No Audiophiles in Hollywood

A thought just came to me that a lot of movies show us the lives of fictional people doing the everyday things that real people do. However, we never see anyone sitting down and listening to a high end system.

The only thing that I can remember is when the billionaire played by Robert Redford put on an LP on what appeared to be a high end turntable in the movie "Indecent Proposal".

I have never seen exposed tubes on-screen, or an amp of any type for that matter. Big speakers, seems hifi does not fit the decor scheme of movie sets, or more realistically, audiophiles are rarer on earth than Klingons and Romulans and hollywood does not know of their existence.

It would seem that some of the well heeled actors, directors and producers would own a killer 2 channel system and periodically include one in a scene when the character has discretionary income.

We've all seen scenes with the wife complaining about the husband always watching sports, but never complaining about him pampering his hi-fi rig.

We've all seen characters with automobiles and other toys that we've envied, but never a stereo system to make you salivate.

Anyone ever see a hi-fi system onscreen worth mentioning?

Just a thought.

Yer totally right. What really blows my mind is how many episodes i see of MTV Cribs, showing the high class living of celebritys from all walks of life. Every time i watch these shows i keep an eye out for thier audio gear, and normally im pretty suprised by what i see. Nothing.
They have this huge 4 million dollar home, with all the nice stuff.
However, audio gear is apparently severly lacking, especially since they show the homes of alot of musicians. You see plenty of BOSE Accoustimass systems hooked up to a $20,000 tv, but it seems like the audio systems are nothing more than an afterthought.

You think a musician would be interested in more than a $500.00 HTIB setup for listening.

The only speaker i have seen on cribs that suprised me was a set of Definitive Technologys Bipolar speakers. Cannot remember who'se house that was.

Then you have the television shows. Did anyone else notice the set of Martin Logans in the guy's apartment on the TV series Friends??????
Stuffed next to a wall surrounded by a bunch of junk. Nothing more than a prop. Ml's deserve to be listened to, not just thrown in as a prop. It is sad really.

Then you have that new HBO series Entourage, im not positive about it, because i only saw a few brief glimpses, but in the bar-room of the house there look to be a set of higher-end paradigms flanking the bar on either side.

The only movie i ever saw what appeared to be an "Audiophile" was in the movie "The Sum of All Fears" where in the end, that guy is sitting in his chair listening to opera and totally into it and gets whacked by that stealthy US agent/assassin.

I'll have to watch that movie again sometime, and see if it actully shows the system he is listening to.
My educated guess would be that the cost of renting audiophile gear to put in a Hollywood production for the limited amount of background set dressing would be prohibitively expensive. Producers like to spend their dollars elsewhere.
Check out Mel Gibson's system in the movie "What Women Want"
Tvad...can't be the cost with $100m budgets commonplace nowadays.

Think of the product placement mileage Martin Logan or Genesis would get placing a pair of their speakers in Stately Wayne Manor in a Batman movie along with a Krell or Audio Research stack with a Wadia cd player. If the audio companies are smart, they would provide the stuff on loan at no cost. Other companies pay to have their products prominently displayed.
Mitch4t, you contradict yourself within three sentences when you mention at the top of your post that the cost can't be the reason with $100m budgets, and then say later in your post that companies should provide the placement at no cost. Your second statement is more likely. The problem, though, is hi end audio gear is not as readily recognizable as a brand as, say, a Coke can, or an Audi or BMW badge. And, unlike a car or Coke product that can reappear over and over again throughout a film in several locations, a stereo is a location specific item that may get limited exposure, thereby bringing into question the value of paying for such high priced props.

One has to realize that the largest portion of a films' budget goes to above the line costs...specifically cast salaries.

Are you aware that the terminal building in "Terminal" was built entirely as a self-contained set in a large warehouse, and all the shops were actual functioning stores stocked with real product? In fact, some of the franchises provided free food, coffee, and ice cream for the cast and crew throughout the shoot. Now, that's product placement.
Dude check out Christian Bales system in "American Psycho".
"Do you like Phil Collins?" HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEEH.

