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MOVIE SWITCHES CAR FOR WRECK SCENE- LaSALLE HEARSE BECOMES AUSTIN?


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We recall the many car-related scenes in Ian Fleming's 007 James Bond films. Maybe because we've been involved with picture cars, background, and hero cars in many movie productions, we're just more attuned to the production, sequence, or chronological gaffes in films, but some are quite notable.

 

During a pre-recorded 007 marathon which had been presented on TCM, my wife and I watched the first of the 007 films, "DR NO".  As Bond was driving a Sunbem Alpine, downhill on a twisty dirt road, he was being chased by a big black hearse - LaSalle circa 1937-1939. The LaSalle had the traditional tall grille with headlight bulbs and reflectors in pods on either side of the tall narrow grille. Bond's low-to-the-ground Sunbeam drives under a piece of road grader-type equipment and the tall hearse has to swerve left, running off the road and sliding down the steep mountain.

 

In the blur of the slide, suddenly the hearse's headlights become sealed beam, relocated to the outer edges of the front fenders. The grille shape, while likely appearing similar to the casual observer, becomes more angular and less rounded at the top. It appears to be a late-1940s or early 1950s Brittish - maybe Austin or Daimler model. I used stop-action to examine the moments of switch to show that the LaSalle was (hopefully) not destroyed, crashed, and burned. This film was produced in an age where graphic animation and computer simulation were less available in cinema production.

 

In a scene later that day in "FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE", Sean Connery as James Bond (007),  and Ursula Andress' character "Honey Rider" are driving a circa 1958-1960? Chevy stake truck which is blackened and has prior damage from the blast of a helicopter explosion. During the scene where they abandon the truck to take a small cabin cruiser, the Chevy truck is remarkably clean and undamaged.

 

Of Course the scene in a later Bond fiilm (You only live Twice?), with the Citroen 2-CV screaming down the mountainside is a true classic.

 

What other famous movie "PICTURE-CAR" switches do you recall, where the car being driven is not necessarily the one in the wreck, or where other switches take place?

Edited by Marty Roth (see edit history)
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  • Marty Roth changed the title to MOVIE SWITCHES CAR FOR WRECK SCENE- LaSALLE HEARSE BECOMES AUSTIN?

Well the most famous of all is the 67 Camaro switched for a Challenger at the end of "Vanishing Point".

 

The most cars used are the entire production of Chargers used in the "Dukes of Hazard" including one (the jump car) built from a VW.

 

Not sure is the "Blues Brothers" or Toby Haleki's movies wrecked the most cars (some of which he did not own but became "collateral damage".)

ps I have a copy of "Gone in 60 Seconds" with the original soundtrack. He was kinda casual about copyrights as well.

 

BTW those are two different Bond movies - the Sunbeam and Honey Ryder were in "Dr. No" and the helicopter/truck was in "From Russia with Love"

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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In the 1972 movie The Master Touch they pull the old Mopar switcheroo during the long chase scene. It starts with a 1958 Plymouth coupe which morphs into a bizarre looking 1960 Dodge 4-door sedan with huge vertical fins, then returns to the 1958 Plymouth to finish the chase. The weather changes frequently during those 6 minutes too!

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55 minutes ago, padgett said:

 BTW those are two different Bond movies - the Sunbeam and Honey Ryder were in "Dr. No" and the helicopter/truck was in "From Russia with Love"

 

Thanks, Padgett,

 

Corrections updated -

sometimes the fingers get ahead of the recall process-

especially having watched a Bond/Fleming marathon.

 

How many times have you noted a scene changing from day to night and back to day, or in and out of rain? 

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In movies and television, changing day for night , or mixing rain and sun in a scene has to do with budget and continuity . In bad movies you might see an ashtray on a table in one scene, then missing in the next. The continuity person on the set is suppose to photograph the set and make notes so everything matches for the next shot. If they have a tight budget, then they can not afford to shoot the scene again, the director and producers hope the audience doesn't catch the mistake.

