Thonet Chairs in Movies

Introduction | Thonet Chairs in Art | Thonet Chair Models

The films are listed in date order. You can search by using your browser’s search-on-page feature.
A number of the images are cropped from the full screenshot, especially for widescreen movies.


Title Year Stars and Director Screenshot Notes
The Public Enemy 1931

James Cagney
Jean Harlow
Edward Woods
Joan Blondell

Director:
William A. Wellman


 
 
 

Top two screenshots:
Tom Powers (James Cagney in his breakthrough role) walks into The Red Oaks Social Club, with Thonet No. 18s in the foreground and background.
A bit later, Powers rests his hand on a Thonet No. 18 while looking over a pool game. The sign reads “Don’t spit on the Floor! Remember the Jamestown Flood”

Bottom two screenshots:
In a later restaurant scene, Powers is sitting in a Thonet No. 18 (with a Thonet No. 45 ½ behind him) and Kitty (Mae Clark) is sitting in a Thonet No. 45 ½.

Scarface 1932

Paul Muni
Ann Dvorak
Osgood Perkins
Karen Morley
Boris Karloff

Director:
Howard Hawks
Richard Rosson
(co-director)


Scarface opens with the scene of Antonio “Tony” Camonte’s (Paul Muni) first murder, in a resturant the morning after the 1st Ward Stag Party. The restaurant features Thonet No. 18 chairs, the variant with a narrow inner back loop.

A short time later, Tony Camonte is arrested in Pietro’s Barber Shop, which also has the same Thonet No. 18 variant.

 
 

Three Thonet chair models appear in the famous Columbia Café shootout scene. (Hawks gives a nod to this scene in To Have and Have Not, which has a similar shootout scene.)

Poppy (Karen Morley) and Tony Camonte just before the shooting starts.
Foreground: No. 45
middle: No. 18
background No. 18 variant.

 

 

Tony and Poppy dodging machine-gun bullets, framed by Thonet chairs.

 

 

 

 

Near the end of the shootout, this frame starkly features an empty No. 18 variant with optional back braces and the older-style circular leg brace.

Of Human Bondage 1934

Leslie Howard
Bette Davis
Frances Dee

Director:
John Cromwell

Philip Carey (Leslie Howard) and Mildred Rogers (Bette Davis), with a Thonet No. 18 shown between them.
All the chairs in this restaurant scene are No. 18s, with the older-style circular leg brace.
Fury 1936

Sylvia Sidney
Spencer Tracy
Walter Brennan

Director:
Fritz Lang


  

Joe Wilson (Spencer Tracy) drinks in a closed bar with Thonet No. 18s stacked on tables, complete with noir shadows.

 

 

Katherine Grant (Sylvia Sidney) in the courtroom, which has Thonet No. 18s for lawyers and clients.

There’s also a restaurant scene featuring Thonet No. 18 and No. 45 chairs.

Dead End 1937

Sylvia Sidney
Joel McCrea
Humphrey Bogart
Wendy Barrie
Claire Trevor
Allen Jenkins

Director:
William Wyler

Thonet No. 18s in Chez Pascagli (Famous Italian Dishes).
Fast Company 1938

Melvyn Douglas
Florence Rice
Douglass Dumbrille
Shepperd Strudwick

Director:
Edward Buzzell

Arnold Stamper, Ned Morgan’s lawyer (Douglass Dumbrille), sits on a Thonet No. 45 ½ while talking to Ned (Shepperd Strudwick).
Ninotchka 1939

Greta Garbo
Melvyn Douglas
Ina Claire

Director:
Ernst Lubitsch

Thonet chairs appear in several scenes. The most visible chair in this screenshot is a Thonet No. 45.
Half a Sinner 1940

Heather Angel
John “Dusty” King
Constance Collier

Director:
Al Christie

 

In the dénouement of this comedy noir:
a scene in Larry Cameron’s very modern kitchen (double stoves, double refrigerators).

