Top 5 Uses of Hidden Cameras in Movies and TV

Outside of reality TV shows, which rely heavily on hidden cameras to gather their footage, covert recording devices have made their way into a number of popular movies and TV shows. Here are a few of our favorites:

5. Meet The Parents
Overbearing future father-in-law and ex-CIA agent, Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) is obsessed with knowing everything going on under his roof. It’s no surprise that he would have his entire home rigged with motion-activated surveillance cameras. His passion for surveillance is so great that he actually hopes to go into business selling nanny cams. He’d make a pretty good pitch man for BrickHouse.

(Some great hidden cam footage appears at the end of the trailer.)

4. Breaking Bad (“Open House”)
In a show plagued by tension and paranoia, Breaking Bad always gives the impression that someone is watching. As main character Walter White (Bryan Cranston) slowly becomes unraveled over the course of the series, the perceived invisible eyes slowly become more and more real. By “Open House” early in the fourth season, White shows up to work in his meth superlab and is confronted by a surveillance camera tracking his every move. Admittedly, this camera isn’t hidden, but it’s emblematic of all the hidden cameras that are felt but never seen over the course of the series.

3. Sliver
In this universally reviled 1993 thriller, Carly Norris (Sharon Stone) moves into a prestigious New York residential building. She begins an affair with Zeke (Billy Baldwin), the building’s owner. After a lot of melodrama and terrible early-90’s raunch, we find out that Zeke has hidden surveillance cameras wired throughout everyone’s apartments, including Norris’s. With a tagline like, “You Like To Watch… Don’t You,” you know there’s something shady and disturbing going on.

2. The Simpsons (“Homer and Apu”)
In this heyday fifth season Simpsons episode, Homer gets food poisoning multiple times from the Kwik-E-Mart’s fetid meat supply. Prompted by newscaster Kent Brockman’s keen investigative journalism segment, Homer is encouraged to wear a hidden camera into the Kwik-E-Mart in hopes of catching Apu in the act of selling tainted food. Even though the hidden camera, a ridiculous oversized cowboy hat, falls off Homer’s head (just one day shy of the hat’s retirement), the damage has been done and Apu loses his job. To be less conspicuous, Homer could’ve used this.

(Watch the full episode here [the hidden camera hat appears around 3:25], or just take a look at the picture above.)

1. The Wire (“Margin of Error”)
Arguably the greatest TV show of all time, The Wire took an in-depth look at the struggles of urban Baltimore, especially the war on drugs and the battles between police and criminals. Obviously, being called The Wire, surveillance plays a huge role in the series. Starting with phone taps and stakeouts, by the fourth season the police have more advanced modes of surveillance in place. In the episode “Margin of Error” police use a hidden camera and a lip reader to find out exactly when and where a drug deal is going to go down.

(Watch the full episode here, hidden camera scene takes place about 8:40)

If you know BrickHouse Security, you know that our products have been featured in some TV and movies as well. From CSI: Miami to Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire and, if all goes according to plan, the upcoming A Good Day to Die Hard and the latest Martin Scorsese film The Wolf of Wall Street, we have provided both hidden cameras and other security products to some big name projects.

Of course, this top 5 is just a taste of some of our favorites. Is there something we missed? Let us know in the comments.

About the author  ⁄ Erik Helin

Erik is BrickHouse Security's copy chief. Hailing from the Midwest (Wisconsin), Erik moved to NYC in 2010, securing a job at BrickHouse shortly thereafter. Outside of work he writes about music, does freelance advertising work, and wastes his life on the internet. Aside from no-brainers like cheese and beer, Erik enjoys music, travel, TV, his cat, and Brooklyn.