Author Topic: The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation  (Read 161806 times)

Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation
« Reply #135 on: June 14, 2009, 06:41:37 PM »
Yes, it is a real AE34. All bakelite construction.
Jorge

Offline Stephen Furley

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Re: The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation
« Reply #136 on: June 14, 2009, 06:49:37 PM »
Around the base it has that very shiny, almost metallic, look that certain types of black pottery glaze have.  It really doesn't look like Bakelite, though the handset, and higher up the case do.  Does it really look like that, or is it an artifact of the lighting or the photography?  The few American Bakelite 'phones I've seen seem to be rather less glossy than the British ones, which I've seen rather more of.
GPO Bakelite here generally used wood flour as a filler, but the handset of my SC 1543, the only piece of American Bakelite that I've got looks more like asbestos-filled.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2009, 06:56:00 PM by Stephen Furley »

Offline Stephen Furley

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Re: The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation
« Reply #137 on: June 14, 2009, 07:01:12 PM »
Around the base it has that very shiny, almost metallic, look that certain types of black pottery glaze have.  It really doesn't look like Bakelite, though the handset, and higher up the case do.  Does it really look like that, or is it an artifact of the lighting or the photography?  The few American Bakelite 'phones I've seen seem to be rather less glossy than the British ones, which I've seen rather more of.
GPO Bakelite here generally used wood flour as a filler, but the handset of my SC 1543, the only piece of American Bakelite that I've got looks more like asbestos-filled.

The braided handset cord looks very similar to the ones we had here, though perhaps slightly darker.  Nice 'phone.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2009, 07:02:45 PM by Stephen Furley »

Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation
« Reply #138 on: June 14, 2009, 07:20:48 PM »
Hi Stephen:

The problem is that this phone was photographed at night, with a mix of fluorescent and tungsten lamps, so who knows what the camera did to achieve this exposure. During the day time it looks a little dull in appearance, but I think the bakelite hasn't been polished to high luster, like the AE40 in this album.

http://picasaweb.google.com/Amelyenator/AE40#

Jorge

Offline bingster

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Re: The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation
« Reply #139 on: June 14, 2009, 09:14:16 PM »
The braided handset cord looks very similar to the ones we had here, though perhaps slightly darker.  Nice 'phone.
That's a special cord made by Automatic Electric called an "Extensicord."   They have an elastic element woven with the conductors which allows it to stretch and retract (as I understand it--I've never seen one in person).
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Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation
« Reply #140 on: June 14, 2009, 09:32:55 PM »
Bingster, sorry sir, but that is not an Extensicord. Notice that it has only four signal conductors and there are no retractile strings.

The attached picture shows an AE40 with an Extensicord.

If interested, the original patent for this cord can be found here:

http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=njF5AAAAEBAJ&dq=1978591
« Last Edit: June 14, 2009, 10:31:15 PM by JorgeAmely »
Jorge

Offline bingster

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Re: The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation
« Reply #141 on: June 14, 2009, 11:23:53 PM »
Ahhhh, that explains it.  Having never seen either cord in person, I always assumed that cords like the one in the first photo were stretched out extensicords.
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Offline Stephen Furley

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Re: The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation
« Reply #142 on: June 15, 2009, 05:43:33 PM »
I've actually seen one of those cords; It was laying on a desk in Telephone Lines' shop in Cheltenham, where I've bought several 'phones from.  I'd never seen one before, and had to ask what it was.

Offline bingster

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Re: The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation
« Reply #143 on: June 20, 2009, 01:43:26 AM »
I watched "Revolutionary Road" tonight.  I wasn't all that impressed with it as a movie, but that's just me, your mileage may vary.  The purpose of this post, though, is that I had a difficult time concentrating on the movie (which is set in the summer of 1955), because I was so distracted by all the things wrong with the set decoration.

Regarding the telephones, in the office scene at Leonardo DiCaprio's desk, he has a 500 series key phone.  On the very next desk, his co-worker had something I had never seen before.  It appeared to be a 5300 series key phone.  Either that, or it was a 500 series with an F1 handset on it.  The case did look short, though.  Either way, the phones should have been identical, and they weren't.  Not a big deal though, because...