       As far as changing cars go, as in Doctor No, they hearse was loaned to to production company, and woud not be wrecked. There was a movie  " Palm Springs Weekend ", with Robert Conrad, Connie Stevens, and Ty Harden. Throughout the film Ty Harden drives around in a 1957 Mercury convertible. In the final scene, Robert Conrad chases and runs Ty Harden off the road flipping the Merc. The Mercury that was used for the scene was a 1954 Mercury conv.  They do it all the time. 

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My 1st memory of a car change scene was an early "Highway Patrol" TV show starring Broderick Crawford.  he nearly always drove a 55 or 56 Buick in the shows I watched ( I was  a kid then ) and in one scene he was chasing a big dark car that I remember looked like a limo, and when it went off the cliff in a sharp curve, turned into a Studebaker starlight coupe ... Daddy told me to never mind, it wasn't real when I asked him about it as it happened.  We had a 50 Studebaker at the time, so I was upset, ha, ha !

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The old Warner television show 77 Sunset Strip, had a scene where Roger Smith was chasing a car, they inserted a clip from the James Cagney movie"White Heat"  of him being chased in his 1949 Mercury running down the street. They just hoped the viewers wouldn't catch it.

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American Graffiti, The 55 Chevy that was wrecked was another body style 55. Its been a few decades since I had last seen it, and I forgot the particulars, I think it was a sedan that got wrecked but it was a two door hardtop started the race.

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1 hour ago, John S. said:

In movies and television, changing day for night , or mixing rain and sun in a scene has to do with budget and continuity . In bad movies you might see an ashtray on a table in one scene, then missing in the next. The continuity person on the set is suppose to photograph the set and make notes so everything matches for the next shot. If they have a tight budget, then they can not afford to shoot the scene again, the director and producers hope the audience doesn't catch the mistake.

       As far as changing cars go, as in Doctor No, they hearse was loaned to to production company, and woud not be wrecked. There was a movie  " Palm Springs Weekend ", with Robert Conrad, Connie Stevens, and Ty Harden. Throughout the film Ty Harden drives around in a 1957 Mercury convertible. In the final scene, Robert Conrad chases and runs Ty Harden off the road flipping the Merc. The Mercury that was used for the scene was a 1954 Mercury conv.  They do it all the time. 

 

John,

 

You're correct of course.

We've coordinated well over a dozen films for Hero Cars, as well as finding dozens of background cars and picture car drivers for "Hollywood South, here in Louisiana.

Some companies have not only the budget, but also the desire to be more concerned with "Continuity" as a prime factor.

 

This was certainly the case when we filmed "Pretty Baby", "Ray", "American Horror", and so many other film, TV episodes, and TV - film presentations.

Quite a few companies choose to use the greater New Orleans area, our French Quarter, Bayou Country, and the Gulf Coast in general because of our climate, tax benefits, and strong governmental support, as well as encouragement from our hospitality industry.

 

It helps that several of our local car club members are well-versed in the expectations of the entertainment/cinema/TV production industries.

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Marty,  you are so very right. I have done film and television  work as an actor over the years, and it is so very interesting how the industry makes things happen.on the production end. There was a post several months ago about blinds in rear windows of cars. They cited "On The Waterfront" as the primary example. Elia Kazan could not get a back screen with projector to film a night street scene. Some crew member mentioned blinds for the rear window, and the rest is history.  It was a happy accident.! That is how movies are made. 

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There was a movie from 1948 that featured a new Lincoln Continental convertible. The owner picked up a hitchhiker, who stole the car and took off with it. The car was in most scenes, at the end it runs off a cliff crashes and burns. At that point it magically turned into a 1941 Ford coupe with the roof cut off and a continental spare.

 

In Song of the Thin Man (1947) there is a scene where Nick and Nora get into a 1947 DeSoto Skyview taxicab, are seen driving down the street in a 1937 DeSoto taxi, and arrive at their destination in the 47. Obviously they spliced in some stock footage to save money.

