PHOTOBOOTHS IN MOVIES & TV

The Long Night

Anatole Litvak (US, 1947, 101 min.)

Henry Fonda plays Joe Adams, a "regular guy" in a "regular town" somewhere along the Ohio-Pennsylvania border in this American remake of Marcel Carn's Le jour se lve. In the opening scene of the film, a shot rings out and a wounded man emerges from an apartment and tumbles down a flight of stairs. The police arrive, and Joe Adams, behind the door of the apartment, refuses to come out, holing himself in his room. As the standoff continues and the police attempt to get him out, much of the rest of the film is told in flashback.

As Joe and Jo Ann (Barbara Bel Geddes, in her film debut) begin courting, Joe visits her at her house for the first time, and as he sits on her be, he notices a strip of photos in her mirror. He gets up and goes over to the photos, showing him in six poses. "Hey, I know that guy from somewhere. Say, I think that's real thoughtful of you, puttin' up pictures of someone I happen to know, makes me feel right to home." The photos are square, and may not actually be real photobooth photos, but are clearly meant to seems like they came from a photobooth.

Later on in the film, the police begin another attack, this time from the hallway. They blast the door to pieces, so Joe barricades himself in with his bureau. As the shots come through the bureau drawer, the door swings open to reveal a matching strip of six photos of Jo Ann. As he looks at the strip, he hears in his head the following exchange: "Candid camera, six for a quarter." Then a photographer's voice, saying, "Sit still miss, Look at your friend here, and smile pretty now." Then Joann saying, "Stop making faces, Joe!" He reaches out, slams the door shut, and hides in a corner. "Candid camera, six for a quarter? Candid?" he asks himself. "Straight and honest," he answeres, leading into another flashback.

Thanks to Steve for the tip on this, now the earliest appearance of a photobooth strip in any film we've yet found (true when I wrote that; since pre-dated by Lonesome).

Contributed by Brian

The first four photos of the strip that Joe sees tucked into the mirror in Jo Ann's apartment.
Joe exclaims how thoughtful it is of Jo Ann to put the photos up, and we see that it is actually a strip of six.
As Joe holds up Jo Ann's one-eared teddy bear and explores the similarities between his face and the bear's, we get another glance at the strip.
Joe and Jo Ann continue to talk, with the strip still visible at left.
Yes, if Henry Fonda had only one ear, he and the bear would look a lot alike.
Later in the film, when his bureau door swings open having been riddled with bullets, it reveals a photostrip of Jo Ann, hanging next to his ties.
Joe hears Jo Ann talking in his head as we close in the photos. "Stop making faces, Joe!" He slams the door.