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Movies You Didn't Realize Were Re-creating Other Movies

Updated September 21, 2020 299 votes 55 voters 3.0k views12 items

List RulesVote up the slickest movie references you might've missed the first time.

Movie directors pride themselves on their creativity, but even the most groundbreaking directors are influenced by past films, and some of them find creative ways to pay homage to those movies. One such way is to re-create a scene from a favorite film - but in a subtle way that most people might not even notice.   

We’re not talking about movies like Spaceballs that are parodies. We mean the instances where filmmakers paid sneaky homage to past masters in interesting and respectful ways. Here are the films that surreptitiously re-created scenes right under our noses.

  • In Hot Fuzz, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost show the audience straight out how much they admire and would love to emulate a scene from the Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze surf epic Point Break. And when they eventually do, it isn't simply a matter of Frost diving and firing his side arm like Reeves does - the filmmakers reportedly had to get permission from every actor and stuntperson involved in the 1991 movie.

    Which definitely would have been problematic if they had chosen to go with a Buster Keaton movie instead.

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  • For some diabolical reason, the folks at Pixar love to insert references from one of the scariest movies ever into their productions. Scenes and images that pay tribute to Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece The Shining are in Coco, the Toy Story franchise, and even Finding Nemo.

    In the latter, Bruce the shark reenacts the “Heeere’s Johnny!” moment when Jack Nicholson is busting through a bathroom door with an ax by yelling “Heeere’s Brucie!” as he chases Marlin and Dory. Thankfully, children are spared any further emotional difficulties because the filmmakers decided not to include any fish in bear suits.

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  • Jon Favreau paid tribute to multiple movies in his 1996 comedy-drama Swingers. First, the opening scene features a slow-motion group strut that’s similar to the one at the beginning of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.

    Later, the main characters make their way into a crowded club by using the same sneaky method that Henry (Ray Liotta) uses to lead Karen (Lorraine Bracco) through the restaurant kitchen on their first date in Goodfellas. Thankfully, the homages end there and don't include any ear removal.

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  • 4

    ‘Captain Marvel’ Re-creates A Scene From ‘Reservoir Dogs’

    The main baddie in Captain Marvel, a shapeshifting Skrull leader named Talos, is shown drinking from a red and white striped cup, which many think is a nod to Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction. But in reality, it's a re-creation of another Quentin Tarantino movie scene in which a character sips from a similar cup: Reservoir Dogs.

    In the commentary section in Captain Marvel’s digital version, the filmmakers reveal that it was Michael Madsen’s straw work as Mr. Blonde that inspired them. 

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