Nobody in the History of Film, and I Mean Nobody, Can Steal An Entire Film In Less Than 10 Minutes Better Than Christopher Walken
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Nobody in the History of Film, and I Mean Nobody, Can Steal An Entire Film In Less Than 10 Minutes Better Than This Man

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | August 2, 2012 | Comments ()


Everybody knows that Christopher Walken is a paycheck whore. But is that really such a bad thing? Not when it's Christopher Walken. While it's true that he will accept any role that is offered him as long as he's paid, appearing in those cursed movies often ends up a blessing for us. Walken has something of a habit when it comes to taking tiny scene-stealing roles in often very bad movies. But, no matter how bad the movie, his scant screen time is always the highlight. It's not just bad movies, either: Walken can bring the same manic joy to even a classic; in fact, two of his all-time best roles were in movies where he had less than ten minutes of screen time.

Walken doesn't care. Good movie, terrible movie: He puts on the same outstanding, strange performance, and kills it. Every time. Here's ten movies that features Christopher Walken with minimal screen time, and in all 10 instances, Walken steals the movie.

Affair of the Necklace


Country Bears

Annie Hall

Joe Dirt

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Pennies from Heaven

Romance and Cigarettes


Pulp Fiction

True Romance

He also makes one hell of a music video.

He even gives a short Oscar speech (this one clocks in under 25 seconds).

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • no one

    I’d say I love Christopher Walken but come on, who doesn’t love Christopher Walken?

    I could be wrong but I think it’s significant that I have no idea what Mr. Walken’s political views are. Other actors I used to feel the same way about like Matt Damon, Kevin Spacey and Morgan Freeman could probably learn something from him.

  • zeke_the_pig

    Somebody please make this man live forever so that he can give the speech at my funeral.

  • Steph

    He's great in Biloxi Blues too. "You're not fighting soldiers yet but I'd match you up against some Nazi cocktail waitress any time."

  • DenG

    Say, in the Oscar awards clip, I mistook John Hurt for Martin Short. Am I wrong?

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Don't forget The Continental!

  • Miss Laaw-yuhr

    I always include The Walken whenever someone asks me that stupid hypothetical questions about who I would invite if I were having a dinner party and could invite 3 people living or dead. The other two change, but The Walken stays the same. I am deeply offended though by labeling him a "paycheck whore" since he's a character actor which by it's nature means doing lots of crappy rolls rather than one film a year for a highly negotiated salary (see The Tobolowsy FIles for great stories about being a character actor). Walken is the small role character actor gift that keeps on giving and has elevated it to a one man scenery chewing art form. So let's not reduce him to paycheck whore - let's save that for the Twilight "actors".

  • BarbadoSlim

    He puts his pants the rest of us, except once they're on he plays memorable characters.

  • I was hoping the Fatboy Slim clip would be on here and you did not disappoint.
    Is Walken the American Michael Caine? I think he might be better. Maybe just different.

  • kirbyjay

    Did we forget "more cowbell" and his rousing rendition of "Poker Face"?
    Seems The Walken can light up the little screen as well.

  • Chick Filla

    The Hessian!

  • Chick Filla

    The Hessian!!

  • PDamian

    While I love Walken's films, I've always had a crush on "The Continental:"

    I always assumed this is where Sasha Barone Cohen got "Wa-wa-wee-wah."

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I knew I needed to watch Pennies from Heaven, I just didn't know how much. Magic Mike has a thing or two to learn from Walken. Wow.

  • Chris

    Sorry, but Brad Pitt has the best scene in True Romance. No question.

  • BlackRabbit

    "Do you not understand the CONCEPT of the Tooth Fairy?"

    Ok, he was in The Rundown for more than 10 minutes, but still...and it's great how happy he looks in that music video. He's smiling and I don't expect horrible things.

  • Aaron Anthony

    He's in it for more than 10 min so it doesn't qualify but I loved him in Catch Me if You Can..."Where are you going Frank? Someplace EXOTIC?" That line and his 2 mice in a bucket of cream speech were fantastic.

  • RJ

    Walken was awesome in "Pennies from Heaven". He did a great tribute to Gene Kelly some years back for TCM in which he spoke about how nervous he was to be dancing in the same studios where Kelly filmed. Later on, he got to meet Gene who was very impressed by his dancing - and Kelly wasn't easily impressed.

  • savannahofaus

    Christopher Walken really does make everything better. It's close between Crazy-eyed Walken and Dancing Walken as to which is my favourite, but the utter glee on his face every time he dances gets Dancing Walken over the line.

  • $27019454

    Pennies From Heaven was loathesome except for his scene. And that scene is when I started looking at him as if he were sex on legs. Rough sex. Scary sex. But

  • TheOriginalMRod

    I love Sleepy Hallow. But it probably is mostly the Walken, and I love Halloween and there are pumpkins...

  • Justin Grunert

    One movie that you left out of this list was Poolhall Junkies. Not a bad flick to watch when you want to kill a night but Walken was beyond amazing in the movie. Highly recommended to check out at least once.

