In 1934 writer-director George Seaton introduced the world to his
Sometimes characters in movies stop the story to talk to the audience. While some people think it’s a complete gimmick, others feel breaking the fourth wall heightens the film’s story and deepens its characters. Here are 9 movies that break the fourth wall.
- Funny Games. In both Michael Haneke’s versions of Funny Games, one of the victims picks up a rifle to blow away of the their terrorizes, only to have the other psychopaths look for a remote control to pause and rewind the scene to start it over again. The scene breaks the momentum of the movie to re-affirm to the audience that they’re just watching a movie.
- Spaceballs. About halfway through the comedy, the Spaceballs can’t find the princess, so they rent the instant cassette version of Spaceballs the Movie. Yes, Spaceballs is a movie where we watch the characters watch Spaceballs the Movie.
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Actress Carol Cleveland turns to the audience to tell them that the scene that they’re currently watching should’ve been cut in the final version of the movie. While it’s a very funny gag, some people actually believed that the scene was supposed to be cut and Carol Cleveland was talking to the filmmakers and not the audience.
- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Ferris Bueller spends the entire movie informing the audience on how he’s going to get out of certain situations. He also directly clues viewers in on his thoughts and plans.
- High Fidelity. Much like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, throughout the entire film, Rob Gordon, played by John Cusack, address the audience, as he’s going through a nasty breakup.
- Annie Hall. When Annie Hall, played by Diane Keaton, and Alvy wait in line for a movie, someone behind them annoys the couple with pompous comments about Federico Fellini’s work. Alvy, played by Woody Allen, calls him out by breaking the fouth wall to address the audience and to point out how the theater patron’s opinion is just wrong.
- Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. This is actually one of Kevin Smith’s funniest movies. In Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, a number of characters look at the audience and wonder why they’re even watching the movie.
- Gremlins 2: The New Batch. Joe Dante’s sequel to Gremlins takes a completely different direction than the original. Gremlins 2: The New Batch constantly stops the story because the titular Gremlins wreak havoc on screen, off screen, and behind-the-scenes.
- Wayne’s World. Throughout Wayne’s World, Wayne & Garth address the audience and talk about almost every aspect of the film. In fact, when one of the characters starts talking to the audience, Wayne interrupts him and says only Garth and himself can talk to the camera. Wayne & Garth even take breaking the fourth wall one step further when they outright sell popular products to the audience instead of listening to the movie’s characters.