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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
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    How many uncredited cameos are there in Briitish films?





    The Times

    February 08, 2007



    Too posh to push for a credit



    From Hitchcock to a star who will not be nameless for much longer, A-listers are keen on the ‘uncredited cameo’ role. Kevin Maher reports



    It is the biggest star turn in one of the most eagerly awaited British comedies of the year. It’s a subtle performance, marked by deadpan line-readings and gentle head shifts, and it is delicately delivered by one of the smartest Alist Oscar winners in the business. And yet, if you don’t know that Cate Blanchett is in Hot Fuzz, chances are that you’ll find it extremely hard to spot her.

    Blanchett’s role, as the embittered girlfriend of the hard-working supercop Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg), is played out in a single scene, and from underneath a white forensics boiler suit, complete with white face mask and goggles.

    But having recently watched her charged turn in Notes on a Scandal , I instantly clocked that telltale vocal cadence and piercing stare. It is technically described as an “uncredited cameo?, and it’s something that Pegg, the film’s co-writer, and its director Edgar Wright are reluctant to discuss. The former blusters through some good-natured objections, mentioning “legal implications? and so on, while the latter simply doesn’t want to spoil the fun for the audience.

    “I implore you,? says Wright. “Don’t give her name out straight away. Let the readers do the guessing. Call her Miss X! Tease the audience! You have my permission to tease. But just don’t blow the surprise!?

    And yet there’s more than just the surprise at stake here. For the Alist cameo role, and in particular the uncredited Alist cameo role, can confer a level of kudos and semi-mythic status on a movie that no amount of prerelease publicity can buy. Once the secret is out in the media ether, says the casting director John Hubbard, it somehow increases the value of the project. “The star cameo role adds weight to a movie,? explains Hubbard, who has helped to cast everything from Evita to The Da Vinci Code . “It can be great for the film.?

    Hubbard names Jack Nicholson’s uncredited turn as an oily news anchorman in the media satire Broadcast News as the perfect screen cameo. Of course there have been others. Shirley MacLaine popped up as a leery-eyed barfly in the original Ocean’s Eleven , Mel Gibson had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him role as a body piercer in the Billy Crystal comedy Father’s Day .

    And a huge chunk of the Being John Malkovich cast, including Sean Penn and Brad Pitt, consisted of self-deprecating star cameos. And that’s not even mentioning the epic list of directors, from Alfred Hitchcock on frequent occasions through to Martin Scorsese ( Taxi Driver ) and M. Night Shyamalan ( Signs ), who have displayed a penchant from teasing turns in front of the camera.

    And lest we think that the cameo role is all about creative altruism and doing favours for film-making buddies, Hubbard notes that it can also be a nice little earner. “What most actors and agents want, to put it bluntly, is to give the tiniest amount of time for the maximum amount of money,? he says. “And a cameo role can be thousands of pounds for just two days’ work.? (Blanchett, it should be noted, donated her fee from Hot Fuzz to charity.)

    But if the cameo role, uncredited or otherwise, is a sound career decision that boosts both the standing of the project and the performer, how do you explain Blanchett’s appearance in Hot Fuzz in what is essentially a disguise? (The only other precedent for this, interestingly, is Steve McQueen, who appeared in the fleeting background, hidden behind full biker costume, in the 1976 action movie Dixie Dynamite .)

    “There are two reasons,? says Wright. “One is that it’s a joke to have a very emotional and sentimental scene playing out between Simon’s character and his girlfriend Janine where she never once removes her dust mask and goggles. And it’s us reacting to the amount of pressure we got [after their previous hit horror comedy Shaun of the Dead ] to cast bigger and bigger names. So we’re just being wilfully obtuse by getting one of the biggest-name actresses out there and never once showing her face. And Cate really liked the joke too. Which helped.?

    Wright adds that it was remarkably easy to secure Blanchett’s services, because she is a huge Shaun of the Dead fan. It was a personal connection, he says, rather than a strictly professional one. “If you don’t have a connection with the actor it’s difficult to pull off something like this,? he says. “You wouldn’t get it done by going through agents and the official channels.?

    Hubbard agrees. “In my experience casting a big-name actor for a cameo role has a hit rate of about one in a hundred,? he says. “Without a connection between the actors and the film-makers it’s very difficult indeed.?

    Surely, then, this is the key to cameo cachet? It’s a role or performance built around Alist industry recognition and yet it exists entirely outside the grasp of that same industry. It is instead about intimate connections between film-making creatives, about favours returned and friendships honoured.

