New Video Explores the Many Movie References in “Seinfeld”

From "The Graduate" to "Apocalypse Now"

"Seinfeld" cast
Jason Alexander, Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Michael Richards at the 3rd Annual Screen Actors Guild of America Awards, Shrine Exposition Center, Los Angeles.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty

When you think of television comedies with knowing nods to cinematic history, what comes to mind? Something like Community might well be at the top of this list; The Simpsons would certainly be on there as well. Venture back a few years, though, and you might be surprised to learn just how many allusions to classic films wound up in scenes from Seinfeld.

Now, a video edited by Yaron Baruch offers a detailed — and sometimes shot-for-shot — breakdown of the movies cited over the course of Seinfeld‘s time on the air. And while some are instantly memorable — Elaine echoing A Cry in the Dark‘s line about dingoes eating a baby is a personal favorite — the range and depth of these are particularly impressive.

All three The Godfather movies are represented here, to start; so too are The Graduate, Taxi Driver and Three Days of the Condor. The presence of Wayne Knight in the show’s cast also gives rise to a very special subcategory of Seinfeld cinematic references: Seinfeld cinematic references to movies where Wayne Knight appeared, themselves featuring Wayne Knight. This includes memorable parodies of scenes from both Basic Instinct and JFK.

Over the course of the 11-minute video, you get a fine summary of what made Seinfeld so memorable — as well as its ability to pivot on a dime into a note-for-note homage to Apocalypse Now.

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