50 Great Gift Ideas for Movie Lovers
Giving gifts can be a rewarding experience, especially when a friend or loved one’s face lights up after opening a present that perfectly suits their needs. Then again, it can also be a real pain if the recipient is a film buff. There are thousands of titles to choose from, and it’s hard to know what they’ve seen or want to see without asking and ruining the potential surprise. That’s where this list comes into play, as I’ve put together a comprehensive collection of 50 great gift ideas for movie lovers.
While I do recommend select movie box sets, this list also includes a wide range of other gift ideas that you might not normally consider. After all, there’s more to watching films that just sitting down and turning on the television. There are matters of comfort to think about, and this can be as simple as keeping your feet warm or as complex as selecting the appropriate sound system. Movie buffs also like to show off their passion by wearing clothing or displaying items related to their favorite films, so you can expect to find of number of these options, as well. From food to fashion, there’s something on the list below to delight even the most finicky cinephile.
To make life really easy, I’ve also included links to each product (mostly from Amazon). If you like what you see, all you have to do is click, select your items, and then wait for UPS or FedEx to make the delivery. There’s no standing in line behind a guy with the flu or dealing with less-than-helpful store employees.
1. Quentin Tarantino XX 8-Film Collection – Director Quentin Tarantino isn’t exactly what I’d call a prolific filmmaker, but film buffs always take notice when he does release a project. That’s because his movies are filled with countless references to previous motion pictures, as well as graphic violence and some of the best dialogue around. His first seven directorial efforts are in this set, including Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2, Death Proof, and Inglourious Basterds. True Romance, a film that Tarantino wrote but didn’t direct, is also included. To top things off, the collection includes 5 hours of never-before-seen features, such as critical discussions of his work and interviews with cast and crew members. No true film geek should be without this one.
2. Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection – From Dr. No to Quantum of Solace, the first 22 James Bond films are available in a single box set (only Skyfall is missing). The DVD format is still an option, although this is the first time that the entire series has also been offered on Blu-ray. If you know someone who’s into guns, gadgets and girls, this makes an impressive gift option. It’s also the perfect way to decide once and for all who made the best Bond: Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, or Daniel Craig. Sadly, a martini (shaken, not stirred) isn’t included in the set…nor Ursula Andress, for that matter.
3. Free Netflix Subscription – When it comes to renting movies online, nobody can match Netflix for selection and service. They’ve got an insane amount of titles available, and they also give customers the option of streaming movies over their TV or personal computer. I’ve been a member for the last 7 years, which should tell you what I think about their company. If you know someone who watches a lot of movies on DVD (or Blu-ray), you can buy them a Netflix membership for a month, a year, or anywhere in between.
4. Home Theater Sound System – This is definitely a “guy gift,” as most women seem happy to watch their movies on whatever sound system is built into the TV. Guys, however, want to be able to rattle the windows while watching The Matrix or Terminator 2: Judgment Day. If you know someone who watches a lot of movies at home, a quality sound system makes an appropriate gift. But be warned: buying it for your husband guarantees that he’ll be cranking it up at every opportunity.
5. VideoHound’s Golden Movie Retriever 2013 – Weighing in at nearly 2,000 pages, this massive paperback collection discusses 23,000 films ranging from blockbusters to the positively obscure. But this is more than just a book filled with reviews, as it also includes tons of trivia and a comprehensive list of which movies are available in certain formats. A new edition is released each year, and this one includes 1,000 films not found in the 2012 version.
6. Movie Clapperboard – This recognizable black and white item is a fixture on movie sets, as it’s clapped before each take to help in the synchronization of picture and sound. But even if you’re not in the film business, one of these inexpensive clapboards can make a neat decoration for your home theatre area. Amazon has a number of these available, from the smaller and inexpensive versions to the larger kind used by the pros.
7. Coen Brothers Collection – For years, the Coen brothers were quirky, well-kept secrets known primarily to hardcore movie buffs and critics. That all started to change with the release of the Oscar-winning Fargo in 1996, and their careers have been gathering momentum–and winning awards–ever since. This Blu-ray set includes four of their best: Blood Simple, Miller’s Crossing, Raising Arizona, and Fargo. My favorite is Raising Arizona, and anyone who only knows Nicolas Cage from his recently unimpressive string of films is advised to check out his comedic skills. The set is a little short on extras, but it remains an excellent way to introduce someone to a pair of the most original filmmakers currently working.
8. Portable DVD Player – It’s hard to beat the home theatre experience, but those on the go may also enjoy a portable option when it comes to movies. That’s where these compact DVD players come in handy, providing hours of continuous play for movies, photos, and music. Rechargeable batteries ensure you’ll always get to finish your latest selection, and the high resolution color will make you forget that you’re not watching it at the theatre. These are especially good for keeping kids occupied during long car trips.
