is popular in making audiences feel part of an after credits scene.

When the popular comic book character 'Deadpool' finally got a big screen movie adaptation in 2016 the superhero played by Ryan Reynolds actually recreate's the Ferris Bueller 'Stinger'. While in his Deadpool suit and Bueller robe Reynolds copies the scene for comedy effect.


Top 3 'Movie Stingers'

Position
Movie
Year
1.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
1986
2.
The Avengers
2012
3.
The Grey
2011

'The Cannonball Run' used a blooper reel to entertain film fans while the credits where rolling at the end of parts one and two (1981 and 1984). The Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise bloopers are pure comedy gold.

Warner are re-making this franchise. Rawson Marshall will direct. He is most famous for his work in the films 'Dodgeball' and 'Central Intelligence'. Marshall wants the reboot to be a cross between 'Fast And The Furious' and 'Oceans 11'. My question is why?. If it isn't going to be anything like the original then why bother?. Money...money...money!. That's why. Rawson will struggle to re-create the fun and the star power that the 80's movies where famous for.

Age Of The 'Marvel' Stinger

In 2008 'The Marvel Cinematic Universe' started what they now call 'Phase One' of their superhero universe reboot. In this newest version of the Marvel films they use the 'after credit's scene' to their advantage to progress storylines and connect characters. The first film to do this was 'Iron Man'. In the 'Stinger' Tony Stark encounters Nick Cage and the 'Avengers Initiative' is born.

In the same year 'The Incredible Hulk' contained the scene where Tony Stark joins Thaddeus Ross in a bar to inform him that "A team is being put together". Some other 'Stinger' highlights from Phase One were viewing Thor's hammer at the end of 'Iron Man 2', The Tesseract's first appearance in 'Thor' and Captain America waking up from a Seventy Year slumber in 'Captain America: The First Avenger'.

In 2013's 'Thor: The Dark World', two 'Stingers' where used for the first time while 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2' decided to raise the bar even higher in 2017 by having five after credit 'Stingers' in total. With the franchise set to hit it's peak in 2018 with 'Avengers Infinity War Part One' it is almost certain the company will continue to treat fans with it's trademark post movie "must see" scene.

Even Marvel's competitor 'DC' (Who have refrained from using Marvel's after credits gimmick) have "caved in" and used one in 'Justice League' the movie. It will be interesting to see if this was just a one-off. Only time will tell.

So there is no end in sight for the very popular 'Movie Stinger' and the only problem movie buffs have is surviving the 4-5 minute wait for the credits to stop rolling. Also trying to avoid getting kicked out by angry cinema workers that want to clean the place can also be quite scary!.

So in the immortal words of Ferris Bueller..."it's over, go home!".

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