    And that’s why we like them, and why we smile when we spot them. Because for a brief moment it means that we’re in on the joke, we’re part of the gang, and ultimately in some way further connected to the fundamentals of the film-making process itself. Just don’t tell Edgar Wright. “I’m begging you not to mention her name!? he concludes. “I’m on my knees, now. Really!?

  2. #2
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    just had a read about Stephen King and hows hes in most of his films in a small capacity. IN This is Horror and World of Horror he plays himself, anymore good cameo roles in British films?

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    well Ill be blowed just saw that Hitcock WAS in cameo role in Rebecca, Ive watched this film a dozen times on DVD and never saw him, its when George Sanders is on the phone. knew he was in most of his films but never Rebecca, well you learn something every day. Im putting it on now to look.

  4. #4
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    John Landis in AAWIL

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Humphrey Bogart in the Love Lottery. I've never discovered how that came about.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Tony Curtis makes a cameo in a Roman Polanski film.....I 'll leave someome else to name the film and what capacity his cameo was. Clue; it was a speaking part and not just a walk on.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: Australia wadsy's Avatar
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    name='christoph404']Tony Curtis makes a cameo in a Roman Polanski film.....I 'll leave someome else to name the film and what capacity his cameo was. Clue; it was a speaking part and not just a walk on.


    He was the voice of the actor (Donald Baumgart) who goes blind,which



    opens the way for the John Cassavetes character (Guy Woodhouse) to get the part!



    Sorry the film is "Rosemary's Baby"

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    name='donna']just had a read about Stephen King and hows hes in most of his films in a small capacity.
    Well, he's always in the titles isn't he...........



    I wonder if he actually writes his own books or has a small army of clerks cranking out the chapters for him to edit together............... $10 a page or something......




  9. #9
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    name='donna']MY Favourite Brunette... Alan Ladd


    And Bing Crosby.

  10. #10
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='donna']just had a read about Stephen King and hows hes in most of his films in a small capacity. IN This is Horror and World of Horror he plays himself, anymore good cameo roles in British films?


    I don't know about "Most" of them.

    His IMDb listing shows 109 titles where he has a writing credit (and that's just counting multiple episodes of a series as a single entry) but he only has 17 credits as an actor doing cameo appearances



    They list another 25 where he plays himself but many of those are documentaries or interviews



    Steve

  11. #11
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='donna']well Ill be blowed just saw that Hitcock WAS in cameo role in Rebecca, Ive watched this film a dozen times on DVD and never saw him, its when George Sanders is on the phone. knew he was in most of his films but never Rebecca, well you learn something every day. Im putting it on now to look.


    See List of Hitchcock cameo appearances



    Michael Powell used to do it a few times as well, but that was just because they didn't have anyone else who could do the role. And he was an actor in some of the early silent films he worked on, usually as a comic English tourist!



    Steve

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
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    Frank Sinatra in ROAD TO HONG KONG (he just happened to be in London for a Royal Festival Hall concert)........James Mason in ESCAPE FROM ZAHRAIN (US) for old pal Ronald Neame...

  13. #13
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    Sean Connery in Robin Hood

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    name='wadsy']He was the voice of the actor (Donald Baumgart) who goes blind,which



    opens the way for the John Cassavetes character (Guy Woodhouse) to get the part!



    Sorry the film is "Rosemary's Baby"


    yep quite right, we hear his voice in a telephone conversation he has with Rosemary.

  15. #15
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    I recently bought a box set of Terry Thomas films, one of the films is "Brothers in Arms" a good film but hardly a Terry Thomas film, the central characters are Ian Carmichael and Dicky Attenborough, Terry Thomas plays what is essentially a cameo roll of no more than a couple of minutes towards the end of the film.

  16. #16
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    Donna will probably know this one. In It�s a Great Feeling Doris Day plays a waitress trying to break into films. To this end she assisted by Jack Carson and Dennis Morgan and several stars under contract to Warner Bros at that time. Doris worries throughout the film whether she would be better off back in her home town married to fianc� Jeffrey Bushdinkle. When the identity of Jeffrey is revealed at the end of the film, we know why!



    Incidentally the term �cameo� was coined for the Mike Todd production of Around the World in 80 Days

  17. #17
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    Hattie Jaques made a very brief appearance as a fortune teller in Hanclocks Punch and Judy Man.



    How about Spike Milligan popping up in "Life of Brian." and the "Love thy Neighbour spinoff and also Frankie Howard in the Ladykillers.

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