From Back to the Future to Indiana Jones: 5 Times Movie Chekhov Guns Shot Us Right in the Heart

From Back to the Future to Indiana Jones: 5 Times Movie Chekhov Guns Shot Us Right in the Heart
Image credit: Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Miramax Films

"If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don't put it there."

Movie creators tend to hide allusions to the previous chapters of their films to make fans happy to eventually find easter eggs and surprise them with its humorous or, on the opposite, touching nature.

Here are five examples of the cleverest movie callbacks.

1. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

The second installment of the adventure franchise contains a peculiar reference to the first Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, which, in fact, turns out to be its prequel.

The scene, in which Jones confronts bad guys wielding swords, reaches for his pistol and realizes he doesn’t have it, is a callback to the iconic Raiders’ moment, the one of simply shooting the swordsman instead of fighting on swords with him.

2. Clerks (1994)

In the finale of this black comedy, when the main characters, the retail clerks Dante and Randall, explore they have a dead body in the bathroom of the grocery store, Dante asks the police officer whether this death is weirdest on her memory.

Not revealing any names, she replies, describing the awkward way Randall’s cousin died, which he told to his friend in the beginning – and it only intensifies the comical effect of the scene.

From Back to the Future to Indiana Jones: 5 Times Movie Chekhov Guns Shot Us Right in the Heart - image 1

3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

At the beginning of the movie, the actor Rick Dalton introduces his best friend and stunt double Cliff Booth to his agent saying Cliff gave him a ride, and the agent points out that Cliff must be a good friend, to which he responds, “I try.”

In the end, after getting stabbed by Mansonites, Cliff is taken by an ambulance, where Rick genuinely confesses to him that he’s a really good friend, receiving the same response, “I try”.

4. Back to the Future Part III (1990)

Throughout the whole sci-fi franchise the main characters had their own catchphrases: Dr. Brown frequently exclaims, "Great Scott!", while his friend Marty McFly often says, "This is heavy!"

In the third movie they switch their roles, given the scene when Marty all of a sudden realizes they were wrong in their plans. In this particular moment Marty exclaims, "Great Scott!", to which Brown responds with "I know, this is heavy!"

5. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

Tony Gilroy, the screenwriter of the agent movies, put a special easter egg to the fans. In the first franchise’s movie, The Bourne Identity, the Professor, Jason Bourne’s enemy, says the following last words: “Look at us, look at what they make you give,” with this line being reprised by the main character himself at the end of the third chapter.