Oo er, cor blimey!

 

James Bond's car with the rotating number plates wasn't a Cortina. Steve McQueen didn't bounce a Cortina up and down the streets of San Francisco. Mad Max never drove a supercharged Cortina. Thelma and Louise found Thunderbirds more roomy. The Blues Brothers never crashed one, let alone 50. They are in heaps of movies - but not exactly top shelf titles. None of this proves anything useful, except that there's something very Cortina about Michael Caine.

Have you seen something to add to this sad, sorry page? andrew@pixelmatic.com.au

There's the odd TV show, commercial and even an album cover too...


Starsky & Hutch


The vacant block next to the house of Owen Wilson's 'Hutch' features a number of wrecked cars, including a blue Mk.II Cortina two-door. It's visible in quite a few scenes. Presumably this was Starsky & Hutch's transport before the Torino...


Fat Pizza: The Movie


Thanks to Theo Bourboulis for watching Fat Pizza: The Movie so I didn't have to. "If you're looking for a Cortina in a movie, check out Fat Pizza: The Movie. In the scene at the church, the Maoris rock up to church in their blue Cortinas... check it out." Sick, maaate.


Gone In 60 Seconds


Not sure about this one, but according to Terry there's a Cortina (briefly) in Gone In 60 Seconds. "Eleanor is getting chased up a street the wrong way and happens to hit a baby blue Mk.I Cortina - not pretty and not much vision, but I've slowed the DVD down long enough to pick it as a Mk.I Cortie." I'm skeptical.


Oh Heavenly Dog


Shannon Mannion knows somebody in Ottawa, Canada, who owns a 1972 Cortina. They had a similar car in the 80s and it was used in a movie with Chevy Chase and Omar Sharif called Oh Heavenly Dog, also starring Benji, the Skye Terrier.

Quite possibly the worst film featured in this site yet, unless someone can see a Cortina in Scott Baio's 'Zapped'.


American Ninja 4


When Japan copies America they usually do it better. The American Ninja series proves if America copies something Japanese, they'll do it worse. So, can't decide what video to hire tonight? Why not get American Ninja 4? Look out for the pink chopped Mk.I Cortina 4-door. It was the highlight of the film for Ron Schramm.


The Big Job / The Knack - And How To Get It


If there's anything worse than a Carry On film it's a Carry On spin-off. In a b/w film from 1965 called The Big Job, Sid James and his moll, Sylvia Syms, use a white 4-door. Also, in the Richard Lester comedy, The Knack - And How To Get It, also released in '65, Rita Tusningham, Michael Crawford and Donal Donelly hitch a ride on a transporter full of Mk.Is.

That's 4 hours of your life wasted, Andy Roberts. Not the one time West Indian cricketer by chance?


Austin Powers - The Spy Who Shagged Me


Dorian Paul lives in North Hollywood, California, and has a 1969 Mk.II Cortina Crayford convertible which he brought over from England in 1981. His car has been used in several TV shows and movies, and Dorian claims the car out-earns him. The car has been in:

  • Days of Our Lives
  • Master Card commercial, supposedly set in Australia, but filmed in Palmdale CA
  • J.A.G.
  • The Hunt For Red October - opening sequence, but ended up on the cutting room floor
  • Austin Powers - The Spy Who Shagged Me - 3 scenes
  • two other commercials
  • a TV series set in South Africa that was shelved due to the outbreak of the Gulf War, as it dealt with terrorism

What a list. Fun to say your car was in those things, but if that was your acting CV you'd probably keep quiet about it.


Gangster No.1


"My light blue 1963 Mk.I Cortina Super 1500 appears twice in the film Gangster No.1, with Malcolm McDowell. I drive it past the main characters as they cross the road to enter a casino/nightclub somewhere in '60s London. It is also parked directly behind the main character's Aston Martin and can be clearly seen through their rear window as they sit and chat gangster stuff."

Thankyou for talking Cortina stuff, Simon.


Thunderbird Six


"OK, here's one, in the movie Thunderbird Six - yes, the puppet movie! During the scene where Lady Penelope is driving on the still new M1, you see a Mk.I Cortina in the background! Two of my fave things - Thunderbirds and Cortinas!"

