Here on Cans for Life we’re always keen to show you how cans can be used for (almost) anything and are part of our everyday life. We grab a beverage can when we leave the house in a hurry, and when we come back in the evening, our cats and dogs go crazy for their canned food. Just as real life does, there are many movies and series out there that feature cans in different ways. In some of them cans are mentioned in a well-known movie quote, in others they appear as product placements or even fictional brands that only exist in the world of the movie. I combed through the internet and created a list of movies that are directly or indirectly related to cans and also nice to watch. So sit back and let’s see if there’s any canny detail you might have always missed in these movies.
Speed is an American action thriller movie from 1994 starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. In the movie, a man attaches a bomb to a city bus. He demands $3.7 million and explains that the bomb will detonate once the bus drops below the speed of 80 km/h. As a result, a horrific and highly dangerous bus ride unfolds, leading to Reeves and Bullock struggling at the steering wheel of the bus. The situation seems to get out of control as Bullock seemingly hit a regular baby carriage. However, fortunately, it turns out to be only filled with a bunch of cans, as Reeves finally concludes: “Cans! There was no baby, it was full of cans!” With the movie becoming extremely popular in the 90s, the conversation started to become a popular out-of-context movie quote – a pre-internet meme, so to speak.
Home Alone is an American comedy movie from 1990 starring Macaulay Culkin, who is accidently forgotten at home by his family as they travel to France to spend the Christmas days in Paris. However, it isn’t Kevin McCallister himself who stars in a remarkable product placement scene, but his little cousin Fuller, played by Culkin’s younger brother Kieran. In the scene, even though Fuller’s mother warns him to “go easy on the Pepsi”, Fuller enjoys a canned cola, being calm and unimpressed by the words from his mother. After he has placed the can neatly back on the table, he turns to his cousin Kevin, making him angry with a wide childish smile. A product placement as obvious as this one might have been one of the reasons why the movie, according to Guiness World Records, has become the financially most successful live-action comedy ever made. And yeah, the story is pretty special, too, of course.
Although The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom and not a movie, it should be included in this list for one simple reason: Duff Beer. Duff Beer is probably the most famous of all fictional drinks we know from TV or movies and has thus been rated as one of the most influential fictional companies of all time, according to a list of the Time. The beer – available in bottles as well as in cans, of course – has been prevalent throughout the series since its introduction in May 1990 and provides a basis for numerous storylines. The hype of the drink, which is meant to be a stereotype of cheap and heavily marketed American lager, has even lead to some real Duff Beers. The German brewery Eschweger Klosterbrauerei, for example, brewed a Duff Beer that was distributed in many European countries and in Australia from 2011. Have you already had yours?
In Tin Cup Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy, played by Kevin Costner, works as a golf instructor. The former golf pro, who had a bright future but lost everything due to his rebellious nature and bad attitude, falls for his newest student Dr. Molly Griswold, a psychiatrist who happens to be the girlfriend of golf star and Roy’s rival David Simms. After he is humiliated by Simms at a celebrity golf tournament, Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy decides to make a run for the PGA Tour, as well as Molly’s heart. The nickname “Tin Cup” comes from a sports term that is used to describe someone who misses an extremely difficult play or shot repeatedly and stubbornly. So, if you’re having a really bad day, you might be going to tin cup your basketball game, for example. Therefore, Roy’s nickname is less of an attribute he can be proud of than a dig at him and his average achievements.
In Deepwater Horizon a ten-year-old girl uses a Coke can to visualise the event of an oil spill to her father. To this end, she takes a shaken soda can and inverts it, before stabbing a metal straw through the bottom. After that, the girl pours honey down the straw, which is meant to illustrate the mud that keeps the oil from getting out. Some moments later, the pressure in the can finally bursts upward, spraying honey and cola all over the table. The girl’s experiment works as a metaphor for the blowout and oil spill that happened at the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in 2010. In the movie, this scene foreshadows the disaster in a simple yet impressive way. The 2016 film was received very positively and is definitely worth watching. Benjamin Lee of The Guardian states that it’s “spectacularly constructed, yet doesn’t forget about the loss of life.”
Do you know any more movies featuring cans or metal packaging? Tell us in the comments below.