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50 Movies That Used Recycled Movie Footage

Earthquake (1977)

Recycles: Torn Curtain (1966)

How Noticeable? Footage of panic-stricken extras in a movie theatre are taken from this Hitchcock classic, which is more well-known than the film in which it appears, so yes, hardcore Hitchcockians may spot it.

The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh (1977)

Recycles: The Jungle Book (1967)

How Noticeable? A scene in which Christopher Robin skims a stone has clearly been drawn over a comparable scene featuring Mowgli, so if you like your young Disney kids playing in nature, you may spot the similarity.

Persuasion (1995)

Recycles: The Bounty (1984)

How Noticeable? The shot of Wentworth’s Age Of Fighting Sail ship at the end of Persuasion is actually a shot of The HMS Bounty from this earlier film, which is certainly high-profile enough to make the scene recognisable.

Star Trek: Generations (1994)

Recycles: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

How Noticeable? An explosion of a Klingon bird of prey was taken directly from the preceding film. This kind of thing does not escape the attention of Star Trek fans easily.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

Recycles: Disney movies in general

How Noticeable? It’s the scenes at the start of the Toontown sequence, which all contain recycled animated crowds from various Disney films. There’s probably someone on the Internet right now trying to identify where each is from.

Time Bandits (1981)

Recycles: A Night To Remember (1958)

How Noticeable? Footage of the Titanic sinking is taken and recoloured from this film about the ship’s tragic voyage, and it sticks out quite obviously from the rest of the movie.

Maniac (1980)

Recycles: Inferno (1980)

How Noticeable? Some ariel helicopter footage from Inferno was reused for this film, not that you'd ever notice because ariel helicopter footage almost always looks the same, right?

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

Recycles: Independence Day (1996)

How Noticeable? Considering Dr Evil name-checks the film thievery straight after showing the President a clip of the UFO blowing up the White House, we’ll call this one an easy pass...

Citizen Kane (1941)

Recycles: The Son Of Kong (1933), so some would have you believe.

How Noticeable? There’s a lot of contention about this, but it is generally considered that, during Citizen Kane ’s picnic scene, the footage in the background is lifted from The Son Of Kong . Even if it’s not true, it seems that some kind of prehistoric film is used because flying pterodactyls can be seen in the background. Once you’ve noticed this, you’ll never be able to watch the scene in the same way again.

The Shootist (1976)

Recycles: Red River (1948), Hondo (1953), Rio Bravo (1959) and El Dorado (1966)

How Noticeable? Reusing scenes of John Wayne’s old films through the ages to give the impression of an aging gunfighter is not only noticeable, it’s a pretty ingenious way to establish the character.