Thankyou for your child-like enthusiasm, Jeff in Ohio.


Bad Attitude - Meatloaf


"Don't know if this is fit fodder for this section, but for what it's worth the cover of the 1984 Meat Loaf album Bad Attitude depicts, amidst a pile of scrapped cars, the remains of a blue Mark II 2-door saloon. DON'T buy this wretched album to verify; just take my word for it."

Steve Wilson, anything is fit fodder for this page. Thanks for looking so we don't have to. We salute you.


They're a Weird Mob


Bodgy Australian film from 1965, They're a Weird Mob is based on the book by Nino Culotta (aka John O'Grady) about how quickly an Italian immmigrant can aspire to the quarter-acre dream, or something vaguely propoganda-like of that nature. Features way too much use of words like 'strewth' and an epic trench-digging scene. Watch out for Anne Haddy behind the bar and Graham Kennedy looking lost in a Valiant. Lots of Valiants in this film, but the odd Mk.I can be seen trundling around.

And yes, this one is courtesy of me. This is the sort of crap I like to watch. I watched it after Slingblade which probably made it seem even more trivial. No Cortinas in Slingblade, just lawnmowers.


Clockwise


"Check out the film Clockwise with John Cleese - his wife (Alison Steadman) drives him about in a very handsome faun coloured Cortina. It's funny how you forget that how daring and stylish they were in their time compared with other cars of the time! eg Allegros, Princess's ,1100s - they should never have killed the Cortina!"

So says Kurt Jones.


Scottish Tourist Board ads


"My Mk.I Lotus-Cortina was used in a TV advert for the Scottish Tourist Board. The advert showed a young couple touring Scotland in my car and showed them in later life touring Scotland in a newer car. I was at the making of the advert, that however is a story of its own! I never saw the finished advert as it was not broadcast in Scotland. I recall that the advert was made in 1987/88."

Thankyou George Notman.


The Making of Thunderball


"I have a set of three James Bond movies which also includes The Making of Thunderball. In this video it shows a young boy and his father driving in a Mk.I Cortina GT. Unfortunately it also shows the Cortina being blown up, as the boy is pretending to be a secret agent."

So, take the message implicit in this sighting by John Butruce, and don't pretend to be a secret agent in your Cortina. Just in case any of you do.


The Professionals

In an episode of The Professionals, a police action series, a red Mk.I four-door saloon is used in a robbery of a security van on a motorway. During the escape the unfortunate Mk.I rolls down an embankment. Thankyou Anthony Greenwood.

Not Without My Daughter


"In the film Not Without My Daughter (American wife wants to get away from Iran, Iranian husband wants to keep daughter in Islamic heaven, etc.) it seems that all Tehran taxis are Mk.II Cortinas. In fact, most Tehran cabbies drive something called a 'Paykan' which looks like an old Chrysler UK Hunter or Avenger."

That bizarre sighting was courtesy of Ioram Shahar. And that note of sarcasm he displayed has earnt him a life in hiding...


Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie

"A 1600E adorns the front cover of David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust album. It's a side profile but it's unmistakable"
, says Andrew Brenson.

Choc Wedge ads


Spotted on Australian television by Glenn Thorpe - a Choc Wedge Ad. "Bright orange TC, just like my first car, breaks down on a dirt road, (just like my first car!!!) - kid walks off chompin' a Choc Wedge."

Just to fill in those not from Australia, a Choc Wedge is not a wedgie so severe it leaves stains, but an ice cream coated in chocolate on a stick, that is nearly approaching Australian Icon status. And a TC Cortina is a Mk.III.


Videodrome


"I remember absolutely ages ago seeing a terrible movie starring Debbie Harry (of Blondie fame) called Videodrome (1983). I remember in the movie that they barrel rolled a Cortina into a chain link fence. I only remember it because it was such an unusual car to see in amongst all the American Tin..."
- Richard Hudson

Richard has since recanted on this sighting, but it may have been because he was embarassed to say he had watched Videodrome. By the way, did you know Blondie reformed? Fantastic, this means the Vapours reformation must be just around the corner...


