In a way, there's nothing sadder than obsolescence, a thing no longer useful left to fall into misuse and disrepair -- and there's maybe no better example of that than the pay phone. That's why, for the past couple of weeks, we've been highlighting one Sad Payphone of the Week, and also why today we're bringing you a nostalgic look back on the payphone's heyday.
This list is based on famous movie moments involving a pay phones that stand out above all the other "ordinary" pay phone scenes.
10. Tie: Get Smart and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Both of these movies use a phone booth as an elevator to travel underground. In Get Smart, Maxwell Smart uses the telephone booth to get to HQ. In Harry Potter, Harry and Mr. Weasley use a London pay phone to access the Ministry of Magic.
9. Dirty Harry Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is a San Francisco Police Department inspector who fights his way across town to try to prevent the murder of a young girl who is being held for ransom. He receives clues from a serial killer that lead him from pay phone to pay phone. 8. Jumpin' Jack Flash In this spy comedy, there is a funny scene where Whoopi Goldberg answers a pay phone and ends up getting dragged through New York by a tow truck while still inside pleading for help. 7. Goodfellas There is a great scene where Jimmy (Robert De Niro) hears the news that his partner in crime, Tommy (Joe Pesci), was murdered. When he hears the news over the pay phone, he proceeds to knock the phone booth over out of anger for his friend. 6. Die Hard With a Vengeance In the third film in the Die Hard series, John McClane (Bruce Willis) and Zeus Carber (Samuel L. Jackson) must race around New York City from one pay phone to the next, trying to sabotage a terrorist's bomb plot. The bomber calls them on pay phones all over the city, giving them clues as to where each explosion will be. 5. Dumb and Dumber There is a classic scene in this movie where Joe "Mental" Mentaliano (Mike Star) loses his patience and punches through the glass of a phone booth to strike the annoying guy on the other side. 4. Anchorman Upset due to seeing his dog Baxter punted off of a bridge, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) uses a phone booth to call his fellow reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd). Since Brian cannot understand what Ron is babbling about because of his hysteria, he asks him where he is, to which Ron exclaims, "I'm in a glass case of emotion!" 3. The Matrix As she's being chased by an agent driving a construction truck, Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) calls "the real world" from a phone booth which transports her there from the Matrix. The truck drives full speed into the phone booth as she departs in the nick of time. 2. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) travel by way of a teleporting phone booth to collect historical figures to pass their history exam. 1. Phone Booth The obvious number one for a phone booth film, seeing as the entire movie takes place around one. Publicist Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell) is trapped in a phone booth for fear of his life. On the other end of the line is a caller (Kiefer Sutherland) who says he is a sniper pointing a gun at Stu and will shoot if the call is ended. The film, which was written by Larry Cohen, was originally pitched to Alfred Hitchcock in the 1960s, but wasn't made into a film until 2002.
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