Mrs. Jefferson Breckenbridge (Constance Collier) sits in a variation of a Thonet S 533 as Anne Gladden (Heather Angel) and Larry Cameron (John “Dusty” King) look on.

A moment later, a bad guy looms in the kitchen doorway with both Larry Cameron and another S 533 caught unawares because they’re looking away from the door.

21 Days 1940

Vivien Leigh
Laurence Olivier
Leslie Banks

Director:
Basil Dean

A restaurant scene in which Larry Durrant (Laurence Olivier) and Wanda Wallen(Vivien Leigh) begin their last three weeks together.

The chairs are similar to the Thonet No. 12.

Blues in the Night 1941

Richard Whorf
Elia Kazan (acting)

Director:
Anatole Litvak

Thonet No. 18s in the probably fictional St. Louis Café.
Mr. District Attorney 1941

Dennis O'Keefe
Florence Rice
Peter Lorre
Stanley Ridges
Minor Watson
Charles Arnt

Director:
William Morgan


 

P. Cadwallader Jones (Dennis O'Keefe) and Terry Parker (Florence Rice) in a café scene. The chairs are like the Thonet No. 3 Writing Desk Armchair.

(Lower image is zoomed from the screenshot above.)

The Little Foxes 1941

Bette Davis
Herbert Marshall
Teresa Wright

Director:
William Wyler


 

David Hewitt (Richard Carlson) greets Alexandra Giddens (Teresa Wright) in a restaurant. The back of a Thonet No. 18 is visible at left in this shot.

A later shot in the same restaurant set also shows a Thonet No. 45 on the right at an empty table.

Nazi Agent 1942

Conrad Veidt
Ann Ayars
Frank Reicher

Director:
Jules Dassin

In a scene in The Continental Restaurant, upholstered Thonet chairs are at the tables.
Citizen Kane 1941 Orson Welles
Joseph Cotten
Dorothy Comingore
Everett Sloane
Ray Collins
George Coulouris
Agnes Moorehead
Paul Stewart
Ruth Warrick
Erskine Sanford
William Alland

Director:
Orson Welles


 
 
 

Citizen Kane is full of remarkable shots and scenes.

In one crane shot, the camera moves through a neon sign (built to open up for the camera), then down through a skylight (using a cross fade) to show a café scene below, where Susan Kane (Dorothy Comingore) gets drunk after a show and talks with the faceless journalist.
Three characters cast noir shadows:
Susan, the man in the doorway and a Thonet No. 18 at a table in the background.

Welles repeats this scene twice more, each time with changes in the set showing the passage of time.

The second time, the Thonet chairs behind Susan have been moved, as if they had been used. The two distinct noir shadows are Susan’s and a Thonet No. 18’s.

In the third repetition, late in the film, the El Rancho café appears ready to close, with the Thonet chairs stacked up on the tables in the corner behind Susan. Thonet chairs stacked on tables is a trope of noir movies.

Thonet No. 18s with the old circular leg brace and some with the newer curved leg brace are shown.

Moontide 1942

Jean Gabin
Ida Lupino
Thomas Mitchell
Claude Rains

Director:
Archie Mayo


 

Thonet bar stools in the Red Dot bar (featuring Eastside Beer).

Nutsy (Claude Rains), Bobo (Jean Gabin), Tiny (Thomas Mitchell) and a Thonet No. 45 in the “Shower Room.”

Casablanca 1942

Humphrey Bogart
Ingrid Bergman
Paul Henreid
Claude Rains
Conrad Veidt
Sydney Greenstreet
Peter Lorre

Director:
Michael Curtiz


 

It’s easy to miss, but the chairs in Signor Ferrari’s (Sydney Greenstreet) Blue Parrot bar are Thonet chairs—probably No. 18—with striped cloth covers.

Above, Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) walks into the Blue Parrot to cut a deal with Signor Ferrari. Detail below.

