Movies With References to Other Movies

In another thread on this board, Moggie asks about movies containing references to other movies. A few responders shared examples, a few did not. I’ve decided to ask the Board Members to share some of your favorite examples (I shared two in the other thread).

I seem to remember Mel Gibson, in Maverick, meeting up with Danny Glover, his Lethal Weapon co-star.

Another more subtle reference comes in Flatliners, where Kiefer Sutherland has a “dream” in which he hears footsteps, and sees a little person in red running. This may have alluded to the Nicholas Roeg film, Don’t Look Now (featuring Donald Sutherland, Kiefer’s father), in which Donald kept seeing and hearing a little person in red, running.

So, what are your favorite Movie-Movie references?

In Hot Shots Part Deux Charlie Sheen is on a boat and doing his voice-over from Platoon. Soon you can hear Martin Sheen (his father) doing his voice over from Apocolypse Now. As the father and son pass each other going in opposite directions in their boats, with the voice overs from the two Vietnam films overlapping, they shout to each other, “I loved you in Wall Street!” A film in which they played father and son.

For me that almost made watching the rest of the movie worth it.

In Fight Club, A marquee in the back says Seven Years In Tibet. I like that one for some reason.

There’s also so many Kevin Smith ones, but my favorite (because very few notice it) is in Dogma. In Mallrats, when Willam is brought out of his trance-like state, he goes “BOOby trap…” In Dogma, when Chris Rock wakes up in the train, he says the same thing.

Gene Hackman’s paranoid, bespectacled character in Enemy of the State looked and acted an awful lot like the bespectacled and paranoid character Harry Caul whom Hackman portrayed in The Conversation 24 years earlier. Actually, the IMDB has a list of things that Enemy pulls from The Conversation.

In Evolution, Fox Mulder-- er, David Duchovny, spouts that line about how he knows those government guys, and how they can’t be trusted…

Heh, and Evolution hasn’t even been released yet! :slight_smile:

In A Clockwork Orange look closely at the scene where Alex picks up on the two girls at the record store. The record on the front and center of the display is 2001. Of course, Kubrick directed both movies.


In The Twilight Zone – the Movie in the first segment the time-traveler finds himelf in Vietnam, where he overhears one of the GIs say “I told you guys we shouldn’t have killed Neidermeier!”
Neidermeier was, of course, the name of the ROTC officer in Animal House. At the end of that movie, he was said to have been killed by his own troops in Vietnam. John Landis (known for his other movie in-jokes) directed both Animal House and that segment of TZ–TM.

And then of course there is Coming To America, when Eddie Murphy, the prince, hands a paper bag full of money to two bums lying in the street.

The bums are Randolph and Mortimer Duke (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche), made poor and destitute by Eddie Murphy’s character in Trading Places.

Folks caught the obvious Matrix reference in Shrek, but how many folks saw the Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (the donkey running away scene vs. the Endor moon speeder scene) or the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (the collapsing bridge scene in both)?

My favorite was from Stakeout, 1987, Emilio Estevez and Richard Dreyfuss.

Estevez and Dreyfuss are cops on a stakeout, and are killing time by asking one another trivia questions. Estevez asks Dreyfuss “OK, name the movie [from this quote] - ‘This was not a boating acccident!’” Dreyfus says “I don’t know.”

Dreyfuss was previously in Jaws, and it was his line.

If you look carefully at Hackman’s ID in Enemy, you’ll see that it is a picture taken from The Conversation.

Referencing previous movies and TV shows is becoming a cliche. The following is a list I’m taking solely from memory:

  1. Numerous films have used a variation on Dorothy’s famous line “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto,” The Matrix probably the one most seen.

  2. In Batman & Robin, there is a brief shot of a gang dressed as Alex and his Droogs in A Clockwork Orange.

  3. On the TV series Mad About You, someone asks Paul Buchman (Paul Reiser) if he had seen the Alien movies. He replies that he had not seen the second one, Aliens. Paul Reiser was IN Aliens.

  4. Mickey Mouse and the Disney version of The Three Little Pigs appear in the Laurel & Hardy comedy March of the Wooden Soldiers, based on Babes in Toyland. (This was done with Walt Disney’s consent. Disney later put L&H in a couple of MM cartoons.)

  5. The Jurassic Park series references King Kong at least twice. The first one is obvious: Upon approaching the big gate, Malcolm asks, “What do they have in there, King Kong?” The second is more subtle: The name of the ship that brings the T-rex to San Diego in The Lost World is named Venture, the same as the ship that brought King Kong to New York in 1933. Perhaps #3 will continue this?

  6. Actor Richard Kiel played a hired killer named “Jaws” in two different James Bond movies.

  7. Several aliens who look like E.T. appear in The Phantom Menace, in the Senate sequence.

  8. In Gremlins, Hoyt Axton’s character goes to an inventor’s convention. While making a phone call home, Robby the Robot (from Forbidden Planet) can be seen behind him, along with George Pal’s Time Machine. Later, during the phone call, the time machine is gone and people are standing around trying to figure out where it went.

  9. The movies by Jim Abrahams and the Zucker brothers (Airplane and The Naked Gun series) have so many references to other movies it would take more typing than I’m willing to do to list them all.

I don’t think Shrek references Disney cartoons so much as it references the original fairy tales that were the basis for the Disney films.

It doesn’t reference Disney cartoons as much as Disney in general. The character of the prince is supposedly a charicature (in behavior at least) of Michael Eisner.

Hey, he’s my age. What can I say?

My favorite is from Mallrats.

The Mallcop that gives the guys a hard time is named LaFors. And he weats a straw hat.

Just like the tenacious bounty hunter in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

“Who are these guys?”

In both Pulp Fiction and Shaft (2000), Samuel L. Jackson says “This is some repugnant shit” whilst in the middle of a bloody mess.

These are really good. Does anyone know any websites that have a list of in-jokes? I’d love to check out something like that.

One of the best movies for this is “Toy Story 2.” There are way too many to name here, but here’s my favorite: When the toys are driving in the car through the toy store, there’s a scene where they’re driving really fast. The dinosaur is running behind them to catch up. There’s a shot of the rearview mirror with the dinosaur’s face really close up. It looks just like a scene from “Jurassic Park” where the T-rex is chasing the car. (My explanation doesn’t do it justice, but if you’ve seen the film, you know what I’m talking about.)

Try For many movies, they will list the references and in-jokes under “trivia” and “movie connections”. The link is on the left side of every movie page. Look here at the “trivia” page for Toy Story 2 and here for the “movie connections” page.

OK, this is really obscure, but it cracked me up. On the Canadian show Red Green, which can be seen on many US PBS stations, there’s a Native American guy who is heavily into explosives. In one episode, they’re sitting around talking, and someone mentions Dances With Wolves. The Native American guy says something about how he liked the main Indian chief in that movie. Everyone in the audience cracks up, because it’s the same guy.

I’ve noticed a recent trend in comedy movies to “steal” gags from old comedy movies. shorts and even cartoons. I’m not sure if this is deliberate or not. Maybe there are only so many gags you can use. For example in “Something about Mary” I’m pretty sure the Three Stooges hommage is deliberate (during the main character’s fight with the hyped up dog). But what about the gag taken from an old 50’s Mad comic? (The singer keeps following the main character around and gets shot at the end)

… and then there’s the scene in Wayne’s World (or was it Wayne’s World II?) where Robert Patrick, as a motorcycle cop, pulls Wayne and Garth over, flashes them a picture of a young John Connor, and asks if they’ve “seen this boy”…

… much like he did with the girls in the arcade in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. “Girls… do you know John Connor?”

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