10 Exemplary Cinematic Cameos

10 Exemplary Cinematic Cameos

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10 Exemplary Cinematic Cameos 585x248 10 Exemplary Cinematic Cameos

The cameo appearance has been an integral part of cinema for many decades now, cropping up in many different guises.

Some pull you out of the film instantly (one painful example is ‘Bruce Willis’ in Ocean’s Twelve) – others riff on earlier, iconic straight roles for comedic effort (John Hurt in Spaceballs, Robert Patrick in Wayne’s World). A cameo can present the director with an opportunity to work with a hero (Stan Lee in Mallrats, Peter Jackson in Hot Fuzz) or a chance to immortalise themselves on film (Hitchcock, Scorsese, Tarantino). Some are a free-for-all, ‘bring yer mates’ love-in (The Expendables and most of the ‘frat pack’ films) while others are occasionally downright bizarre (a skinhead Matt Damon in Eurotrip).

The list of cameos below represent a different approach, avoiding the sometimes gimmicky nature of the function, and offering moments of brilliance which enhance and enrich the quality of the films themselves.

10) Christopher Walken – Annie Hall

Christopher Walken Annie Hall 220x150 10 Exemplary Cinematic CameosWalken has a habit of using his distinctive screen presence to remarkable effect in a limited duration (True Romance, Pulp Fiction and Sleepy Hallow, amongst others) but it’s here in Woody Allen’s seminal 1977 feature where that edgy, unpredictable persona is used to maximum comedy effect.

Solemnly recounting his suicidal fantasies to Allen’s character after a testing family dinner at the Hall homestead, the comedian’s line for excusing himself (“I have to go now Duane, because I’m due back on the planet Earth”) perfectly sums up Walken’s hilarious, otherworldly behaviour.

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  • SD

    Gaff knows Deckard is a replicant and stoically watches as Deckard hunts his own. He’s a cold motherfucker and, like all the human characters, lacks humanity. “More Human Than Human” that’s our motto.

  • Jon ‘Jonny’ Preece

    “infinitely more entertaining than the entire running time of his own shockingly inert spin-off from the popular film series two years earlier” WTF are you on crack!?

  • K1i1

    One of the most adept comments I’ve seen on any site in a while.

  • szore

    Nailed Olmos in Blade Runner. Perfect summary, and correct.

  • Nakatomi

    Do you actually know the difference between a supporting character (integral to the plot of the film) and a cameo (not integral)?

    Olmos in Bladerunner = Supporting character.

    Jackman in First Class = Cameo.


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matías-Polako/100002095765884 Matías Polako

    “Hugh Jackson”!!!???

  • Phil

    With the exception that Deckard being a replicant has never been established. In fact Ridley Scott has stated that it was not his intention to suggested any such thing so it’s just one interpretation of the film.

  • szore

    But he was in the book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, wasn’t he? I don’t remember.

  • BernieB

    Editor Terry Rawlings stated the opposite: “Ridley and I had many concrete conversations during the editing of BR as to how to best suggest him being an android. One nice way was the scene of Deckard’s eyes glowing, when Harrison’s at the doorway of his kitchen behind Sean Young. Ridley had blocked that out very carefully; he purposefully put Harrison in the background of that shot, and slightly out of focus, so that you’d only notice his eyes were glowing if you were paying attention.”

  • BernieB

    Apart from the “ragged” bit. ;-)

  • BernieB

    The origami comments on Deckard’s state of mind – including the matchstick man with hard-on – plus the rooftop scene, are anything but the actions of a stoic, cold motherfucker lacking humanity. Olmos: “By the end of the film, Gaff’s changed. He’s been watching Deckard from the sidelines during the whole show, but now he’s come to point where he empathizes with him. Gaff understands a little more about life and death. That’s why he lets Rachael live.”

  • BernieB

    He’s human in the book.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashutosh4 Ashutosh Singh

    Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder

  • DrNope

    Bob Saget – Half Baked
    Hunter S Thompson – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

  • NM2000

    Yeah, spock Prime was plot-essential and made multiple appearances covernig double digit screen time on film. He was a character, not a cameo.