9. Movie Theatre Gift Cards – Blu-ray box sets and figurines based on movie characters are cool, but those interested in practicality will be hard-pressed to beat gift cards to the local theatre. After all, the movie lover in your life is bound to see some first-run films on occasion, and this will keep him or her from having to dig into their own pocket to do so. Cinemark, one of the largest chains in the United States, allows customers to place any value on the cards, and they can always be reloaded when the balance starts to run low. Cards are available in multiple designs, and custom holiday messages are also an option.
10. DVD Storage Tower – If you’re a true movie lover, you probably have lots of DVDs or Blu-rays cluttering up your house. The best way to solve that problem is to invest in a storage tower and keep all your movies (or music CDs) in one convenient location. Numerous shapes and sizes are available, but I prefer one that’s large enough to accommodate all my future purchases.
11. Smokeless Ashtray – Let’s say you’re hosting a movie night for your buddies, but you also happen to be the only one who smokes. You can either force your friends to inhale all those pollutants, or you can go outside to get your fix. Now there’s a third option thanks to smokeless ashtrays. Replaceable filters draw the cigarette smoke from the air, purify it, and then release it back into the room. Now you can still enjoy a cigarette or cigar while watching movies, and you won’t annoy everyone around you.
12. Air Purifier – If the movie lover in your life suffers from allergies, investing in an air filter as a gift is a smart way to ensure they’ll have a better time. For one, they wont miss half the movie while sneezing (which other viewers may also appreciate). I suggest getting one with a HEPA filter, as they capture everything from smoke to mold spores. Smokers may want to double up with an air filter and smokeless ashtray to ensure the maximum comfort of their guests. The one I’ve linked to purifies rooms up to 300 square feet.
13. Home Theater Marquee Sign – Looking to spice up the area where you watch movies? This marquee should do the trick, as it measures 11.5″ high by 24″ wide and includes two rows where you can place letters to announce the upcoming movies you’ll be watching. Ratings are also included, so you can let the whole family know which ones are appropriate for general consumption. I get together with a couple of buddies each Sunday to watch movies, and I know this would be a welcome addition to our gatherings.
14. Rocky: The Undisputed Collection – The original Rocky was an inspiring story about a down-on-his-luck boxer who gets a shot at the big time thanks to a crusty manager and the love of a good woman. Winner of Best Picture and Best Director Oscars, it catapulted lead actor (and writer) Sylvester Stallone to stardom and virtually guaranteed a sequel. Five more movies would follow, chronicling Rocky’s career arc from champion to challenger to a retired restaurant owner looking for one last fight. While the boxing scenes are absurdly unrealistic, Rocky’s perpetual underdog struggles in and out of the ring have the ability to keep even the most jaded moviegoer enthralled. All six movies are included on DVD or Blu-ray, as well as tons of features, games, and commentary.
15. The Resident Evil Collection – Based on the popular Capcom series about humans battling zombies and the evil Umbrella Corporation, this franchise takes female empowerment to new levels thanks to Milla Jovovich’s portrayal of the relentlessly lethal Alice. If you enjoy watching attractive men and women, as well as stylized violence, then you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven. The set features all five movies currently released, including Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction, Resident Evil: Afterlife, and Resident Evil: Retribution.
16. Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon Game – If an actor hasn’t worked with Kevin Bacon, then he probably knows someone who has. That’s the premise of this unique board game, as players take turns trying to connect performers with Kevin Bacon within six degrees (or fewer, if possible). I only suggest this game for the most hardcore of film buffs, but those who obsess over cinema will be rewarded with a game that’s endlessly entertaining. There’s also a paperback book that details many of the actors who’ve worked with Bacon, and the forward is written by the Footloose star himself.
17. Movie Star Autographs – Whether your favorite performer is Sylvester Stallone or Mark Wahlberg, you can find their autograph if you’re willing to shell out the money. The price is often determined by how often the celebrity signs, so expect signatures from dead actors to command premium prices. And for those seeking variety, celebrity autographs can be purchased on everything from books and magazines to photographs and albums.
18. Alien Anthology – 1979 saw the release of Ridley Scott’s Alien, a film that would change the cinematic landscape and practically invent the science-fiction horror film. The series is still going strong, thanks in large part to directors such as James Cameron and David Fincher having taken a turn at the helm. This 6-disc series contains Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, Alien Resurrection, and two additional discs devoted to every imaginable phase of the filmmaking process. It’s fascinating to watch these films in order and compare the directorial styles of each individual director, as well as seeing an iconic mythology begin to take shape.
