Friday, January 4, 2019

Mid-century cigarette machine

[Walter Baldwin, Robert Mitchum, Lizabeth Scott, Robert Hutton. From The Racket (dir. John Cromwell, 1951). Click for a larger view.]

I wondered early on if a better glimpse of that cigarette machine might be in the offing. And there was. There are many ways for a movie to hold my interest. I wondered too if suspected perps were allowed to purchase cigarettes in the police station.

It’s remarkable how recognizable those cigarette packs are at such distances of space and time, at least the first seven: Chesterfield, Chesterfield, Lucky Strike, Camel, Old Gold, Camel, Philip Morris. I’d say “iconic,” but I avoid that overused word.

[Who is the eighth who stands always beside you?]

In addition to its one cigarette machine, The Racket has one Mongol pencil and one great insult, crime boss Nick Scanlon (Robert Ryan) to Irene Hayes (Lizabeth Scott): “Why you cheap little clip-joint canary!” And two pocket notebooks.

Also from this film
One Mongol pencil : Two pocket notebooks

comments: 2

The Crow said...

Is that Carroll O'Connor in the background, near the cigarette machine?

Michael Leddy said...

I can see a resemblance, though the hairline looks different. He’s not listed in the IMDb credits, which include even uncredited actors. I think this actor has at least a couple of lines, so I think he must be someone else.