List of films featuring fictional films

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A body of films feature fictional films as part of their narrative. These are also called films within films.

List of films[edit]

Film Fictional film Year Description
Adaptation The Orchid Thief 2002 In the comedy-drama film, one of the twin brother protagonists adapts the book The Orchid Thief into a film and draws the jealousy of his brother.[1][2]
The Artist A Russian Affair 2011 In the romantic comedy-drama film, Jean Dujardin is an actor who plays the hero in the film A Russian Affair in which he is rescued from a Russian villain by his dog.[3]
Be My Cat: A Film for Anne Be My Cat 2015 In the found footage horror movie, an aspiring Romanian filmmaker shoots a demo film to send to actress Anne Hathaway to convince her to star in his upcoming film. Moreover, the demo film is about the making of another fictional film.[4][5][6][7][8]
Berberian Sound Studio The Equestrian Vortex 2012 In the horror film, a sound engineer is tasked with working on the Foley effects for the never-seen film.[1][9]
The Big Lebowski Logjammin' 1998 In the comedy film, the Dude watches a pornographic film with Maude and sees Bunny Lebowski starring in the film.[1][2][9]
Boogie Nights Brock Landers: Angels Live In My Town 1997 In the drama film, Mark Wahlberg plays a rising porn actor. In part of his acting career, the character stars as a cop in a series of pornographic action films, with the partner played by John C. Reilly.[3][10][1][2][9]
Bowfinger Chubby Rain 1999 In the comedy film, film producer Bobby Bowfinger, played by Steve Martin, aims to produce his dream science fiction thriller film Chubby Rain and uses shots of an unsuspecting person, played by Eddie Murphy for the film.[3][2]
Bowfinger Fake Purse Ninjas 1999 In the comedy film, characters played by Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy infiltrate a factory where Chinese ninjas counterfeit goods.[10][9][11]
Broken City Kiss of Life 2013 In the crime film, a softcore romance film is featured, which The New Yorker's Richard Brody described, "flowery dialogue and poetic views of nature are followed by the actress’s hot and naked sex scene with the sensitive leading man."[12]
Burn After Reading Coming Up Daisy 2008 The black comedy film features a film based on a chick lit book by Cormac McCarthy.[11]
Day for Night Meet Pamela 1973 The film follows the lives of the cast and crew while they shoot the film Meet Pamela.[13]
Dirty Work Men In Black Who Like To Have Sex With Each Other 1998 In the comedy film, two cinema employees (Norm MacDonald and Artie Lange) get revenge on their manager by replacing a print of Men In Black with a pornographic parody when the corporate bosses arrive to inspect the theater.
Drive-In Disaster '76 1976 The film playing during the events at a drive-in movie theater. [14]
Entourage Hyde 2015 In the comedy film, Vincent Chase directs a film readaption of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and stars as its leading character, an EDM DJ.
The Exorcist Crash Course 1973 In the horror film, before the mother's daughter is possessed, the mother stars in a film about student activism.[15]
Evil Ed Loose Limbs 5 1997 In the horror comedy film, a newly hired film editor goes insane while editing the latest in a long running series of slasher films.
For Your Consideration Home for Purim 2006 In the comedy film, the fictional film featured as a tribute to the Jewish holiday Purim. The studio executives in For Your Consideration change the film's title to Home for Thanksgiving to avoid isolating Gentile audiences.[10]
Funny People Re-Do 2009 In the comedy-drama film, Adam Sandler plays a successful film actor who learns that he is dying of leukemia and decides to revisit his stand-up comedy career. One of the actor's featured films was the comedy Re-Do, which starred him as trapped inside a baby's body.[3][10]
The Holiday Deception 2006 In the romantic comedy film, one of the main characters is a movie trailer producer. One of her featured works is the action film Deception starring James Franco and Lindsay Lohan.[3]
Holy Motors Untitled monster movie 2012 In the fantasy film, the protagonist creates a motion-capture performance with a female counterpart, which is later revealed to be two snakelike creatures.[1]
Home Alone Angels with Filthy Souls 1990 In the family comedy film, Kevin McCallister is accidentally left at home during Christmas when his family went to Paris without him. Kevin watches Angels with Filthy Souls (a parody of the 1938 film Angels with Dirty Faces) which his parents and his uncle forbade him to watch. He later uses the film to distract burglars that break into his home.[3][10][1][9][11]
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Angels with Even Filthier Souls 1992 In the family comedy sequel, Kevin McCallister watches the sequel to Angels with Filthy Souls. Home Alone 2's director studied 1930s and 1940s film noir to make Angels with Even Filthier Souls appear authentic.[16]
Inglourious Basterds Nation's Pride 2009 The war film features a Nazi propaganda film called Nation's Pride (German: Stolz der Nation) that is a key plot element in the film's climax.[3][11]
Invasion Force Untitled action movie 1990 This film's plot starts with the shooting of an unnamed action film. Additionally, as the film itself ends, it is revealed to be a film shooting of its own.[17]
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season Bluntman and Chronic 2001 In the comedy film, the duo Jay and Silent Bob encounter the making of Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season, a satirical sequel to Good Will Hunting. The making of the sequel also featured the original film's director Gus Van Sant and its stars, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Bluntman and Chronic is a fictional movie based on Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards’ comic from Chasing Amy, where Mark Hamill plays a villain named Cocknocker, and fights the titular characters. [3][10][2][9]
The Kentucky Fried Movie A Fistful of Yen 1977 In the comedy film, the spoof film combines elements of exploitation film, TV commercials, pornography, and the 1973 martial arts film Enter the Dragon.[2]
Last Action Hero Hamlet 1993 In the meta-action comedy film, Arnold Schwarzenegger's character is featured as playing Hamlet.[10][1][9]
Matinee Mant! 1993 In the period comedy film, an independent filmmaker produces a creature feature called Mant! that shows the combination of a man and an ant.[3][10][1][9][11]