19. Popcorn Popper – What’s a movie without popcorn? Sure, you can throw a bag into the microwave and chew on some mediocre popcorn high in calories, or you can use actual kernels and a popcorn popper to maximize flavor while reducing the damage to your waistline. These handy devices come in all shapes and sizes, but most are easy to figure out and simple to clean.
20. Harry Potter: The Complete 8 Film Collection – From 2001 to 2011, audiences around the globe watched young sorcerer Harry Potter and his pals grow up before our eyes. Now that the 8-film series is finally over, it’s never too late to add them to your home library and introduce future generations to the magical imagination of author J.K. Rowling. There aren’t many special features on these 8 discs, but hardcore muggles probably won’t care.
21. TV Table Set – While watching movies, you may want to have a snack or even a complete meal. Using a TV tray is the best way to keep from spilling food all over yourself, and you can just set it aside when finished and worry about cleanup after the film. They also make a handy spot to place remote controls and DVD cases during movie night.
22. The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made – Do you know someone who loves movies but has trouble deciding what to watch next? Thanks to this massive collection of reviews from the New York Times, your favorite movie lover will never be at a loss for new cinematic material to explore. Better yet, they’ll be exposed to every conceivable genre, which should make them a more well-informed cinephile. Movies range from 1927 to 1998 and are included in alphabetical order.
23. Planet of the Apes: 5 Film Collection – If you enjoyed the CGI-heavy version with James Franco or the “re-imagining” from Tim Burton, you owe it to yourself to go back and watch the original five films that were released from 1968 to 1973. Filled with cutting-edge (for the time) makeup effects, loads of social commentary, and plenty of simian violence, the series can captivate adult and child alike, especially if they happen to be male. The 5-disc set includes Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, and Battle for the Planet of the Apes. Each summer, my local television station showed the original movies in order for “Planet of the Apes Week”; I still have fond memories of watching.
24. Heating/Massage Pad – Once this pad is put behind your back, it will apply heat and deliver a gentle massage. Those who perform manual labor for a living, as well as older folks with back problems, will appreciate the opportunity to soothe their muscles while watching a movie. But don’t get it for anyone under 30, as they’ll think it’s the dorkiest gift ever.
25. SceneIt? – The Movie Trivia Game – Made for the Xbox 360, this movie trivia game will test your knowledge of every aspect of filmmaking. It also comes with four color-coded buzzers, so you can ring in and answer just like you’re on a game show. Thousands of questions are included, and it’s designed to cut down on repeat questions to enhance your gaming experience. I’ve played this one a lot, and I enjoy the wide array of categories and movie clips. Scene It? also has a number of other releases, including those devoted to Harry Potter, Disney Movies, the 1980s, Twilight, Comedies, Glee, Seinfeld, and many more. Versions of the game are also available for standard DVD players, so an Xbox 360 isn’t necessary.
26. Stanley Kubrick: Limited Edition Collection – Widely regarded as one of the greatest directors who ever lived, Stanley Kubrick was known for his painstaking preparation, attention to detail, and the ability to turn any type of subject matter into a riveting motion picture. This box set features Kubrick at his finest, with 9 films, a full-length documentary, a full-color booklet, and tons of extras. And for those who’ve wondered what all the fuss was about, this collection features Kubrick’s most famous and critically acclaimed works. These include: Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, and Eyes Wide Shut (his final film).
27. Clint Eastwood: 35 Films 35 Years at Warner Bros. – Clint Eastwood is a film icon, and he’ll especially be remembered for breaking new ground in the action and western genres. Now you can have all 34 of the movies he made during his partnership with Warner Brothers, and a new documentary about his life is also thrown in for good measure. Titles include the following: Where Eagles Dare, Kelly’s Heroes, Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, The Enforcer, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Gauntlet, Every Which Way but Loose, Bronco Billy, Any Which Way You Can, Honkeytonk Man, Firefox, Sudden Impact, City Heat, Tightrope, Pale Rider, Heartbreak Ridge, Bird, The Dead Pool, Pink Cadillac, White Hunter Black Heart, The Rookie, Unforgiven, A Perfect World, The Bridges of Madison County, Absolute Power, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, True Crime, Space Cowboys, Blood Work, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Letters from Iwo Jima, and Gran Torino. In addition to the aforementioned movies, fans will also receive hours of extras and never-seen-before footage, as well as a booklet dedicated to his career and exclusive photographs.
