Top Eight… Phone Calls In Movies
I just called… to say… I love this movie scene… Phones are very handy for moving the plot along, but don’t forget they do that in life too. Here’s eight thrilling conversations from Ross McG and there isn’t an iPhone in sight.
8. Ransom (1996)
I’m not sure I’d even have the guts to borrow a pencil from Mel Gibson, never mind kidnap his son. But for perennial bad-guy portrayer Gary Sinise, kidnapping Braveheart’s boy is all in a day’s dastardly work. Yet even he is shaken by a tense telephone exchange with mad-as-hell Mel (‘GIMME BACK MY SON!’), who has form in real life when it comes to shouting down the blower.
7. A Single Man (2009)
As usual, the Academy got there just a little too late, giving Colin Firth his Best Actor Oscar for The King’s Speech when he should have really got it a year earlier. The pinnacle of his work in A Single Man sees the star of St Trinian’s 2: The Legend Of Fritton’s Gold do nothing more than pick up the receiver and receive bad news. It begins like a Yellow Pages commercial – with Firth as JR Hartley – but by the end you’ll be in the same tears as he is. Some damn fine acting.
6. Sneakers (1992)
Proof, if any were needed, that all you need for a good phone call scene is Robert Redford asking, ‘Can you guarantee my safety?’ A lot. Phil Alden Robinson’s espionage comedy thriller is more fun than Missions Impossible 1, 2 and 3 put together and its signature sequence sees Redford, Aykroyd, Poitier and co huddled round Alexander Graham Bell’s finest. And all on speaker, too.
5. Tropic Thunder (2008)
Unfortunately, Ben Stiller’s attempt to mix war with parody turned out to be a bit of a mess, but it has one huge saving grace: Tom Cruise. His Les Grossman is not to be messed with on the dance floor or the telephone. His etiquette on the latter may be a little startling (‘Take a big step back and literally F*** YOUR OWN FACE!’) but when it comes to spotting pan Pacific bulls**t power plays from afar, he’s your man.
4. Heat (1995)
Playing the most unlikely ‘Neil’ in cinematic history, Robert De Niro rings no-good double-crosser William Fichtner in Michael Mann’s crime classic. ‘I’m talking to an empty telephone. ‘Cos there is a dead man on the other end of this f*****g line.’ That’s all well and good, Neil, but why did you call him up then?
3. Magnolia (1999)
Only the great Philip Seymour Hoffman, the best actor to be called ‘Hoffman’ since Dustin Hoffman, could get away with speaking this dialogue: ‘I know this sounds silly, and I know that I might sound ridiculous, like this is the scene in the movie where the guy’s trying to get a hold of the long-lost son, you know, but this is that scene. This is that scene.’ Mag-nolia-ificent.
2. Dial M For Murder (1954)
Hitchcock loved phones. Perhaps he liked their coldness and detachment, themes that inhabit his greatest works. Or perhaps he just wanted to put Tippi Hedren in a phone booth and throw plastic birds at her. In Dial M For Murder, he chillingly stages the attempted slaying of Margot (Grace Kelly), while her villainous husband (Ray Milland) listens in.
Watch the Dial M For Murder phone sequence HERE
1. Swingers (1996)
How To Lose A Girl In Six Phone Calls. In the days before texting and Twitter, if you met someone you liked you had to call them up. And speak to them. Can you imagine? Watching loveable loser Mikey (Jon Favreau) leave message after message on a potential date’s machine is as painful as anything offered up by the Saw movies. So not money.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PHONE CALLS FROM MOVIES?