Thursday, August 4, 2011

Here's Who's Calling...

Those quesses to the trivia photos on Monday were very good.  I should know better by now than to try to stump you people.

The answers are (drum roll):
1. Janet Leigh, "Holiday Affair" (1949)
2. Richard Gaines, "Strange Bargain" (1949)
3. Humphrey Bogart, "Conflict" (1945)
4. June Allyson, "Executive Suite" (1954)
5. Robert Keith, "Here Comes the Groom" (1951)
6. Jean Arthur, "The More the Merrier" (1943).

I like to notice phones in old movies.  Do you?  It surprises me that as late as 1945, a public telephone like the one Bogart is using would still have an old ear receiver, rather than a hand set that you would use to both listen and hear.   I'm always surprised how those old candlestick phones were used long after more modern types were put on the market.  Phones can serve as funny props at times.  Do know when your family first got a phone? 

12 comments:

Caftan Woman said...

My mother's folks ran a store (1930s to 1960s) and for the longest time their phone in the business was also the family phone. I think it came down to a choice between a radio or a phone in the house part of the building and - well, my family always had their priorities.

In "Life With Father", Clarence Day Jr. wrote about his father not allowing a phone in the house even though they could afford one. Mr. Day Sr. considered it an uncivilized intrusion into the privacy of the home.

"Executive Suite", eh? Oh, yes, I'd like that life.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

I'm with Mr. Day, Sr. Telemarketers are most definitely an uncivilized intrusion into the privacy of my home.

Running a store attached to the home must have been interesting.

LucieWickfield said...

I'm always amazed at the fact that film characters ALWAYS pick up the phone when it rings. I suppose, in those pre-caller ID days, curiosity would've driven them crazy. :)

A few months ago, while I was browsing through an antique store, I came upon an old 40's phone-- complete with whirly dial. I must've stood there for five minutes dialing different numbers and attracting indulgent smiles.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

"I must've stood there for five minutes dialing different numbers and attracting indulgent smiles."

Lucie, that's funny. I think a lot of us would have done the same.

I have a replica black 1940s phone on my desk that was given to me. It's a push-button, but it looks like a rotary dial phone, and when you push the numbers, it makes that lubba-lubba-lubba clicking sound as if it's dial phone.

I feel a little like Sam Spade answering telemarketers.

backlots said...

I'm pretty sure my grandparents had a phone all throughout their married life (they married in 1948), so it must have been my great-grandparents who purchased our family's first phone. And I know that on my dad's side, my great-grandmother would sit talking on the phone with her friends all day long, eating bread and butter and jam. When she ran out of one thing, she'd send my dad out to get more--and when she ran out of another thing, she'd send my dad out to get more, and it was all a cycle! She was always on the phone, eating! So yes, my family has had phones for a very long time. :) Thanks for this post!!
Lara (at Backlots)

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Welcome, Lara. Your great-grandmother sounds like a riot. I wonder if they had a high phone bill. Or a party line.

Rick29 said...

I always enjoy seeing a "Princess" telephone in a 1960s film. Speaking of films, my favorite phone scenes are in DETOUR and THE NAKED KISS...where the phones are involved with (dram roll) murder!

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Hi, Rick. Oh, yeah, the old Princess phone. Now that you say it, I remember the phone suspense in "Detour". I don't know if I've seen "The Naked Kiss", I'm drawing a blank.

Of course, when it comes to phones having to do with murder, we also have "Sorry, Wrong Number" and "Dial M for Murder".

Sinister things, these phones.

John Cardero said...

I have to admit I had the actors, but coudln't pin down the specific films for a few on them. Janet Leigh and Bogie were easy, but I haven't seen "The More the Merrier"

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Welcome, John. It seems like somebody's always talking on the phone in some movie or other.

Java Bean Rush said...

I'm with John - I could pin-point the faces but not always the movie.

I'm not sure when the family first bought a phone, but I was told that when my grandparents married having a phone was a big deal to them. Grandma was from town and grandpa was a farmer who wanted to impress his new bride and give her as many of the comforts that she had in her parents' house. Grandma has been attached to her many telephones ever since.

I notice that in some films the candlestick phone is used to show how old fashioned a place is. In WOMAN OF THE YEAR, Katharine Hepburn must use a separate microphone and earpiece when accepting a call in the country. At her own house in the city, the two things are both on one handset.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Java, your Grandpa was a most gallant young groom to give his lady a phone.

Yes, the good old candlestick model often seems to be used to illustrate a setting being old fashioned, or in the country.