This Gun for Hire 1942 Veronica Lake
Robert Preston
Laird Cregar
Alan Ladd

Director:
Frank Tuttle

You can't see the seats or legs, but the back looks like Thonet No. 440.
All Through the Night 1942

Humphrey Bogart
Conrad Veidt
Kaaren Verne

Director:
Vincent Sherman


 

Alfred “Gloves” Donahue (Humphrey Bogart) and Leda Hamilton (Kaaren Verne) in Miller’s Home Bakery. The chairs are Thonet No. 18.

In a late scene, where the patriotic gangsters break up a Nazi fifth columnist’s meeting, Thonet No. 18 chairs appear again, some used as weapons.

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp 1943

Deborah Kerr
Roger Livesey
Anton Walbrook

Director:
Michael Powell
Emeric Pressburger

Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff (Anton Walbrook) being questioned in an office furnished with Thonet No. 14 chairs.
Above Suspicion 1943

Joan Crawford
Fred MacMurray
Basil Rathbone

Director:
Richard Thorpe

In Salzburg, Austria,Richard Myles (Fred MacMurray) and Frances Myles (Joan Crawford) find the master bakery and café a clue led them to.

A Thonet chair seems to be hung up as a sign for the bakery-café.

Hi Diddle Diddle 1943

Adolphe Menjou
Martha Scott
Pola Negri
Dennis O'Keefe
Billie Burke

Director:
Andrew L. Stone

Benny (Sidney Miller), Leslie Quayle (June Havoc) and Col. Hector Phyffe (Adolphe Menjou) in a bar scene. The chairs are Thonet No. 18.
Cover Girl 1944

Rita Hayworth
Gene Kelly
Phil Silvers

Director:
Charles Vidor


 

Cover Girl, a Technicolor musical, contains this remarkable set with many Thonet No. 18s and No. 45s (painted gold). Scenes on this set include three Thonet chair tropes:

Thonet chair shadows (larger than life)
Thonet chairs stacked on tables (closing time)
Shots through Thonet chairs

Danny McGuire (Gene Kelly) at the piano.

Maribelle Hicks (Rita Hayworth) and Danny talking through Thonet chairs.

Laura 1944

Gene Tierney
Dana Andrews
Clifton Webb
Vincent Price
Judith Anderson

Director:
Otto Preminger


 

In the restaurant scene where Laura (Gene Tierney) introduces herself to Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb), there’s a glimpse of Thonet chairs similar to the No. 321 in the 1904 Thonet Catalog (with the newer curved leg brace).
Other chairs on this restaurant set look like the same model with fabric back and seat covers.


Thonet made many back inserts, including for specific restaurants and cafés, such as Vienna’s famouse Café Central.
The 1888 catalog shows No. 18 and No. 14 with perforated wood seat and back and No. 18 with a caned back insert.

The Woman in the Window 1944

Edward G. Robinson
Joan Bennett
Raymond Massey
Dan Duryea

Director:
Fritz Lang

The chairs around tables in the dining room of the club look like like a blond version of the Thonet No. 3 Writing Desk Armchair (Schreibtischfauteuils).

To Have and Have Not 1944

Humphrey Bogart
Walter Brennan
Lauren Bacall
Dolores Moran
Hoagy Carmichael
Marcel Dalio

Director:
Howard Hawks


 
 

This is the first, and most iconic, of three screen adaptations of Ernest Hemingway’s novel To Have and Have Not. All three include shots of Thonet chairs. Furthermore the film includes a shootout reminiscent of the famous Columbia Café shootout in Scarface, 1932, also directed by Hawks (the first film in this list).

A lot of the important action takes place in the bar of The Marquis Hotel, where Frenchy (Marcel Dalio) is the manager. The bar is furnished with Thonet No. 18 chairs, often shown prominently. A Thonet No. 52 ½ is visible in one shot.

Top: Marie “Slim” Browning (Lauren Bacall) has coffee while Cricket (Hoagy Carmichael) works out a song on the piano.

