15 Oct 2017

Pinballspotting: Unidentifiables

Several pinballspottings that are too blurry, far in the background or just plain too difficult to identify due to lack of clues. Here are a few, in chronological order...

Black Angel (USA, 1946)
Director: Roy William Neill.  Stars: Dan Duryea, June Vincent, Peter Lorre, Broderick Crawford...

Two flipperless and headless machines. Flippers arrived in 1947, i.e. after this movie was released, and headless machines were pretty much over by the later 30s, in favor of backboxes with illuminated backglasses. However, these are too tough to identify without more clues. For example, for 1935 alone, ipdb lists 309 machines from 54 different manufacturers!



Criss Cross (USA, 1949)
Director: Robert Siodmak.  Stars: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea...

There's a flipperless and headless pinball machine, and the cabinet artwork looks like one of the ones in the above-mentioned Black Angel, as well as The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) (see this post) and it could well be the exact same machine. e.g. the set dressers ask for an old pinball machine and this is what they have in their props department...




Midnight Cowboy (USA, 1969)
Director: John Schlesinger.  Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles, Brenda Vaccaro...

Voight is playing a rifle game, probably a mid-50s Williams (the backglass is similar to Cross Fire but with a different theme). Far in the background, three pinball machines, two of which are the same...


The guy talking to him is in front of another rifle game with a space theme, in the background are two of the same rifle game...


Five Easy Pieces (USA, 1970)
Director: Bob Rafelson.  Stars: Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Billy Green Bush, Sally Struthers...

Jack and friends are in a bowling alley, and we can spot a row of pinball machines in the background, too blurry to easily make out...




Porky's (USA, 1981)
Director: Bob Clark.  Stars: Dan Monahan, Mark Herrier, Wyatt Knight, Kim Cattrall, Susan Clark...

Set in Florida in 1954. A couple of machines in the corner of Porky's place. In a bad movie like this, I highly doubt that the machines are even remotely from the same time period, so even though I cannot identify them, I will declare this another pinball anachronism.

As an aside, the neon-ringed clock looks just like the one in Montreal's Le cheval blanc brewpub, which I used to frequent...


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