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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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19and41

They used to say television was the box they buried vaudeville in.  Green Acres was the vaudeville they buried in it.   ;D
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
— Arthur C. Clarke

andre_janew

I believe that both Green Acres and Batman are now on METV. 

19and41

Seeing the thread on the busted green phone made me wonder how many drops it would take to knock a chunk out of the phones' housing.  Then I thought of the film Detour and how a phone figured prominently in the main characters' downfall.  The main character not being the one being used as a cord reel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr0iCcpRKoE
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
— Arthur C. Clarke

TelePlay

Quote from: 19and41 on November 05, 2015, 02:07:15 PM
. . . Then I thought of the film Detour and how a phone figured prominently in the main characters' downfall.  The main character not being the one being used as a cord reel.

Isadora Duncan syndrome (circa 1927).

Hey, what happened to the number card holder?

19and41

She must've had an unpublished number.  That movie is a good one if you've not seen it.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
— Arthur C. Clarke

jsowers

Tonight at midnight, GetTV is showing In a Lonely Place with Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame and they live in courtyard apartments that have early 302s in them, even though the movie was made in 1950. I found a still of them on the set with one of the phones in plain sight. Odd to say the least that they would use such old phones, but they did. The movie is pretty good if you can catch it. The other man in the picture is the director, Nicholas Ray.
Jonathan

WEBellSystemChristian

#636
Quote from: jsowers on November 05, 2015, 08:51:48 PM
Tonight at midnight, GetTV is showing In a Lonely Place with Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame and they live in courtyard apartments that have early 302s in them, even though the movie was made in 1950. I found a still of them on the set with one of the phones in plain sight. Odd to say the least that they would use such old phones, but they did. The movie is pretty good if you can catch it. The other man in the picture is the director, Nicholas Ray.
It almost looks like that 302 may have been painted in a specialty color. Notice the color of black in other places of the picture, but this looks lighter shaded, although it may just a reflection from the camera flash.
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

unbeldi

Quote from: jsowers on November 05, 2015, 08:51:48 PM
Tonight at midnight, GetTV is showing In a Lonely Place with Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame and they live in courtyard apartments that have early 302s in them, even though the movie was made in 1950. I found a still of them on the set with one of the phones in plain sight. Odd to say the least that they would use such old phones, but they did. The movie is pretty good if you can catch it. The other man in the picture is the director, Nicholas Ray.

302s were still refurbished routinely at that time, and they could get an E1 handset instead of F1. 500 sets weren't really available in large quantities until 1951.  I think less than 200,000 were made in 1950, which is a drop in the bucket compared to the tens of millions of installed 302s and older sets.

andre_janew

The movie may have been made in 1950, however, the story may have taken place earlier than that.  That is probably another reason early 302s were used.

jsowers

#639
It was set in present-day 1950. Bogey drove a 1949 or 50 Mercury convertible. The apartment complex had a hacienda theme and the phones and decor could have been used to make it look lived-in and pre-war. It's hard to know what they were thinking in 1950. Other places had 202s or Kellogg Redbars. I don't want to give away the ending, but the phone plays a prominent part in how the movie turns out.

Christian, you have a really good eye. Yes, those phones were painted some color. I don't know what color because it was in black and white, but when I looked at some of the movie last night it was plainly obvious that the phones were painted a dark. matte color. The handsets and housings were very dull.

I first thought from the picture that maybe the phones were sprayed with a non-glare coating so they didn't reflect the studio lights, but it was more than that. They were something like dark green or dark red or maybe brown. Like Christian says, they were lighter than the black items like Bogey's suit (in another scene) or Nick Ray's shirt.
Jonathan

unbeldi

Quote from: andre_janew on November 06, 2015, 11:19:56 AM
The movie may have been made in 1950, however, the story may have taken place earlier than that.  That is probably another reason early 302s were used.

The E1 on the set does not indicate it was an early set. Even if the movie setting were not a movie stage, but reality, 302s were routinely refurbished with E1 handsets, especially after the war.  Even in the 1950s, BSPs were still published that outline the permissible zoning for sets with E1 handsets.  Today we still find many more 302s of the post-war period with E1 handsets than early 302s.  It was only about the first six months of 1937 when E1s were used on new sets, until the F1 was ready for mass production by mid-1937, acc. to articles in BLR. Given the typical slow startup of production, there probably never were more than 100 or 200 thousand new 302s with E1 in circulation.

19and41

It may have been as simple as the prop man picking up a unconnected base and handset from the phone pile.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
— Arthur C. Clarke

TelePlay

Directors and Directors of Photography put a lot of thought into what they were capturing on black and white film. Not only the acting but also the film images themselves which had to contain a full grey scale (from white to black) to be acceptable for viewing. Movies were intended to be seen over and over for many years and some directors had dreams of an Academy Award for some movies, as did the DOP. They never used white under camera lights. White shirts were most likely an off white pastel. And black had to be lightened or risk one black item getting lost in another.  I'd think they painted anything and everything to get the grey desired for an item in the full shot and it wouldn't surprise me if that phone was painted red or blue to get that shade of grey. They also put colored gel filters in front of the camera lights as needed and used colored lens filters to play with the grey scale. They were the experts and knew what they were doing so I would venture a guess that most of those decisions were second nature to everyone on set for filming. This chart shows what color looks like in black and white and how that grey scale is affected by primary filters on the lens. Citizen Kane is still regarded as the best black and white movie ever made with the photography being ground breaking inventive and the scenes captured well. With respect to still photography, Ansel Adams is the best, at least in my humble opinion.

Jim Stettler

When I first started collecting I was told the early color sets (pre-war) were mainly used in black and white movies. I always though this was amusing.
Teleplay's explanation helps make it make sense.
Jim S.
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.

Daniël Oosterhuis

Not a TV show, but an Internet show. The Angry Video Game Nerd in his show is seen holding a PTT T65 De Luxe Mocca phone when he mocks teens nowadays looking up the time on their phones rather than on a watch, looking so cool doing that with his phone. It is missing a dial card though.
Why he has a Dutch phone despite being an American, no idea.
Vintage crazy since '98