THE PHOTOBOOTH BLOG
February 25, 2011

We continue our survey of movies and TV shows new to us thanks to an IMDb keyword search with a television show that sets a new standard: the earliest appearance by a photobooth in a TV show that we have yet found. Expanding the history of photobooths in TV to a run of more than 50 years, this 1959 episode of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” utilizes a somewhat aytpical single-shot photobooth. The machine, which produces Photomatic-style photos though without a frame, is located in a bar where David Logan (Clint Kimbrough) meets a sailor, played by the great Clu Gulager, in the episode “Appointment at Eleven.” The use of the booth doesn’t do much in the way of advancing the plot, but we’re excited to have found a link, however tenuous, between the great Hitch and the photobooth.

Next, switching gears more than a little, we’ve got what seems like a haunted or possessed photobooth at a roadside rest stop in the 2003 thriller Octane, starring Madeleine Stowe and Mischa Barton. The movie is pretty forgettable, but does feature a nice little moment when the flash goes off in an empty photobooth, freaking out an already freaked out mom (Stowe) looking for her rebellious daughter (Barton), who’s cast her lot in with some bad, bad folks.

Jumping across the pond to another roadside rest stop, two young protagonists of Late Night Shopping hop into a photobooth for a combination fight/makeout session, and look lovingly at the resulting photostrip afterwards. For a fake strip, the result isn’t the worst we’ve seen.

And finally, a photobooth scene in a movie we’d heard about but not done anything about, the 2010 re-imagining of The A-Team. Thanks to Meags for the original tip on this film. Face (Bradley Cooper) pulls Charissa (Jessica Biel) in the world’s roomiest photobooth, where they slap and punch and gouge each other’s eyes out, followed by flirting and handcuffs. The size and scale of the booth is way off, and the sort of widescreen video screen showing each image as the flash goes off is equally strange. Then again, the whole movie is a pretty lame attempt to recapture the good-natured fun of the original series, so it’s par for the course.

More movies and TV shows to come…