Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Telephone exchange names on screen

Though not nearly as baffling as The Big Sleep (dir. Howard Hawks, 1946), Murder, My Sweet (dir. Edward Dmytryk, 1944) is the kind of movie with which I choose to concentrate on atmosphere rather than plot. The atmosphere includes much cigarette smoke and three fine glimpses of exchange names: let’s call them WHitehall, OLympia, and GRidley. Where did I get those names? Not from a hat: from a list of Ma Bell’s Officially Recommended Exchange Names.

Dick Powell really is a fine Philip Marlowe. How did that ever happen?

More exchange names on screen
The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse : Baby Face : Born Yesterday : The Dark Corner : Deception : Dream House : The Little Giant : The Man Who Cheated Himself : Nightmare Alley : The Public Enemy : Side Street

comments: 2

jjdaddyo said...

I still remember my Grandparent's Greenwich Village number, which they had for about 60 years: WA(verly)4-1xxx. And my parent's number: UN(iversity)6-0xxx

Anonymous said...

On Shorpy 31 May 2011: photo of circa 1910 payphone, "Haymarket 502". Haymarket was an exchange, it's reasonable to think 502 is the number.