Amusing Little Details in Movies You Only Notice After Repeated Viewings

(Let’s try to avoid spoilers)

Through the magic of DVD, I’ve noticed the following recently, even though I’ve seen both movies multiple times:

In Pulp Fiction, Butch is watching “Clutch Cargo” on TV when Christopher Walken’s character brings the watch to him.

In Fargo, when William H. Macy’s character is talking to his son in the son’s bedroom, the kid is sitting on his bed with an accordian and has a poster of “The Accordian King” on the back of his door.

What about you?

It was probably the umpteenth viewing of “Dr. Strangelove” before I realized that the woman in the centerfold of the magazine that Major Kong is reading on the bomber is Buck Turgidson’s girlfriend.

Didn’t we have a thread c. 2 months ago on this very topic?

And you just noticed that NOW?!?

In Pulp Fiction, the bullets are already in the wall when the man runs out of the bathroom. Maybe a cock-up, or may cast doubt on Jules ‘miracle’ theory.

The Usual Suspects is great to watch a second time. If you watch Pete Postlethwaite he several times looks to Kevin Spacey like he is making sure that what he is saying is what he is supposed to be saying.

In Idiocracy (which I saw for the second time last night), after the credits end there’s an added scene:

A third “coffin” is shown in a pile of trash. It opens up, and Rita’s pimp, Upgrayedd, climbs out. He puts on his hat and walks away, saying someting like, “I gotta find that woman and get my money…”

Loved it.

I didn’t notice this for myself, even after repeated viewings over the years, but Mike Nichols pointed it out to Steven Soderbergh in their commentary on the Catch 22 DVD (Soderburgh hadn’t noticed it before either).

There is a scene where Bob Newhart as Major Major is talking with his sergeant, played by Norman Fell, about avoiding seeing people. It’s a continuous shot, and the camera pans back and forth across the office, following Newhart. At one side of the room is a desk with a picture on the wall behind it. When the scene begins, it’s a picture of Franklin Roosevelt. A little later, after Newhart walks away from the desk and comes back again, the picture is of Winston Churchill. Then again, after he walks over and comes back a third time, it’s now of Stalin!

Hitchcock’s PSYCHO is full of references, both verbal and visual, that are quite funny after you know what’s going on:

  • Norman says things like:“A boy’s best friend is his mother.”
    "Mother’s harmless, why she’s as harmless as one of those stuffed birds."
    Or when the detective, asking about photo identification, says, “Don’t you want to take a second look before you commit yourself?” and Normal says, “Commit myself?”

In Howard Hawks’ RIO BRAVO and other films, John Wayne is wearing a belt-buckle inscribed with the brand from their earlier film together RED RIVER… the “Red River D.”