Back in 1956, the classic Japanese sci-fi monster movie Rodan was released in color to wide acclaim. In the Japanese original Rodan was Radon (Original title: Sora no daikaijû Radon).
Something that I’ve always liked doing is whenever a camera is used in an older movie I like to see if I can tell which model or at least the brand of the camera that’s depicted. Obviously cameras sometimes just flash across the screen as they are usually just props used to enhance the story so it can be very difficult to identify the camera beyond the basics (TLR, SLR, rangefinder). In this movie at about the 41:15 mark, the young newlywed is about to take his bride’s picture while touring an active volcano. He’s clearly using a Yashima YashicaFlex Model C twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera when he sees Rodan fly towards them. In horror, he runs away while throwing the camera to the ground.
The YashicaFlex Model C was produced between September 1955 and June 1957 making it a good choice for this then high-budget flick (it was the first monster movie from this famous studio to be filmed in color). I wonder if Yashima (Yashica) paid for product placement?
Another camera I’ve spotted in a movie is the Calypso (later Nikonos) camera Bond gives Domino in the classic Thunderball (1965). The camera apparently takes underwater shots and has a built-in Geiger counter! From my IMDb contribution to “goofs” – “When Q hands Bond the underwater camera and tells him it takes 8 shots by pressing a button, the camera is plainly seen as a black Calypso 35mm camera with has black gaffers tape covering the name across the bottom. Later while onboard the yacht, Domino is seen with the camera as she walks in the passageway while using it as a Geiger counter. The camera falls to the deck when Largo confronts her and the lens is seen popping off. We hear the sounds of the counter and see some type of gadget inside just behind where the lens was. When she bends down and picks it up, Largo takes it from her and the camera is briefly seen with the silver lens re-attached”. Another camera in a movie is the Exakta VX 35mm SLR Jimmy Stewart uses in the Hickcock thriller Rear Window (1954).
Thanks for stopping by! Do you have a favorite movie where a camera plays a part? Let me know in the comments. Thanks.
Comments are always welcomed as I’ve learned quite a bit from reader feedback. As always, thanks for stopping by and while you’re at it, feel free to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com (CC Design Studios hosted by Etsy). – Chris Whelan
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