Middle: Harry “Steve” Morgan (Humphrey Bogart) strides purposefully into the bar, with Thonet No. 18s prominently displayed in the foreground.

Bottom: Late in the film, Cricket and Slim at the piano, framed by the legs of upside-down Thonet chairs.

Passage to Marseille 1944

Humphrey Bogart
Michèle Morgan
Claude Rains
Sydney Greenstreet
Peter Lorre

Director:
Michael Curtiz


 

A member of a pro-German street mob destroys the office and press of La Verité Francaise, a patriotic newspaper that Jean Matrac (Humphrey Bogart) publishes. The man is using a Thonet No. 18 to smash glass office partitions. This action takes place during one of the several flashbacks in the film.

The Great Flamarion 1945

Erich von Stroheim
Mary Beth Hughes
Dan Duryea

Director:
Anthony Mann

Thonet No. 18 chairs appear in dressing room scenes. Here Connie Wallace (Mary Beth Hughes) pours a drink.

Thonet No. 18s and No. 45s can also be seen on stage scenes.

Brief Encounter 1945 Celia Johnson,
Trevor Howard,
Stanley Holloway
Joyce Carey

Director:
David Lean


 

Dr. Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard) and Laura Jesson (Celia Johnson) in the Refreshment Room at the Milford Junction train station.
This shot occurs less than three minutes into the film, which returns again and again to the Refreshment Room.

Most tables are set with Thonet No. 14 chairs, many casting noir shadows.

A Thonet No. 54 and a No. 98 (or similar) are visible in other shots in the Refreshment Room.

Fallen Angel 1945 Dana Andrews
Linda Darnell
Alice Faye
Charles Bickford
John Carradine

Director:
Otto Preminger


 

Within the first few minutes of Fallen Angel, Thonet chairs appear in Pop’s Eats, the diner that is central to the plot.

First Eric Stanton (Dana Andrews) enters and drops his coat on a Thonet No. 18.

Then Stella (Linda Darnell) enters and sits in a Thonet No. 18 to massage her aching feet.

Thonet chairs also appear in Tavern/Dance Hall scenes and in a café scene.

 

The Lost Weekend 1945 Ray Milland
Jane Wyman
Howard Da Silva

Director:
Billy Wilder


 
Don Birnam (Ray Milland) contemplates a shot of whisky in Nat’s Bar, withThonet No. 18s (circular leg braces) and Nat (Howard Da Silva) at the tables in the background. In the far corner is a Thonet hat stand.
Scarlet Street 1945 Edward G. Robinson
Joan Bennett
Dan Duryea

Director:
Fritz Lang

Thonet chairs appear in the opening scene, a reception where Christopher Cross (Edward G. Robinson) receives a gold watch for twenty-five years of service as a clerk.

The chairs in this scene are Thonet No. 440s. The one in the background in this shot is casting a noir shadow.

Christopher Cross and Katherine ‘Kitty’ March (Joan Bennet) eat at Tiny's (Lunch and Dinner). The café features Thonet No. 18s at the tables.

On an apartment deck, a padded version of the Thonet S533, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
In the last scene, Thonet No. 3 Writing Desk Armchairs in a bar scene.
Detour 1945

Tom Neal
Ann Savage
Claudia Drake

Director:
Edgar G. Ulmer

Al Roberts (Tom Neal) plays Piano, while Sue Harvey (Claudia Drake) sings in the Break O' Dawn Club. Roberts is using a Thonet No. 45 ½. This scene occurs around the fourth minute of the film.

In later scenes, the rest of the band can be seen using the same model.

Cornered 1945 Dick Powell
Walter Slezak
Micheline Cheirel

Director:
Edward Dmytryk

Thonet No. 18s, some stacked on a table.
Whistle Stop 1946

George Raft
Ava Gardner
Victor McLaglen
Tom Conway

Director:
Léonide Moguy


 
 

As Whistle Stop comes to a close, Gitlo (Victor McLaglen) drags badly wounded Kenny Veech (George Raft) to Estelle’s Road House after closing time.

