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8 Iconic Movie Moments You Didn't Realise Were Taken From Other Films

Why innovate when you can borrow?

You may think that the key to making immortal cinematic greatness is total and complete originality, but in reality many of film's most jaw-dropping moments are actually lifted directly from previous greats, sometimes so brazenly it's a shock the director actually got away with it. Of course, imitation, pastiche and homaging has been the bread and butter of filmmakers since the time when bread came unsliced and butter was stored in a pantry. Filmmakers are constantly learning from each other and perfecting cinematic style (obligatory Citizen Kane reference), and thus often find it apt to give a shoutout to cinema's illustrious past; Tommy shoots at Henry Hill at the end of Goodfellas in a homage to The Great Train Robbery; everything from The Untouchables to Ghostbusters 2 has nodded towards Battleship Potemkin's baby carriage; Zurg reveals he's Buzz's father in Toy Story 2 because Star Wars is great. But there's plenty of iconic movie moments inspired by, or otherwise referencing, older movies that you never even noticed. We're not talking shots or sequences that are overtly alluding to famous films, usually with an eye towards comedy, but rather ones that are imitating (lovingly or otherwise) a classic so adeptly that the scene works without you even needing to know the reference point. There's a fine line between ripping someone off and using them as an inspiration point for further filmmaking creativity. Here are eight movies that did it right.
Contributor
Contributor

Film Editor (2014-2016). Loves The Usual Suspects. Hates Transformers 2. Everything else lies somewhere in the middle. Once met the Chuckle Brothers.