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MMD > Archives > May 1998 > 1998.05.08 > 08Prev  Next

Mechanical Music in the Movies
By Berley Firmin

Just a quick insert about a few movies that I have noticed that
contained mechanical musical instruments.

In the movie Perils of Pauline, with Betty Hutton, in the first few
minutes of the movie, a barrel piano on the street plays a tune while
Pearl White, played by Betty Hutton, shirks her sewing in the sweat
shop above and dances.

In the recent movie with Gregory Peck, called, I think Old Gringo,
there was an Aeolian Grand Player Organ that was played for a dance
scene, but unfortunately played player piano music!

In the movie Beat the Devil, with Humphrey Bogart, on the old decrepit
Italian ship, there is a scene that involves an upright Duo-Art.  It is
at first foot-pumped, then completely electric.

Another Bogey movie, Dead End, about the Bowery Boys, has a nickelodeon
in a speakeasy.

In an old movie with Eddie Albert in a ghost town, there was in an old
saloon a huge orchestrion with a lyre on the facade ... I think a
Losche ... can't remember anything else!

I love to see these machines in old movies.  Wouldn't you all love to
look through the prop departments in Hollywood?

Berley Antoine Firmin II
Bayou La Combe, Louisiana

(Message sent Fri 8 May 1998, 02:23:55 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Mechanical, Movies, Music

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