The scene opens with Estelle (Carmel Myers) working on the books. The camera zooms in to shoot through the upturned legs of Thonet No. 18 chairs. This combines the trope of upturned Thonet chairs signalling a closed establishment (and the end of the plot) with shooting through Thonet chairs.

Though the road house is clearly closed and has no customers, the sign outside reads “Dine Dance Open All Night.”

The Stranger 1946

Edward G. Robinson
Loretta Young
Orson Welles

Director:
Orson Welles


 

A scene at about minute two in The Stranger prominently features a Thonet No. 18 with the early circular leg brace. Mr. Wilson (Edward G. Robinson) is orating in the back right.
Oddly, the inner back loop of the Thonet chair is missing one side, as if it was broken (Welles was on a severely restricted budget for this film) or modified.

The Wikipedia entry on on this interesting film is well worth reading.

The Best Years of our Lives 1946 Myrna Loy
Fredric March
Dana Andrews
Teresa Wright
Virginia Mayo
Harold Russell

Director:
William Wyler


 

Uncle Butch Engle (Hoagy Carmichael) and Homer Parrish (Harrold Russel) sit at the piano on Thonet No. 18s in Butch’s Bar.

A waiter serves Peggy Stephenson (Teresa Wright) and Fred Derry (Dana Andrews) seated in Thonet No. 18s in Lucia’s Restaurant.

The Killers 1946 Burt Lancaster
Ava Gardner
Edmond O'Brien
Sam Levene

Director:
Robert Siodmak

Thonet No. 18s in a café scene. No. 18s appear in another scene, as well.
They Made Me a Fugitive 1947

Trevor Howard
Sally Gray
Griffith Jones
Rene Ray as Cora
Mary Merrall

Director:
Alberto Cavalcanti


 

Clem Morgan (Trevor Howard) and Aggie (Mary Merrall) in Narcy’s headquarters.
Morgan is sitting on a Thonet No. 18 and a No. 54 sits empty on his right.

In a later shot in the same set, the two Thonet chairs have been reversed, with the No. 54 now on the left and the No. 18 on the right. (cropped from screenshot)

It Always Rains on Sunday 1947

Googie Withers
John McCallum
Jack Warner

Director:
Robert Hamer

Thonet No. 14s.
The Bishop’s Wife 1947

Cary Grant
Loretta Young
David Niven
Elsa Lanchester

Director:
Henry Koster

In the choir scene, the Robert Mitchell Boys Choir (and the organist) are using two Thonet models, both very similar to the No. 124 shown in the 1904 Thonet Catalog.
Kiss of Death 1947

Victor Mature
Brian Donlevy
Coleen Gray
Richard Widmark

Director:
Henry Hathaway

In this ex-con going straight film noir, several clubs and restaurants figure prominently, but only the last one—where Nick Bianco (Victor Mature) confronts the killer Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark, in his first film)— features Thonet chairs.

In Luigi’s (Sea Food, Cocktails):
Thonet No. 18s and Thonet No. 45s.

Brute Force 1947 Burt Lancaster
Hume Cronyn
Charles Bickford

Director:
Jules Dassin

Joe Collins (Burt Lancaster) confronts Gallagher (Charles Bickford) in the prison printing shop, with a No. 18.
The visitor’s room scene also has No. 18s.
Dark Passage 1947 Humphrey Bogart
Lauren Bacall
Houseley Stevenson

Director:
Delmer Daves


 

Dr. Walter Coley (Houseley Stevenson) sizes up Vincent Parry’s (Humphrey Bogart) face before doing the plastic surgery that will change Parry’s appearance.

A Thonet chair (model unknown) is in the right in Coley’s surgery.

