8. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
In this scene from Roman Polanski’s classic 1968 psychological horror Rosemary’s Baby, we see Rosemary Woodhouse, played by Mia Farrow, place a frantic phone call to Dr. Hill (Charles Grodin, in his first film role) to beg him to deliver her baby, as he is the only doctor she trusts. Rosemary fears the child is set to be sacrificed by her occultist neighbors in return for their assistance in realizing her husband’s success as an actor. The scene is remarkably unnerving, heightened by eerie music and a mysterious man waiting outside the booth – a cameo appearance by the movie’s producer, William Castle. It’s also interesting to note that Polanski shot the scene in one continuous take.
7. American Psycho (2000)
“I don’t think I’m going to make it, Jean… to the, uhh, office this afternoon,” Christian Bale’s character Patrick Bateman tells his secretary in American Psycho, as his world and sanity unravel. The unhinged call sees Bateman hunched over the phone booth, chomping down pills straight from a bottle and laugh-crying through an erratic conversation with the bewildered Jean, played by Chloë Sevigny. Still, perhaps the oddest aspect of the scene is not Bateman’s wild behavior but rather the glimmer of emotional fragility that he displays. Moments later, though, Bateman is back in a bar discussing restaurant reservations, and normal service is resumed in Mary Harron’s 2000 adaptation of the classic Bret Easton Ellis satire.
6. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
“I’m in a glass case of emotion!” screams Will Ferrell’s character Ron Burgundy in 2004’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. The distraught news anchor’s metaphorical proclamation inside the phone booth comes after a motorcyclist (played by Jack Black) “punts” his dog, Baxter, off a bridge. In a wild fit of emotion, Burgundy races to the phone booth to call his co-worker and friend Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) to seek comfort. All Burgundy can muster, though, is a series of unintelligible howls, cries, and a very memorable quote. Photos on the set for Anchorman 2 include a vintage phone booth in 1970s Manhattan, so perhaps we might yet see another similar classic Burgundy scene within its confines.