50 Movies That Used Recycled Movie Footage

Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)

Recycles: Hurry Sundown (1967)

How Noticeable? Early footage of a young Nigel Powers is taken from this early Michael Caine film. Even if you didn’t guess the exact movie, there’s no mistaking what the filmmakers have done.

Alien (1979)

Recycles: Freud (1962)

How Noticeable? If you’ve seen Freud and you’re a bit of a film music buff, you’d probably recognise that Jerry Goldsmith’s score for the first film reappears in places here. It was actually done without Goldsmith’s permission, who had written a brand new score for Alien but it was turned down by editor Terry Rawlings for being too extravagant. Rawlings then dropped in excerpts from Goldsmith’s earlier work instead.

Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)

Recycles: Lost Horizon (1973)

How Noticeable? Stock footage of the DC3 airplane crossing over Nepal is taken from the earlier film but who on earth would guess that every second of the film wasn’t completely original, let alone spot where a shot was taken from?

The Sword In The Stone (1963)

Recycles: 101 Dalmatians (1961)

How Noticeable? A scene in which Sir Ector and Kay fight against magic dishware is basically drawn over an exact same fight in 101 Dalmatians featuring Pongo and Perdita, but only the staunchest of Disney aficionados would spot this.

Superman Returns (2006)

Recycles: Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980)

How Noticeable? Reusing footage of Marlon Brando’s Jor-El from Richard Donner’s original Superman films is less of a subtle necessity as a neat gimmick, so yes – very much, intentionally noticeable.

Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982)

Recycles: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

How Noticeable? Shots of the Enterprise settling in and leaving the spacedock are lifted directly from the first film. This is either extremely noticeable, or not obvious at all based on the assumption that all shots of the Enterprise presumably look very similar anyway. It all depends on how much of a Trekkie you are.

Damnation Alley (1978)

Recycles: Operation Crossbow (1965)

How Noticeable? An entire sequence showing the destruction of a missile base is lifted directly from Operation Crossbow , which wouldn’t necessarily be noticeable except for the fact that both films star George Peppard.

The Incredible Hulk TV show (1978-1983)

Recycles: Duel (1971)

How Noticeable? The episode Never Give A Trucker An Even Break basically steals the plot of Spielberg’s early directorial effort, complete with actual footage. Anyone who has actually seen Duel can spot it a mile off.

Essentially every Tarzan movie since 1932

Recycles: The original yell first used in Tarzan The Ape Man (1932)

How Noticeable? Are you kidding? Surely there’s isn’t a more recognisable character sound effect than this.

Passenger 57 (1992), Broken Arrow (1996), The Medallion (2003) and lots more

Recycles: Wilhelm’s lesser known cousin – the Howie scream (otherwise known as ‘Youraagh’) – thought to have been first used in The Ninth Configuration (1980)

How Noticeable? Not as well-known as the Wilhelm scream, but once you’re aware of the existence of this bloodcurdling cry, you’ll always be able to pick it out.