Telephone Talk > General Discussion

The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation

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I can't watch movies the same way anymore.  Especially film noir thrillers and mid-century period pieces. I find myself paying more attention to the design lines of the telephones instead of paying attention to the riveting plot lines.  

Watching a movie the other night and noticed the poor and decent "good girl" character was using a beat up old 302, while the evil murderous rich Femme Fatale had a chrome trimmed colored AE40 that matched her curtains.

I find myself talking to the screen telling Bogart and Bacall to stand the heck more off-frame so I can see the phone better.  I'm telling you folks; it's a disease... ;D

I do the same thing with phones and radios, too.  Some of the best "phone watching" movies are Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movies from the 1930s.  They're filled with great telephones, mainly AE and Kellogg, and they're usually colored. 

I was watching a movie a while back (I think it was The Mad Miss Manton) that showed a Kellogg Masterphone (the oval manual one) that was chrome plated.  Really beautiful.  Miss Manton had an ivory D1/E1 202 in her apartment.

I'm glad that I'm not the only one.  Just the other day I was watching the movie "Where The Sidewalk Ends".  Starring Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney.  That movie is a good example of gritty New York black and white angular "film noir" cinematography and neon signs and brickwork.  Telephones where involved, mostly black AE40s is my guess, but they might be Kellogs or Strothbergs-Carlsons.

We were watching a thing on Carol Burnett on PBS last night, and they showed a lot of old clips of her stuff.  One scene from the late 50's, in black and white as well, had her yank the handset up on a 500 and talk into it.  When she yanked it up the handset cord came right out of the phone, which while being pretty funny as it looked like a flub, was also interesting to me as I could see that the cord had the really early little wire relief strain and very short wire ends, so it must have been a very early 500 with either the separate equalizer or the handset cord terminal block right by where the cord enters the body. 

In a moment of relational savvy I did not bother to mention that I'd noticed any of this to the missus. 

Sometimes when I watch old movies or TV shows, I notice the strain relief on some phones is pulled RIGHT OUT of the handset and it's clearly not being held in by the transmitter capsule holder.  I wonder if the phones acquired by TV/Movie studios didn't have some of the inner working parts.  Another funny things is when the ringer doesn't match the phone.  You hear a loud "500" ring, and then they go pick up their Trimline or Princess phone, which was a single gong ringer, not the two-note gongs of the 500'.  Also movies that take place in the 50's or early 60's and they're using modular phones.

Am I over-analyzing this????  I guess that's why we're here!


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