Deja Vu All Over Again: Or Strange Movie coincidences

Donavan’s Reef/Wake Of The Red Witch: There’s this one scene where the diver discovers the woman’s body in a trunk.

Cape Fear/Night Of The Hunter/Damnation Alley: One of the characters in each of these movies has “Love” tatooed on one hand and “Hate” tatooed on the other. I love the Tiny Toons parody where the character had “Luv” and “Hat” (Long U and A) tatooed on his knuckles.

Speaking of Damnation Alley: I saw that truck in several B science fiction movies.

Pocahantas/Titanic/Dead Zone: All have characters named John Smith in them.

How about all those movies Alan Smithee made? He certainly was a prolific director. :wink:

Frankenstein/Flash Gordon (serial)/Young Frankenstein: In all three movies the same castle set is used. In Young Frankenstein they even used the same props!

Any other coincidences?

Do you mean coincidences, or when a movie steals . . . uh, pays hommage to another? The “love/hate” knuckles are not coincidence; they are references to “Night of the Hunter.”

One possible coicidence: in both Buckaroo Banzai and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, characters use the line “No matter where you go, there you are.” The films were a year apart, but judging by the timing, it’s doubful the writers of Mad Max knew the other film was using the line.

Typing John Smith in the IMDB character search yields 83 results

This is not a coincidence. They are obviously referencing the Robert Mitchum character in Hunter. Do the Right Thing does the same, but with jewelry instead of tatoos.

My favorite has always been comparing Jean Renoir’s The Crime of Monsieur Lange and Carol Reed’s The Third Man. Both have pulp western authors as lead characters. They both fall in love and both, at the end of their respective films are forced to kill an acquaintance that everyone has presumed dead.

And Mel Brooks went to great lengths to make Young Frankenstein as exact a copy as possible. How can this possibly be considered coincidence?

And locations near to Hollywood used to be used over and over again, in millions of B-movies. Sets and props are taken from the same warehouses; costumes from the same costume companies; backlots used for movies and tv shows; vintage autos from the same rental firms, etc. etc.

This is about as surprising as hearing the same joke in Letterman’s, Leno’s, and Conan’s monologues.

Speaking of The Dead Zone, Christopher Walken tells his pupils to read The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow and of course years later Walken played the Headless Horseman in Sleepy Hollow.

There was a similar coincidence in Six Degrees Of Separation when Will Smith discusses Lord of the Rings with Ian McKellen, and years later…etc.

Pretty sure that was the Simpsons.

And Eddie in Rocky Horror Picture Show also has “LOVE” and “HATE” tattoos.

And then there’s the cover of the Pogues’ album, “Peace & Love”, which is a sepia-toned photograph of a boxer with “Love” tattooed across the fingers of one hand, and “Peace” tattooed across the fingers of the other.

And if you read that and are thinking, “So what?” count the number of letters in “Peace” and keep in mind you can’t see the guy’s thumbs in the picture.

I don’t know if this is coincidence or not, but I recall when I saw X-Men 2 that the scene in which a cop tells Wolverine to “put the knives down”, as well as Wolverine’s insistence that he couldn’t, was rather familiar. Watching Alien today, it occurred to me that it was in Alien Resurrection where I had seen something similar, only it was with guns, not knives.

I’d categorize a “strange movie coincidence” as one that was unintentional. My guess is that they’re pretty rare.

One example: in Requiem for a Dream, there’s a repeated scene of Jennifer Connelly standing on the end of a pier as Jared Leto walks towards her. This was exactly like a scene in Dark City, where Jennifer Connelly is standing on the end of a pier as Rufus Sewell walks towards her. Same distant camera angle, facing the same direction, same eerie music, same over-exposed sun-in-your-face lighting for the shot. I love Dark City, so I recognized it immediately, and assumed it was an in-joke with Jennifer Connelly, or that Aronofsky and Proyas were buddies.

Imagine my surprise when I read this:

How about Donavan’s Reef/Wake Of The Red Witch? These scenes are so simular. Was one a remake of the other? Was one a hommage to the other?

Some actual coincidences:

Bruce Willis’s line in 12 Monkeys: “All I see is dead people” is quite similar to the line “I see dead people,” said to Willis in The Sixth Sense. I doubt Shyamalan did this deliberately.

When Kevin Costner was in Bull Durham, he said “I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.” He went on to play the the D.A. in JFK. Hee hee!!