14 Hidden Scenes in American Beauty

Following is our collection of American Beauty facts. Handpicked and verified, these little-known details can be obscure enough most people will miss. These behind the scene easter eggs and hidden messages will give you another view of American Beauty film message.

Deadpool makes fun of Kevin Spacey before the news broke. Wade accuses the Weapon X Recruiter of being a creep who lures children into his van. The recruiter has the exact same phone number as Lester Burnham -- Spacey's character from American Beauty. He also looks a bit like Spacey.

In the beginning of American beauty (1999) Lesters computer screen at work resembles his life and the feeling of being imprisoned.
In the beginning of American beauty (1999) Lesters computer screen at work resembles his life and the feeling of being imprisoned.

American Beauty Movie Trivia Facts

These trivia from Reddit and other sources can be used as questions with answers in quizzes or games.

  1. Lester (Kevin Spacey) is constantly framed behind objects which appear to resemble jail cells, representing his own feelings of "imprisonment" within his bougie middle-class bubble.

  2. The name Angela "Hayes" comes from Lo "Haze" in Nabokov's Lolita.

  3. Lester mentions he is missing the TNT James Bond Marathon. The director of American Beauty, Sam Mendes, ended up directing two James Bond movies, Skyfall and Spectre.

American Beauty Hidden Facts

1 - This shot in "American Beauty" was intended to resemble a man in a jail cell, evoking the director's intended theme of imprisonment and escape from imprisonment
This shot in "American Beauty" was intended to resemble a man in a jail cell, evoking the director's intended theme of imprisonment and escape from imprisonment

A sign on Lester Burnham's desk says "Look Closer" in American Beauty; A phrase that was repeated in promotional materials and packaging. Look Closer hints at some of the movie's many connecting themes.

1 - The Mr. Smiley's that Lester orders from, and later works at, promotes free napkins
The Mr. Smiley's that Lester orders from, and later works at, promotes free napkins

Kevin Spacey's character is called Lester Burnham. This is an anagram of Humbert learns, referring to the protagonist of Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita. Lester is meant to be a version of Humbert who sees the error of his ways.

1 - In this frame, American Beauty (1999) is paying homage to The Godfather (1974). Just like in Coppola's film, the oranges symbolise death in the family.
In this frame, American Beauty (1999) is paying homage to The Godfather (1974). Just like in Coppola's film, the oranges symbolise death in the family.

Carolyn is driving home singing "Don't Rain on my Parade" as she ironically calls out Lester for his new Firebird and r/c car.

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1 - In "Fight Club" and "American Beauty" both main characters blackmailed their bosses for a full-year-salary in exchange of quitting their jobs, and they both manged to. Both movies came to theaters in 1999.
In "Fight Club" and "American Beauty" both main characters blackmailed their bosses for a full-year-salary in exchange of quitting their jobs, and they both manged to. Both movies came to theaters in 1999.
American Beauty poster
American Beauty poster

American Beauty Plot

A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend.

Cast and Details

Here are the full cast and crew of American Beauty. The goofs, crazy credits, and trivia they have performed may have not taken your attention. Some are hidden for a reason, while others randomly forgotten.

Genre Drama
Director Sam Mendes
Stars Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley
IMDB score 8.3