10 Best Winks in Cinematic History
At Wink Bingo, we chose our name for one very special reason: because winks absolutely rock. Fun, mischievous, and just a little bit cheeky, they sum up our character to a tee, so what better to name ourselves after than something that embodies us so well?
But we’re not the only ones who’ve played on the connotations behind this most emotive of gestures.
Filmmakers throughout history have done exactly the same, using some now legendary eye action to imbue their scenes with just the right amount of humour, quirkiness, or even downright creepiness.
So, just because we can, let’s take a look back at some of the most famous winks in the annals of cinema.
Old-fashioned films might have been a lot less risqué than their modern-day counterparts, but that doesn’t mean a cheeky wink here and there was entirely absent, as proven by 1927 flick Metropolis.
Robot Maria’s blink-and-you-miss-it gesture was one of the earliest winks captured on film, and its enduring creepiness ensured it’s one of the most memorable too.
If there was ever any doubt about the genius of Fritz Lang, this simple facial movement is enough to instantly sweep it aside.
Though the film features the truly iconic coupling of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Cleopatra’s famous wink doesn’t actually take place between its two beautiful leads.
In fact, it occurs during an interaction between its titular queen and legendary Roman leader Julius Caesar.
Many have viewed the gesture as an odd directorial choice, given the stilted and formal scenes preceding it, but personally, we think Cleopatra’s covert wink has just the right amount of flirtiness and mischief to perfectly convey her intentions towards the aged but powerful politician (and eventual father to her son). As on-screen seductions go, it certainly proved successful.
Coming at the end of the fourth chapter, or start of the second trilogy, this iconic movie moment earned a sweetly smug smirk from Leia in return – one which set our nerdy hearts aflutter.
Alfred Hitchcock’s enduring on-screen career ended not with a swansong horror film as one might have expected, but with the much less gory and murderous heist movie, Family Plot, which features another famous wink.
Ending on a scene with Barbara Harris, who plays less-than-reputable psychic Blanche, we see the film fade to black as the protagonist finally pulls off her plan and lazily narrows one eye at the camera. We get the same look when we score a free bingo bonus.
Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
What film list would be complete without the inclusion of a Star Wars epic?
In this instance, it’s Hans Solo’s wink to Princess Leia at the medal ceremony in New Hope that caught our attention.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Cheeky Ferris is another famous winker. Starting off this beloved flick in style, the titular character gets his iconic eye action in early on, with an over-the-top and comedic wink to his sister Jenny.
Letting everyone except his oblivious parents know he’s faking, he kicks off the greatest pretend sick day in history with just the flutter of his eyelashes. If only we could all be quite as good at being a little bit bad.
Field of Dreams (1989)
Field of Dreams is one of those movies that just makes you feel good, and this particular wink marks one of the most important and impactful scenes in the entire movie.
The film tells the story of Archie Graham, a former professional baseball player who never got the chance to bat, only to field.
With a single game left to offer him a chance at redemption, he steps up to the spot-lit diamond, and every one of us watching holds our breath.
In that moment, he winks, and we remember a memorable scene earlier in the movie where he said that if ever he got his chance to stand before a pitcher, he’d “stare him down, and then just as he goes into the windup – wink! Make him wonder if I know something he doesn’t.” We collectively release the air from our lungs and smile with glee as he does it.
Kind of like we smile when our lucky bingo numbers
Funny Games (1997)
Funny Games might not be as well-known as the Star Wars saga, but it features a freaky wink that’s just as memorable as the last film on our list.
This creepy Michael Haneke movie has one particular scene with Arno Frisch that sends a shiver down our spines, when one of the youths snaps an eye shut right before terrorising a family. It’s enough to make your skin crawl!
Moulin Rouge (2001)
Moulin Rouge is one of our favourite musicals ever made. Featuring fantastic performances from both Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, it's particularly well-known for a montage that happens early on in the film, when female lead Satine sings Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend to a rapt audience.
Complete with one of the most seductive winks ever seen on the silver screen, Kidman’s stunning and energetic performance is amped up an extra notch by the flirty and frivolous eye action taking place. The entire sequence is a joy to experience, and we always feel like emulating it when we get a BINGO!
Now we skip forward to the 90s, and one of the most unsettling winks in cinematic history.
A supreme lesson in acting under circumstances where the script and storyline are both absurd, Jon Voight’s gesture to Jennifer Lopez comes just after he’s been regurgitated, as part of a scene which is nothing if not disgusting (and arguably ridiculous too).
Freddy vs Jason (2003)
Speaking of stupid, Freddy and Jason is definitely a close second to Anaconda, and yet it also features a truly iconic wink. Coming from Freddy, as his head is pulled out of the water by his foe, it even comes complete with an evil laugh to accompany it.
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Whether they’re intended to indicate sinister villainy or seductive charm, winks really can add a certain something to the action happening on our screens. Why not revisit a few of the cinematic treasures on this list to see them in all of their glory?