Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sewing Machines In Movies

For no particular reason whatsoever, I've been maintaining a list of movies and television shows where sewing machines can be spotted. Some are shown long enough to be identified, some are just brief glimpses. Feel free to e-mail me with any you come across, and let me know if you can positively identify the make and model. If not, send it along anyway with your best guess. 

Updated 8/03/15
Angela's Ashes (1999): Singer coffin top treadle
Angels in the Outfield (1994): White, in a parlor cabinet
Annie (1982): Assorted Singers
Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life (1997): Brief glimpse of 30's era wardrobe department at RKO Studios
Batman Returns (1992): shown as a "Belvedere"
Blood Alley (1955): 5-drawer treadle, no machine shot; Florence treadle
Captain Ron (1992): Singer 401A
Carrie (1976): White, possibly a model 77
Clara's Heart (1988) Far shot of a portable, black Singer, on its wooden base.
Dick (1999): possibly Singer 185j
Dr. Zhivago (1965): Handcrank in Lara's Siberian flat.
Evita (1996)
Fiddler on the Roof (1971): Coffin top, transverse shuttle, treadle, possibly a Frister & Rossman
Finding Neverland (2004): treadle something-or-other...and Johnny Depp!
Five Easy Pieces (1970): black, striated faceplate, beige case bottom w/latches, possibly a Singer 15-91
Full Of Life (1956): Singer 301
Gods Must Be Crazy, The (1980)
Good Old Summertime, The (1949): Singer 66 treadle
Ghost (1990): Industrial machine
Gosford Park (2001): treadle, plus various irons, boards and a pleater
Green Mile, The (1999)
Happy Gilmore (1996): The residents of a nursing home are forced to sew in a sweatshop
Heartwood (1998): Two treadles
Hester Street (1975): Male, immigrant factory workers sewing on individual treadles
Home Alone (1990): Singer, possibly a 401, but w/ a 285 handwheel
Hope and Glory (1987): Singer handcranks being used in the thrift shop
Houdini (1953): 7-drawer treadle, possibly a Davis Minnesota
House of Mirth, The (2000): Millinery shop with what looks to be a Wilcox & Gibbs straw hat machine
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000): Black and gold treadle
How to Make an American Quilt (1995): Bernina
It's a Wonderful Life (1946): Featherweight cardtable and extension, no machine
Lady in White, The (1988): brief glimpse of a tailor using a treadle, possibly a White
Last Orders (2001): 2 tone, tan and brown, back-mounted light, possibly a Singer 191
Little Women (1949) Marmee sews on a chain stitch
Longest Day, The (1962): Treadle in the French family's house that comes under bombardment during the Normandy Invasion
Made in America (1993): Whoopie Goldberg sews on a newer, white, plastic machine
Magnificent Ambersons, The (1942)
Maid in Manhattan (2002): in the housekeeping department of the hotel
Majestic, The (2001): Featherweight in the pawn shop
Man Who Knew Too Much, The (Hitchcock,1934): Line of handcranks in Moroccan open-air market
Mimic (1997)
Mississippi Burning (1989): Singer boot patcher handcrank
Mother Wore Tights (1947): Betty Grable sews up her fabulous 1890's designer showgirl wardrobe on a NF type treadle.
Mrs. Soffel (1984): Singer 28 handcrank with Victorian decals
My Dog Skip (2000): 5-drawer Singer 66 treadle
Nacho Libre (2006):
October Sky (1999): Featherweight
On Moonlight Bay (1951): Singer 5 drawer treadle
One Good Cop (1991)
Others, The (2001): Looks like a handcrank/treadle combo; the room was very dimly lit, so it was very hard to see details.
Our Daily Bread (1934): handcranks and treadles
Perils of Pauline (1947): Betty Hutton in a sweatshop scene, singing a song about hating sewing. The lyrics are HERE and and there's a video clip HERE
Peter Pan (1924, silent): Smee is mending sails on Cap'n Hook's pirate ship
Picture of Dorian Gray (1945): Florence treadle
Rabbit-Proof Fence, The (2002): Numerous treadles
Really Big Family, The (Documentary - 1967): 185J
Radio (2003): circa 1970's Singer Touch N Sew in cabinet
Real Women Have Curves (2002): Industrial Singers; unidentified domestic machine circa 60's
Rear Window (Hitchcock, 1954)
Reds (1981): Dianne Keaton's character sews on a handcrank
Remember the Titans (2000): Toy sewing machine: possibly Mattel's Barbie Sew Magic or Sears France
Rhapsody in Blue (1945): Singer 66 being repaired by George Gershwin's dad
Rich and Strange (Hitchcock, 1932): Singer handcrank, possibly a128
Rose Tattoo, The (1955): Assymetrical swirl across arm, no name, in curved-front cabinet
Ruby Gentry (1952)
Silence of the Lambs (1991): Industrial; wins the 'Most Revolting Use of a Sewing Machine' award
Sleepless in Seattle (1993): Black, e-machine in the attic
Sling Blade (1996): circa 60's-70's Singer, in cabinet
Stepmom (1998) : Viking
Sweet Dreams, The Patsy Cline Story (1985): possibly a 127 treadle, and a Godzilla _____?
This Sporting Life (1963): Rachel Roberts does the family mending on a Singer 15 handcrank
Three Amigos, The (1986): Treadles and handcranks
Trip to Bountiful, The (1985): 3 drawer, coffin top treadle
Trouble with Angels, The (1966): assorted treadles and portables
Visit, The (1964): Coffin-top treadle, just a quick glimpse in Anthony Quinn's bedroom above his shop
Valley of Decision (1945): Willcox & Gibbs chain stitch in 5 drawer, curved front treadle
War Bride, The (2001): A Raymond Treadle that's integral to a story about new life, perseverance and redemption on the post-WWII Canadian prairie
West Side Story (1961): Asstd. Singers in the workroom behind the dress shop
We're No Angels (1955): 5-Drawer treadle, possibly a Singer Model 15 or 27
What Matters Most (2001): Featherweight
Young Man with Ideas (1952): Featherweight

