I was watching the 1925 film Battleship Potemkin tonight on TCM and seeing the amazing Odessa Steps scene made me think about great carriage-featured scenes in cinematic history. The classic Battelship Potemkin scene features a number of 1909 era baby carriages rolling down the endless steps as panic ensues all around. This is during a massacre by the Cossacks at the Winter Palace.
The carriages bumping down the steps in Battleship Potemkin were the direct influence on the great scene from The Untouchables, shot at Union Station in Chicago. The entire shootout takes place on steps, with Elliot Ness saving the day, trailing a runaway baby carriage - guns drawn - as it "escapes" from mother and rolls down the steps. De Palma was obviously creating his ode to the great BP in this scene and it's suspsenseful to watch - the best set piece in the film. Both use great early 20th century carriages that look so out of place today.
And an unrelated scene - except for the use of a stroller - is The French Connection. Popeye Doyle, in the midst of his amazing Brooklyn chase starting in Bensohnurst, screams in the windshield of his 70'a era Buick as he narrowly misses a woman puhing a stroller and ends up crashing his car.
Ah - baby strollers and great movies - more to come.
Posted by Michael Diamant