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professorecho

NAME YOUR FAVORITE GAS STATION SCENE!

33 posts in this topic

LOL! Okay, okay, so it's unlikely that anyone will respond to this post, but I got so tired of continually coming up with post ideas that had already been done, I figured THIS topic is probably brand new.

 

They are an expensive nuisance and corporate eyesore today, but once gas stations were very shiny and sleek and cool. I've loved them ever since I was a little kid and have always seen them as these tiny islands in the middle of the city. At one time, because I have no life, I thought about cataloguing every movie that had a gas station scene in it, but that list has yet to materialize. So the post is only partially tongue-in-cheek and I would genuinely be interested in people's favorite gas station scenes and just whatever memories they may have of vintage gas stations in the real world.

 

I have a feeling this going to be a very lonely post.:(

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Do I dare mention the gas station scene in Hitchcocks

"The Birds"? All bright and shiny and all of a sudden KABOOM!

I like the looks of the gas stations in the 1940s as in "White Heat" and "The Grapes of Wrath" etc.

I'm sure that I will think of some more.

 

Mongo

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The one in "The Birds" is great! And intense for 1963, watching a guy get insinerated before our eyes... but my favorite scenes are two funnier ones: Two scenes in "Tommy Boy" --- one where he's being sprayed off with the hose and Tommy's running in place singing "I'm a maniac, maniac on the floor..." :P And then where he's at the station w/Richard and tries to back up closer to the pump and takes off the door.

 

And then there's that gas station scene in "The Jerk." :D

 

 

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Well let's see. There are so many "gas station scenes" to pick from. Ummm, I guess that I'll go with the gas station that Jonathan Winters trashed in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World....probably one of the best scenes on film.

 

ML

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Prof, we're DYIN' for new topics and this is a good 'un. For me the classic gas station scene is in "Mad Mad etc World." Winter's is hysterical. Random quotes: "So 'move the bicycle so people won't stumble over it in the dark'? Well they'll be stumbling over YOU in the dark!!!"... "He's got a HATE complex!"... "Dr Dilman! Dr Dilman!!.... " He's nuts! He' really nuts!"... "We're gonna have to kill him!" And of course the last wall quietly colapsing. Another favorite gas station scene is the one in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" where the attendant secretly slips a coupla pods into Dr. Miles Benet's trunk.

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Cf it looks like you were writing your "Mad World" post while I was writting MINE! Yours wasn't there when I started.:)

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Guest

That gas station thing in It's a Mad(x4) World is my pick, too! It's great!

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Sorry that I beat you in, Slappy...that sometimes happens to the best of us. Nice that we agree (you to Antar) about the Jonathan Winters scene. I start laughing just thinking of it! ML

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Harlowkeatongirl mentioned two great ones that I thought were funny too.

 

WHen I read your post what came to mind for me was a scene where nothing in particular happens but it always grabs my attention.

 

In " Back to the Future" when Marty goes back to 1955 and he is still a bit disoriented he walks by a gas station on his way to a cafe adn a bell rings as a car pulls up and men come out to service the car. I don't know why but that scene stuck with me.

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Here's another. In "Vacation" when Chevy Chase tries to find the gas-fill door on his brand-new "Family Truckster" and tears the license plate off and accidentally flings it onto another car.

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This just happens to be staged at a gas station, but when in "The Jerk" someone starts shooting at Steve Martin while at the gas pumps is pretty funny.

Another favorite is ***************SPOILER ALERT*********

 

 

 

when Catherine Deneuve stops for directions or gas (can't remember which) at the end of Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and she finds her long lost lover as the owner. It's one of my favorite French films and I love that moment.

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Just thought of another gas station scene which takes place in the 1940s/1950s in the movie "Avalon". The mother drops her car at the station to be filled-up so she could pick her son up at the movie theater across the street when all of a sudden a trolly car jumps the tracks and crashes directly into the pumps and of course, mom's car. Great period piece.

 

Mongo

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I'm not sure this qualifies: The scene from Twister where the group is taking cover in a garage (not sure if it's a gas station or not) and the place gets ripped to shreds

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There was a comedy (too lazy to check IMDB for name) with Mickey Rooney and Eddie Bracken as gas station owners that steal gas. It was pretty funny, even though I detest Rooney!

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Before this one heads into the sunset, I wanted to thank everyone for responding to this silly question. I thought I was the only one who ever thought about things like great gas station scenes! Nice to know I've found a home here on the TCM boards.

