Breaking the fourth wall….what’s that all about then? Well, next time you are talking 'film' with your peers and its getting deep, it might be worth schooling-up about this film technique so you can casually throw it out there, into the conversation (when the time's right), and see the humiliation on your friends faces as they silently nod--and you know, you just know they have no idea what you are talking about.
According to Leigh Singer, the creator of this supercut, "When an actor 'breaks the fourth wall' - that is, they acknowledge (usually directly to the camera, and therefore the audience) that they're part of a movie."
The term comes from the imaginary "wall" at the front of the stage in a traditional three-walled box set in a proscenium theatre, through which the audience sees the action in the world of the play.
This video (above) is a supercut of 54 different films that use this technique from James Bond, through Ferris Bueller, and all the way to Humphrey Bogart. 'Here’s looking at you, kid'.
The list of 54 films featured, in order:
The Player (1992), Blazing Saddles (1974), The Great Train Robbery (1902), Persona (1966), Alfie (1966), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), Richard III (1995), Richard III (1955), Sunset Blvd. (1950), Fight Club (1999), Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), Le Mepris (1963), High Fidelity (2000), Spaceballs (1987), Hot Tub Time Machine (2010), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001), Horse Feathers (1932), Annie Hall (1977), A Matter of Life and Death (1946), Amelie (2001), On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), Death Proof (2007), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999), The Meaning of Life (1983), Road to Bali (1952), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Animal House (1978), The Omen (1976), The Devil’s Advocate (1997), Psycho (1960), Orlando (1992), Young Frankenstein (1974), Do the Right Thing (1989), Gangster No.1 (2000), A Bout de Souffle (1960), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Top Secret! (1984), Family Plot (1976), Superman – The Movie (1978), Bronson (2008), Airplane! (1980), Funny Games (1997), Funny Games (2007), The Great Dictator (1940), Lord of War (2005), JFK (1991), Goodfellas (1990), Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001), The Nutty Professor (1996), Tom Jones (1963), Monty Python & The Holy Grail (1975), The Holy Mountain (1973), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).