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Classic telescopes in classic TV and movies

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#51 *skyguy*

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 08:00 AM

I watched  "The Mechanic" last night starring Charles Bronson  ... a horribly bad movie, btw! In one scene where he's sitting in a car ... he pulls out a Questar 3.5 Standard Astronomical Model and props the drive base on the car's window sill. While trying to hold it steady ... which he completely fails to do .... he proceeds to spy on the "bad guys" by pretending to look through the scope's rear photo port and not through the attached eyepiece on the top! What a joke! At least this scene provided me with a few "giggles" ... the only reaction I had during the entire, boring movie!



#52 Qwickdraw

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 08:28 AM

I watched  "The Mechanic" last night starring Charles Bronson  ... a horribly bad movie, btw! In one scene where he's sitting in a car ... he pulls out a Questar 3.5 Standard Astronomical Model and props the drive base on the car's window sill. While trying to hold it steady ... which he completely fails to do .... he proceeds to spy on the "bad guys" by pretending to look through the scope's rear photo port and not through the attached eyepiece on the top! What a joke! At least this scene provided me with a few "giggles" ... the only reaction I had during the entire, boring movie!

 

But some director or actor got a nice Quest out of the deal as what happens to most of these props.


Edited by Qwickdraw, 23 August 2014 - 08:29 AM.


#53 chasing photons

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 06:00 PM

Maybe this has been mentioned here already, but there is a large, orange tube Celestron on a tripod and wedge behind Devils Tower in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).  It is seen briefly in two shots from different angles.  Or could it be two different Celestrons?  I think it might be a C14 but no one is standing next to it to provide scale.


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#54 latentfuss

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 06:34 PM

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?

I was thinking of the exact same reference when I started reading this thread.....

http://i43.tinypic.com/8wir14.jpg

Looks like my Old Cat with that sandcast fork.


Edited by latentfuss, 01 September 2014 - 09:10 PM.


#55 latentfuss

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 06:57 PM

This one might not count...

The TV Series was UFO (S.H.A.D.O.... Ed Straker, Moonbase, purple wigs)

The episode was "Destruction"

The Telescope was a Fullerscope and it was used as a communications device rather than an observational instrument.

http://ufoseries.com.../detail.php?214 Best picture I could find....



#56 Tarzanrock

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 08:53 PM

"... Griffith Observatory prominently figures into the plot of the James Dean movie "Rebel Without a Cause."

 

I always liked the switchblade knife fight scene filmed at the Griffiith Observatory in Nicholas Ray's 1955 "Rebel Without A Cause."  Watch it here:  http://www.tcm.com/m...l-Me-That-.html

Hot black cars; green sweaters; and, telescopes go well together -- not to mention the incredible acting directed and filmed by Nicholas Ray at this location.


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#57 terraclarke

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 09:24 PM

At Griffith:

Attached Thumbnails

  • image.jpg


#58 Chuck Hards

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 06:58 AM

This has been mentioned before in similar threads, but Orien Ernest's magnificent 16" Newtonian on single-arm fork mount was featured in an episode of "The Six Million Dollar Man", where it was supposedly a satellite-destroying laser in the hands of the villain.  I wrote to him at the time asking if it was his telescope, and got a wonderful reply from his wife explaining that it was indeed the telescope (it had been recently featured in S&T), and Orien was just too busy with work to answer "fan mail" at the time.  It turns out that Mrs. Ernest's family was from Ogden, UT, just an hour's drive from my home.  Mr. Ernest worked for a TV production studio.



#59 Tarzanrock

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 02:10 PM

I always liked the scenes with the Dali Lama and the brass refractor in Seven Years in Tibet.  See also, Barefoot in the Park.



#60 JackR

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 03:55 PM

In the 1953 SciFi movie "It Came From Outer Space" Richard Carlson and Barbara Rush are using an old refractor on an AltAz mount when they see the spaceship crash in the desert.

 

The Griffith Observatory is also featured in the 1991 "The Rocketeer."



#61 terraclarke

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 04:34 PM

I seem to remember that the mount that the telescope is on in It Came From Outer Space is actually an eq. mount but it's not set up as such.


