50 Movies That Used Recycled Movie Footage

Ender's Game (2013)

Recycles: Knowing (2009)

How Noticeable? One eagle-eyed viewer of the film’s latest trailer has spotted that it seems to use a split-second shot of destruction from Nicolas Cage sci-fi film Knowing. The fact that both films come from Summit Entertainment may confirm the connection but it takes a certain obsessive Nicolas Cage fan to recognise the scene.

Transformers (2007)

Recycles: Pearl Harbour (2001)

How Noticeable? One quick shot of an aircraft carrier is seen in Pearl Harbour with CGI amendments to make it fit into the period setting. As such, you probably wouldn’t spot the unaltered, original shot used again for Bay’s later film Transformers .

The Final Countdown (1980)

Recycles: Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

How Noticeable? This war-time time-travel film reuses footage of the Pearl Harbour attacks from the classic movie Tora! Tora! Tora! – although you’d need a degree in war movies to pick it out.

Savior (1998)

Recycles: Outbreak (1995)

How Noticeable? Due to a shortcoming in the budget department, an ariel shot of landing in Africa was lifted from Dustin Hoffman’s classic monkey-disease movie. Huge prize to you if you ever recognise it though.

Jaws: The Revenge (1987)

Recycles: Jaws (1975)

How Noticeable? The original, theatrical ending to the film, which sees the shark’s head explode, utilised footage from the original film’s ending, in which the headless shark sinks. If you have seen the original, then you should spot the shot. If you have seen this film and NOT seen the original, what even are you?

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

Recycles: Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

How Noticeable? Three shots from the earlier film were used again for this sequel, including one where a Japanese businessman gets attacked and another of the serum coursing through Alice’s veins. Whether or not you notice is really down to how much you’re still paying attention during these films.

Star Wars Episode II - Attack Of The Clones (2002)

Recycles: Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)

How Noticeable? Thanks to the second prequel being filmed in Australia rather than England, some of the actors from The Phantom Menace that made up the Jedi Council couldn’t be present for filming of similar scenes, so the same shots of their characters were just reused. Something that wouldn’t have escaped the notice of die-hard Star Wars fans.

MacGyver TV series (1985-1992)

Recycles: The Italian Job (1969)

How Noticeable? It may not be a movie, but we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to point out that an episode in the first season of MacGyver lifts scenes from what is perhaps the most iconic car chase of all-time: the minis sequence from The Italian Job . Noticeable? It’s practically boasting.

The Limey (1999)

Recycles: Poor Cow (1967)

How Noticeable? Flashbacks of a younger Wilson with his young daughter and wife are taken from Terence Stamp’s earlier film, which any half-decent Ken Loach fan would recognise as his directorial debut.

Game Of Death (1978)

Recycles: The Way Of The Dragon (1972)

How Noticeable? When Bruce Lee died during the making of this film, it was padded out with embarrassingly obvious stand-ins and archived footage from Lee’s earlier film Way of The Dragon, which is pretty clear to anyone who has seen the film.