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100 Greatest Director Cameos

To Catch A Thief (1955)

The Cameo: Cary Grant finds himself sat next to a batty old woman on one side and Hitchcock himself on the other.

Why It’s Cool: Grant’s reactions really make this one, particularly his look of puzzled recognition at Hitchcock.

Hostel 2 #2 (2007)

The Cameo: Italian horror director Ruggero Deodato appears as one of the loyal customers of the Elite Hunting group.

Why It’s Cool: Deodato’s character can be seen happily chowing down on the leg of a hapless victim, in a nod to his most notorious film, Cannibal Holocaust .

Old School (2003)

The Cameo: Todd Phillips can be seen playing the visitor who knocks on Owen Wilson’s door in search of a bunk-up with his girlfriend.

Why It’s Cool: Six words. “I’m here for the gang bang.”

Dial M For Murder (1954)

The Cameo: Hitch can be seen glaring out of a photograph placed in a prominent position within the apartment.

Why It’s Cool: It takes a bit of ingenuity for a director to make a cameo appearance in a film set entirely in one apartment, but Hitchcock managed it anyway. Bravo!

Apocalypse Now (1979)

The Cameo: Francis Ford Coppola, appearing here as a TV director, shoutily attempting to get the soldiers to follow instructions for a news broadcast.

Why It’s Cool: Given the tortuous experience of filming Apocalypse Now , Coppola probably didn’t have to dig too deep to channel that rage.

Armageddon (1998)

The Cameo: Michael Bay plays a NASA scientist in a brief scene in this disaster epic. Typecast again, eh Michael?

Why It’s Cool: Bay can clearly have a laugh at himself, as a rocket scientist he most certainly is not.

Hot Fuzz (2007)

The Cameo: Peter Jackson plays a psychotic Santa, jamming a knife through Simon Pegg’s hand in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance.

Why It’s Cool: Jackson’s face is almost entirely obscured save for his eyes, with which he really makes the most of his screen time!

Chinatown (1974)

The Cameo: Roman Polanski features as a hood who crosses swords with Gittes early in the film, inflicting the nose-slicing wound that precipitates that iconic plaster.

Why It’s Cool: It’s one of the movie’s most iconic moments. No wonder Polanski wanted to get himself involved in it!

Badlands (1973)

The Cameo: Terrence Malick appears in his own feature film debut as 'Caller at Rich Man's House'.

Why It's Cool: Malick is famously reclusive so the thought of him stepping in front of the cameras is particularly enticing. In fact, he only did so because the actor originally hired for the part didn't show up, Malick intended to reshoot the scene later on until star Martin Sheen persuaded him otherwise.

Taxi Driver (1976)

The Cameo: Martin Scorsese steps in front of the camera as a twitchy, belligerent fare with an unhealthy fixation with his wife’s nocturnal activities.

Why It’s Cool: Scorsese’s performance is a revelation, quivering with barely-concealed fury. And then there’s that line about a .44 Magnum.