All The President's Men


Can anyone top this? I'll let Harry George, Jr. tell the story:

"The theater cut and original TV cut of All The President's Men - the Watergate flick with Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Woodward and Bernstein - contained a Cortina shot in the opening scene - a night shot of the Watergate Office Complex from across Virginia Avenue. A Cortina passes between the camera and the complex about 10 seconds into the film. Unfortunately, the scene (and the 3-second Cortina passing) seems to have been dropped from the video cut and subsequent TV cuts.

"I say 'unfortunately' because the white '69 Cortina in that scene was mine and I liked being in the movie. At the time of filming, I worked in an office in Watergate and parked at Columbia Plaza, a block and a half away down Virginia Ave. I left work by exiting onto Virigina and driving past the Watergate and did so on the day of the shooting of that scene.

"My beloved Cortina has long since died. Parts dried up here in the U.S. as soon as the Pinto was introduced. I kept her alive and well until 1980 - by pirating my second (1968) Cortina (which my ex wrecked in 1976) and by running to the D.C. area from Phila. for parts. A garage in suburban Rockville, MD, Auric Services, Ltd., had so much Cortina business that they converted from a British/German car garage to strictly Cortinas.

"With the return to fuller cuts on recent videos, the scene may reappear. I still watch the beginning every time it's on TV to see if I'm there, but alas, the last 5 or 6 times, my Cortina and I have been cut."


The Speedvision Network


For those of you in North America, keep your eye on the television network Speedvision. Jeff Lantz says they're fond of showing old Ford of England made films - "Lots of Cortinas Mk.I and II in rallying and racing form. Even saw a Mk II being roadtested. If you have access to Speedvision, check out their Legends of Motorsport show for things like 'The Year of the Cortina' 1964, or the various mid sixties rally films like 'A Rally Recalled'."

Jeff likes his Euro Fords (inc. RWD Escort, Capri, Sierra) and has various stuff on tape and is like to trade. Talk to him at lantz@rri.on.ca.


Billion Dollar Brain

'Ere, wotcher! Steve Fuller, '74 Jensen Healey and ex-1600E owner, says there's a Mk.II in the film Billion Dollar Brain, starring Michael Caine as Harry Palmer.

Get Carter

Cliff Thompson
is surprised that he's the first person to mention Get Carter. Cliff says, "It's a gritty tale of a London gangster travelling to Newcastle to avenge the death of his brother, he is frequently seen chasing and being chased by baddies in a Mk. II Cortina. I especially like the bit where the baddies push a Sunbeam convertible into the depths of the River Tyne not knowing that Britt Eckland is in the boot..."

The Italian Job


If you like seeing British and European cars being driven along twisting alpine roads, through crowded Italian cities, and, ahem, being crushed by bulldozers, get your hands on 1969's The Italian Job, starring our favourite geezer, Michael Caine. A big ad for Mini Coopers, but Jeremy Kendall has itemised all these sightings:

"I found my video tape of the Italian Job and much to my enjoyment have watched it after far too long a break - it's a great film. I carefully looked out for Mk.Is in the area I thought I'd seen them and here is a detailed breakdown of their occurances. These occurences are of course incidental to the plot of the film but what makes them interesting is that they are all in Italy amoungst the N million Fiats... Here goes...."

  • 1hr 1min 7sec
    White Mk.I passes by between 'fooball supporter' and local as the first 'traffic light jammer' is placed in a litter bin.
  • 1hr 2min 56sec
    (Parked) maroon Consul Capri (Must have been a very rare car in Italy and hence mentioned here).
  • 1hr 2min 58sec
    White Mk.I parked at side of road (just before shot of black Fiat police car).
  • 1hr 4min 16sec
    White Mk.I in front of the 'gold van' - car park scene - very small image!
  • 1hr 4min 35sec
    Very good and clearest shot of Mk.I in the whole film - rear view as it drives up the street.

Good Morning Vietnam


Jeff Bassinson
says that if he's not mistaken, a Cortina was parked in front of Jimmy's bar just before they blew it up in the movie Good Morning Vietnam.

Anthony Greenwood believes it's a Ford Falcon, but he says there is a Mk.I in the opening shots.


Boatniks - Monty Python - This Old House - 8 1/2


Scott 'Goldfinger' Shisler
is clearly something of a couch potato (and a wordsmith), offering up all these...

