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Title:The Pennsylvania Railroad in "Surveillance," 1949
Duration:08:52
Viewed:17,105
Published:03-09-2020
Source:Youtube

This video is made up outtakes from a film (instructional, presumably) being made by the U. S. Army called "Surveillance." Many of the scenes were filmed in and around Pennsylvania Station, New York, and Pennsylvania Station in Newark. In the first half of the film, I've tried to assemble the shots in what might have been their intended order. At 0:31 is the establishing shot, showing the seldom-photographed northwest corner of Penn Station at 33rd Street and Eighth Avenue. Taxis exit from the underground carriageway. 0:57 a taxi pulls up and two men in hats emerge. The go over to the carriageway exit and begin surveying the taxis coming out. 1:52 is a wonderful shot of the interior of the station, starting with one of the iconic clocks. 2:06 We see the man the other two are looking for. He's also got a hat. 2:22 As he walks past the bank of telephone booths, one of the two men emerge and follows him. 2:41 Now the scene shifts to Newark Penn Station, where we see a lovely five-stripe, single-bulb-headlight GG1 slide into the station. There appears to be an open-platform observation car tucked in behind the engine. 3:08 Passengers board what is obviously a different train. Are our men in hats among the passengers? I can't tell for sure. 4:15 and with a wave to the cameraman, the train leaves. The exteriors of the cars are so clean that you can see the reflections of people on the platform. After the credits are alternate takes and other scenes: 4:36 Another take on the opening establishing shot. This one includes a very full truck from a Chinese laundry. 5:03 Another take as the two men in hats get out of a cab. This time, a passerby gets into the middle of the shot and has to be told to move by a policeman. 5:32 Extended scenes watching cabs emerge from Penn Station. At that time, there were only three car models that could be used as New York City taxis: DeSoto, Packard and Checker. Most of cabs you see here are DeSotos, many of them equipped with the sky-view window in the roof. You'll also note that the hood is ajar on many of them, following the long-held cabbie theory that it helps keep the engine cooler. 6:33 A pair of street scenes, location unknown. 7:14 Two takes of a pan shot at the intersection of Madison Avenue and 56th Street. 8:07 Looking up (or down?) one of the avenues in Midtown.

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