“Inglourious Basterds.” Quentin Tarantino, director. Weinstein/Universal, 152 minutes.
In one of his early, low-budget films, Alfred Hitchcock cast himself in two minor roles to avoid paying an extra actor, and a tradition was born. His famous walk-ons continued in almost every film, first because he superstitiously believed it contributed to his success, and later as an inside joke he played with his fans. Searching for his cameo appearances became such an obsession with viewers that it often distracted them from the story, so Hitch began inserting his appearances early in the film to get it out of the way and let the audience settle into the story.