28. Movie Editing Software – If the movie lover in your life also has aspirations of being a filmmaker, this software is an invaluable tool. It’s an all-in-one studio, allowing them to edit, improve, and even add in effects such as slow motion. Tutorials are included, so even the most clumsy computer user can wind up looking like Steven Spielberg.
29. Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures – George Lucas and Steven Spielberg wanted to pay tribute to the serials of the ’30s and ’40s, and the resulting franchise cemented Harrison Ford’s status as a box-office heavyweight and taught us lots of new uses for bullwhips. Ford stars as Indiana Jones, an archeology professor who journeys around the globe searching for relics and frequently battling Nazis and other menaces. Includes Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade, and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. While the 2nd and 4th films in the series proved to be major disappointments, the 1st and 3rd easily make up for that fact. There’s also an extra disc with special features, for a total of 7 hours of bonus material. It took forever for this franchise to finally become available on Blu-ray, but now it’s finally here.
30. Entertainment Weekly Subscription – Other than the time they threatened to sue me, I’ve always had a positive experience with Entertainment Weekly. I’m betting that any movie lover you know will feel the same, as their magazine offers weekly coverage on movies, music, TV, and anything else of importance to pop culture. If you buy a subscription, the cost will come out to around 50 cents per issue, which is a heckuva lot of bang for your buck.
31. Movie Character Bobble Heads – Bobble heads are collectible, cute, and they immediately identify you as someone who loves cinema. They also don’t take up a lot of space, so you can place a few around the room for maximum effect. You’ll be amazed at the variety of movie characters represented, including Wolverine, Yoda, Thor, Alan from The Hangover, Harry Potter, Michael Myers, and many more.
32. Fast & Furious Complete Collection Box Set – If you know someone who likes fast cars, beautiful women, and the bulging biceps of Vin Diesel, you may want to add the Fast & Furious collection to your shopping list. Complete with extras and special features, this 5-disc set includes the following films: The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, and Fast Five. Even those unfamiliar with the popular series may find themselves hooked after witnessing their first high-octane chase scene.
33. Movie Posters – Looking for a way to spice up the walls of your home theater? Nothing says “film geek” like a few well-placed movie posters. You’ll also be able to choose from thousands of options, although I suggest learning the recipient’s favorite films and starting there.
34. Books That Have Inspired Movies – Pay attention and you’ll start to notice that a surprising number of motion pictures are based on novels, short stories, and comic books. If a friend or loved one has a favorite film, check to see if it appeared in print form first. This can open up a wide range of gift possibilities, especially if the books have been turned into a franchise such as Harry Potter or The Hunger Games.
35. Original Movie Props – For those with money burning a hole in their pocket, you might think about dropping a few hundred (or a few thousand) on a piece of original movie memorabilia. I’m talking about items that actually appeared in the film and may have touched the body of your favorite performer. From military helmets to fake corpses, you’ll be amazed at what studios are willing to sell off to collectors.
36. Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen – When I was working on my film degree in college, this 366-page tome was used as one of our textbooks. It still works just as well, taking readers through the maze of film production and emphasizing elements such as storyboarding, camera angles, editing, and production design. If you have an aspiring filmmaker on your list, this gift should be a no-brainer.
37. Movie Soundtracks – The action on the screen is just half of the formula to a successful movie; the other is the soundtrack. While films such as The Bodyguard and Saturday Night Fever produce massive hits and record-breaking sales, there are loads of movie soundtracks that pass unnoticed by the general public. But regardless of which direction your musical tastes run, you can count on there being a soundtrack to meet your needs (on both CD and digital formats). For what it’s worth, my personal favorites include The Crow, Less than Zero, and Reservoir Dogs.
38. Bean Bag – Nothing says casual movie viewing like a bean bag. Get on the floor, stuff your rear into the bag, and get comfortable for a few hours of cinematic pleasure. If you only have a few chairs in your home theater area, buying a couple of bean bags ensures that unexpected guests will also have somewhere to sit. Especially popular with younger folks.
39. Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too! – Fans of TV’s Reno 911! will better recognize authors Thomas Lennon and Robert B. Garant as Lt. Jim Dangle and Deputy Travis Junior. What you might not know is that they also write movie screenplays, and their collaborations (including Night at the Museum) have earned over $1 billion at the box office. Now they’re ready to share all their wisdom in this irreverent and informative book that covers such topics as making a pitch, structuring a screenplay, schmoozing, and receiving royalties. If you’ve ever dreamed of writing a screenplay, this is a safe way to test the waters.
