Phone Crawford

Dana Andrews calls. Joan Crawford hangs up on him.

He calls again, this time using a MASSIVE TELEPHONE.

Joan call

Sorry, Wrong Number

Booty Call

Phone Call From A Stranger

Joan Booth

The Mouthpiece

It’s so huge that when Joan flees the house and gets in her car and drives off through the snowy landscape, she can still hear the phone ringing in her ears.

This telephone is as big as the whisky bottle that attacks David Farrar in THE SMALL BACK ROOM, or the phone in DIAL M FOR MURDER that’s so huge you need giant plastic digits to operate it. And it’s as persistent as the phantom phone that haunts Robert DeNiro through several scenes of ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA.

That’s some phone!

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9 Responses to “Phone Crawford”

  1. Marty Scorsese did a hommage to that giant phone with a giant pencil that’s tosssed out of a loft window in After Hour. Because it’s shot to scale you can’t really see how big it is on the screen, but Marty tells me it was enormous.

  2. Is it a pencil or a set of keys?

    Anyhow, I love big props. The dice thrown by Glenn Ford in the first shot of Gilda must have been ENORMOUS.

    The Daisy Kenyon phone is just a normal one, but Otto shoots it to create the maximum possible threat.

  3. Keys are thrown. But there’s a giant pencil in there too. Gotta take a look a After Hours (a truly magnificent film — one of his very best) again, as I haven’t seen it in years.

    Yes those Gilda dice are gigantic.

    “If Hollywood is the court of Versaille then Gilda is its Phaedra” — Andre Bazin.

    There’s a scene in Gilda (Rita lolling on her bed with MacCready sidling up beside her) that Resnais copies exactly in Last Year at Marienbad.

  4. After Hours is great. Especially in a city like this where all the taxis turn into pumpkins at midnight.

    I’ve been meaning to revisit Marienbad to pick up on all these references which passed me by before — I first saw it before I’d seen Gilda OR Vertigo.

    Just remembered another big prop: the gun at the end of Spellbound. Which also has some jumbo playing cards.

  5. Of course this whole giant prop thing is lifted from Dick Sprang.

  6. I can’t hear that guy’s name without giggling.

    The dates check out though!

  7. ah yes–it’s wonderful what you can do by rolling the camera right up to a thing and leaving it there for a while… phones in particular can be amazingly foreboding (David Lynch is the master in coaxing unsettling performances out of them, I’d say–Mulholland Dr alone could fill a highlight reel in this department)

    I love After Hours too–I think it’s my favourite Scorsese film

  8. Edinburgh taxis all turn into pumpkins at midnight so I’ve ahd a few After Hours type experiences. Grifftin Dunne was a great little actor until he became an indifferent director. I reckon his whole perf in AH is actually a Gene Wilder impersonation.

  9. he really was–have you seen David Salle’s Search and Destroy? I like to think of it as After Hours II

    Next time I watch the film, I’ll try to keep a mental image of Gene Wilder handy–that’s an interesting thought!

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