Cameos. Two minutes of your favorite actor can completely change the experience of the movie you’re watching, forever. Going by the book, a cameo is usually a brief appearance or voice part of a known person in a work of the performing arts, typically unnamed or appearing as themselves. These roles are generally small, many of them non-speaking ones, and are commonly either appearances in a work in which they hold some special significance or renowned people making uncredited appearances. A cameo could be Daniel Craig playing a stormtrooper in ‘Force Awakens’ or a 10 minute long scene featuring Christopher Walken.
Cameos are usually added for entertainment purposes or are a filmmaker’s way to pull a witty prank on the audiences. Some cameos however have had an integral status in the movies they are featured in, elevating them to a great extent. They have made a seemingly conventional plot quite memorable with their flair and precision, and to date are ingrained in pop culture with countless posters and gifs being made out of them. For the list below, I will be looking at cameos from a critical perspective and the legacy they left behind. So yeah, no Stan Lee cameo, the man’s great to watch on screen but either way that particular scene holds no importance or neither does it influence our outlook on the movie. The cameos listed below are the ones I believe were gripping and never for the entirety of their presence, make you feel shoddy about the casting or relevance. I have also excluded a cameo from Buster Keaton, because though it was nostalgic and is dramatically brilliant but it doesn’t quite do the trick with the popularity factor in mind. With that being said, let’s look at the top movie cameos of ever made.
10. Alec Baldwin (Glengarry Glen Ross)
Starting the list with none other than Alec Baldwin for his impeccable cameo in ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ (1992). Take a hot boiling cauldron, add the heart of Fletcher from ‘Whiplash’, the brains of Hanna from ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and the cockiness of Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, and the result is the biggest arse on screen. Blake (that’s how Baldwin was credited). He is supposed to motivate a under-performing sales team, but instead lashes a barrage of verbal assaults that is not only provocative but intimidating to the point where it just feels grim. He also announces that by the end of the week, everyone except the top two salesmen would be fired and no wonder the cast of the movie called it “Death of a F*ckin Salesman”.
This very cameo has been misinterpreted with many people considering it to be motivational and that just negates the purpose of the scene. The scene was meant to show the harshness salesmen have to stomach and how their life transforms into a miniscule opprobrium. This movie is a brilliant study of the deplorable conditions of the sector in the post-70s era, with each character archetypal of a quite financially oppressed section of society.