10 iconic movie characters who only appeared in one scene
Rarely do films feature characters who play a central role in the narrative but only appear in one scene. Most of the time, they set certain events in motion, and when done right they are some of the most memorable scenes in cinema.
While many of the characters that appear in a single scene are played by famous actors, they shouldn’t be confused with cameos, and more often than not the whole scene is based on them. These characters remained etched in viewers’ memories long after the film ended, and in some cases, they are the best thing about the film.
Blake in Glengarry Glen Ross
Glengarry Glen Ross follows a group of unlucky salespeople trying to move real estate, but none of them have been very successful and they need a little bit of motivation. Enter Blake, a sales trainer for Premiere Properties who would love nothing more than to fire every underachiever.
He only appears in one scene, in which he gives a seven-minute curse-filled speech about how the top seller wins a car, the second wins a set of steak knives, and the third is fired. Blake instills fear in salespeople, makes them feel like nothing, and with the thunder raging outside, it really feels like watching the devil at work.
Casey Becker shouting
Just as with TV sitcoms, the Scream the series has a soft spot for cold openings before the title appears and the film’s narrative begins properly. Only instead of a silly gag, it’s the Ghostface Killer who teases a helpless woman home alone and ends up in a gruesome murder.
When Casey answers the phone and flirts with the unknown caller, what follows is a cat and mouse “guess the horror movie” game that ends in the murder of her boyfriend. The cold opening ends with his disembowelled corpse hanging from a tree.
Captain Koons in Pulp Fiction
It’s almost as if Christopher Walken is the king of one-sceners, because his role as Duane in Annie hall is the funniest thing in the whole movie. But nothing beats the actor’s monologue as Captain Koons in pulp Fiction. While the 1994 film is made up of vignettes loosely tied together by a multi-faceted narrative, Koons sets so much in motion with his single scene.
Set decades in the past, Koons visited Butch as a child, presenting him with a watch that belonged to his father. Koons explains in detail how he and Butch’s father went to great lengths to hide the watch during the Vietnam War. It’s so weird but wonderful to hear Walken talk about hiding a watch where the sun doesn’t shine in her unique Brooklyn accent and quirky delivery.
The guy in Spy Kids 3D
the spy on children the series does not have the best reputation, and Spy Kids 3D: Endgame is often considered the worst. However, it still has a fan base, this is one of the best movies rated under 5.0 on IMDb, and there are a lot of funny moments in the movie. One of those moments comes after the characters have talked for an hour about a Legend who can beat level five.
“The Guy” appears in random bright light like a Guardian Angel. He gives a confident and motivating speech to the kids before entering the level 5 arena. But when he does, he’s immediately zapped by electrical beams and evaporates.
Jesus in the great Lebowski
The great Lebowski has such a strong cult that there’s even a festival dedicated to celebrating the film, and that’s mostly thanks to its weird characters. Although there is a spin-off called The scrolls of Jesus Based on the character, Jesus only appeared in one scene from the 1998 film. But the evil melon clad in purple left a strong impression on audiences nonetheless.
The film is endlessly quotable, and even the scene in which Jesus appears, where he licks a bowling ball, is full of it. Between “the Jesus rolls” and “nobody f **** with the Jesus”, the character gave fans so many hilarious dialogue to cite at Lebowski Fest.
Mark Hanna in The Wolf of Wall Street
In the wolf of Wall Street, Mark Hanna was Jordan Belfort’s gateway to the seedy world of Wall Street and all the criminal activity he engaged in. Technically, Hanna is in two scenes, but it’s one scene, and it’s the second restaurant scene he remembers. This is one of the scenes in which the film blurs the line between satire and glorification of bad behavior.
The scene sees the characters talking about swindling their clients and spending their clients’ money on drugs, but it’s so entertaining, hilarious, and the audience lives almost vicariously through Hanna. On top of that, the scene includes the iconic chest-hitting song calling the birds, which was actually improvised by Matthew McConaughey.
Cock Knocker in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
After finding out that a comic book artist had copied their portraits to create the superheroes Bluntman and Chronic, Jay and Silent Bob decided to get to the bottom of what was going on. And upon stumbling across the set of the film adaptation, they meet Bluntman’s Joker in Batman, the Cock Knocker. Who else could play Cock Knocker other than the actor who voiced the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, Mark Hamill?
The actor is perfect for Cock Knocker, as he’s so self-aware in real life, which can be seen on Twitter, and he’s quick to criticize and laugh at his own work. Combine it all with an over-the-top villain outfit and Hamill’s quirky side, and it makes for the perfect comic book satire.
Rudy Blatnoyd in Inherent Vice
Quite interesting, Inherent vice is inspired by both The great Lebowski and pulp Fiction. The film follows Doc, a detective and marijuana enthusiast, trying to uncover strange occurrences, like The great Lebowski, and much of the 2.5-hour movie is made up of thumbnails, like pulp Fiction. And these two styles come together perfectly when dentist Rudy Blatnoyd is introduced.
Doc investigates the eccentric dentist and for a surreal scene, Rudy shows Doc his depraved workshop and reveals he has connections to the Golden Fang, a drug trafficking operation. While not the highest rated Paul Thomas Anderson film, some Redditors believe Inherent vice is Anderson’s best movie, and Rudy Blatnoyd is one of the reasons.
Drexl Spivey in real romance
Gary Oldman is one of those actors who can completely disappear in a role, and Drexl Spivey in True romance is the best example. The pimp has long dreadlocks, a scarred face, railings, and a mumbled Detroit accent. When Clarence visits Drexl in an attempt to get him out of Alabama, it leads to one of the best shootouts of the 1990s.
But before that happens, Drexl jumps between snacking on Chinese food, casually watching an adult movie, and playing mind games with Clarence. Drexl’s hilarious Oldman performance is why True romance still stands today.
Young Indy in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade brought so many new ideas to the adventure series, and it also introduced a lot of new characters, be it Indy’s dad or Elsa Schneider. And while Young Indy isn’t a new character, he does bring a new take on the character, as the intro sees him become the “it belongs in a museum” audience of adventurous and dangerous architects know him.
There are few scenes in the film more exciting than the entire opening sequence, of Indy stealing the golden crucifix chasing the circus train. But it’s River Phoenix’s perfect portrayal of the character that elevates the role of a Harrison Ford knockoff to a jaw-dropping performance.
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