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When The Grinch is sneaking into a Who house, the narrator tells us what's happening then The Grinch asks the narrator to speak a little softer then the narrator whispers.
One Week (1920)
Buster Keaton's wife is in the bathtub when she drops the soap onto the floor. She is distraught when she realizes that she can't reach it without revealing herself. The cameraman places his hand in front of the lens long enough for her to retrieve it, earning him a look of gratitude.
The Great Dictator (1941)
In one of the first well-known uses of the technique, Charlie Chaplin stops the movie and gives a heartfelt plea to the audience about the need to do something about Hitler and the growing threat of fascism.
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
- At the end of the film, the actors sing and dance in front of a billboard for the movie.
Duck Amuck (1953)
"Daffy Duck" who is tormented by a seemingly sadistic, initially unseen animator, who constantly changes Daffy's locations, clothing, voice, physical appearance and even shape. Pandemonium reigns throughout the cartoon as Daffy attempts to steer the action back to some kind of normality, only for the animator to either ignore him or, more frequently, to over-literally interpret his increasingly frantic demands.
Tom Jones (1963)
Various characters break off in the middle of their scenes to look into the camera and address the audience. Most famously, Tom Jones (Albert Finney) takes off his hat and hangs it on the camera lens to prevent the audience from seeing his tryst with Mrs. Waters (Joyce Redman).
Halfway through the film the camera turns away from the characters to reveal the film's director (Ingmar Bergman) and his crew. Later, the "film" appears to burn and melt after one actor breaks character.
This features many fourth wall breaks, such as a military man (Graham Chapman) interrupting a sketch to say to the filmmakers it was rather silly, telling them to show a sketch he wrote. As the Monty Pythons ruined the sketch, making it silly, he stops it again and shows a cartoon about the army, who got getting "just silly. And quite suspicious.", then saying "show a cartoon!" He appears many times then, such as John Cleese in many places (such as sitting at a desk or being cooked by old ladies), saying "and now, for something completely different", as they changed from a sketch to other rather different.
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little) speaks to the camera several times, and, at one point, rides his horse past a full orchestra playing the score for the movie. An old woman takes a break from being beaten by thugs to remark to the audience, "Have you ever seen such cruelty?" Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman) asks rhetorical questions while looking into the camera, then says, "Why am I asking you?" Later Lamarr tells his group of henchmen, "You will only be risking your lives, whilst I will be risking an almost certain Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor!" Near the end of the film, the characters leave the fictional realm of Rock Ridge and enter the actual Warner Bros. studio, literally breaking a wall in the process. One character, just before he punches the director of another film, shouts "Piss on you! I'm working for Mel Brooks!" When Lamarr tries to escape into a movie theater, the movie he watches turns out to be Blazing Saddles itself, and he sees that the hero is still on his trail.
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Igor looks into the camera several times, and even speaks entire lines to the audience.
Due to the film's low budget, whenever the script calls for a character to be riding a horse, the character instead play-rides on foot using coconut half-shells to imitate the sound of hooves. In one of the rare extended cuts, Dingo addresses the audience, asking, "Do you think this scene should have been cut?" This spiel continues for a few moments then cuts to other characters who have previously appeared saying why their scene was better and then, finally, to numerous characters (some of whom have not yet at that point appeared in the film) screaming, "Get on with it!" When we meet all of the knights of Camelot (through use of a book), there is a "Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film". Later, Sir Galahad (Michael Palin) talks about a man at the Bridge of Death who was also in "scene 24", this scene having been previously introduced by the narrator as "scene twenty-four, which is a smashing scene with some lovely acting." At another point, the Knights escape an animated monster due to a freak heart attack suffered by the cartoonist. At the end of the film a seemingly medieval battle is broken up by police cars and one policeman says, "That's enough, sonny!" and smashes the camera with his hand, whereupon the film "breaks" and the movie ends abruptly.
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Breaking the fourth wall is when a character acknowledges their fictionality, by either indirectly or directly addressing the audience. Alternatively, they may interact with their creator (the author of the book, the director of the movie, the artist of the comic book, etc.). This is more akin to breaking one of the walls of the set, but the existence of a director implies the existence of an audience, so it's still indirectly Breaking The Fourth Wall. This trope is usually used for comedic purposes.
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