This past weekend was a “comfort tv” weekend. After a LOT of hours gardening and then recuperating in my studio while it rained, I was all about watching some of my standard oldies but goodies.
WarGames. Looking at the technology that was over the top when the movie came out, it’s a little laughable now. Rotary phones. Dot matrix printer. Oh, and Matthew Broderick makes a call from a phone booth. Except for the ones that they keep around in London for tourist photo ops and the one that Dr. Who uses, are there phone booths anywhere anymore?
Hopscotch. Walter Matthau types up his anti-CIA memories on an old typewriter, which he drags with him through the movie. It’s not even an automatic return typewriter. Phone booths in this movie as well. Also, all the information on agents and criminals in on paper in a file room: when Matthau shreds his personnel file, they don’t even have a photo of him any longer.
Romancing the Stone. At least Kathleen Turner is typing on an automatic return typewriter. There are a few calls from phone booths in this one as well which is interesting since most of the movie takes place in the Colombian jungle.
Jumpin’ Jack Flash. Whoopi Goldberg works in a bank on a data terminal (not even actually a computer). She doesn’t have a phone on her desk – although there is one for the whole department of workers that they are only allowed to use in an emergency. This means she ends up in a phone booth down the street. (Then she gets dragged in the phone booth all over Manhattan but that’ another segue.)
A few things are clear. #1. Phone booths and typewriters were clearly a lot more prevalent 30 years ago than they are today. A bit of research reveals that you can still buy a typewriter (Brother and Royal are the top manufacturers out there) but they’re not a cheap as you would think they would be. #2. The plots of a lot of the movies I like would really have to be punched up if there weren’t phone booths and typewriters abounding. #3. All my comfort movies are way too old.
Do you still have a typewriter? Do you use it?