Typewriter Movies (& TV)

Typewriter-related movies and TV shows featured, or mentioned elsewhere, on this blog are listed here (work-in-progress). The criteria for a “Typewriter Movie” or “Typewriter TV Show”:

  1. A movie or a TV show about typewriters and their history, or movies with a typewriter theme. A great example of this is the 2013 Italian TV Movie Adriano Olivetti: La forza di un sogno. Other examples might be documentaries such as California Typewriter (2017, which I’ve yet to see).
  2. A movie or a TV show in which one of the central characters is featured using a typewriter— and even better if that typewriter is central to the plot. Good examples are the French movie Populaire (2012), a movie which also qualifies under criterion 1, and Ruby Sparks (2012). Other examples might be documentaries, for example Born Into This: Charles Bukowski (2002, a writer also featured on my Writers & Typewriters page).
  3. A movie or a TV show in which a typewriter makes an appearance, but which is incidental. This might be a typewriter glimpsed in the background, or a typewriter used by a supporting character or extra.

Movies/TV Movies and episodic TV Shows are listed in separate tables, alphabetically by title. Documentaries will generally be listed alongside movies, unless they’re episodic.

Movies/TV Movies
Title Year Typewriter(s) Notes/Comments
Adaptation 2002 IBM Wheelwriter Perfect typewriter casting and Nicholas Cage is great as Charlie Kaufman and his (fictional) twin brother, Donald.
Atonement 2007 Royal Standard? Based on the novel of the same name by Ian McEwan (screen adaptation by Christopher Hampton).
Born Into This: Charles Bukowski 2003 Various DOCUMENTARY. Click on the link (left) to read Hank’s ode to his Selectric typewriter!
Barton Fink 1991 Underwood portable As used by John Turturro who plays the title role in this Coen Brothers classic.
Big Eyes 2014 Remington Standard, Royal Empress A biographical film about the life of American artist Margaret Keane. Typewriter sightings are fleeting, however Dino Olivetti makes a cameo appearance.
Boogie Woogie 2001 Smith-Corona Ghia A satirical take on the art scene of contemporary London. Great fun.
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind 2002 Remington Rand Quiet-Riter Written by Charlie Kaufman and based on the “unauthorised autobiography” of Chuck Barris.
Good Night and Good Luck 2005 Royal standard A typewriter-rich McCarthy-era historical drama, directed by George Clooney, starring David Strathairn and a photogenic Royal standard typewriter.
La forza di un sogno 2013 Various Olivetti The Strength of a Dream. An Italian TV movie about the life of Adriano Olivetti.
La Mafia Uccide Solo D’ Estate 2013 Olivetti Lettera 32 The Mafia Kills Only in Summer. An Italian black comedy.
Life is Beautiful 1997 Olivetti M40? Inspired by my Keller und Knappich Princess 300 portable typewriter, the typewriter connection in this blog post is tenuous. Guido (Roberto Benigni) woos his future wife with cries of “Buongiorno, Principessa!”. (An Olivetti standard typewriter is briefly sighted – not that I need an excuse to blog about this multi-Oscar winning movie.)
Populaire 2012 JAPY, Various A French romance with a plot that centres around a speed typing competition.
Sunset Boulevard  Various As used by William Holden, as screenwritter Joe Gillis, in Billy Wilder’s cinematic masterpiece.

Television …

TV Shows
Title Year Typewriter(s) Notes/Comments
Fargo (Season 2) 2006 Selectric 82, Olympia SG1 Selectrics abound in this entertaining spin-off from the Coen Brothers movie.
Fawlty Towers 1975 Olympia, Adler Several typewriters appeared as props in episodes of the English TV sitcom Fawlty Towers.  Not only that, Basil threw one (and missed) when attempting to disable a fire alarm. In another episode, Basil used one to hurriedly type-up a guest’s bill.
Friends & Crocodiles 2006 Silver Reed Silverette Enjoyable nonsense from the pen of Stephen Poliakoff.

Writers & Typewriters