40. Tim Burton: Collection – Now available on Blu-ray, this 7-disc collection features some of the finest films from Tim Burton, a director whose uniquely gothic visual style has been delighting audiences since the 1980s. Titles include Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman, Batman Returns, Mars Attacks!, Corpse Bride, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My favorite of the bunch has to be Beetlejuice, as it shows Michael Keaton at his comedic best, as well as Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Wynona Ryder, and Catherine O’Hara. An included hardcover book features plenty of pictures and interesting facts about each film. By the way, if you’ve ever wondered how Tim Burton goes about making a movie, be sure to check out this entertaining video from College Humor.
41. Movie Lists: 397 Ways to Pick a DVD – The next time you’re logged into Netflix and find yourself staring blankly at the screen, reach over for your copy of this 256-page paperback. You’ll find lists of movie recommendations ranging from Sergio Leone to Susan Sarandon, with each entry being given a concise and memorable write-up.
42. Movie T-Shirts and Clothing – If you really want to show support for your favorite film, there’s no better way than to wear movie-related clothing. The most common items include t-shirts with cinematic logos and images of characters, but you can also track down jackets, hoodies, pants, and just about anything else that folks wrap around their bodies. I purchased a Big Trouble in Little China t-shirt years ago, and it remains one of the most prized items in my closet.
43. Frozen Beverage Maker – Popcorn and other snacks always go well with a movie, but it’s also nice to kick back with a refreshing drink while you watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster. That’s where a frozen beverage maker comes in handy, as you can whip up smoothies, margaritas, daiquiris, slushies, or anything else that quenches your thirst. Popular with kids and grown-ups alike.
44. Pet Bed – Human beings like to stay warm and comfy on movie night, but have you ever considered that your dog or cat might want to do the same? Thanks to the selection of pet sleepers currently available, your four-legged pal can snuggle into their bed and remain close to their owner throughout the film.
45. Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide: From the Silent Era Through 1965 – If you’re a fan of Turner Classic Movies, you’ll want to buy this guide and keep it near your television for easy reference. Well-known film critic and historian Leonard Maltin gives opinions on thousands of films ranging from the silent era to 1965, and his discussions are a breezy mixture of serious criticism and memorable factoids. Whether you grew up during the Golden Age of Hollywood or just want to learn more about it, this guide will provide you with a good idea of what to see and what to avoid.
46. TCM Classic Movie Trivia – Once you’ve read and memorized the Leonard Maltin book, you’ll want to take on your friends in some classic movie trivia. This 576-page book is just what you’re looking for, including a forward by TCM fixture Robert Osborne, page after page of black-and-white photos, and 4,000 multiple-choice trivia questions ranging from the early days of cinema to the 1960s and beyond. Turner Classic Movies has given viewers reason to expect the highest quality, and this paperback book won’t disappoint.
47. Throw Blanket – Most men wouldn’t be caught dead with a throw blanket, but women and older fellas with nothing to prove will enjoy the warmth and comfort it brings to movie night. My only suggestion is to find one that’s easy to wash, as it might end up with stains if snacking goes hand-in-hand with movies at your house.
48. Die Hard Collection – When it comes to action movies, no franchise can beat the Die Hard series for the sheer number of bad guys gunned down by a middle-aged bald guy. Bruce Willis was already successful when the first film hit theatres in 1988, but the tale of scrappy cop John McClane versus waves of Eurotrash baddies put him in a whole other category of celebrity. Willis’ career has been hot ever since, and he puts out a new entry in the franchise every few years to remind us not to mess with him. The next film is scheduled for 2013, but this Blu-ray series includes the first four releases (Die Hard, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Die Hard with a Vengeance, and Live Free or Die Hard). Don’t call yourself an action fan until you’ve seen them all.
49. Movies Trivia Game – Another movie trivia game for your consideration, this time without a bunch of pieces to lose. You can take this one anywhere, and the 1,200 questions included will test your movie knowledge for hours. There are five categories to choose from, including Drama, Sci-Fi/Horror, Awards, Action, and Comedy.
50. Your Movie Sucks – Roger Ebert is the most recognized film critic in America, and he’s not afraid to rip into a movie when he feels it’s warranted. This is a whole book of such criticism, as Ebert compiles scathing personal reviews for movies that he felt were a waste of celluloid. Even if you don’t always agree with him, you’ll find his writing style to be both informative and entertaining. You can also purchase other books in this series entitled I Hated Hated Hated This Movie and A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length: More Movies That Suck.
That wraps up our list of 50 great gift ideas for movie lovers, and it’s my sincere hope that you’ve come away with inspiration for the next birthday or holiday season. Buying presents can be hard enough as it is, but trying to buy for film buffs can sometimes be especially difficult. However, unless they’ve developed a whole new way to watch or appreciate cinema, they’ll definitely get some use out of the items listed above.