Some movie scenes are more famous than the movies they come from -- did you know, for example, that there's a whole film of Dustin Hoffman crossing streets with a dude dressed like a cowboy? However, it turns out that the most iconic scenes in some classic films (or even in the entire careers of the guys who directed them) are totally lifted from other movies you probably haven't seen. Like ...
#6. Pulp Fiction -- Sam Jackson's "Bible Quote" Is from a Sonny Chiba Film
Tarantino movie plots are usually like his soundtracks: an eclectic selection of scenes from older movies (usually from the '70s) and put in a different order. However, if there's one thing that's 100 percent original about his films, that's his dialogue -- that combination of profanity, Seinfeldesque observations and intricately worded threats of violence sort of makes all the cinematic thievery OK, because no one but Tarantino could write that shit. As Tarantino's biggest fan once put it, "There's a poetic quality to my dialogue."
"'Shit' rhymes with 'tits.' See? I'm a poemer."
And easily one of the most famous lines of dialogue in a Tarantino movie ever is the scene at the beginning of Pulp Fiction where Sam Jackson delivers a menacing recitation of a made-up Bible passage (a combination of the real Ezekiel 25:17 and Psalm 23) right before killing a guy who in all likelihood would have died anyway a few seconds later out of sheer terror.
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Yes, I am going to recite all this."
Who Did It First:
As Tarantino himself admits in the very same interview where he says his dialogue is like poetry, the whole monologue is lifted almost word-for-word from the intro for a 1976 Sonny Chiba movie, The Bodyguard. Check it out:
Holy shit, it's the exact same speech Sam Jackson said, except they replaced "the Lord" with Sonny Chiba's name in the movie (fair enough). Although it's conveyed through a Star Wars-like text crawl instead of a Jacksonian shout, the menacing inflection of the guy reading the text is pretty much the same.
Whoever wrote that tagline poets the balls out of Tarantino.
This intro is only present in the English version of the film, which is the one Tarantino saw. Presumably he also saw the '80s TV series Shadow Warriors, where Sonny Chiba's character has a habit of lecturing his enemies about good and evil before killing them, just like Sam Jackson's hit man character in Pulp Fiction.
So the question is: Why didn't Tarantino just cast Sonny Chiba? He actually did ... in Kill Bill, as sword-maker Hattori Hanzo.
Who had grown up and decided sushi was much cooler than killing people.
#5. Star Wars: A New Hope -- The Final Scene Is from a Nazi Propaganda Film
As far as gleefully triumphant movie endings go, you're not going to do a lot better than the last scene from the first Star Wars. Not only do they get a medal, but Luke and Han also get a steamy look from a hot girl who totally isn't the long-lost sister of one of them.
What good is the Force if it doesn't warn you about these things?
In fact, this is the only Star Wars film that gets a perfectly happy ending (Leia's whole world was blown up at one point, but she seems pretty OK with it by now). It's such an epic and emotional moment that a lot of people use the same song in their weddings. They might not be so eager to do that if they knew the next part, though ...
Who Did It First:
Hitler. Hitler did this one first.
A terrifying glimpse into the future of the Rebel Alliance.
Those are stills from the Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will, which, like The Birth of a Nation, is considered to be an important milestone of cinema, despite being pretty racist (it includes some of Hitler's speeches). But hey, at least D.W. Griffith didn't kill 6 million people. Now, we're not saying that Darth Vader is supposed to be Hitler or something like that -- we're pretty sure that's Luke.
Han is a thinner, less morphine-addled Goering, Threepio is Goebbels and R2 is (obviously) Himmler.
Look at the pillars, the position of the soldiers, the podium at the end -- the Star Wars scene is at least inspired by (if not directly lifted from) a film personally commissioned and executive produced by Adolf Hitler. We need to sit down for a moment.
This might also explain why they gave everyone a medal except the brown character.
#4. E.T. -- The Flying Scene Is from an Old Italian Film
The flying scene at the end of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial is probably the most iconic Spielberg has ever directed -- hell, he even put it on the logo of his company.
Personally, we would've gone with Quint being swallowed by Jaws.
In the scene, Elliott and his friends hop onto their bicycles to help E.T. escape from government agents armed with guns/walkie-talkies, but soon they find themselves cornered. E.T. then uses his alien magic to raise the kids into the sky, bikes and all, and we see them flying off into the sunset as the classic John Williams theme plays.
Afterward, the group lands in the woods, where they say goodbye to E.T. forever, provided the terrifying planned sequel doesn't happen.
OK, let's all take a moment to collect ourselves before moving on.
Who Did It First:
A 1951 Italian movie by Vittorio De Sica, Miracle in Milan, ends with a pretty similar moment: The characters find themselves cornered by the authorities, and then one of them uses magic to lift everyone off and escape (in this case, with broomsticks). Compare:
The only difference is that E.T. has fewer people holding their boners.
No, we didn't just pick out some random other movie where people happened to be flying -- Miracle in Milan is one of Spielberg's favorite films. The movie is about a guy who is given a magic dove by a ghost and uses it to grant the wishes of his friends at the shantytown he lives in. The dove is taken away by angels, and then oil is found in the shantytown, causing the protagonist and his friends to be kicked out by greedy capitalists. But other than all of that, it's exactly like E.T.
Another difference is that in Miracle the flying characters never touch down to offer heartfelt goodbyes to their magic friend -- they just keep flying off into the sky, like E.T. himself, except without the protection of an alien spaceship.
These people all froze to death, is our point.
But when it comes to the specific moment of flying off into the sky, the only major difference is bicycles -- and coincidentally, De Sica's previous and best known film was all about bicycles.