4

Top Ten Pay Phone Scenes in Movies

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

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.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.