 

My fave, though I reserve the right to change my mind a second from now, is in a great Warner Brothers comedy from 1938 called HARD TO GET. It was directed by Ray Enright and stars Dick Powell and Olivia De Havilland. In the early scenes Powell and Roscoe Karns work at a great old gas station, in uniforms and caps, of course, and they wind up harrassing Olivia when she comes in to get gas. (Unless I'm remembering it wrong, which is possible since I haven't seen the film in years, HINT, HINT, TCM!).

 

That scene referred to in a reply here from BACK TO THE FUTURE, where the group of gas station attendants, all clean and spiffy, rush out to take care of the customer, always got great laughs in the theatre when the movie first came out. It was a take off on, I believe, Texaco commercials from the 50's, but the real reason it got laughs is that people were chuckling ironically at how much gas station and customer service had changed in thirty years. Earlier today I had to go get gas, pumped it myself, cleaned all the bird crap off the windshield myself and then paid $25.00 for the privilege. I was not chuckling ironically.

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Prof, here in N.J. we aren't ALLOWED to pump our own gas. This results in lower prices! In Pa. & Del. the gas prices avereage at least a dime more a gallon at any given time. Last I paid was $1.42 for regular unleaded. But you still gotta wash your own winders.

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$1.42!!! We're paying upwards of two bucks a gallon here in N.Y.!

 

My favorite would have to be "Mad World" - Jonathan Winters is priceless - I wish he'd done more movies.

 

I also enjoyed the gas station/diner in "The Postman Always Rings Twice" - one of the best film noirs ever. John Garfield and Lana Turner tear up the screen!

 

I also love the gas station scene in "The Blues Brothers" when they stop and the station is "out" of gas. And then Twiggy pulls up and Dan Aykroyd flirts with her while John Belushi gets drunk.

 

Another memorable gas station is the one in "The Petrified Forest" - it seems to stand out in my memory.

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OH! And I love the gas station scene in "Hold That Ghost" that Abbott and Costello run.

 

Abbott: "Tell the customer the gas is 10 cents a gallon but that doesn't include Ethyl."

 

Costello: If anyone asks for Ethyl, I'll tell them she don't work here anymore."

 

 

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10 CENTS A GALLON!?!?!?!? Add two dollars to that and you've got what we're paying her in Southern California!

 

LOL @ the line about Ethyl.

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Actually i have two favorities the Jonathan winters gas station scene in "It's a mad mad mad mad World" i heard

a cute story told by Robert Osborne about this scene.

Seems it was a lunch break in the middle of shooting this scene and Jonathan Winters was all duck taped in the chair for the scene well they forgot about him being tied up and left him there throughout the lunch break!...

Everyone came back from lunch an hour later Jonathan still sitting there waiting patiently to do the scene!

Boy he must've been hungry that day!....

Also the scene from the movie "The Birds" great cinema tography.....

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  • the road chase in 'Bullitt' ends at a gas station
  • Jonathan Winters (as 'Pike') demolishes the station in "Its a Mad Mad Mad Mad World"
  • Kit Carruthers (Sheen) and Holly (Spacek) stop at a gas station right before their capture in "Badlands"
  • Bonnie and Clyde (Dunaway and Beatty) do as well (I recall?)
  • Sean Connery slips into a Blofeld van in a station in "Diamonds are Forever"
  • Paul le Mat tinkers with his duece coupe in "American Graffitti" in a gas station
  • Ella Raines hires Brian Donlevy to work at her station in 'Impact'
  • the gas station in 'The Birds' --scene of major mayhem

 

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ah! another one. Ellen Burstyn (in a criminally neglected performance) as a faith healer in the heartbreaking flick, "Resurrection". Produced by James Brooks, I seem to recall. Anyway, she winds up an outcast, in the type of gas station which is my fave: the 'last gas for next 200 miles' kind found in the desert of the American southwest.

Another such station is found in the climax of 'Capricorn One' where astronaut-on-the-run James Brolin's life depends on him finding a dime in an old pay phone on the wall. Love it.

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CRIME WAVE (1953) - thugs (Ted De Corsia, Charles Bronson) hold up a gas station in Los Angeles late at night, kill a cop, and beat up poor Dub Taylor, the attendant.

This sets off the action in a great "film noir", with a hilarious commentary by James Ellroy and Eddie Muller on the dvd.

🤣

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