1900 House PBS (2000): Singer treadle
American Family, PBS (2002):"The Sewing Machine" Singer Treadle
Blue Valley Songbird (1999)
Dogs and More Dogs, Nova, PBS (2003): Singer, 5-drawer treadle
Dr. Seuss's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (1966) He and his dog sew the Grinch's santa suit on a black treadle with gold decals
Extreme Home Makeover (ABC 2004): Several Featherweights
Geico Commercial (2006): Peter graves is sitting in the homeowner's sewing room. In the background is what looks to be a mid-arm machine. See a video clip HERE
Gilligan's Island (believe it or not!): "The Matchmaker" episode; combination bamboo exercise bike/sewing machine
Gilmore GirlsSinger Model 12 treadle
Hometime (PBS): Closed Singer Treadle cabinet
I Dream of JeannieSinger treadle, on the beach
Jeff's Collie (Original Lassie series): 5 drawer coffin top treadle
Jericho: Treadle table against the wall between the kitchen & living room at the Richmond ranch.
Laverne & ShirleyTreadle stand in the bedroom
Lion, Witch & the Wardrobe, The (BBC 1988): Mrs. Beaver is sewing on what looks to be a Frister & Rossman handcrank
Mad About YouFlashback to his dad's tailor shop, with an industrial machine in the background
Manor House, PBS (2003): Jones handcrank and a treadle
Martha Inc: The Story of Martha Stewart (2003): Black Singer in an old, treadle-type base

Matlock, syndication (2003): Necchi BU in the background of the mobster's house
Monk: Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame (2003): Treadle base only (!) used as a foyer table.
Papa's Angels (2000): 7-drawer treadle
Pimp My Ride (MTV 2004): Industrial used to sew custom, green suede/black leather auto upholstery
Project Runway (Bravo, Lifetime 2004-ongoing in various incarnations): Assorted Brother machines
Reba (2002): Reba McIntyre sews a bridesmaid's dress on a Featherweight
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (1978):
Seinfeld: Episode #149 "The Pothole" (2/20/97) Kramer 'adopts' a mile of the freeway. A Singer 99 sewing machine falls off a dump truck and is shown bursting into flames caused by igniting paint thinner.
Six Feet Under (HBO 2001) The daughter found her grandmother's sewing machine in the attic. While high on drugs with a girlfriend she makes her mother very colorful slacks. The machine was dark green, full size, Singer 500.
Texas Ranch House (PBS 2006): Wilcox & Gibbs handcrank
Tommyknockers, The (1993): The boy who makes his brother disappear powers his machine with a treadle
The Brady Bunch (Peter the Magician/Cindy's fear of the dark):
The Real McCoysTreadle
Who's the Boss?Possibly a Stylist, sitting backwards on a shelf in the garage (of course!)
Willing to Kill: Texas Cheerleader Story (1992): Featherweight

Computer/Video Game
Nancy DrewFrister and Rossman handcrank!
Animal Crossing:Wild World (2005): A sheep is sewing on a treadle, complete with treadle sound effects
Silent Hill: Homecoming (2008): Xbox game showing a generic sewing machine in Alex Shepherd's home

Lilo and Stitch (2004)A little monster with a compulsion to clean house sucked up a whole treadle in his snout while the owner of the machine screamed for him to stop. He then blew his nose in the trash can and out popped the machine. The owner scooped it up and sniffeled that the machine had the original 1930's bobbin! Too funny!
Nightmare Before Christmas, The (1993)Sally sews on a machine with a spider sitting on it instead of a spool of thread, and she sews with the 'thread' that the spider emits

Texas Prison Museum, Huntsville TexasDuring a video about the prison, a convict is shown using an industrial Singer to sew prison uniforms. Hey - we homeschool - it was a field trip!

A coffin?! That was the time we were passed on the freeway by a beat-up blue pickup truck hauling a$$ with something really big in the bed, covered by a tarp. The window behind the cab had white shoe polish words written all over it: R.I.P. Gina. OMG - it was a coffin! A real damn pine box coffin! I nearly hit the guardrail trying to catch up to get a better look. The kids were screaming, and I was going 80 trying to dig my camera outta the bottomless basket I carry all my stuff in. There were paper and plastic flowers sticking out of the cab windows, and the guest of honor must have been late. They were definitely heading for the border. A quick call to 911 and we found out it's perfectly legal for any old Joe - or Jose - to drive around Texas with an occupied coffin!