In the 2004 movie, "A Series of Unfortunate Events", on the dashboards of both Olaf's and Poe's cars is what appears to be a small open reel tape player.

While I am sure they were never equipment in any real car, placed to help make the setting more surreal, I wonder about the artifacts themselves. Were these actual tape machines or studio art department/practical effects concoctions?

They look like they could be (or have at one time been) functional devices, yet the design seems to fit no real-world time or place.

  • Well, they did actually have car record players in the 50s and 60s. – user1118321 Apr 1 '17 at 3:14
  • Interesting, but the depiction appears to be a reel-to-reel tape player, not a record player. – Anthony X Apr 1 '17 at 3:41
  • I haven't seen the show, but this did exist: youtube.com/watch?v=6XGN7DNI9LM And this: picclick.com/… More here: museumofmagneticsoundrecording.org/ManufacturersGrundig.html – BCdotWEB Apr 1 '17 at 7:24
  • @BCdotWEB Yeah, I remember all that sort of stuff. Since I can't make or find a screen cap showing what I am talking about, best I can do is a written description: side-by-side vertically mounted open reels, about 2 to 3 inches in diameter, made of metal. First of all, I've never heard of any car being equipped with an open reel type of tape player.. cassette or eight-track tape players, yes, but not open reel. Second: metal reels; every tape reel I've ever seen has been made of plastic, usually clear. – Anthony X Apr 1 '17 at 13:49

Found it. Mounted in the dashboard of Poe's Tatra appears to be a Nagra SSN:

Nagra SSN c. 1971

In Olaf's Chrysler, it's something else, perhaps a made-up prop, where you can just see one clear plastic spool.

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