There was also a SOTA moonbeam in an episode of the "Sopranos".
You're right about Hollywood - I can't think of one. But if you want to see a movie that combines passion for music (opera) with high quality audio and recording (Nagra), check out "Diva". Very highly recommended cult classic!
I think it was "The Italian Job" where the guy played by Seth Green wanted to get a high end system with his money from the heist. At the end of the movie, I believe it showed him in his home with a pair of Martin Logans.
As far as movies go, you might be right.
BUT in TV shows, like Mad About You,
they ALWAYS showed the SONY ES system in the
background, and even sometimes they had the main
person, LISTENING to it.
I remember that it had 1 or 2 Sony N80ES power amps,
along with some other gear.
NOW I REMEMBER, Tom Cruise in the movie
where he plays the Bob Seger song.
Also, Ferris Buller`s Day Off, they show a
Caver system.
The folks that make the Soprano's called up Donna at SOTA and asked if they would lend them a TT for that show. They promised them that it would be shown in the show and that it would specifically be mentioned as being a SOTA. As it turns out, Kirk & Donna shipped a table out to them, but when it came time to do the show, the video was cut. They did say "Wow, is that a SOTA turntable" though without showing it. Needless to say, Kirk & Donna weren't as happy as they would have been with some visuals to go with the name mention, but they did get a few calls and greater exposure out of it.

This tells me that Hollyweird is aware of this type of gear and "audiophilia" on the whole, but whether or not it makes it into any shows on a regular basis is another story. Manufacturers would have to donate gear for the exposure and unless it is used in a high profile show and is prominently displayed in a fashion that delivers high visibility, the cost of the gear may outweigh the limited exposure received. After all, if they simply panned by a bunch of gear in a rack, what other than Mac's blue meters, etc... would you recognize at a glance ??? Sean
> I was reading the posts I was thinking about that same pair of Martin Logans in friends...I dont even think they were pointed in the right direction...never really watched the show...but I actually *did catch that
As Good As It Gets - Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt. Jack "Melvin Udall" has a McIntosh system, a turntable and possibly Avalon towers. You can spot it at least a couple of times in the movie. I think it came out around 1999 or so.
Laura Croft....Tomb Raider....she was spinning vinyl on a Clearaudio table.
Jack Nicholson had a nice Mcintosh MC2102 system in AS GOOD AS IT GETS with a 12 foot stack of vinyl supported on a shelf underneath. Lets not forget Mcintosh's famous erotic MC2255 5..4..3..2..1.. countdown on Micky Rourke's system in 9 1/2 weeks just before he gets down to business with Kim Bassinger.
Product placement helps offset the costs of production. For a sum of money,a producer will put your product in the movie and even mention it in the script. Because most mid-fi and high end systems are made up of components from different manufacurers,that might have something to do with it.
Besides the Martin Logans on Friends, they also had some blue room mini pods. Those replaced the martin logans. I thought for a while that the towers in "As Good As It Gets" were the real expensive Sony towers. What Woman What does have Madrigal gear. Revel Ultima Gems and Mark Levinson amplification.
This is a little off, but still somewhat relevant. On "The best damn sports show period" they have B&W speakers.

I believe on the short lived Cosby Detective TV series he had a set of Carver Amazings (I think).

Never did see any source components...
High Fidelity with John Cusack.

Near the end he's sitting in his listening chair with LP playing. You can clearly see tube amplification glowing in the background.
what about love potion #9 with sandra bullock and that guy, nameless guy, star guy, he's got what looks like an oracle? or some other acrylic table. of course the table and speakers are behind the sofa so that leaves something to be pondered. the hooker he picks up actually rips him off remarking that "that thing must be worth thousands!"
One of my favorites is in Risky Business when Joel's [Tom Cruise] Dad tells him not to touch his equalizer while he and his Mom are away on their trip, and how his Dad has to readjust all the sliders because Joel pushed them all out of wack.
Yeah Skeyebox, I was afraid Lara was gonna fall on that turntable when she was doing all that in-house cable swinging.
Pulp Fiction. One scene cueing a record, (I think Dusty Springfield), one scene playing a reel to reel tape deck.
Got two:

1) Bernie Mac Show - His den (shown every episode) has Martin Logan speakers but what look like generic gear, maybe Adcom or Rotel.

2) A 1980s movie (have no idea of name) in which the protaganist, a teenage guy, is taking stereo equipment from someone's house as "payback" and he loads an Oracle turntable and high end amp into a car trunk. I've seen this section of flick on TV a number of times, never saw the movie or caught name of it. Anyone know?
In High Fidelity John Cusack is shown making a tape through a Nad Cd-player.
In "Sex and the City" the character Big plays an LP for Carrie on some TT. Don't know the brand. He had some tower/floorstanding type speakers in the backround. Also of an unknown brand.
Clockwork Orange had a (for the time) serious looking turntable and a tape deck that used mini-cassettes. Seeing the Lara Croft lp spinner almost made me shout in the movie theater, at least don't think anyone heard me?
I'm surprised no one mentioned the movie The Rock where Nicolas Cage bought a Beatles LP and it seems to me they showed a TT, but I don't recall which one.
Nice movie, and the guy was a vinyl nut, and about collecting and playing mint LP`s only.
I worked as an Art Department Coordinator on several features on the Sony Studios (formerly called Columbia Pictures) lot in Culver City, as well as working at the Culver Studios and on location films. I can safely say that money for such things would not be an object on a studio feature, however most props and set dressing are rented through the many prop houses in LA. While I have seen Victolas, old wooden radios and Invicta TVs, I have never seen any high end gear for rent at a prop house. This is the primary problem. High end art, yes. High end audio, no.

