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The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation

Started by HobieSport, November 23, 2008, 01:45:19 AM

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One we all know, Changeling from 2008.

The Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island:
Free Admission - Call (902) 651-2762 to arrange a visit!
C*NET 1-651-0001


Quote from: Dennis Markham on August 23, 2011, 09:35:31 PM
There was a movie a while back, I think it had to do with the Space was depicted in the early 60's.  A close up of a woman using a kitchen 554...she hung up the handset on a 554 with a clear, Lucite hook.  Not.
You may be thinking of Revolutionary Road with Leonardo diCaprio and Kate Winslet (I think).  Not only was the kitchen phone from after the mid-1970s (it was modular, to boot), but there were other numerous phone mistakes in the film.  Like diCaprio banging the plungers of a dial 302 on an automatic system, which somehow magically connected him to the operator.  You have to DIAL"O", Leo, DIAL"O".  Geez.

That closeup is in this thread somewhere.


We may be able to pre-emptively solve those pesky phone mistakes in movies.

If we can get the attention of the major movie studios and directors, we could volunteer advice for getting it right.  This may entail signing NDAs (nondisclosure agreements) since they would be sharing confidential information ahead of the release of the films. 


A request might look like this:

Time: 1950s. 
Place: rural USA. 
Action:  Character is on a phone call, gets cut off, tries to reach Operator. 
Time limit on action: 4 seconds.

Our reply might look like this:

Appropriate phone: 
WE 302 or AE 41.  If film has a "city" setting as well as a rural setting, use WE 302 or 500 with black metal fingerwheel for "city," and AE 41 for "rural" to enhance distinction between settings. 

If on manual exchange were all calls are handled by operators, character presses switch hook twice in one second, pauses for one second, then says "operator?"
If on dial exchange, character presses switch hook for 1/2 second, then waits 1/2 second and dials 0, then waits one second and says "operator?"
Note, to place long distance calls in that era, dialing 311 instead of Operator will add realism and is faster.


We might also be able to provide appropriate sound effects particularly ringing, though dial tones, busy tones, and ringback tones may also be needed in some cases. 

For this to work, rapid turnaround is essential since films are produced on tight schedules.


A bunch of us were watching "Antenna TV" during lunch break at work and Bachelor Father was on. It was an episode about them trying to get rid of a dog they somehow aquired.

Long story short, Bentley (the bachelor father) pulls a prank on the family by faking a call to the police. I thought the handset looked a little different and when the camera zooms down to his finger on the plunger while he was talking I immediately recognized A KELLOG 1000 RED BAR !

In my excitement I shout out, Holy S#%&! A Kellog Red Bar! and the room looked at me and said "what?"

Dennis Markham

Quote from: liteamorn on November 23, 2011, 10:32:53 AM

In my excitement I shout out, Holy S#%&! A Kellog Red Bar! and the room looked at me and said "what?"

That's funny. :)


Ha!  That is funny.  I've had moments sort of like that, where I get suddenly excited about a phone in an old movie and the rest of the krewe looks at me with that, "Yes we all know he's a little touched in the head" look. ::)


I watched "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" for the umpteenth time this morning . Aside from the amazing cars (which were pretty common for the day, 1963), there were some amazing phones in it.

I saw in no particular order, a candlestick, a D mount 202 with an F1 handset, a payphone with a daisy dialplate and seperate receiver/ mics aka candlestick , a 302 and a few 500's. The funny thing is they all rang like 500's :)

So for me it is now, the funniest movie I ever saw, with the greatest comedic cast, an antique car museum and now a remarkable phone collection


That movie could well be the first movie I ever saw in a theatre and I still enjoy reruns on TV. What a cast is right!



Apropos to nothing, I just spotted this pic on the internets.

Hope you all have a wonderful 2012!
Adam Forrest
Los Angeles Telephone - A proud part of the global C*Net System
C*Net 1-383-4820


From The Caller, 2011 - about 14 minutes into the show, a lady picks up her 302 and a nice shot of the dial card:

The Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island:
Free Admission - Call (902) 651-2762 to arrange a visit!
C*NET 1-651-0001


In Star Trek; The Next Generation, they came up with the idea of an Android Smartphone, not quite the same as google's idea, but the Trek one was more amusing... :D

The full scenes can be seen in the TNG Episode "Phantasms"... ;D


MeTV is running The Deadly Mantis (1957) tonight. 

I haven't seen it since I was a kid and was surprised to see the footage at the beginning of the film commenting on construction of the DEW line.  Shots of the warning system include close-ups of 500C sets and a 565 -- which must have been fairly new when the film was shot.

William Hopper had a leading role, showing deductive reasoning that may have helped him land the role of Paul Drake in the Perry Mason series -- another great source of vintage phone photos.
Visit:         WE  500  Design_Line



In some of those old Japanese monster movies, very often you will see the No.4 Automatic Table Phone that was one of the early products of the new post-WW2 Japanese economy. 

If you read up on the history of that phone, it was a cooperative effort by a bunch of electrical goods manufacturers, and it was a major point of pride for postwar Japan.  Apparently some of them even got used on US military bases, from reports by people here who have them with dial number labels that appear to refer to military base functions such as the MPs.  They were made in a number of colors, including black, white, red, green, ivory, blue, and dark gray, at least up through about 1963 from what I recall.  (I have a couple of black ones and a green one.)

Dave F

Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers) speaking to General Jack Ripper (Sterling Hayden) on a Call Director (appears to be a model 630) in Dr. Strangelove (1964).

Dave F

CIA agent Joe Turner (Robert Redford) uses a butt-in to tap a phone line in this educational PhonePhreakish scene from 3 Days of the Condor (1975).  (It would be interesting to meet the "technical consultant" who worked on this one!)