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Video Rewind: Going Up

Updated on November 7, 2014
Nancy Allen should wait for the next elevator in Dressed To Kill
Nancy Allen should wait for the next elevator in Dressed To Kill

Practically everyone does it on a daily basis. Once they get to work (or home) they take an elevator and usually the ride is pretty boring.

Take a look at Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda in 9 to 5. They travel in what's probably the slowest elevator on the planet, but in their "office talk" Lily quickly points out some of the things not to discuss at work. One of them being their salary.

But for those of us who ride an elevator everyday, we hear snippets of gossip or what's going on throughout the corporation we work for. Wouldn't it be nice to at least have some excitement on those elevator trips?

Disaster Master Irwin Allen may have thought so too when he directed the 1974 TV film The Elevator. While not on video or DVD, its the story of a group of people who get stranded in an elevator on a Friday night after the building closes down for a holiday weekend.

They don't know it, but one of the passengers is a crazed robber (James Farentino) who's claustrophobic and has just pulled off a heist with his partner Don Stroud. Of course Stroud manages to catch another elevator and makes it to the garage where he waits with Carol Lynley.

Stuck on the 32nd floor our group of passengers wait for help while telling their life troubles. In a way it kind of sounds like the time I was stuck in an elevator for half an hour while the two girls with me started panicking. Fortunately, we were on the ground floor.

Of course someone has to die during the ordeal (just like in Allen's The Towering Inferno) but elevators can be a good or bad thing.

Shelley Long and Angie Dickinson both found them to be bad pieces of building equipment.

Long, as independent prostitute Belinda Keaton in Nightshift gets beaten up by her john and is saved by neighbor Henry Winkler. But, it's not all fun and games for Winkler either. When the elevator doors open, he's attacked by Bluebird Shannen Doherty.

On the other hand, Dickinson meets her fate while returning to a man's apartment to search for her wedding ring. She has just had an afternoon tryst with a man she meets in Brian DePalma's Dressed To Kill and when leaving his apartment discovers she's left behind that symbol of love.

Her demise is quick and brutal but hopes that Nancy Allen (as a high priced escort) can help her. While Allen can't save her, she does notice a blonde woman standing in the corner of the car with a bloody razor blade. Our last vision of Dickinson is her bloody hand getting pummeled by the elevator door over and over.

Enter Michael Douglas and Glenn Close who, on their way up to her apartment, decide to get their short lived affair going in the elevator. The elevator's not the only thing going up in Fatal Attraction.

If you do ride an elevator daily, remember that in case of an emergency to use the stairs. You don't want to get burned to death (The Towering Inferno) or pile into one during an earthquake as the victims do in Earthquake. In both of these movies there are stairwell issues, but I won't go into that.

And whatever you do, just keep praying the cable lines hold.


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