Do you remember that scene in His Girl Friday (1940) when Cary Grant describes Ralph Bellamy as looking ‘like that fellow in the movies, Ralph Bellamy’? That was probably the first time I realized that inside jokes and movie references go waaaay back. So I started to notice a lot of those in other movies. So here is my top 5 (see, I’ve made an effort to come up with a top 5, just for you). I’ll start with number 5, ’cause I’m a rebel.
5. The Big Heat (1953) – when Glenn Ford is about to leave the bar, ‘Put the blame on Mame’ is playing. It was originally featured in Gilda (1946), also starring Glenn Ford.
4. Arsenic and Old lace (1944) – Raymond Massey’s character Jonathan Brewster was originally played by Boris Karloff in the Broadway production, but because it ran for so long, he was unable to be in the film because he was still doing the play. So Jonathan Brewster is described as looking ‘like Boris Karloff’.
3. Double Indemnity (1944) – Fred MacMurray: ‘Neff, with two Fs, like in Philadelphia, you know, the story.’ Barbara Stanwyck: ‘What story?’ Fred MacMurray: ‘The Philadelphia Story’.
2. The Apartment (1960) – when Mr Dobisch and Mr Kirkeby are talking about Baxter and Miss Kubelik having a little toot, Mr Kirkeby says ‘Toot? More like a lost weekend!’. The Lost Weekend (1945), like The Apartment, was also directed by Billy Wilder.
1. Every ‘Archie Leach’ reference by Cary Grant. Let’s face it, Archie Leach is probably the most famous real name of any actor ever. And when you can reference your real name in several of your movies, you know you’ve made it.