Telephone Operator (December 7, 1937)

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Judith Allen in Telephone Operator
 

Released on December 7, 1937: A pair of telephone operators find romance and adventure, and save lives when a disastrous flood hits the valley.

Directed by Scott Pembroke

The Actors: Judith Allen (Helen Molloy), Grant Withers (Jeff 'Red' Rickart), Warren Hymer (Mack 'Shorty' Bowman), Alice White (Dottie Stengal) Ronnie Cosby (Ted Molloy), Pat Flaherty (Tom 'Hotline' Sommers), Greta Granstedt (Sylvia Sommers), William Haade (Heaver), Cornelius Keefe (Pat Campbell), Dorothy Vaughan (Mrs. Molloy)

 

Free Download of the old movie Telephone Operator

Telephone-Operator-1937.mp4 (381mb - 720x526)

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Fast Operators, Telephone Operators & the Dam Hole

This is a marvelous snapshot of life in 1937, and how the new-fangled telephones were taking over the country. Judith and Dotty are the two telephone operators in the small western town of Riverdale. Telephone service is available to the town only during the daytime, ending at ten each night till the next morning. Two hot-shot linemen from Chicago that travel the country to help install new phone lines wherever the need is greatest arrive in Riverdale to help string new wires for new customers. There is a dam being built near the town, and the phone company is running phone lines across the dam to a new group of houses. The two hot-shot linemen immediately fall for the two young girls running the town switchboard. Their adventures in building phone poles and stringing wire and flirting with the girls is not without disaster, but always fun. The boss' wife is cheating on him, and when Judith covers for the wife so the boss doesn't discover his wife's treachery, she gets fired. Then the two hot-shots get fired too.

In that day, lots of small town country folk didn't see the need for paying for this new-fangled device called a telephone. They lived for many generations without a telephone, why get one now? But when a flood endangers the town, only the telephone operators and linemen can save the day and save lives, thanks to the telephone. I remember as a youth in the 1960's still hearing the horror stories about the great Johnstown Flood of 1889 that claimed over 2,000 lives. There are phenomenal scenes of flooded towns that are historically fascinating to watch. I also remember seeing the movie "Jaws" in the theater, and the resulting fear of many to go swimming in the ocean for years after. I'm confident that when this film was shown in small town America theaters, subscriptions for new phone service grew greatly.

This movie is a family-friendly fun fest with a great view of home life in 1937. Some of the reels have a second or two missing from the end, creating a few choppy transitions, but the surviving print is still a 10 on the adventure meter.

Alice White and Judith Allen
Alice White and Judith Allen
Alice White and Judith Allen
Alice White and Judith Allen
Alice White
Alice White
Cornelius Keefe and Pat Flaherty
Cornelius Keefe and Pat Flaherty
Cornelius Keefe
Cornelius Keefe
Grant Withers
Grant Withers
Grant Withers, Warren Hymer and Judith Allen
Grant Withers, Warren Hymer and Judith Allen
Grant Withers and Warren Hymer
Grant Withers and Warren Hymer
Greta Grandstedt and Cornelius Keefe
Greta Grandstedt and Cornelius Keefe
Greta Grandstedt and Cornelius Keefe
Greta Grandstedt and Cornelius Keefe
Greta Granstedt and Grant Withers
Greta Granstedt and Grant Withers
Judith Allen and Cornelius Keefe
Judith Allen and Cornelius Keefe
Judith Allen and Pat Flaherty
Judith Allen and Pat Flaherty
Judith Allen
Judith Allen
Pat Flaherty
Pat Flaherty
Pat Flaherty, Judith Allen and Grant Withers
Pat Flaherty, Judith Allen and Grant Withers
Pat Flaherty
Pat Flaherty
Pat Flaherty
Anne Gwynne
Ronnie Crosby and Dorothy Vaughan
Ronnie Crosby and Dorothy Vaughan
Ronnie Crosby
Ronnie Crosby
Ronnie Crosby
Ronnie Crosby
Warren Hymer and Grant Withers on the phone pole
Warren Hymer and Grant Withers on the phone pole
William Haade
William Haade
William Haade
William Haade