 

The Long Long Trailer features a 1953 Mercury convertible as tow car, in a scene driving up a mountain it turns into a Lincoln with some of the trim painted over to make it look like a Mercury. I guess the Merc wouldn't pull the 35 foot trailer up the mountain. I don't know why they didn't just use the Lincoln to start with.

 

There is a chase scene at the beginning of Thunder Road where a 49 Ford changes back and forth from a gray 2 door to a black 4 door.

 

There was a movie about John Dillinger made not long ago, in which a police car turned from a 1934 Ford to a 1934 Chevrolet and back again.

 

No doubt the real gone movie/car fan could come up with endless examples.

 

One more, in the TV show Nichols James Garner rides a 1912 Harley Davidson except for stunt scenes when they used a late model Husquvarna dirt bike disguised as a 1912 Harley. The stunt bike has a rifle scabbard on the front fork to disguise it.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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In the movie 'The Day The Earth Stood Still' the two main characters ride in a taxi that morphs between a '49 Dodge and a '50 Plymouth several times.

 

The main character in '99 River Street' is a cab driver.  The first scene shows a Plymouth P-15 cab (1946-49) and the rest of the movie has '52 Plymouths.

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Like many movies, the 55 Chev in American Graffiti was really a gaggle of different cars including a cutaway for interior shots. What is different is that the same car(s) were used for Two Lane Blacktop. I *think* the GTO was actually a Judge with some of the trim removed but had the unobtanium cassette deck.

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I'm glad to see this thread.  My wife does not like to go to movies with me because of this kind of stuff, which I can't help but point out.

Stuff like vapor trails in the sky and car tire tracks in westerns dirt roads.  I remember a 30's gangster film where the armoured car was a 56 Chevy

truck.   I guess it's guy thing, but it ruins a movie for me.   My wife says it ruins it for her too.

11 hours ago, John S. said:

 There was a movie  " Palm Springs Weekend ", with Robert Conrad, Connie Stevens, and Ty Harden. Throughout the film Ty Harden drives around in a 1957 Mercury convertible. In the final scene, Robert Conrad chases and runs Ty Harden off the road flipping the Merc. The Mercury that was used for the scene was a 1954 Mercury conv.  They do it all the time. 

  I picked that out too.  How much money could they have saved using a red 54 Mercury instead of a red 57 Mercury?  (Actually I thought it was a red 57 Ford

  convertible.)

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Sometimes one wonders about the who what when and why of some errors. One of my favorite early talkies is "The Crowd Roars" 1932. James Cagney, Joan Blondell, and late '20s racing cars! What is not to love about it!

Most versions of the movie available have some interesting errors. Like, how did late '30s racing cars and a mid '30s ambulance get into the picture?

Well, IMDb has it in the trivia of the movie. The story was remade in 1939 as "Indianapolis Speedway". Apparently, in order to save money on the new film, they cut the original film (I would imagine the negatives?) and edited scenes from the 1932 movie into the new 1939 film. Then, when they put the original back together, they somehow mixed in a few newer pieces.

 

Spoiler alert.

One of my favorite parts of the 1932 movie is how the public's perception has changed. As the "washed up" racing driver James Cagney is saving the day by pushing the ambulance driver aside to get the friend to the hospital IN TIME! His actions indicate someone driving like was done by most people in the '20s. Slow and deliberate in manner. The mixed in '39 scenes show an ambulance screeching around corners in wild abandon! Seven years and the public's expectation of action had changed that much.

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9 hours ago, Paul Dobbin said:

I'm glad to see this thread.  My wife does not like to go to movies with me because of this kind of stuff, which I can't help but point out.

Stuff like vapor trails in the sky and car tire tracks in westerns dirt roads.    ---

 I guess it's guy thing, but it ruins a movie for me. ---

  My wife says it ruins it for her too. 

