John Landis & Friends
“They broke my watch!”
Director John Landis as the mustachioed State Trooper at the end of the shopping mall car chase in THE BLUES BROTHERS (1980). The other State Trooper is Ivan Reitman, director of such comedy classics MEATBALLS, STRIPES and GHOSTBUSTERS.
Here is Director John Landis’ cameo in AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981), as a pedestrian who gets hit by a car and smashed through a bank window.
Director John Landis as the mute Iranian hit-man in INTO THE NIGHT (1985), his most extensive appearance in front of the camera.
Director John Landis after getting gunned down in LAX in his 1985 film INTO THE NIGHT. For those keeping score, the Playboy is from July 1984 issue with Bo Derek.
John Landis in his friends films
DEATH RACE 2000 (1975) – Behind Sylvester Stallone’s car on the left is future ANIMAL HOUSE director John Landis as ‘Mechanic’.
Director Steven Spielberg made a cameo in John Landis’s THE BLUES BROTHERS. Landis returns the favor and appears as very dusty Mizerany with an urgent message from the crazy Col. ‘Madman’ Maddox in 1941 (1979).
EATING RAOUL is a 1982 black comedy film about a married couple living in Hollywood who resort to killing swingers for their money. It was directed by Paul Bartel and has a brief uncredited cameo from fellow director John Landis as a bank customer. Bartel returned the favor three years later by appearing as a Hotel doorman in Landis’ film INTO THE NIGHT.
In SPIDERMAN 2 (2004), John Landis appears only in a few frames as one of the doctors who operates on Doctor Octopus.
And his friends
Frank Oz as the Corrections Officer in THE BLUES BROTHERS (1980). During this period, Oz would supply the voice and be the puppeteer to Yoda in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Oz was so successful in the creation and performance of Yoda, George Lucas even lobbied unsuccessfully to have him nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. Oz got his start with Jim Henson, and was intergral in the creation of Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Animal. He later directed BOWFINGER and DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS.
Steven Spielberg as the Cook County Assessor in THE BLUES BROTHERS (1980).
David Cronenberg, director of body horror films including SHIVERS (1975) and RABID (1977), as Ed’s supervisor in the boardroom in INTO THE NIGHT (1985). Most recently, Cronenberg directed A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (2005).
Richard Franklin, Australian director of ROADGAMES (1981), as the aerospace engineer sitting next to Herb (Dan Aykroyd) in the cafeteria in INTO THE NIGHT (1985).
Daniel Petrie, director of A RAISIN IN THE SUN (1961), as the director and Colin Higgins, who wrote HAROLD AND MAUDE (1971) and directed THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS (1982), as the actor in the hostage film within a film in INTO THE NIGHT (1985).
Paul Mazursky, director of BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE (1969) and AN UNMARRIED WOMAN (1978) as Bud Herman, the beachhouse owner and accused drug dealer in INTO THE NIGHT (1985).
Paul Bartel, director of low-budget films including EATING RAOUL (1982), as Beverly Wilshire Hotel Doorman in INTO THE NIGHT (1985).
Don Siegel, director of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) and DIRTY HARRY (1971), as the man caught with a girl in the hotel bathroom in INTO THE NIGHT (1985). Early in his career, Siegel found work in Warner Bros. film library after meeting producer Hal Wallis. He later rose to head of the Montage Department, where he directed thousands of montages, including the opening montage for CASABLANCA. He was a considerable influence on Clint Eastwood’s own career as a director, and Eastwood’s film UNFORGIVEN (1992) is dedicated “for Don [Siegel] and Sergio [Leone]”.
Jack Arnold as the man with the dog in the elevator in INTO THE NIGHT (1985). Arnold directed several science fiction films including IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (1953), CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954) and THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957)
Lawrence Kasdan, writer and director of BODY HEAT (1981) and co-writer of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, as the police detective who interrogates Bud in INTO THE NIGHT (1985).
Amy Heckerling, director of FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (1982) and CLUELESS (1996), as the clumsy waitress in INTO THE NIGHT (1985). Heckerling is one of the few female directors to have produced multiple box-office hits. She also directed JOHNNY DANGEROUSLY (1984), NATIONAL LAMPOONS EUROPEAN VACATION (1985) and the first two LOOK WHOS TALKING films.
One of 13 director cameo’s in INTO THE NIGHT (1985), Roger Vadim, director of AND GOD CREATED WOMEN (1956) and BARBARELLA (1968), as Monsieur Melville, the French kidnapper.
Jonathan Demme as the thin federal agent with glasses in INTO THE NIGHT (1985). By the time Demme cameo’d in this film, he directed MELVIN AND HOWARD (1980), SWING SHIFT (1984) and STOP MAKING SENSE (1984). Since this appearance, he directed SOMETHING WILD (1986), PHILADELPHIA (1993) and won the Academy Award for Best Director for THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991). Carl Gottlieb, who co-wrote JAWS (1975) and THE JERK (1980), as the large federal agent with the mustache. Gottleb started his career writing for sitcoms THE BOB NEWHART SHOW, ALL IN THE FAMILY and THE ODD COUPLE.
Director John Landis loves putting his fellow directors in on-screen cameo’s. George Lucas is the first of nine cameo’s in BEVERLY HILLS COP III (1994). He has a small part as the man Axel Foley cuts in front of to get on the Spider ride, also known as ‘disappointed man-generous George”.
Another fellow director in a John Landis film. This time its Joe Dante as a Jailer in BEVERLY HILLS COP III (1994). Dante directed THE HOWLING, both GREMLINS films, INNERSPACE and AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON.
Martha Coolidge as the security woman in BEVERLY HILLS COP III (1994). Coolidge is best known for directing VALLEY GIRL, REAL GENIUS and ANGIE and was the former president of the Directors Guild of America.
Peter Medak as the man on the corner in BEVERLY HILLS COP III (1994). Medak directed THE CHANGELING, ZORRO THE GAY BLADE, THE KRAYS and ROMEO IS BLEEDING.
To the right of Hiller is Robert B. Sherman, half of the Sherman Brothers songwriting partnership. He and his brother Richard composed music for such films as MARY POPPINS, THE JUNGLE BOOK, WINNIE THE POOH and CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG and the theme park song, “It’s a Small World (after all).”