With the launch of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, Apple has just made the plain iPhone 5 old-fashioned and obsolete. But these phones, and all other bygone mobiles of yesteryear, will stay forever on the silver screen. Big, small, broken, futuristic or super fancy, different makes and models of cell phones on celluloid have been enabling plot devices in capers and comedies for years. But what are the most memorable phones in film history? Let’s take a look through a bunch of movie mobiles.
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Zoolander — A phone smaller than Derek’s brain
In the middle of all the breakdance fighting, assassinating world leaders, and eugoogoolizing, Derek Zoolander does have to talk on the phone. And, of course, his phone is incredibly tiny. So chic, we guess. What is this, a phone for ants?
Wall Street — Gordon Gekko’s brick-sized beach phone
“Money never sleeps, Bud,” says Gordon Gekko, taking a stroll on a beach, talking to the young trader via his enormous cell. Wall Street is the emblem of the greed-is-good eighties, and there’s no better image for all of that than Michael Douglas and this totally awesome phone the size of a Christmas ham.
Iron Man 2 — Martini in one hand, remote war device in another
For the second installment of the Iron Man trilogy, Tony Stark is given an LG all-glass touchscreen phone that can activate his ultra fancy suit. This is good, because he’s often stuck at cocktail parties when the world needs saving. And we can’t even Google Maps our way home from a cocktail party. Sheesh.
Saved By The Bell — The old-school OK Cupid
Zack Morris has a similar Gordon Gekko brick, but instead of using it to tell bankers to bite the ass off a bear, he uses it to proto-sext (i.e., call) his classmates. Imagine if the Saved by the Bell kids could use Tinder on iPhones instead? Zack Morris would have his mind blown.
The Matrix — A flip phone inspiration
Here’s a movie phone that changed the course of real phone history! The standard Nokia model in The Matrix had a flip added to it, for dramatic effect, to delay the reveal of the message. After the popularity of the film, Nokia added the flip to its next model, so people can pretend like they’re Keanu Reeves dodging bullets or whatever. And that’s how a now-obsolete phone icon was born.
Tomorrow Never Dies — Driving by phone
Even with all the breakthroughs in mobile tech, we're still far, far off from the awesomeness that is James Bond's phone in Tomorrow Never Dies. It's an Ericsson that looks like any normal '90s cell, but it can actually scan fingerprints and drive Bond's car remotely. Google cars aren't yet close enough to reality to imagine driving via a device in our pockets, but here's Pierce Brosnan doing it nearly 20 years ago. We'll catch up someday.
Get Smart — The useless shoe phone
Maxwell Smart, the gumshoe star of the TV show Get Smart, was well ahead of the game. His shoe-embedded cellphone enabled him to make a call by simply untying his laces. Even in 2008 movie remake, Steve Carell was ready with that silly loafer phone. Though there doesn't seem to be any good reason to own one now — why try to hide the fact that you, like everyone else, have a cell phone? — but, if you insist, there's a guy in Australia who tells you how to make a bluetooth-enabled kicks.
Minority Report — Futuristic product placement
In between running from the cops trying to arresting him for a murder he hasn't yet committed, Tom Cruise spends some time fiddling with his future phone, which can display projected information into the air. It's so cool, in fact, that Nokia thought it would be a perfect marketing strategy: the film features the Nokia 7650, a phone that launched in conjunction with the film. No, it can't actually project a magic touch screen thing, but hey, it was the first Nokia phone with a built-in camera. So there's that.