29 Dec 2016

Crack-Up (USA, 1946)

Crack-Up (USA, 1946). Director: Irving Reis. Stars: Pat O'Brien, Claire Trevor, Herbert Marshall...

A crime drama with noir influences. Good ol’ Pat O'Brien thinks he was in a train wreck, goes a little crazy down at the art museum he’s a curator at. While trying to figure out what really happened and why, he ends up in a bustling penny arcade, trying to avoid cops with Claire Trevor.

A friend of his has this to say about them: “I’m very fond of arcades. They give the visitor a wonderful cross-section of average people; hard-working, law-abiding, looking for a little fun. The human pursuit is reduced here to the simplest terms. You change a half-dollar for a handful of hope. Five shots at happiness for a nickel.”

I spotted this stuff a couple of years ago, but was too intimidated trying to identify this era of pinball machines... there were so many manufacturers making them before WWII. Finally, I tackled it, and identified a good number of them, plus a bat game or two...

From left to right: Exposition (Chicago Coin, 1938),  Mr. Chips (Genco, 1939),  Sports (Chicago Coin, 1939),  Keen-a-Ball (Gottlieb, 1939)  (just a corner of the backbox visible over O’Brien’s left shoulder), and Avalon (Exhibit, 1939)...

On the left, a bit of the backbox of a Nippy (Chicago Coin, 1939), and on the right the cabinet of another Mr. Chips (Genco, 1939)...

It was difficult to get a good still showing the full machine since it was a moving shot, so here are a couple... as the pair continues past the Mr. Chips machine, an O'Boy (Chicago Coin, 1939) comes into view...
... and now the front end of the O’Boy cabinet and behind it a Texas Leaguer  (Keeney, 1941) bat / baseball game...

Whilst O’Brien plays a Challenger counter top pistol shooting game (A.B.T. MFG Co. 1946), we can spot behind them a Jolly (Chicago Coin, 1940) (the one with the “1 2 3 4 5 6″ on the backglass), and the Nippy (Chicago Coin, 1939) seen earlier...

Whilst O’Brien is about to take care of an annoying guy by showing his punching strength, we spot a “Coast Leaguer” baseball bat machine, manufacturer and date unknown... (a Billboard ad lists it in 1942)...

Whilst O’Brien puts a coin in the Challenger machine, we can spot a Rotation (Stoner, 1940) on the right...

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