14 Hidden Messages You Probably Missed in Your Favorite Movies
There’s a lot happening in every movie—more than most people can catch after one or even several viewings. Did you get these message from these top films?
In 1999’s Fight Club, director David Fincher placed a Starbucks coffee cup in every scene, in part because he wanted viewers to think about the company’s omnipresence. Fincher has nothing against Starbucks—when it first came to L.A., Fincher was grateful that it was so easy to find good coffee. But the cups in the film are a metaphor for the dystopian world Fincher created in Fight Club. Also: He was kind of annoyed at Starbucks for not letting him use it as a location in the film.
The Social Network
In David Fincher’s 2010 movie The Social Network, he references his earlier film: The Zuckerberg character’s computer displays the file “Tyler Durden’s Photos” on the screen. Tyler Durden is the ubiquitous, violent character Brad Pitt plays in Fight Club. Find out the 10 movies with the best one-liners you’ll want to say over and over.
Every Hitchcock film
Alfred Hitchcock makes an appearance in every one of his 39 films, whether it’s him, his body, or a silhouette on the screen. It appears, and then it’s gone, never saying a word and yet sending the very disturbing and intentional message: Mr. Hitchcock is ever-present, observing the darkest aspects of human behavior and exposing them in his films. Can you guess which Hitchcock film was inspired by true life events?
Psycho II and Gus Van Sant’s Psycho
In a nod to Hitchcock, Richard Franklin incorporated Hitchcock’s image into 1983’s Psycho II. You’ll find it in Mother’s bedrooom—a silhouette on the far right wall when Norman Bates turns on the lights in the room. In Gus Van Sant’s 1998 shot-for-shot remake of the original Psycho, Van Sant places himself in the film next to Hitchcock’s image, which is visible in identical garb (a cowboy hat) in precisely the same scene as in the original (as Janet Leigh enters an office).
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Next time you re-watch 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, keep an eye out for this clever tribute by director Steven Spielberg to George Lucas, who created both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. As Indy is seen in an Egyptian temple, the hieroglyphs carved into the column on his right include images of the Star Wars robots, R2-D2 and C-3PO. You can also find a carving of Princess Leia with R2-D2 on another wall of the temple. Here are the inspiring Star Wars quotes every fan should know.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
At the beginning of this 1984 sequel, Indiana exits a nightclub in Shanghai. In another shout-out to the Star Wars franchise, the bar’s name is “Club Obi-Wan.” Find out why Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom made our list of 35 scariest movies of all time.
A Clockwork Orange
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But Spielberg wasn’t the first director to reference a previous film of his own. In 1971’s A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick placed the number ”2001” on a shelf in a record store scene as a reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Check out the 65 places movie and TV filming locations you can actually visit.
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In this 2013’s animated Disney hit Frozen, Hans and Anna sing of their amazing romantic compatibility. “It’s like we finish each other’s….” Hans begins, and Anna completes the sentence in an unexpected way: “Sandwiches!”
“That’s what I was gonna say,” Hans sings. For those in the know, this is actually a shout-out to television’s Arrested Development in which a similar exchange takes place between characters Michael Bluth and his sister, Lindsay.
Tangled and Frozen
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When two characters from Tangled (Rapunzel and Eugene) turn up at Elsa’s ball in Frozen, diehard fans went kind of bonkers—mostly because they couldn’t quite figure out what the filmmakers were trying to say. Were the worlds of both films really the same? Only time will tell.
Disney’s animated universe
Whether or not Tangled and Frozen are intended to be part of the same timeline, one message from Tangled is clear: This world references itself a bunch. In one scene, there’s a library chock full of fairy tale books with titles such as Mulan, The Little Mermaid, and Sleeping Beauty. Here are the most popular fairy tales of all time.