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Operazione Dyne-O-Mite, Nebraska Jim, Tanner 2019 In the period comedy film, Rick Dalton, portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, moves to Italy to star in spaghetti westerns.[citation needed]
Paris When It Sizzles The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower 1964 Richard Benson is writing a film and only has two days to finish it so he hires Gabrielle Simpson to type it for him [18]
Planet Terror Machete 2007 Preceding the zombie film is a trailer for Machete that features Danny Trejo as a former Mexican federale who seeks revenge on those from both sides of the border who betrayed him. It was later made into a full-length feature film, also called Machete. [1][11]
The Player Habeas Corpus 1992 In the comedy film, a depressing film about a woman on death row is pitched, and it eventually becomes produced but changed to have a feel-good ending.[2][9][11]
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World You Just Don't Exist 2010 In the comedy film, Scott Pilgrim confronts one of his girlfriend's ex-boyfriends, who is a skateboarder and actor producing the action film You Just Don't Exist.[3]
Scream 2 Stab 1997 The slasher film Scream 2 features Stab, a film produced based on the events that took place in the first film Scream (1996).[3][2]
Sherlock Jr. Heart and Pearls 1924 In the silent comedy film, the protagonist dreams that he appears in a melodrama and solves the mystery as Sherlock Jr.[11]
Singin' in the Rain The Dancing Cavalier 1952 The musical film's couple star in the musical film that ends in a modern-day Broadway ballet.[11]
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut Terrance and Phillip: Asses of Fire 1999 The musical comedy based on an obscene cartoon within the musical comedy based on an obscene cartoon serves as a self-reflexive cautionary tale regarding censorship.[11]
Strange Brew The Mutants of 2051 AD 1983 In the comedy film, the fictional film is a post-apocalyptic thriller that copies Mad Max 2.[11]
The Stunt Man Barbed Wire Frontier 1980 The film features a World War I film in which a British prisoner of war escapes a German camp.[11]
Three Amigos The Three Amigos 1986 In the comedy film, the three protagonists feature in a silent film called The Three Amigos that defies the conventions of films of its genre.[2]
Top Five Uprize! 2014 The film centers around the main character, an actor, trying to make the transition from silly comedy films to serious films that comment on society. The actor is frustrated that more people are not excited by or interested in the historical value of a film about the Haitian Revolution.[19]
Tropic Thunder Tropic Thunder 2008 The action comedy film features the production of a film based on a Vietnam War veteran's memoir. The actors that are involved in the production are also shown to be in other fictional films, such as Ben Stiller in Simple Jack and Jack Black in The Fatties: Fart 2.[3][10][11] Another fictional film featured is Satan's Alley with two gay priests at a medieval church.[9]
UHF Gandhi II 1989 The comedy film features a sequel to Gandhi with Gandhi portrayed as tough and streetsmart.[11]
Who Framed Roger Rabbit Somethin's Cookin' 1988 The Live Action/Animation Hybrid features the filming of a theatrical short starring Baby Herman and Roger Rabbit. It parodies golden age cartoons such as Looney Tunes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Wakefield, Dan (December 18, 2012). "10 Greatest Films Within Films". WhatCulture. What Culture Ltd. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Staff (August 11, 2008). "Top 10 Movies Within Movies". IGN. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Jones, Emma (April 11, 2013). "Fictional films that should be made". MSN Entertainment. MSN. Archived from the original on May 11, 2013. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  4. ^ "Discover the stomach-turning horrors of this Anne Hathaway baiting thriller". Little White Lies. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  5. ^ Whittaker, Richard; 4:45PM; Dec. 7, Wed; 2016. "Other Worlds Austin Review: Be My Cat: A Film for Anne". Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  6. ^ Millican, Josh (2015-08-07). "Be My Cat: A Film for Anne (2015)". Dread Central. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  7. ^ "BE MY CAT: A FILM FOR ANNE". BE MY CAT: A FILM FOR ANNE. 2014-09-01. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  8. ^ Be My Cat: A Film for Anne, retrieved 2019-11-18
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Preston, Dominic (November 3, 2016). "10 movies-within-movies that they should have made in full, from Good Will Hunting 2 to Schwarzenegger's Hamlet". Digital Spy. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Staff. "Best films within films". ShortList. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Top 14 Fake Movies from Real Movies". AMC Networks. November 2009. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  12. ^ Brody, Richard (January 18, 2013). "'Broken City' and films within films". The New Yorker. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  13. ^ Ebert, Roger (December 26, 1997). "Day for Night". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  14. ^ "Screen: Busy 'Drive-In':Odd Melange Watches Epic Disaster Movie - The New York Times". 1976-05-27. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
  15. ^ Lyttle, John (April 11, 1994). "The horror that dare not come of age". The Independent. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  16. ^ "Story Notes for Home Alone 2: Lost in New York". AMC Networks. December 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  17. ^ "Invasion Force (1990)". International Syndicate of Cult Film Critics. June 11, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  18. ^ "'Paris Sizzles' - The New York Times". 1964-04-09. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
  19. ^ Sepinwall, Alyssa Goldstein (March 2018). "Black Lives Matter in History Too: Slavery, Memory, and the Haitian Revolution in Chris Rock's Top Five". The Journal of American Culture. Volume 41, Number 1: 5–16.

Further reading[edit]

  • Collins, Leah; Angus, Kat (August 18, 2008). "Sometimes the movies within movies are better". Vancouver Sun.
  • Lyons, James, ed. (2000). "Portals: Exploring Films Within Films". Scope: An online journal of film and television studies. ISSN 1465-9166.

External links[edit]