Daisy Kenyon 1947 Joan Crawford
Henry Fonda
Dana Andrews

Director:
Otto Preminger

Peter Lapham (Henry Fonda) in a restaurant scene with Thonet No. 45s and No. 18s.

Across the street from the restaurant, the Greenwich Theater is showing Mr. Lucky, a 1943 romance starring Cary Grant and Laraine Day.

Dancing with Crime 1947

Richard Attenborough
Barry K. Barnes
Sheila Sim

Director:
John Paddy Carstairs

In a restaurant scene (Fish Suppers Frying Nightly), Ted Peters (Richard Attenborough) center, with three models of Thonet chair visible:

Back left, a Thonet No. 52 ½ and a  No. 14
Front right, a Thonet No. 20

(The 52 ½ appears to be missing one back bar.)

Born to Kill 1947

Claire Trevor
Lawrence Tierney
Walter Slezak
Phillip Terry
Audrey Long
Elisha Cook, Jr.

Director:
Robert Wise

In Mrs. Kraft’s boarding house, Thonet No. 33 chairs at the table.
This model also appears in Rosemary’s Baby (1968).

Lured 1947

George Sanders
Lucille Ball
Charles Coburn
Boris Karloff

Director:
Douglas Sirk


 

At a taxi dance hall, three Thonet chair models appear in the taxi dancers gallery. Sandra Carpenter (Lucille Ball) has her hand on a No. 18, a No. 45 sits on the left front row, and a variation on the No. 18 variant with a narrow inner back loop, sits in the back row.

A later scene in the White Swan, with Thonet No. 18 chairs (detail).

Out of the Past 1947

Robert Mitchum
Jane Greer
Kirk Douglas
Rhonda Fleming

Director:
Jacques Tourneur

Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) in a Harlem club scene with Thonet No. 18s at the tables.
Raw Deal 1948

Dennis O'Keefe
Claire Trevor
Marsha Hunt
Raymond Burr

Director:
Anthony Mann

A Thonet No. 18 as a foreground witness to the double cross in the back room at Grimshaw’s Taxidermy, Fishing and Sport Supplies.

The stuffed bear looks almost like a noir shadow of the gunman.

Another Thonet No. 18 can be seen in the background of the main room at Grimshaw’s.

Call Northside 777 1948 James Stewart
Richard Conte
Lee J. Cobb
Helen Walker

Director:
Henry Hathaway

Thonet No. 18s and No. 45s at the tables of a bar. This is the bar where P.J. McNeal (James Stewart) finds a woman who knows Wanda Skutnik. The newspaper reads “Where is Wanda Skutnik?”
The scene is part of a famous montage of bar scenes in the old Polish neighborhood of Chicago.
Highway 13 1948

Robert Lowery
Pamela Blake
Clem Bevans
Michael Whalen

Director:
William Berke


 

In the Clover garage and diner where trucker Hank Wilson (Robert Lowery) meets his fiance, the waitress (Pamela Blake).

The chairs at the tables—shown only in the background—are Thonet No. 124s, with the newer curved leg brace.

I Remember Mama 1948

Irene Dunne
Barbara Bel Geddes
Oskar Homolka
Ellen Corby
Philip Dorn
Rudy Vallee

Director:
George Stevens


 
Thonet No. 18s in a scene in the “Gentlemen’s” and a later scene in a hospital room.
Sorry,
Wrong Number
1948 Barbara Stanwyck
Burt Lancaster

Director:
Anatole Litvak

Thonet Chairs in a kitchen scene.
The Fallen Idol 1948

Ralph Richardson
Bobby Henrey
Michèle Morgan
Denis O'Dea
Jack Hawkins

Director:
Carol Reed

Baines (Ralph Richardson) and Julie (Michèle Morgan) sit in Thonet No. 14s in an early scene in a restaurant. The empty chair will soon be occupied by Philippe (Bobby Henrey), the third member of this tragic triangle.

