Art deco/German Expressionist depiction of futuristic city. Beautiful and dangerous female android.
The opening scene in this film involves a zeppelin docking at the Empire State Building. In a New York Times article, he recalled the time when he saw a scene in King Kong with a mooring mast seen at the top of the building which is likely what inspired him for this scene. The ship which carried King Kong in the 1933 film can also be seen as a shipwreck in one scene.
Polly on Totenkopf: "He's the Invisible Man."
The opening scene has a zeppelin named the "Hindenburg III." Also a reference to the radio broadcast is made ("Oh, the humanity!")
characters visit 1930s version of Shangri-La
In the background of one of the shots in New York City, it can be seen advertised on a movie theater marquee.
A few Buck Rogers comic books are shown on Dex's table.
Kerry Conran, in an interview, cites Oz's flying monkeys as the inspiration for the film's ornithopters. Also, the film goes from a drab-noir color scheme and progresses into more vibrant "Technicolor" colors, as Oz does.
Dex's first line is "Shazam!"
The villain, Dr. Totenkopf's castle is shown in a photograph. The photograph is actually of Kane's castle in the film.
The design of the flying robots in the first action scene is based closely on the mechanical monsters in the classic Superman cartoon by Fleischer studios, including the sillouetted transformation of the robots' arms into wings.
"Sky Captain"'s creators openly acknowledge a debt to pulp culture; Captain Midnight is the best known aviation hero, and the costuming in this serial seems to be directly quoted in it based on promotional images from the film
The hovering robots at the end of the film have controls on their chest plates, similar to those in King of the Rocket Men. Kevin Conran (Sky Captain production designer) credits the serial as the source of where he got the idea.
The scene where Polly's camera falls into a draining grate is nearly shot-for-shot remade from the scene where Bruno Antony drops a lighter under a drainage grate.
The giant robots' laser beams make the same noise as those of the ships in "War of the Worlds."
When other cities attacked by the robots are shown, briefly, in Tokyo, the shadow of a giant, Godzilla-like lizard can be clearly seen.
The Titanic appears in the underwater "graveyard" sequence. It is portrayed as having sunk intact, whereas we now know it split in half as it sunk. The reasons for this are A: it was believed in the 1930s that it had sunk intact, and B: as a homage to the 1958 film "A Night To Remember", in which the Titanic is portrayed as sinking intact.
The main villian's name is Totenkopf which in English means Death's Head.
When Polly Perkins talks about Dr. Totenkopf she says that he "was at work on what was darkly hinted to be a doomsday device", a line straight from Dr. Strangelove.
When Joe, Polly and company arrive at the abandoned mine, the establishing shot from "over the shoulder" of the mine tower is identical to the reveal of the Statue of Liberty in The Planet of the Apes. The tower even has antennae that mimics the Statue's crown.
The door to Dr. Jennings place has the number 1138 on it.
Right after Laurence Olivier is seen as Totenkopf in a holographic projection, Sky Captain asks Dex the famous line, "Is it safe?" about the booby-trapped doorway.
When Sky Captain lands his plane on the British flying skyport, he is directed to land on runway 327 (same Hanger used by Han Solo).
reference to "landing platform 327" (Bespin/RAF Aerial Landing Strip)
Polly says to her editor "You know what a careful girl I am" when leaving for Radio City as he tries to dissuade her from going. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones says to Marcus Brody "You know what a careful guy I am" while packing for his trip.
At the beginning of "Sky Captain..." a zeppelin docks at the Empire State Building just in the same way of the airship in "Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta". Another reason is the look of the giant robots and their particular way of flying (the arms changes in wings in the same way in the two movies)
Angelina Jolie, the eyepatch, the airbase and that entire set-up are all in homage to Nick Fury
Villain with double-ended electrified baton battles the hero over a precipice. Also shots of villain in black cloak
Sky Captains's line "Why won't you die?" is a line from the second Austin Powers film when fighting one of the goons.
In Sky Captain's hanger, Iron Giant is one of the discarded robots
The spaceship full of animal samples to create another earth
on shelf in video store
Eric Adkin's references this film during his interview. Adkins was the DP for Sky Captain
Joel calls "The Pickup Artist"'s Mystery "Sky Captain of Tomorrow"
poster shown behind Emily in an early interview
one of Finn's "eyepatch-related movies"
The movie is shown playing at Radio City Music Hall in one scene.
Before each level, short clips of scenes from the film are shown.
Jude and Gwyneth were there to promote the movie in this episode
reviewed + footage used
Making-of documentary of Sky Captain, features scenes/clips from the final film
DVD release reviewed + footage used
Jakob Stegelmann reviews cheap DVDs such as this one + footage used
The "Dreamscape Studios" skit is a parody (with Jude Law as Sky Captain)