When the VHS format was invented and released to the public, it was a modern marvel that changed home theater forever. Home movie collections became a staple of almost every home, and there was not a home in the United States without at least one VCR. Even today, some people still hold on to their VHS tapes. Whether you’re a home theater buff or just a casual tape lover, here are some fun facts about VHS that you didn’t know you didn’t know.
1. FIRST FILM EVER RELEASED ON VHS: THE YOUNG TEACHER
The South Korean drama, The Young Teacher
, was the first film
to be released for home VHS consumption. Considering the first VCRs were released in 1976, it makes perfect sense that the first movies would also accompany it in the same year. So why was this movie the first to be released on VHS? Who knows! If you’re into volleyball and obscure trivia, you might want to check out this overlooked gem. Otherwise, I’d keep that 90 minute run time reserved for something more...fulfilling.
2. FIRST AMERICAN FILMS RELEASED ON VHS: THE SOUND OF MUSIC, PATTON, AND M*A*S*H*
Let’s be real: the 1970s
wasn't a great time for ultra-classic movies until the Star Wars franchise came around. That’s why the first films from America on VHS
were years old on their release. The Sound of Music, Patton, and M*A*S*H* were all older classics that were re-released to the public in this new, easy to consume format. We hope you saved up; a new VHS movie back then was around $72 each in today’s dollars.
3. TITANIC WAS THE ONLY MOVIE AVAILABLE ON VHS AND IN THEATERS AT THE SAME TIME.
We’ll have to double check the math, but due to Titanic’s extremely long runtime, it was already out on video by the time the first screening finished. All kidding aside, Titanic was an insanely popular film. In fact, people were still watching it in theaters so much, that it stayed in the box office even after its release date for home video. Who else remembers having to change the cassettes half way through the movie because the whole thing wouldn’t fit on one tape? I remember.
4. THE LAST VHS EVER MADE: A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
Despite some disagreement, Hollywood says that the last film ever widely released on VHS was A History of Violence. This 2005 film starring Viggo Mortensen is an underrated drama that follows a small town guy who had to defend himself from robbers. Even though this is a great film that was nominated for a few Academy Awards, its staying power wasn’t really noteworthy. Most people won’t remember
the movie itself, it will always be known as the last major release on the outgoing VHS format.
5. SOME VHS CASSETTES ARE WORTH SERIOUS CASH.
VHS tapes are highly sought after and can collect a pretty hefty price tag! For example, if you own the original Star Wars trilogy, you could fetch yourself $40 or more. Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks, a cult classic, can net you around a grand. Some sellers list the Black Diamond version of Beauty and the Beast at $16,000! Whether anybody will pay that is up for debate, but some people are trying! Even though VHS tapes are out of style, they were king for a solid three decades. There’s a good chance that nobody is reading this sentence anymore, because they’re too busy checking their VHS collection for a copy of Beauty and the Beast.