Here’s a reminder of the good old days:
All The President’s Men (1976)
Woodward and Bernstein broke the Watergate scandal with a little help from “Deep Throat” and a dedication to typing and dialing. Those analogue phones could be wedged snugly under the chins of stars Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, proving that small is not always beautiful.
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Unwilling gigolo Joe Gillis (William Holden) discovers his fanatically jealous employer Norma Desmond (Gloria Desmond) calling his girlfriend Betty. He grabs the receiver and smashes it into the cradle, sealing his fate and reminding us of the limitations of cell phone design when it comes to expressing rage.
La Peau Douce /The Soft Skin (1964)
Fornication is a sin, but procrastination can be fatal. At the climax of François Truffaut’s love-triangle drama, philanderer Jean Desailly waits to use a restaurant phone in a last-ditch attempt to reconcile with his wife (Nelly Benedetti). But by the time he gets through, his aggrieved spouse has already left their apartment, armed with a rifle. His number is well and truly up.
Local Hero (1983)
It’s fitting that a public phone box should be one of the stars of a comedy about the preservation of land and tradition in a Scottish fishing village. The Americans may have the big bucks, but businessman Mac (Peter Riegert) is still forced to scrabble for change so he can report back to his boss (Burt Lancaster) in Houston.
No self-respecting strangler could ignore the possibilities offered by a nice long telephone cord. Michael Myers efficiently dispatches Lynda (PJ Soles), as a bemused Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) listens in.