Thursday in Hollywood: The Telephone Book

Safety Shoes

The 1971 X-rated feature The Telephone Book screens Thursday evening, November 5, at the Egyptian Theatre. The film, described as a “biting satire on sexual morality about a girl who falls in love with the world’s greatest obscene phone caller,” probably isn’t for everybody. But it has developed a cult reputation over the years and was considered a source of inspiration for Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango In Paris while Steve Martin labeled it one of his favorite films of the Seventies.

The reason it’s on the Brew is because the climax of the film is an outlandish and humorously erotic piece of animation directed by my pal, animation legend Len Glasser. Len has an illustrious history in the field. A student of Franz Kline and S. Neil Fujita, he worked at Terrytoons on Tom Terrific and designed films and commercials for Ernie Pintoff before starting his own commercial studio Stars and Stripes Productions Forever, which produced some of the craziest and most creative TV spots of the 1960s. Here’s one of his well-known spots:

The Egyptian screening will be followed by a Q&A with Len, along with the film’s director/writer Nelson Lyon and producer Merv Bloch. The film was also recently released on dvd in Europe. Ordering details can be found on the film’s official website.


  • http://blackwingdiaries.blogspot.com Jenny Lerew

    I’ll be there. I’d been invited to join a group of Nelson’s friends to check out this rare film from the legend that is Nelson Lyon(a hell of a raconteur), but I had no idea about the animated segment. This is exciting stuff, to be able to see and hear Mr. Glasser as well. Sounds like an evening of pure cinema indeed. Finally a screening to make the east coasters drool for a change-eh Amid?

  • Robert Schaad

    Too bad I can’t be there. Honored to own (one of) Len’s animation discs.

  • http://www.theguysperspective.typepad.com THE GUYS

    You don’t need to sell us on this. That spread eagle is about as good an endorsement as it gets!!

    We’ll have to mention this to some of the West Coast GUYS!!

  • top cat james

    Check out the one-sheet for this film. Knotted phone cords and a receiver arranged to resemble a penis and testicles. Ha! It’s always jarring to look back at movie advertising from the late 60′s and early 70′s and see how daring and adventurious designers were allowed to be back then.

    And where can I get one of those tit beach balls?

  • http://www.videoupdates.net Knarf Black

    Damn. I’d kill to see this film in 35mm. It was already pretty mind blowing just as an awful quality bootleg DVD.

    http://www.videoupdates.net/2009/02/telephone-book_09.html

  • http://www.human-dog.com Chris Weagel

    Holy Shit! I need some Corn Flakes!

  • Steve Stein

    I remember that commercial!I saw it before I’d ever seen the Grant Wood painting, so when I did see the painting I exclaimed:”Country Corn Flakes”!!.