Friday, December 16, 2011

Technology crops up in the strangest places

Recently I've come across a lot of great out of print or public domain Film Noir movies shared on YouTube. Being able to watch these films is great in itself, but I really love it when technology figures into a critical character development or plot twist in a new way than in any of the other films I've seen.

The plot of
711 Ocean Drive (1950) had a considerable amount of technology featured in it, and many of the scenarios are still relevant today even though our technology has improved vastly since 1950. The main character Mal Granger works for the phone company, and he's a pretty smart cookie.

He sets up an analog multicast delivery system to improve the efficiency of the bookie's business transactions:

He rigs up a contraption to use a chain link fence as an aerial antenna to transmit racing scores:

He gets a big idea to hold the network hostage so he can get a bigger cut of the bookie's business:
(sound familiar?)

Finally he stages a Man-in-the-middle attack on a horse race in order to win big:

One other great bit of technology cropped up in 
The Mob (1951). The police rigged up a contraption to fit under the wheel well of the suspect's car. The contraption produced drops a liquid that glowed when exposed to ultraviolet light at regular intervals onto the rear tire of the car. In order for the cops to find the suspect's car, they just had to shine a UV spotlight on the ground and follow the dotted line.

1 comment: