13 Mar 2018

Dogfight (USA, 1991)

Dogfight (USA, 1991).  Director: Nancy Savoca, starring River Phoenix, Lili Taylor, Richard Panebianco, Brendan Fraser...

The movie set in 1963, the day before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. River plays a soldier about to be shipped out...

He and his buddies have some fun an arcade... River's playing a Gigi (Gottlieb, 1963), which is a slight anachronism, since it came out in December...


Behind him, there is a row of mutoscopes ("movie" viewers, but using a lot of stills, like a large flip-it book) e.g. the black one on the left is a Mutoscope "clam shell" model D, made between late 1890s to about 1909. His buddy is by a Cockeyed Circus (Exhibit Supply Company, 1941), and to the right is a baseball / bat game 10th Inning (Williams, 1964), another anachronism...

Elsewhere in the arcade is a Super Circus Rifle Gallery (Chicago Coin, 1969) yet another anachronism, and a Carnival Gun (United, 1954), and a Mr. Top Gun (Taylor, 1960-1975) shootout game with life-size cowboy (different models of cowboy existed)...

Words are exchanged between the army guys and the navy guys. In Brendan Fraser's film debut, as he walks over to engage, we can spot a Hollywood (Williams, 1961) and an Egg Head (Gottlieb, 1961)...


When the fight breaks out, we can see a row of machines, some of which I could not identify... (from left to right)...
1. ?, 2. ?, 3. ?, 4. Gigi (Gottlieb, 1963), 5. a wall game?, 6. Fast Ball (Williams, 1969) anachronism, 7. Swing-Along (Gottlieb, 1963), 8. an old woodrail, maybe even flipperless, and 9.  Hollywood (Williams, 1961), where we can now see a bit of the "Styling of the 60's" cabinet (anodized aluminum trim and tapered tubular chromium steel legs)...

Oh yeah, on the left is an Uncle Sam strength-tester (possibly made by Caille Brothers, circa 1908, or maybe a reproduction).

In a later scene, River revisits the arcade with Lili and they play Whac-A-Mole (Creative Engineering, Inc., 1976). This is another anachronism. Mysteriously, I could not find any photos of the game that match this backglass and score reel type...


Towards the end of the movie, River is back from his tour of duty, it's 1966, and he walks into a themed bar called Circus, which has a Circus (Bally, 1973) , yet another pinball anachronism...


Also of note in this movie, there is a scene with a room full of antique coin-operated music machines from the late 19th century to the 1920s or 30s. There are mechanically-animated animal orchestras, a Regina Hexaphone, J.P. Seeburg Electric player piano, etc. Since the film was set and partly shot in San Francisco, perhaps these were from the Musee Mechanique?

Thanks to Ruby for spotting this one. I had seen this movie long before my pinball obsession and did not remember the arcade scenes.

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