"After a liberal dose of insulin (to combat the sugary overload), observe an Alpine Green Mk.II Cortina do a cameo appearance in the Disney film, The Boatniks. Don't expect black turtlenecks, foggy cigarette smoke, or jazz musicians... and there'll be no disappointment. A blue plume of oily valve-guide bypass, and some Petula Clark, perhaps?

"The Vacuum Tube has presented a few notable starring roles for Cortinas, hopefully preserved on tape by a (thankfully) obsessive finger on the 'record' button. In particular, Monty Python's Flying Circus (Nirvana for the obtuse), in the segment 'Ken Cleanairsystem, World's Densest Prizefighter', in which John Cleese jogs to a shunt with a Mk.II's boot.

"Those retentive of This Old House may recall Bob Vila and Norm Abrams resto of a London flat, with a pair of Mk.II's giving a certain cachet to the banging and sarcastic appraisals.

I 'highly' recommend checking out Frederico Fellini's 8 1/2, for the starkly surreal Consul Classic sequence. Marcello Mastroiani and his wife, in the film, experience overdubbed existential angst outside a Milan convention center, the hideous Classic resplendent under spectacular lighting behind the glass. If 'Art' films give you the chills (not in a positive way), you can at least stump the cinema addicts who love them... The Consul Classic... the car that should have been designed by Picasso (and very well may have been)."


Christine


You might want to (or not want to) watch John Carpenter's Christine. Watch Christine the 1958 Plymouth push a Cortina around a garage until it gets destroyed.
Drew Richards'
review: "I almost cried."

"I believe there is a 1970 1600 Cortina GT just like the one my brother had long ago in the movie Christine close to the end of the movie when the car is destroyed in the garage - look closely and you will see it, light blue with black stripes. Now that was a cool car, I'll never forget it! (The Cortina, not the Chrysler.)" - Will C


Carry On Cabby


Ooh Matron! If good taste has taken leave from your life, you may be able to sit through 1963's Carry on Cabby. "The cast are hoofing around in brand new Consul Cortina taxis," says Paul Baldacchino. I would never had admitted to sitting through a 'Carry On' film, I'm allergic to Sid James. Here's the fiendishly clever plot line:

Honk your horn for hilarious fun with Sid James and the rest of the Carry On gang. Hattie Jacques plays Peggy, long suffering wife of the workaholic owner of Speedee Cabs, Charlie (Sid James). Peggy decides to get one up on her hubby and starts up a rival firm, Glam Cabs, and soon starts beating Charlie at his own game. The secret of her success is simple; she only employs gorgeous female taxi drivers! Carry On Cabby also stars Kenneth Connor, Charles Hawtrey and Jim Dale.

Anthony Greenwood says the Cortina Mk.Is in Carry On Cabby were actually Ford of Britain's press fleet. The film was made around the time of the launch in autumn/winter 1962. Sid James continued the Cortina connection in a UK TV sitcom of the late '60s/early '70s called Bless this House. He drove a grey Mk.II four door saloon and later on a yellow Mk.3 estate in the film version of this programme.


A Man And A Woman

If you also suffer from 'Sid-itis', you may find A Man and a Woman easier to take. Ron Bruner says it has some great shots of Cortinas in the Monte Carlo Rally, and lots of Minis too (which are also very cool).

+ assorted Capri sightings...


I've hidden these down here, because these are Capri sightings, but they're good ones, supplied by Glenn Thorpe...

"In Seinfeld, the episode with the cigar store Indian, while Kramer is trying to stuff the Indian into a cab, in the background a Mk.I Capri drives by. Check out the rear indicators - on the side! Those kooky Yanks.

"In that classic scene from Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, where Frank Spencer finds himself on roller skates, he almost gets cleaned up by a Racing Green GT - the only way to go!

"In the late night British sit-com Chance in a Million, a magnificent Cappy gets the full treatment with a sledgehammer. Cried?!!....I ****in' kicked the **** out of the telly!

"And one for the high-brows. Architect Robert Venturi owned a Mk.I Capri and parked it outside of every monstrosity he designed for the photo shoots. Just for the juxtaposition... against something with REAL style."



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