What’s the First Movie the Suburban Was Ever In?

In what is either a deep honor for Chevrolet or another example of the primarily commercial nature of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Suburban is getting a star on the Walk of Fame!

To be fair, it could be both because the Suburban might have the longest credits list of anyone in Hollywood apart from Samuel L Jackson.

According to a video put out by Chevy, the Suburban has been in no fewer than 1,750 films since 1952. And as the claim suggests, the Suburban’s long lifetime has helped it achieve its wealth of credits. But we think Chevrolet might be wrong about the first film the Suburban ever appeared in.

Frustratingly, although Chevrolet maintains that the Suburban’s first film was in 1952, it doesn’t say exactly which film was its first. So we looked into it and we think Chevrolet might be getting it wrong.

A thorough search through all 87 of the Suburban’s pages on IMCDb (the internet movie car database) turned up just one 1952 feature: Big Jim McLain. The John Wayne vehicle appears to be a hard-nosed detective story set in Hawaii.

That’s all well and good, but our search also turned up a 1951 feature and it’s not even particularly obscure: In fact, it’s one of the most famous movies in Hollywood history: The Day the Earth Stood Still. Stills featured on IMCDb show what appears to be two late ‘40s Suburbans, like the one at the top of the story. So thank Klaatu for the Suburban’s first appearance of the on the silver screen.

Regardless of when the first appearance was, the Suburbans movie credits are impressive. And it’s not all to do with how old the marque is, either. According to Chevy, the Suburban has starred in at least one movie per year since 1960.

Why? According to Dennis McCarthy, a Hollywood movie car coordinator, there are two reasons:

“First, it’s one of the most versatile vehicles in the business, able to fit with any type of character,” said McCarthy in a release. “Second, it can help instantly give a scene added importance. When a convoy of black Suburbans appears on screen, you know that’s not the time to leave your seat to buy popcorn.”

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