10 Great Moments From Chekhov’s Movie Gun, According To Reddit
Whether in the title, like Knives out, or simply set up over the course of the story, the concept of Chekhov’s pistol is a recurring element in film production. The idea itself is quite simple: an object must be set up beforehand in order to establish its importance in order to have a satisfactory gain. These are the things that are hinted at, talked about, or introduced at the beginning, so that the audience has a great “I knew it” moment – or sometimes, a replay to notice all the times it’s been referenced before the great finish. .
Named after the playwright who invented it, the idea has seeped into pop culture as well as the movies and TV shows that audiences around the world love. What examples of movies have Redditors liked the most?
ten Pressure tanks in the jaws
Few films of the 1970s terrified audiences more than Jaws, the shark attack driving people away from the beach in droves that year, while leaving an indelible mark on cinematic history. Redditor vietcongagent cites air tanks as a great gun from Chekhov.
They conceded that it was “not exactly the most subtle, but it gives that epic finale”. The tanks are pretty much set up with Hooper’s line “You mess with these tanks, and they’ll explode!” and seeing Brody take down the shark with his ingenuity here is a satisfying “epic” way for one of the film’s most iconic monsters to come down.
9 Matches in the fifth element
There are many hidden details in The fifth Element viewers missed, but the one that certainly isn’t missed, as Tink2013 points out, is “The Matches of the 5th Element,” which definitely qualifies as a Chekhov weapon. Earlier in the film, when Korben lights a cigarette, it is clear that he only has one match left, which he must use at the end of the film to start a fire.
This subtype of Chekhov’s weapon, where a hero desperately needs a solution and remembers that he has something at the last second that saves him, may be a cliche in cinema, but it’s better than the alternative. Without proper configuration, there is no audience satisfaction, as the solution seems to come out of nowhere.
8 Swords on the Wall in Gremlins
By the end of the first movie, the Gremlins have committed several true crimes that helped cement the second generation of mogwai as terrifying creatures, and so it’s satisfying to watch Billy take them on. As GraveRobb says, the swords on the wall are brilliantly set up.
The sword “falls every time someone comes home” in the film, making its presence memorable for audiences, even if sometimes it is only communicated off-screen by sound. “When Billy pulls the sword out of the wall to fight the gremlins…we don’t question it.” The obvious setup also means the entire audience gets a satisfying “aha” moment with the reveal.
seven The baseball bat in signs
M. Night Shyamalan is a very deliberate filmmaker, and his penchant for twists and turns is legendary, but for his trademark twist to work it has to make sense in hindsight, so (especially in his early films) he sets it up explicitly. RayAnselmo shows how the filmmaker does it with “Joaquin Phoenix’s baseball bat in Panels.”
The bat is there because the Phoenix character is a former baseball player. Thus, he uses it both as a weapon in its own right and to break glasses of water, a substance that harms aliens. Shyamalan’s slow introduction gives the audience plenty of time to come to the same realization the characters are doing at the same time.
6 LGM’s obsession with “The Claw” in Toy Story
toy storyThe “little green men” have been known to be claw-obsessed since the first movie in 1995. It’s a fun trick that makes sense with them being in a claw machine container. But Darren Edwards pointed out how Toy Story 3 brings it back in an amazing way.
The LGMs go towards the crane because of their obsession, but this crane is what saves the toys from their moment of death. It “looks like Deus Ex Machina, but seen as a three-part story, it works”. The audience cheered gratefully while laughing that these claw-loving secondary characters managed to save the toys because of it.
5 Trying to lift Thor’s hammer in Age of Ultron
In response to Thor’s Pride in early 2011 Thor, Odin banishes him to Earth and places an enchantment on his hammer that means only those who are worthy to wield it can do so. This allows for great setup and moment gain in Avengers: Age of Ultronunderlines gummitch_uk.
“My favorite [Chekhov’s gun example] is everyone trying to pick up Thor’s hammer near the start of Age of Ultron,” they say. It makes for an incredible moment later on when Vision effortlessly lifts the hammer in front of all the Avengers. The big thing to about this one is that it pays off once more, in Captain America’s awesome Avengers: Endgame when he epically wields Mjolnir.
4 Body armor in the Back to the Future sequels
One of the things fans might know about Back to the future is that its sequels were shot back-to-back partly because of budget, but also because they were envisioned as one story, which allows for Part II to set up aspects that fans would later see in Part III. yakusokuN8 cites bulletproof vest as an example.
Biff Watches a handful of dollars in Part II and states “how much he loves the fact that Clint Eastwood’s character uses a steel plate as a bulletproof vest”. Then in Part III, Marty is revealed to have survived a shot from Biff’s ancestor using the same technique. The benefits of shooting consecutively!
3 Flamethrower in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Reddit user mikeyfreshh Chekhov’s favorite weapon is “The Flamethrower in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film finds the director no less fit than he has been in the last three decades of his career, and was an exciting penultimate film from him, crowned by this moment.
Previously, Rick Dalton complained about the heat of the flamethrower, and yet he kept the accessory, as shown in the film. It’s a stunning final moment when he comes out of the hangar and uses it on Sadie. It was so iconic, in fact, that according to another user, stunts002, said “Here in Ireland people don’t clap during movies” but by then “my theater went crazy clapping and applauding”.
2 The prop knife in Knives Out
Knives out has a title that fits its story and genre perfectly, with the murder victim having a circular collection of knives around a chair in his house. This visual was stunning enough to be included in marketing, but mrbadxampl likes “the stage prop knife in Knives Out”.
It’s set up two different ways, with both the display at the bottom and murder victim Harlan talking about the prop knife, as one responding Redditor added. This remains unspoken until Ransom attempts to assassinate Marta at the end, seemingly killing her until it is revealed that he messed up and grabbed a prop.
1 The Winchester rifle in Shaun Of The Dead
Edgar Wright’s use of Chekhov’s weapon setups is a legend, but the one several Redditors pointed out, including Low_Mark6639, was “A literal weapon in the Winchester in Shaun of the Dead”, to which answerer maximfabulosum pointed out agreed: “Truly epic.”
The Winchester bar is named after the gun that hangs on its wall, which Shaun discovers is still working when his group takes refuge at the bar from the horde of zombies. There are plenty of other examples of Wright cleverly alluding to later events in this one film, but for one of his props, few are as iconic.
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