  • NCBrian

    also the cameo bit.

  • NCBrian

    well – you’re right of course, but i think in that case it was a bit of both, no?

    but Nakatomi is absolutely correct – most of these aren’t really cameos at all.

  • NCBrian

    yes! now see that’s a great one

  • http://www.bluemonkeysfrommarz.com/ BlueMonkeysFromMarz.com

    correct. empathy, the one thing that has eluded android manufacturers, until now.

    gaff is not a cold blooded human and deckard is ‘the great experiment.’

  • sjd

    How about Matt Daemon in Eurotrip? Or Mel Gibson in Father’s day?

  • http://twitter.com/Cavatica Leonard Wilson

    I would also add Johnny Depp in 21 Jump Street, Keith Richards in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, and Cillian Murphy in The Dark Knight Rises.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lissener Charley Cvercko

    Dude. Not only do you not know what the word “cameo” means, you also don’t know what “exemplary” means. Please go back and try again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lissener Charley Cvercko

    No, that’s stunt casting. That role was too large to be considered a cameo. Now if Tom Cruise had played an intern who hands Les Grosman a Starbucks, THAT would be a cameo.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lissener Charley Cvercko

    Walken was not a cameo. “Before they were famous” doesn’t count as a cameo. Ditto Olmos, although he’s disqualified on to points, before-they-were-famous and supporting-character-not-cameo.

  • BernieB


  • NCBrian

    whoa – slow down, this conversation is going way too fast for me!

  • BernieB

    Sorry, I’m typing these in between bouts of hypersleep. :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.black.963434 Peter Scholten

    Were was the great Vincent Price from Edward Scissorhands?

  • Annoyed

    another idiot list without understanding what a cameo is, or spell check for that matter

  • J. Chris Bourdier

    I have to agree. These aren’t cameos, with the exception of Charlie Sheen. These are supporting characters.

  • Jackie Jormpjomp

    Sean Connery Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Arnie in The Rundown, Will Smith in Jersey Girl, Clive Owen in Pink Panther (the closest we’ll ever get to him playing Bond), Vincent D’Onofrio in Ed Wood, Stan Lee in almost every Marvel movie, BRUCE CAMPBELL in Evil Dead (remake), Bruce Campbell in Darkman, Bruce Campbell in the first three Spidey movies and Oz the Great and Powerful, Glenn Close in Hook, Harrison Ford in Jimmy Hollywood, Christian Slater in Star Trek VI, Bryan Singer in Star Trek Nemesis, John Cleese in Time Bandits, Lawrence Olivier in Sky Captain, Arine in Terminator Salvation and of course Chuck Norris in Dodgeball (also Hasselhoff, Hank Azaria and Shatner). Just a few more great cameos (some are better than the movies themselves).

  • Jackie Jormpjomp

    Just thought of some other great cameos: Kevin McCarthy (star of the original Body Snatcher movie) running around screaming like he did in the first film again in the 1979s remake and then as the same character again in Looney Tunes Back in Action, John Frankenheimer in General’s Daughter, TV versions of Lois, Jimmy and Clark in Superman and Superman Returns, it’s borderline supporting character but Bill Murray in Little Shop of Horrors, David Letterman in Cabin Boy, Michael Jackson in MIB (or was it part 2, can’t remember), Vin Diesel in Tokyo Drift, Robbie the Robot in Gremlins and Looney Tunes Back In Action(he’s more of a person than Paris Hilton but we still call her and actress so I stand by his inclusion here), Peter Falk in Muppet Caper (actually the Muppet Movies are packed with cameos such as Ray Liotta, Orson Welles, Steve Martin, Gregory Hines…just too many to name but a lot of them are really amusing).

  • Jackie Jormpjomp

    Then there are the cameos that never were released. The holy grail of those has to be Harrison Ford in E.T.

  • Aung San Win

    Excuese me, but i’m due back on planet Earth.