'Midnight Meat Train'-Spotting: The Best Movie In-Jokes

Best Movie In Jokes

Best Movie In JokesSpot The Director 
Alfred Hitchcock's tradition of making clever cameos in his films has, not surprisingly, inspired more contemporary filmmakers to do the same.  Landis, for example, went Hitch one better. He enlisted other directors to make cameos in his films, including Dario Argento (Innocent Blood) Jonathan Demme (Into the Night), Terry Gilliam and Ray Harryhausen (Spies Like Us), George Lucas (Beverly Hills Cop III), Frank Oz (An American Werewolf in London), Spielberg (The Blues Brothers), and Robert Wise (The Stupids).

Like Landis, Joe Dante is a sucker for a movie in-joke and his films are peppered with them. In The ‘Burbs, among the framed photos on the mantle in Gale Gordon’s home is one of his Here’s Lucy costar, Lucille Ball. B-movie buffs will recognize producer Roger Corman, who mentored Dante, making a call in a phone booth in The Howling. But that in-joke is actually a reference to another in-joke: a scene in Rosemary’s Baby, in which horror-film producer William Castle, to whom Dante lovingly paid tribute in Matinee, makes a similar phone-booth cameo.

By the way, for those who aren't Hitchcock completists, his most ingenious cameo can be found in Lifeboat. Despite being set in the middle of the ocean, on a lifeboat, Hitch's picture appears in a newspaper ad for a weight-loss drug, Reduco.

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  • Sam Raimi's 73 Oldsmobile is in every flick he does, with Quick and the Dead possibly being the only exception, unless he hid it really well.

  • Hidden under Sharon Stone's chassis?

  • Sara El-Behiri says:

    The print on a tissue box in Toy Story 3 bears the same pattern as the carpet from the hotel in the Shining. Lee Unkrich, the Pixar director, is a HUGE fan.

    Red rum.

  • SD says:

    It is obscure and I always thought of it as an easter egg but when Spencer Tracy's character is first introduced in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World he has his hand tucked into his suit and is dressed the same as his one armed character from Bad Day at Black Rock.

  • mh says:

    Fight Club starring Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and Helena Bonham Carter has a a street scene with cinema marquees showing "Seven Years in Tibet", "The People vs Larry Flynt" and "Wings of a Dove".

  • Stella says:

    This was a really trivial post.

  • Ellie says:

    You have described a extremely great things, thankyou for the post. Wit can be educated insolence. by Aristotle.