Tuesday 4 October 2011

The number you have dialed has not been recognised

We all remember different things from our childhood and adolescence. Some of the most memorable moments for me came from sitting in my bedroom in front of my very first portable TV (Black & White, of course). I say in front; when adjusting the aerial (nothing more than a glorified coat hanger) to obtain a better picture I was stood invariably to the side (and sometimes behind the damn thing) trying, in vain, to get rid of the permanent snow which blighted most programmes. Most programmes after 11 o'clock at night, that is. Which is when I saw 'La Cabina' (The Telephone Box). A foreign film with no dialogue, it left me with a permanent fear of using public telephones. Dating back to the early 70s I would probably have seen it around '74/'75. And then only the once. VHS/Betamax was just a pipe-dream so it was burned into my retinas where it's remained for 35+ years. Until today. I've finally found it; I can now uninstall it from my brain's hard drive.

Anyway, put the kettle on and pull up a chair - it's worth it.

La Cabina (The Phone Box) from Andrew MacGregor Marshall on Vimeo.


  1. Never saw this at the time, but remember my mum talking about it - so it must have made an impression that she couldn't shake off. For me it was Karen Black's Trilogy of Terror, and the voodoo doll that came to life which put the frighteners on me..

    A smaller obscurity I've never seen since, was a short film made for the American Bicentennial celebrations. 'Shoeshine' which, was basically a street nutter peeping out from behind pillars on a subway station shouting out 'shoeshine'. Let me know if you find anything on it..

  2. I'll look out for it M. What did you think to La Cabina - were you ready for the ending?

  3. Yes I knew the ending from either mum or catching it one night..they don't make 'em like this anymore

  4. GASP!! The horror of this still haunts me. By co-incidence I was just talking to Mr M about it and he directed me to your post. Bet it's pretty funny to watch now, but I was so affected by my one viewing of this little film as a small kid. Like you, I got a definite dose of phone box phobia for quite some years after and I still blame it for adding to my generally claustrophobic tendencies [kicked off as a nipper by being regularly locked in the cellar of my parents shop by my charming older brother "for a laugh"]. There's nothing quite like these old 70's offerings - low on production values, high on stomach-churning atmos..!!

  5. Mrs M - Once seen never forgotten! And we've all had our 'La Cabina' moments. Haven't we?