With Deadpool (now out on dvd/blu ray) having a field day with 4th wall breaks we thought we’d have a look at some of the best 4th wall breaks in films where characters turn and look at the audience usually to speak directly to them…..
- Shadow of a Doubt – Directed by Alfred Hitchcock and reportedly his favourite film of his own this follows Uncle Charlie who visits his niece who adores him not knowing that he is the serial killer who has murdered a string of rich widows. Unaware of what he’s done the family talk over dinner about the story and Uncle Charlie justifies in a perfectly rational manner why they might have been killed before turning and looking directly at the audience and asks them if they agree with his morally murky motive.
- Airplane – absolutely chock full of brilliantly daft jokes with the cast frequently turning to look at the audience as if to say, ‘Can you believe how dumb that joke was?’
- Hi Fidelity – John Cusack addresses the audience about his record collection and the emotional decisions he’s wrestling with.
- Annie Hall – Woody Allen in a cinema queue argues with other people in the line before introducing a respected expertto the watching audience to back up his argument.
- Wayne’s World – Wayne & Garth frequently talk to the audience throughout
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail – at the very end of the film as a medieval battle ensues a news camera crew tries to film the action shortly before the police arrive and approach the camera and put their hand over the camera lens.
- Alfie – Michael Caine talks to us about his sordid love life
- Austin Powers – Mike Myers once again can’t resist a look to camera throughout
- Ferris Bueller – as the end credits roll Ferris comes out of the bathroom to tell us the films over – Deadpool used exactly the same end credits scene
- End of Psycho – Norman, having been arrested, sits there listening to his mothers voice in his head before looking directly at us and smiling creepily.
- Funny Games – German director Michael Haneke’s brilliant dissection of screen violence constantly questions the audience’s lust for seeing the violence that two burglars are about to perpertrate on a young family. The director remade his own film in a slightly less successful Hollywood version too.
- The Big Short – Margot Robbie in a bubble bath, Selena Gomez at a roulette wheel and several others all do their piece to camera to explain the financial jargon.
- Bob Hope – The Road movies…… Bob Hope couldn’t resist turning to camera to make wise cracks.
These are just some and there are loads more in films such as ‘Fight Club’ ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ even ‘Silence of the Lambs’ featured several scenes between Hannibal and Clarice where they spoke directly to the camera.
Here’s an especially inventive one from Mel Brooks Star Wars parody, ‘Spaceballs’…….