10 Extremely Subtle Movie Cameos That Went Straight Over Your Head

What is it about movie cameos that audiences have continued to find fascinating after all these years? I mean, yes, there’s something inherently wonderful…

T.J. Barnard

Editorial Team

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What is it about movie cameos that audiences have continued to find fascinating after all these years? I mean, yes, there’s something inherently wonderful about the idea of spotting an actor you recognise without being prompted or alerted to their presence beforehand… but as a society of movie watchers, we’re damn near obsessed with the things.

So why do we like the idea of somebody slipping themselves into a picture in the hope that some eagle-eyed viewer might notice them? Does it give us a sense of superior knowledge? Does it feel like something of a  reward for all the money we’ve spent going to the movies? Do we like the way that a movie cameo sheds a bit of light on the inherent silliness of cinema in general?

On the other side of the fence, it seems to make a lot more sense: for the actors and directors who decide to make small, uncredited appearances in their movies, I suppose it’s a neat way to preserve yourself forever and go down as a neat piece of pub trivia. And yet from the point of view of an audience member, our love of these things is totally bizarre…

Whereas there are lots and lots of movie cameos that have become common knowledge (who doesn’t know that Martin Scorsese is that guy in the cab in Taxi Driver?), there are some that are far more subtle in their delivery. If you’re a true cameo nerd, you’ll likely want to memorise these incredibly hard to spot (and often insanely brief) cameo appearances, many of which you probably didn’t even realise you’ve been staring at for years…

Note: Don’t forget to stick around for some honourable mentions that didn’t quite make the cut at the end of the list.