This chapter considers what our fantasies of the telephone have to do with our fantasies at the movies. It calls out the Classical Hollywood Telephone, the quiet object whose smooth transmission of narrative information bolsters the routine operations of genre and the stable meanings of crime and romance. Exposing this dormant telephone to coincidence makes it possible to chart a path of increasing deviation from the Classical norm, moving from pat disavowals, on through generic confusion (with a long look at the disguised gothic dynamics of Pillow Talk), finally to uncanny nightmares of disconnection and exposure.
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