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Michael Caine Supposedly Has a Voice Cameo in Dunkirk, but Can We Really Be Sure It’s Not Steve Coogan?

Dunkirk and Michael Caine
The streak continues.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images and 2016 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC., and Ratpac Entertainment, LLC.

Michael Caine has been in every Christopher Nolan film since Batman Begins and, if the director is to be trusted, Caine’s seven-film streak continued with Dunkirk.

If you listen closely at the beginning of the film, when we’re first introduced to Tom Hardy and Jack Lowden’s Royal Air Force pilots, you can hear a distinctive voice giving orders. It’s a nasally voice. One that seems to have dropped a couple of octaves over the past 50 years due to the consumption of copious amounts of brandy and the puffing of an unhealthy number of cigars. As you may have guessed, it is indeed Sir Michael Caine’s.


“It’s shocking to me that a lot of people haven’t [pointed out Caine’s cameo], when he has really one of the most distinctive voices in cinema,” Nolan told “I wanted very much to squeeze him in here. It’s a bit of a nod to his character in Battle of Britain. And also, it’s Michael. He has to be in all my films, after all.”

However, Nolan has been known to deceive his audiences before—he’s pulled the rug from under us again and again. Ask yourself: If the voice wasn’t Caine’s, but rather Steve Coogan or Rob Brydon’s, would you really have any way to tell?

Read more in Slate about Dunkirk.