Edited by terraclarke, 02 September 2014 - 04:35 PM.


#62 TCW

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 04:34 PM

As far as I know my C14 is not a movie scope but it was owned by a two time Emmy winner.  I will have to check the original owners work to see if it appears in any movies or TV shows he worked on.



#63 Tarzanrock

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 02:00 PM

Nominated as the "worst" is the telescope scene in the Cialis commercial currently running on television.


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#64 terraclarke

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 02:05 PM

Nominated as the "worst" is the telescope scene in the Cialis commercial currently running on television.

 

Is the telescope pointed skyward?  :blush:


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#65 Tarzanrock

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 03:05 PM

I was too busy laughing to pay that much attention to the telescope.  I'll have to watch it a bit more closely the next time I see it.



#66 jjbird

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 11:32 AM

 

Nominated as the "worst" is the telescope scene in the Cialis commercial currently running on television.

 

Is the telescope pointed skyward?  :blush:

 

Very good...


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#67 terraclarke

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 11:38 AM

I love it when someone gets my warped sense of humor! :lol:



#68 SpaceNetworks

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 08:35 PM

In the movie, The Day of the Siege, which is based on the 1683 siege of Vienna by the Ottoman Turks, F. Murray Abraham as Marco d'Aviano views a comet (1680?) through a refractor telescope, starting at 25:20.

http://youtu.be/-17ijtaVnCM?t=25m20s



#69 choran

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 11:53 AM

Here's a link to a picture from the movie "Peggy" )1950) showing Barbara Lawrence and Charles Drake with an unknown scope.

http://www.ebay.com/...=item51a3acb5ab


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#70 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 10:03 AM

I always liked the scenes with the Dali Lama and the brass refractor in Seven Years in Tibet.  See also, Barefoot in the Park.

 

There is also a brass refractor in Kundun which about the Dali Lama.

 

In the The Gods Must Be Crazy there is a Newtonian which is used as a spotting scope.

 

Jon


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#71 rcooley

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 08:53 PM

Reading this post reminded me of the scene on the balcony from "Contact" where young Ellie is calling for her dad to come out and watch the meteor shower. what type classical scopes were those?


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#72 Piggyback

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 02:46 AM

Lars Von Trier's "Melancholia" comes to mind. A controversial movie that I enjoyed very much. A planet hiding behind the sun steers to hit earth. The hi-speed slow-mo sequences are simply breathtaking. So are Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg. When the planet closes in they use a 5" BRESSER AR-127L  Achromat on an Autostar guided LXD 75 equatorial to watch what's coming. Anyone seen this? What instrument would you take out on doomsday?
 
Here's a link to a picture from the movie "Melancholia" (2011) showing Kiefer Sutherland, Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg with the telescope.
 

 


Edited by Piggyback, 05 February 2015 - 02:18 AM.

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#73 terraclarke

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 11:11 AM

I did see the film and somewhat enjoyed it, though it was a slow go at times; the script seemed to periodically drift off course as much as the doomsday asteroid. The end was a downer (no pun intended). My friends that watched it with me had less kind remarks. I did however enjoy seeing the telescope.

 

A similarly offbeat, somewhat astronomically themed film I would recommend is The Quiet Earth, though its been so long since I have seen it that I don't remember if there was a telescope in it; but perhaps a radio telescope?


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#74 Bob S

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 01:33 PM

In The Wolfman (1941), the father of Larry Talbot (aka the werewolf) owns a large refractor, the tube looks like it would be a 6-8" objective. There are some major gaffs with it. The "observatory" is a large room at the top of the house. The room has a ceiling, and appears only to have large windows at the sides through which the telescope is supposed to be used to survey the sky. Talbot uses the telescope to look closely at a woman he had met, and her image is right side up. Too bad there's telescopic nonsense in the film since the telescope and the mount look like they were using more than just a phony prop in the filming of it.


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#75 bobbyt63

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 08:04 PM

I also have seen the part in the wolfman 1940s where the dad is using the scope, it looks like it can be moved on a track so it can moved outside to a deck platform to view the heavens ,its a very interesting scope as well.wish I knew more about it.




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