The real corker was the wall phone in their kitchen.  It was a yellow 554.  Now, from what I've gathered, the summer of 1955 would have been extremely early for the 554, and not many would have been found in average homes.  The fact that it was yellow is another odd thing, because they weren't available at the start.  All that can be excused, though, because even the most meticulous set designer isn't going to possess phone knowledge of that level.  But here's the killer: The phone was MODULAR!  My jaw dropped when I saw that.  At least the office phones were old and hardwired, but there, in the kitchen, was an honest-to-goodness modular 554.  What makes it really bad is that they showed Kate Winslet talking on the phone in a series of close-up shots, and you could plainly see the thin, flat cord that she was twisting in her hands, and the modular hole at the end of the handset.  That sort of blunder is inexcusable.

There were radio/television problems, too.  A table model phono sitting on a shelf inches away from a console radio-phono in the living room.  Another radio-phono in the dining room, with a German radio right next to it.  How many radios and record players did the set designers think people had in each room back then?  Then there's the television with the puny rabbit ears.  The antenna looked awfully cool sitting on the TV, but way out in the suburbs you'd need a rooftop antenna to pick anything up.  Rabbit ears just wouldn't have cut it.

There have been so many other films in which they got all the period details right, that I know it was possible for a better job to have been done on this one.  But as it was, none of the sets in this film rang true.
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Offline bingster

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Re: The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation
« Reply #144 on: June 20, 2009, 02:20:27 AM »
I popped the DVD in the computer to take a couple screenshots.  On further examination, the office phone does appear as long in the back as a 500 series phone, but an F1 handset is inexplicably found resting on it.  Also note the small, round plastic feet--Dead wrong for 1955.  There's something going on with the cord, too.  It looks like a 500-style cord that's been pulled too far out of the handset:





And the kitchen phone isn't yellow, it appears to be beige.  Regardless, it just seems too early for this type of phone.  A 354 would have been better suited.  Here's the modular handset:

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Offline HobieSport

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Re: The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation
« Reply #145 on: June 20, 2009, 02:30:25 AM »
Kate Winslet looks very upset about the modular handset. ;D

Evidently there were quite a few noticeable set goofs in "Revolutionary Road":

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0959337/

I was working with a set painter once and we were talking about the great grungy 1930s sets for the movie "Ironweed" and I said that one of my favorite sets was a really horribly dirty old public restroom.  The fellow I was working with said "Hey, I painted that set!"  I said that it was so great how he got all the stains and patina just right.  He said that he thought so too, but that Jack Nicholson didn't like it.  He said it didn't smell right.  So the set painter peed on the wall.  Jack thanked him.
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Offline bingster

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Re: The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation
« Reply #146 on: June 20, 2009, 08:44:51 AM »
Evidently there were quite a few noticeable set goofs in "Revolutionary Road":

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0959337/

I'm surprised that list isn't longer. 

Here's another thing I just thought of that isn't right.  DiCaprio is sitting in a restaurant with a young lady from the office, who he's plying with liquor.  He asks the waiter to bring him the phone, and the waiter brings a DIAL 302.  Leo lifts the handset, taps the plungers a couple times, and gives the "operator" a phone number to get for him.  Since when does tapping the plunger on an automatic switching system get you an operator?  It's a dial telephone... you have to DIAL the operator if you want to talk to her.  Besides, even then the operator would have told you "You can dial that number directly." 
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Offline foots

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Re: The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation
« Reply #147 on: June 20, 2009, 10:03:48 AM »
I watched A Face In The Crowd starring Andy Griffith last night. I spotted several WE 302s and some 500s as well. One of the 302s was carried outside of a home to the table Andy was sitting on - the wall cord must have been 100 foots in length.
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Online Dennis Markham

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Re: The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation
« Reply #148 on: June 20, 2009, 10:18:49 AM »
A fellow phone collector sent me a DVD of the movie The Reluctant Astronaut with Don Knotts.  It was made in 1968.  Despite the date of the film so far in the first fifteen minutes (that's all I've watched) there has been a yellow 554 with dark handset cord (may be gray, may be black--hardwired) and a close shot with lots of conversation on a Mediterranean Blue 500 with gray coiled cord.

Offline HobieSport

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Re: The CRPF "Old Phones in Movies & TV" Compilation
« Reply #149 on: June 20, 2009, 01:34:44 PM »
Bingster you could be a historical/technical consultant for proper phone props and techniques related to telephony as a sideline.  I used to work a little in sets and props, and expert advice and research was sometimes hard to find, especially pre-internet.  They just don't take the time sometimes these days for accurate historical research and accuracy, what with deadlines and all in that crazy business.  But that was what I enjoyed most about the work; learning about history.
-Matt