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Classic telescopes in classic TV and movies

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#1 terraclarke

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:58 AM

Have you ever noticed really cool classic telescopes or observatories that you could identify in old/classic TV shows and movies? For instance, the Griffith Observatory and its telescope are shown in several of the old Superman episodes from the 50s and Griffith Observatory prominently figures into the plot of the James Dean movie "Rebel Without a Cause." But what about classic telescopes themselves. Here's a real kicker.

While watching Netflix shows with my young grandson recently we stumbled across the old Dennis the Menace TV show that I used to watch as a kid. There was an interesting episode listed from the first season (1959) called "Innocents From Space." The plot centered around Mr. Wilson; remember he was retired and always kept busy with various hobbies that Dennis interfered with. In this episode he purchased a brand new Unitron Model 152- the four inch equatorial. While it didn't have the Unihex it had everything else including the actual box of Unitron eyepieces. The telescope is prominently shown in at least three long scenes, where Mr. Wilson "wheels it around" on its azimuth axis no less, LOL, changes eyepieces, looks through the 10x42 finder, observes the sun with the over the eyepiece sun filter and shows Dennis sunspots, etc. It was never called a Unitron, but instead a "Brennervarten" even though you can see the Unitron label on the focuser and the lens cap.

It was fun to see this scope in all its glory in "1959."

What old shows can you remember with neat telescopes?
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#2 bob midiri

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:02 AM

I remember seeing that episode as kid!! It was a beautiful big white telescope, over the years I thought that it might be a Unitron, ill need to see that episode again. thanks for the nostalgia. bob

#3 bobbyt63

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:27 AM

how about the 1940s "wolfman" lon channey jr. and claude rains there is a scene where they are standing with and looking thru an unknown big refractor i think ,in the mansion. anybody have a clue of what the scope was,also in "tomb raiders"laura croft in her mansion spends time looking thru a huge scope.maybe it was a big house thing. thanks bob
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#4 tim53

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:53 AM

Silent Running was on the Lobotomy Box a month or so ago. There's a scene with Bruce Dern in one of the domes with a tricolor C-8. Wonder if it was Tinky?

#5 Napersky

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:16 PM

Anyone see the Newtonian on the Little Ceasar's Commerical?
Note where it's pointed..into the ground!

#6 terraclarke

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:49 PM

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#7 starman876

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:55 PM

the view was right side up because they had the telescope upside down :tonofbricks:
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#8 JustinO

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 05:50 PM

A naked Arnold Schwarzenegger stalks Griffith Park in "Terminator".

#9 orion61

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:19 PM

200 that they showed the Enterprise in orbit with!
Right before people stood about 20 yards away from an ICBM
lift off, they'd have been fried in real life..Movie people must think we are as dumb as they are! :foreheadslap:
Sean Connery had a unique C8 with some wierd attachment in one of the James Bond? Movies.

#10 dgreyson

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:50 PM

There was some sort of screwy looking telescope in one of the Batman and Robin movies, I was looking at Batgirl so I cant really describe it. Oddly enough, Arnold was in this movie too.
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#11 *skyguy*

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:52 PM

The movie ... "Star Trek, First Contact" has a Meade LX200 "Classic" ... all decked out with some fancy grill work.


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#12 clamchip

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:25 AM

Beach Party (1963) professor is studying teenagers with what looks like a Swift refractor. About 10 minutes into the movie. See what you think:
http://www.imdb.com/...lu/vi835977753/

#13 Ruimteman

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:22 AM

Scrooged 1988. Bill Murray looks through an old refractor. A Swift perhaps?

#14 Al8236

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:59 AM

Son of Frankenstien, or maybe it was Frankenstien's Monster 19...39? There is a scope in the Lab. in the background that every time I see it I want that for my own!

#15 bierbelly

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:17 AM

Anyone see the Newtonian on the Little Ceasar's Commerical?
Note where it's pointed..into the ground!


Yup :roflmao: Boneheads
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#16 bobbyt63

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:30 AM

in the movie "body double"there is a questar 3 1/2in a home that towers above street level, which is the focus of the story watching the girl in near by house undress and dance and more.the guy who watches her ,views her murder through the scope.

#17 StarWrangler

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 12:12 PM

I'll take the house, observatory and telescope in the first
Laura Croft Tomb Raider movie.
(Telescope real or not real that is the question)

Alan O.

#18 Littlegreenman

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 04:42 PM

in the movie "body double"there is a questar 3 1/2in <snip>


An open movie making secret. When the filming is over someone takes home a Questar 3 1/2", free. And TV sets, cloths, widgets. Not by any means everything, every movie, but it happens. "The movie" pays for some of the things on the set.

Now, when you've got a crew of 30 or 90 people filming filming a movie, the price of a new Questar may be about 15 minutes of filming time. Or less.

I shoulda gone into movies.

Currently, all the guys in The BigBang Theory all have commercially available looking telescopes in the background of their apartments/room. The scopes have changed over time.

LGM

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#19 terraclarke

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:08 PM

I'd love to know who got the complete 4 inch eq. Unitron in that 1959 Dennis the Menace" episode.

#20 mikey cee

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:57 PM

I'd love to know who got the complete 4 inch eq. Unitron in that 1959 Dennis the Menace" episode.

My guess is it's still sitting in the studio prop department. :grin: Mike

#21 akman1955

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:57 PM

:)the new version from "80"s invaders from mars has a 75mm compact unitron. The old version from 50's has another vintage scope..you can watch them both on youtube. plus episodes of Frazier have a telescope in them.. john

#22 terraclarke

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:58 PM

I remember in the old Invaders from Mars, the little boy gets up in the middle of the night and is looking out his bedroom window with his telescope when he sees the Martians land.
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#23 *skyguy*

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:21 AM

Japanese sci-fi film from 1962, "Gorath." A group of people watching the launch of a spaceship with several nice refractors placed in the scene for no particular reason. I'd really like to own that big one ... it looks like it's mounted on a pier.



#24 Mr Magoo

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 12:36 PM

All 4 of the Beatles look through a telescope in "Magical Mystery Tour".

#25 StarWrangler

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:29 PM

Brainstorm (1983 film),

A Classic Orange C8" and a Dome Observatory if I remember right.

Alan O.


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