Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pinball Bumper Flags from Xanadu 1980

Xanadu 1980 - Gene Kelly with pinball popped with flags
The most unique flags from Xanadu appear during the musical number All Over the World with music by the Electric Light Orchestra.  In a fanciful dance sequence, Gene Kelly shrinks down to the size of a goomba and able to dance on a pinball machine.  When he - Danny McGuire - hits the mushroom bumpers, bunches of flags and sparkle dots spring out.

Gene Kelly looking at the pinball mushroom bumper that sparkles with flags
The first mushroom bumper flags are turquoise-teal and the second group are violet-purple.  The shapes of flags vary from square, rectangle, or guidon with slightly different shades of the associated pop bumper. 

Remember that primitive forms of pinball were played in the 1700s - so chances are George Washington was familiar with the game, likewise pinball was certainly a favorite of the geeky Benjamin Franklin.   No doubt in the 2200s fantastic versions pinball will be played in ways we can't yet imagine.  Would anyone like to play Zero-G pinball?   

Nonetheless electric pinball - which is a very very primitive version of a video game - got its big break in 1933 in California, Los Angeles with a game called Contact.  Coincidentally the film Xanadu takes place in Los Angeles.   Although pinball originates in Europe during the 1600s, electric pinball is an American Invention/Pastime of the 1900s. 


1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite sequences ever in Xanadu!! The effects blow me away! :)