29 Dec 2016

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (Canada, 1974)

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (Canada, 1974). Director: Ted Kotcheff. Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Micheline Lanctôt, Jack Warden, Randy Quaid...

This is the film adaptation of Mordecai Richler’s 1959 novel about an ambitious young working-class jewish man determined to make a name for himself no matter what the cost. The story takes place in the late 1940s in Montreal.

An scene early in the film takes place in Wilensky’s Light Lunch (a classic, family-operated soda fountain & Jewish deli since 1932 which exists to this day, although at the time of the story, was in a different location). I doubt they really had a pinball machine in the place, but for the movie, the girl that Duddy’s father pimps leans against a Sittin’ Pretty (Gottlieb, 1958)...


Of course, this is a pinball anachronism... the machine is a decade too modern. Also, in the late 40s, early 50s, machines still had wooden legs, not metal like we see here...

It’s too bad the movie didn’t use a Sea Breeze or a Richelieu machine, made by the Montreal-based North Star Coin Machine Co. These tables were made in 1949-1950, which would have better fit the time period that the story was set.

Later, one of Duddy’s money-making schemes is to sell some pinball machines. On a train to NYC, he meets Virgil (Randy Quaid), an american who bought 10 machines in order to go into business for himself, but alas, pinball is banned in the U.S. and he’s stuck with them. Duddy proposes that if Virgil got them to Montreal, he would take them off his hands.

Virgil does so, and they pile them into a truck during a downpour and drive them up to Ste-Agathe, a resort town in the Laurentians, about an hour and a half North of Montreal.

All we see is them loading an Arrow Head (Williams, 1957) without even bothering to take the legs and backbox off...

And we catch a glimpse of the cabinet of a Jig Saw (Williams, 1957) already loaded in the truck. Again, these machines are from a later decade than when the story is set...

In Ste-Agathe, they try to sell the Arrow Head (Williams, 1957)...


In the novel, he manages to sell all but one of the machines, which ends up in his apartment. In the movie, for economy, they show us the same table from the previous scene,  which is the Arrow Head...



Bonus:
In a scene in a bowling alley, there’s a Short-Stop (Williams, 1958) baseball / bat game in the background...

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