It’s nearly impossible for modern directors to keep references to their favorite movies or directors out of their own films, with easter eggs, props, and even lines of dialogue being planted as an homage. But sometimes, it’s the sounds of the movie that show where the real influences lie – even if they’re nearly impossible to catch.
Here are Screen Rant’s 10 Movies That Stole Sounds From Other Films.
Most movie fans will tell you that it was the movie Jaws that made Steven Spielberg a Hollywood hit, but his FIRST movie about a monstrous beast chasing an everyday man taught him all he needed to know about suspense and terror. Duel swapped out the shark for a murderous fuel truck driver, but it also ended with the truck defeated, and a monster’s roar added to its death for added effect. When it came to the death scene in Jaws, Spielberg made sure to include the same sample as “a thank you” to the movie that started his career.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
This prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark dealt with plenty of dark magic, including human sacrifice by way of a burning hot lava pit. When Indy’s new leading lady is the next to be sacrificed, she gets a front row seat to the opening of the pit. But listen closely, and you’ll hear a familiar sound. It isn’t just the stone doors being opened, but the unforgettable sound of a lightsaber igniting.Specifically, Darth Vader’s saber in The Empire Strikes Back.
James Cameron’s alien epic Avatar was years in the making, with the wildlife of Pandora one of the most memorable parts. The director originally dreamed up the panther-like Thanator with a script note saying it could even beat a T-Rex – so it’s no surprise that it sounds just like the version seen in Jurassic Park. It’s not the only dinosaur sound lifted for Avatar, either, since the Direhorse lets out snort and barks that are impossible to miss for fans of Spielberg’s dinosaur adventure.
The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers
You know it, and you’ve heard it, even if you don’t know what it’s called. Easily the most famous reused movie sound effect of all time, The “Wilhelm Scream” made its first appearance in Distant Drums. When the scream was used in Star Wars and Indiana Jones, it became an inside joke for engineers everywhere – and The Lord of The Rings featured A LOT of them. Once you notice it, no blockbuster will ever be the same – and it’s so overused, there are plenty of movie fans who’d probably be happy to see it retired.
When Disney acquired the rights to the Star Wars universe, fans didn’t expect to see the results in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But the story of the smallest Avenger featured an easter egg that’s easy to miss. When Ant-Man villain Yellowjacket finally suits up, it’s his laser cannons, not shrinking, that poses the biggest threat. But if those cannons sound familiar, it’s probably the sound of the Imperial AT-AT walker’s main cannon from The Empire Strikes Back buried within them.
J.J. Abrams gave a surprisingly believable vision of the future in his Star Trek reboot, but the sounds used weren’t so original. Audiences might have missed the fact that Kirk’s motorcycle was riding on spoke-less wheels, but the motorcycle’s sound was an even more subtle detail. Especially when you realize you’re hearing a remixed version of the sound of a flying car in The Jetsons cartoon universe.
The links between both of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi dramas have been studied by fans since they first released, with evidence mounting that Blade Runner and Alien take place in the same universe. The sounds support the idea, too. A low humming noise is audible under most of Alien‘s scenes set in the spaceship’s crew quarters, with a more pronounced effect originally planned for the ship’s medbay. That specific sound wasn’t used in the finished movie, but the sound editor placed it in Blade Runner, making Deckard’s apartment sound almost identical to the Nostromo.
It isn’t just classic games that are paid tribute to in this story of a villain-turned-hero, since the movie shares a sound designer and mixer with some serious blockbusters. One of those films is Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which explains why Calhoun’s gun is clearly making the exact same sound as the laser weapons fired by the T-800s in the movie’s opening scene. On top of that, the sound effect made by the highly-protected vault in Cyberdyne Systems’ lab is also translated into the animated movie, as the sound made when King Candy hacks into the code of Sugar Rush. It turns out it wasn’t just video game cameos fans had to watch out for.
Star Trek Into Darkness
If there’s one director J.J. Abrams has pointed to more than any other, it’s Steven Spielberg, whose vision of the future seen in Minority Report probably played a role in creating the future of the rebooted Star Trek. The sci-fi story of cops who stop crimes before they’re committed even got a shout-out when Khan crashes his ship into San Francisco. Listen closely to the alarms and sirens playing as Khan starts to flee the scene – apparently, the Precrime cops were the first to respond.
Man of Steel
Zack Snyder’s take on Superman was a very different one than what fans were used to, but the sound team made sure to include one major easter egg for fans of the original George Reeves version. When filming The Adventures of Superman in the 1950s, short scenes of Reeves flying across a sky blue backdrop were used, with a sound of rushing wind to sell the scene. Special effects have come a long way, but that same wind sound effect is included when the new Man of Steel takes flight. It’s difficult to catch, but the sound designers confirm it’s there for those who know what they’re looking for.
Those are the best sound effects borrowed or hidden by blockbuster directors that we could find, but which ones have we missed? Let us know in the comments, and remember to subscribe to our channel for more videos like this one!