  • ScienceGeek

    One day, there's a Very Important Departmental Meeting, in which we are told that we apparently don't get along very well and they're going to call in an outside consultant to decide what they're going to do with us.
    The guy telling us this was a dead ringer for Christopher Walken. Yeah, we're getting the 'You're Screwed' talk from, well, the face of the gentleman above. Foget the fear of the department being shut down, half of us were wondering if we'd end up a blood sacrifice.

    (Oh, and the whole outside consultant thing somewhat backfired when it turned out the Dean had forgotten that this was Academia we're talking about, and we all got along remarkably well by that standard).

  • That Pennies from Heaven clip almost makes me want to see the movie again. ALMOST. It is such a bummer.

    The Prophecy III - Walken walks into a diner and orders breakfast. Awesomely.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Just don't let him anywhere near your pocket watch.

  • Groundloop

    Well, if Walken did take your watch, at least you'd know he'd keep it safe.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Yah, but getting it back would be a total pain in the ass.

  • REL

    I'd like to submit his performance in "Man on Fire." "Creasy's art is death... and he is about to paint his masterpiece." These words would sound ridiculous if they came out of anyone else's mouth.

  • Palaeologos

    Time to add my own favorite line from "The Prophecy":

    "You know who this is? You're looking at the THE sickest monkey...Oh, I LOVE him!"

  • Romance and Cigarettes - so much fun!

    Kate Winslet's Scottish-accent potty mouth is also awesome.

  • Bandit

    Winslet's accent was a Lancashire/Yorkshire thing (not quite one and certainly not the other). Definitely not Scottish though.

  • Jana Jerusalem

    How is "New Rose Hotel" not on this list?

    The movie is appallingly dreadful, sure. We rented it one night because it starred The Walken and Willem Dafoe, and watching it seemed like a good idea at the time. Between the "Coleslaw for everybody!" line and the Walken character's sudden suicide over a railing (quite possibly done without the knowledge or consent of, well, anyone else and the footage was left in for the sheer awesome factor), sitting through the rest of the dreck is absolutely worth it.

  • Deb

    So THAT'S where that line came from!! Thank you so much! The only time I've ever caught any of "New Rose Hotel" was one night it was on in the wee hrs & I tried to stay awake to see it. Unfortunately I fell asleep before it started & woke up shortly before the railing scene. Boy was I bummed out!

  • Swoon! well done, love this post love the topic. that's all I have to say. (the "for once" is implied.) Or it was. damn. I'm shuting up. I'm shutin' up shutin' up right now.

  • Louise

    Two things:

    1. Chicken with Pears.

    2. The Prophecy.

  • There are videos of him COOKING on youtube that are fantastic. (I'm at work and it's blocked or I'd post 'em. Sorry.)

  • Torgotronic

    If you've never seen the clip from "Pennies From Heaven", watch it immediately. Just amazing... and he can dance!

  • Slash

    Aw, Telly Savalas and Dyan Cannon. I miss him. And her too, though I don't think she's dead. She's always been amusing in the movies.

  • James West

    Best Scene from True Romance without Gary Oldman maybe.

  • Emperor Cupcake

    Do an image search for "young christopher walken" sometime. Man was a stone-cold fox in his youth. Check out "Who Am I This Time," a short film based on a Kurt Vonnegut story, costarring Walken and Susan Sarandon, too.

  • Wicked

    America's Sweethearts should be added to this list. I mean, he WAS the whole movie.

  • Jeremy Carrier

    I wish there was a good quality version of that True Romance scene. Walken goes through pretty much every single reaction you could humanly do that "Sicilians are spawned from Niggers" revelation in the span of five seconds. Humored, disgust, confusion, I think even arousal is thrown in there.

  • Arran

    OH. Bestest Walken story ever. Apparently when filming A View To a Kill in the UK he went to a local pub with Grace Jones, and upon entering everyone turned and stared at them. After a few beats Walken announces "Cottage cheese...for EVERYone."

    Shit, it's not as funny written down. You really need to hear Kevin Pollak tell it because he does the voice so well.

  • Deb

    Actually, it was cole slaw, but who cares, it's a GREAT story!

  • Arran

    Really? When Pollak tells it it's cottage cheese. Maybe he got mixed up. That's a shame, because for some reason cottage cheese is WAY funnier.

  • amy

    also America's Sweethearts? Crap movie but I think Christopher Walken appears only at the end... in the funniest part.

  • Siege

    I love that movie--his whole "deranged director" bit is hilarious!

  • The Other Agent Johnson
  • pthalio

    Sadly this is not actually Walken but Jay Mohr impersonating...

  • The Other Agent Johnson

    I know. Doesn't make it any less funny.

  • Average Jane

    You're talkin' to me all wrong.

  • The Other Agent Johnson

    What I have always loved and respected about Walken is this: When asked why he acts in SO many movies, he responded:

    "I hardly ever like to sit at home. I don't have any children, I don't have any hobbies, I don't like to travel."

    Almost as if to say, "what the hell else am I gonna do?"

  • Iman Alterego

    That scene from True Romance is one of the best scene in cinema history. PERIOD.

  • Arran

    "I'm the AntiCHRIST. You got me in a vendetta kinda mood. You tell the angels in heaven you never seen evil so singularly personified as you did in the face of the man who killed you."

    He's the best.

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