Wednesday, January 19, 2022

EXchange names on the screen

Kit Marlowe (Bette Davis) needs to pay a visit to no-good Lucien Grant. He’s been messing around with Kit’s best friend’s daughter. Now, where does he live? Ah — there’s his address. Better take it with you. Rrrrip.

[From Old Acquaintance (dir. Vincent Sherman, 1943). Click either image for a larger view.]

It’s not uncommon in old movies for someone to tear a page from a public telephone directory. Tearing a page from your own directory — that’s another story. Kit Marlowe is angry, so angry that she doesn’t even notice the glitch in this directory’s alphabetizing.

More EXchange names on screen
Act of Violence : The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse : Armored Car Robbery : Baby Face : Black Widow : Blast of Silence : The Blue Dahlia : Blue Gardenia : Boardwalk Empire : Born Yesterday : The Brasher Doubloon : The Brothers Rico : The Case Against Brooklyn : Chinatown : Craig’s Wife : Danger Zone : The Dark Corner : Dark Passage : Deception : Deux hommes dans Manhattan : Dick Tracy’s Deception : Down Three Dark Streets : Dream House : East Side, West Side : Escape in the Fog : Fallen Angel : Framed : Hollywood Story: The Little Giant : Loophole : The Man Who Cheated Himself : Modern Marvels : Murder by Contract : Murder, My Sweet : My Week with Marilyn : Naked City (1) : Naked City (2) : Naked City (3) : Naked City (4) : Naked City (5) : Naked City (6) : Naked City (7) : Naked City (8) : Naked City (9) : Nightfall : Nightmare Alley : Nocturne : Out of the Past : Perry Mason : Pitfall : The Public Enemy : Railroaded! : Red Light : Side Street : The Slender Thread : Stage Fright : Sweet Smell of Success (1) : Sweet Smell of Success (2) : Tension : This Gun for Hire : The Unfaithful : Vice Squad : Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

comments: 4

Anonymous said...

I think many times they tore out the page because they didn't have pencil and paper. Or maybe they didn't want someone else to find the person.

But what if I wanted the address of someone on the back of the page? ; )

I wonder how many phone books were publicly available. Did they leave them at every house or only if you had a phone then.

Our phone exchange growing up was JE (Jefferson) with area code of 913 and 316. 316 is the reverse of 913. If I remember right the state was somewhat divided in half horizontally. 913 above and 316 below. With mobile phones they have added 2 more area codes. But in NH there is still only one area code 603 for landlines and mobile phones.


Michael Leddy said...

Yikes — I replied yesterday, Kirsten, or thought I did. I’m having difficulty with Blogger comments.


I wish I knew the answer about phone books. My guess is that in cities it might have been more cost-effective to have one per address, regardless of whether someone had a phone. In other words, leave enough books in the foyer of a building for every apartment. Even people without phones would need to look up numbers (and addresses) before using a neighbor’s phone or a drugstore phone. And having a phone book might prompt someone to get a phone.

My first job (in high school, just a few days one fall) was delivering the new phone books. Not fun!

Joe DiBiase said...

Remember that in many places the phone book's Yellow Pages were are revenue source for phone companies. I suspect that wider distribution of the book resulted in greater revenue.

Michael Leddy said...

That’s a good point. Greater distribution, higher ad rates.