 

We watch the old films, mostly on TCM - Turner Classic Movies. I record them with our Cox Cable Contour service, and we watch when we have time (between doctor appointments, at our age).

I'm constantly amazed how they an make tires squeal on dirt, mud, and grass. 

My wife sometimes confides increasing annoyance as I stop, backup, and replay scenes (ad nauseum?) to point out the inaccuracies - I understand that this bothers her, my fragmenting the continuity -- but It is fun for me !

Isn't my enjoyment paramount? Besides, she is capable of reading the latest mystery novel on her iPad while watching the classic flicks.

All I can accomplish while observing cinematic flaws, is to "Hunt and Peck" on my keyboard while on the AACA FORUM.

 

Using our cars to work with "Hollywood South" can be extremely enjoyable as we (my wife, daughter, son, and I) have talked, and dined with some of the nicest and most interesting movie folk.

James Gandolfini

Charles Durning

Richard Thomas

Sharon Gless

Kathy Bates

Dozens of others -

and as a Picture Car Driver, or Hero Car Driver, we get to enjoy well-catered meals with the crew, and sometimes with the cast,

while "extras" usually get fed spaghetti at a church basement, down the street.

 

Down here they seem to be striving for accuracy and continuity. There is usually someone on the crew who will photograph the set at each break, ensuring that everything is in place for the next take - especially if there will be any extended time involved, such as for lunch, or to film from a different angle. They are also extremely careful with regard to street scene background, items in a store window, modern street signs or traffic lights, etc.

 

As often as I drtive, I still cannot get my vintage cars to make their tires squeal on dirt roads ...

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That reminds my of my Jag E-types. No wheelspin in the dry. One EEEP at the start and that was it. Wasn't until my Sunbird that "rubber in all four gears" made any sense. Of course I grew up on Florida shell roads that shred tires if they spin. And here spinning on dirt/sand is a quick way to get stuck (why GM automagics of the 40's,50's, and early 60's had Reverse next to Low.)

 

Stop, pause, and rewind are wonderful to see exactly what was happening.

 

And love the part in nearly every early racing movie where there is an interior shot of the accelerator suddenly hitting the floorboards. A raised shot of the driver's elbows, and then suddenly it is going 10 miles an hour faster than everyone else up in the marbles. (with 400+ hp, anything sudden is wrong...)

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1 hour ago, padgett said:

 Of course I grew up on Florida shell roads that shred tires if they spin. And here spinning on dirt/sand is a quick way to get stuck (why GM automagics of the 40's,50's, and early 60's had Reverse next to Low.)

 

I always heard reverse on the bottom was for rocking the car when stuck in snow, not sand. The rocking in snow was a reason as to why automatics were not to popular initially in snow areas. Getting stuck in sand is optional, getting stuck in the snow affects everyone who is in a car and traveling.

Anyway, let get back to the movies

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
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" reverse on the bottom was for rocking the car when stuck in snow, not sand" when you are stuck, does it really matter what the medium was ? Here we have sand for people to get stuck in. Same technique for rocking out (or digging deeper).

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2 hours ago, padgett said:

" reverse on the bottom was for rocking the car when stuck in snow, not sand" when you are stuck, does it really matter what the medium was ? Here we have sand for people to get stuck in. Same technique for rocking out (or digging deeper).

 

If you want to start a new thread  for this debate that would be great, but there is no need to hi-jack this thread

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Next time you go "Back to the future" take a good look at Biff's 46 Ford convertible in the chase scene around the town square where it ends up in the horse manure.  Seems they used

two cars and one has front parking lights and one does't.  Not a Ford guy but I'm guessing the one with lights is a 47.  They cut back and forth between them.  I'm also a TCM junkie and it seems 

that movies made in the 30's didn't really care about continuity.  There are several chase scenes in gangster pics where they go from a long shot to a close up where one of the cars change.   

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