Shopping From the Movies: Puzzles and Hand Puppets

I can only recommend Peter Bogdonavich’s recently rereleased They All Laughed (1981) for two reasons: one, for the simple visual presence of Ben Gazarra, John Ritter and Audrey Hepburn in the same story space, and two, for the toy scene at FAO Schwarz. For those who might be curious about this film, let me assure you that the it’s best watched on 4x fastforward, pausing on landmark views of vintage NYC (Rizzoli books, Squalid Times Square, the World Trade Center, roller disco and assorted eateries). Be sure and stop and pause, however, on each scene/outfit featuring Audrey Hepburn (her shades, her summer overcoat, her presciently popped collar)! Hepburn facilitates this accelerated screening by refusing to utter a line of dialogue until halfway through the film’s second act (fastforwarding simply speeds her walk through the city and adds much needed motivation, forward movement, to the film)(my theory is that Bogdonavich could only afford Hepburn for two acts of spoken dialogue).

Since the late Seventies/early Eighties did not hold much in the way of state of the art gaming or home electronics (think life sized piano keyboard in Big), FAO Schwarz scene showcases a more beloved, analog set of amusements: an aisle of 3000 piece puzzles, an indoor air rifle set and the capper, a full display case of Steiff plush animals and hand puppets (possibly the last appearance by a Steiff toy in American cinema?).

4 thoughts on “Shopping From the Movies: Puzzles and Hand Puppets”


    Other Rizzoli pictures:
    Falling in Love with Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep (my old boss, Luca said they only wanted a “select” group of people on set to be actual employees … and he wasn’t selected … and he was bitter)
    Single White Female — Jennifer Jason Leigh, aside from being crazy, works at Rizzoli. Legit.

  2. I have wanted a Steiff stuffed squirrel, the nearly three inch tall one that most likely sells for nearly three hundred dollars, for as long as I can remember. Any stuffed animal kept in a glass case must possess magical qualities, or at least amazing mohair. I suppose this may explain why I have a house rabbit; if only she ate with her paws…

  3. Funny bit about toy store scene is Ben G’s character just drops some cash on the counter to pay for a Steiff penguin puppet. Given his salary and level of dress, there’s no way he could pay out of pocket for such a chi chi item.

  4. I find John Cassavettes films quite interesting. Checkout Ben Gazzara in, ‘The Killing of a Chinese Bookie.’ Gena Rowlands certainly got a lot of screen time in his films.

    I love the old Judy Garland shows, and I’m not gay!

    I dig Filson hats and Carradice Bike bags too.

    Why are so many like-minded people living in the northwest, when I’m stuck in conservative Arizona? Answer: Drizzle, mold and cold get old quick.

    Latte or Sencha tea? Go green.

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