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50 Movies That Used Recycled Movie Footage

Gray Lady Down (1978), Never Say Never Again (1983) and Firefox (1982)

Recycles: Ice Station Zebra (1968)

How Noticeable? Shots of the miniature and model of Ice Station Zebra ’s all-important U.S. nuclear attack submarine, the USS Tigerfish were reused in all of the films above. Apparently it’s the go-to film for submarine scenes, which are so generic you’d never guess they’ve been taken from an entirely different movie.

The Jungle Book (1967)

Recycles: The Adventures Of Ichabod and Mr Toad (1949)

How Noticeable? The fight for the deed to Toad Hall, with its many chases and slapstick slip-ups, has been drawn over and copied exactly for the Baloo and Mowgli tussle. Watch enough Disney films and this will definitely stick out as a piece of animated déjà vu.

Blade Runner (1982)

Recycles: The Shining (1980)

How Noticeable? The end credit sequence of the original theatrical release of Blade Runner contained unused helicopter footage taken from the beginning of The Shining , but they don’t actually show the same road that we see in Stanley Kubrick’s classic horror film so recognising the scenes is pretty much impossible.

Hitman (2007)

Recycles: Dark Angel TV show (2000)

How Noticeable? Considering that both are about genetically enhanced super-soldiers trained from a young age, the reuse of Dark Angel footage during this film’s opening credits actually comes across as a little too obvious.

Hope And Glory (1987)

Recycles: The Battle Of Britain (1969)

How Noticeable? The news reel of the RAF fighting a Luftwaffe shown in the cinema uses ariel footage from The Battle Of Britain , but you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was just... um... well, a news reel of the RAF fighting a Luftwaffe.

The A-Team TV show (1983-1987)

Recycles: Airplane! (1980)

How Noticeable? Ok, so it may not be a film but this is some pretty major movie swiping. In an episode where Murdock has to land a 747 at an airport, the script called for him to keep going and crash the plane into the terminal. Obviously this was far too expensive for the show to film, so they lifted the shot where a plane does the same thing in Airplane! If you see the episode, you can't fail to notice this one.

Independence Day (1996)

Recycles: Jurassic Park (1993)

How Noticeable? In the scene where Jeff Goldblum is chased out of the aliens mothership, his "Must go faster!" Line from Jurassic Park is looped into the audio. It's a very memorable line so eagle-eared viewers will pick it out immediately. Wait, do eagles have ears?

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)

Recycles: Suspicion (1941), Johnny Eager (1941), This Gun For Hire (1942), The Glass Key (1942), Keeper Of The Flame (1942), Double Indemnity (1944), The Lost Weekend (1945), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), Notorious (1946), The Big Sleep (1946), The Killers (1946), Deception (1946), Humoresque (1946), Dark Passage (1947). I Walk Alone (1948), Sorry, Wrong Number (1948), The Bribe (1949), White Heat (1949), In A Lonely Place (1950).

How Noticeable? Of course, a major aspect of the whole film is the joke of having Steve Martin inserted into these older movies and interacting with the original characters so yes, this is very noticeable. You might even say, it was the point.

Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure (1988)

Recycles: War And Peace (1956)

How Noticeable? The war scenes in 1805 where the Wyld Stallyns pick up Napoleon are lifted directly from here and it's a pretty obvious - deliberate even - edit.

Wagons East! (1994)

Recycles: Um… Wagons East (1994)

How Noticeable? As John Candy died during the making of this film, some tricks had to be employed to finish his scenes, including his second bar scene reusing shots from his first. The problem is, Candy always gave such a memorable performance that the reused shot sticks out a mile.