I can tell you that while working on the feature "Bugsy" one of the set dressers was dressing a night club set and showed me a black and white picture of Rashaan Roland Kirk with three horns in his mouth that she intended to use because of its character. I pointed out to her that the photo had to have been taken from ten to twenty years later than the time period of the film. The photo was never used.
Back to the prop house, I suppose.
I believe the speakers on Sex and the City were the big Red Rose models,
which would make sense of course given ML's connection to the show.

I thought those speakers on Entourage were Piegas, but Paradigm makes
more sense. Mildly exotic looking.
They had a pair of Martin Logan's in Joey and Chandler's apartment on Friends for a season or two.
Does anyone know what turntable, Robert Redford played in "Indecent Proposal". I've watch that scene several times, but can't tell.

I'm surprised they didn't go ahead and use it. Friends of mine were hired as technical advisors for a dance movie and none of their advise was taken unless it meshed with the director's ideas. Director would want someone to do something even though no dancer would ever do it, too bad.

This is why there are thousands and more young guys who think Brad Pitt is a tough guy because he was in "Fight Club" and beat people up.
Tom, this was a very sensitive crew, starting at the Production Designer and going downward. The picture deservedly won the Oscar for best Art Direction. We all really strove to get things right. You can see other examples of the work by the same team in The Grifters, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, Field of Dreams and many others.

I believe Robert Redfords table was an Oracle, dont know what the model was tho.
read it was a VPI TNT somewhere
Oliver Stone's "Talk Radio" has several minutes showing Apogee Diva's
In the Italian Job, recent remake, with Seth Green & co, he has a rather nice setup right at the very end of the movie, even if what he spews regarding stereos after they complete the heist is utter nonsense. I think his setup has Martin Logans which 'blow the woman's clothes off' lol
Yeah, he was talking about NAD gear. Like the 762 T or something
Someone in the John Kerry camp spent his/her 2003 tax rebate on a nice turntable, which can be seen playing in the recent Kerry campaign ad spotlighting job losses under the Bush administration. When Interviewed, the guy, who turns out to be in the $150,000+ tax bracket, said he planned to spend his 2004 tax savings on some nice new Radio Shack I/C's.
Check out Laura Crofts TT in "Tomb Raider"
Serious looking.
Gene Hackman played sax alone in his apartment every evening to a cool little tube integrated with a mono speaker in "The Conversation".
In one of the latest Six Feet Under episodes, David is sitting in a room listening to music and I only got short glimpses of the speakers but thought they might have been the Gallo Reference 3. Anybody else see this?
Matt Damon had a Bose Wave Radio in The Bourne Supremacy. Yep, no audiophiles in Hollywood!
Fabio uses or did use Martin Logans along with Transparent cables.I forget what he used for amps.

There are a few stars that use stacked Quads which is really expensive to do.
I remember a photo shoot of Fabio with all top-shelf Krell amps and subwoofer.....that was several years ago.
This may be slightly off topic but your post makes me think of the MTV show "cribs". I've seen quite a few episodes of the camera crew going through the homes of hollywood types, sports stars, and music stars. Almost all of them had sony, pioneer, and i've seen one have denon. NO audiophile equipment that I could tell.
Makes me wanna say, Cheap A@#!ses
Hi Mitch,

As I recall, Fabio had a bunch of Krell gear that TWO sets of Infinity IRS Series V speakers! I presume one set was for front channels and the other set was for the rear channels. Unfortunately, the room that the system was in seemed to have very hard, reflective surfaces and no acoustic control treatment was evident. Chances are the system would not be the most "laid back" sounding in the world!


Barry Kohan
I read in an interview once that the Krell gear that Fabio owns is personally tweaked/modded/upgraded for him by Krell before he even buys it.
The drivers for audiophile in HW film is as follows:

1) Does the screenwriter deem it an integral part of a character's profile? If so, show it. If not, it's irrelevant, expensive, and a waste of space.

2) Does the production designer deem it an integral part of the setting? If so, show it. If not, it's irrelevant, expansive, and a waste of space.

3) Does the director deem the music and image an integral part of the story? If so, show it. If not....

4) Finally, does the producer want some free gear?