In this article we’re going to review some of the most memorable telephone moments in TV and movie history.
The telephone plays a very important part in our lives. Without it we would not be able to communicate with people outside of shouting distance from our bedroom window. But the telephone has played a very important role in TV and the movies as well. Some of the most memorable scenes in movie history have revolved around the telephone.
In the movie Casablanca just towards the end, Rick says his farewell to the girl he left behind and sends her on her way with her husband to America. After they leave, Major Strassa of the Gestapo arrives to find out that Victor Lazlo and his wife are on the plane heading for America. Strassa heads for the telephone at the airport to warn of their departure. He picks up the telephone and begins to speak into it. Rick (Humphrey Bogart) tells him to put the phone down several times. Strassa then pulls a gun on Rick but Rick shoots him first. Strassa falls slowly to the ground, still holding the receiver of the phone in his hand.
Then on TV we had the great and funny show Laugh In with Lilly Tomlin doing the bit about the rude telephone operator. She’s place her call by starting off, “One ringy dingy … two ringy dingy …”. And the attitude of this woman towards the people placing calls makes you laugh even more today because of how rude telephone operators of today really are. She was way ahead of her time.
In an old Abbott and Costello bit, Lou tries to make a phone call but every time he tries somebody coming over and gets to pay phone before he does. The person then calls some place that’s a zillion miles away from where they are calling and they get through with no problem at all. But poor Lou can not make a call to a number that’s only a few blocks away on the other side of town. His frustration level with the operator can only make us smile as we many times experience that same level of frustration.
In the movie “Sergeant York” after Gary Cooper (York) comes back to the states as a hero and is given a warm welcome in New York City, he gets a call from his mother back home. It is the first time she has ever used a telephone. She tries to talk to him but can not hear because she’s not close enough to the phone. Finally her daughter tells her to get closer to the phone and she asks Alvin the famous question “Alvin, when are yuh commin ‘home?” There was not a dry eye in the theater when they showed this.
Of course one of the most telephone centered movies of all time was “Pillow Talk” where almost the whole movie revolved around Rock Hudson and Doris Day talking on the phone split screen to each other while in their beds, then the title of the movie.
Yes, as much as the telephone plays a significant role in our real lives it also has played a significant role in the lives of many film characters.