On the left, the chairs cast noir shadows on the wall and, importantly, on Baines’s back.
No Orchids for Miss Blandish 1948

Jack La Rue
Hugh McDermott
Linden Travers
Walter Crisham

Director:
St John Legh Clowes

No Orchids for Miss Blandish is a remarkable  British ganster film noir, set in New York and featuring a mostly British cast (who sometimes forget their American accents).
At several points the film looks like a dark but loving pastiche of American film noir. Several of the characters are obvious stand-ins for American film noir actors or film noir trope characters. Several scenes are identifiable as homage to scenes from other noir films.
The film even includes a stand-up comedy routine in which the comic does a quick-change act imitating a conversation between Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre. Part of the pastiche is an amazing array of Thonet chair models, including one set with at least seven Thonet models.


 

A bar set

Above:
Thonet No. 20 in the foreground
Thonet No. 15 in the background
Two Thonet No. 14 chairs in the background 

 

Below:
Thonet No. 18 in the foreground
Thonet No. 14 just behind the 18
Thonet No. 124 right background
Thonet No. 54 at the piano
Thonet No. 118 against the wall left

A restaurant scene with Thonet No. B 34 bent steel armchairs.
The old codger who runs a country gas station is gunned down in his Thonet rocking chair.
A restaurant scene shot from overhead—obviously reminiscent of the ending of Citizen Kane—contains many Thonet No. S  533 bent steel chairs, some upsidedown on tables.
On the Town 1949

Gene Kelly
Frank Sinatra
Betty Garrett
Ann Miller
Vera-Ellen

Director:
Gene Kelly


 

Gabey (Gene Kelly) ogles two women in Symphonic Hall. A Thonet No. 18, with modern leg brace, stands mute witness.

Gabey and Ivy Smith (Vera-Ellen) in a dance routine in a later scene. A Thonet No. 18, with the old-style circular leg brace casts a noir shadow on the back wall. Another Thonet No. 18 sits on the far left.

Whisky Galore! 1949

Basil Radford
Bruce Seton
Joan Greenwood
Gordon Jackson

Director:
Alexander Mackendrick

George Campbell (Gordon Jackson) escapes from his bedroom, with a Thonet No. 14 (with noir shadow) in the background.
Shockproof 1949

Cornel Wilde
Patricia Knight
John Baragrey
Esther Minciotti

Director:
Douglas Sirk

An early scene in a bookie joint. Thonet No. 18s at the tables.
Black Hand 1950

Gene Kelly
J. Carrol Naish
Teresa Celli

Director:
Richard Thorpe


 
 
 
 

Top, a meeting room with three Thonet models visible: No. 45 ½, No. 18 variant with narrower inner loop, No. 18.

Middle 1, in the Naples restaurant in Naples, Italy, Louis Lorelli (J. Carrol Naish) speaks with a waiter. The camera looks down a line of the same three models of Thonet chair.

Middle 2, a detail showing the chairs and the noir shadows

Bottom, Lorelli in an office standing next to a Thonet No. 18 variant with narrower inner back loop.

Stage Fright 1950

Jane Wyman
Marlene Dietrich
Michael Wilding
Richard Todd
Alastair Sim
Patricia Hitchcock

Director:
Alfred Hitchcock


 

On stage during a rehearsal at RADA, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, with a Thonet No. 14 at a table. Eve Gill (Jane Wyman) in the hoop skirt.

In a later scene, Freddie Williams (Hector MacGregor) brings a chair for Charlotte Inwood (Marlene Dietrich). The chair is an upholstered variation on the Thonet No. 3
Writing Desk Armchair.

The File on Thelma Jordon 1950

Barbara Stanwyck
Wendell Corey
Paul Kelly

Director:
Robert Siodmak

The Thonet chairs in this restaurant scene early in the film may be examples of the dining chair designed by Gustav Siegel for Thonet in the early 1900s.

Also see Teacher’s Pet 1958.
Woman on the Run 1950

Ann Sheridan
Dennis O'Keefe

Director:
Norman Foster


 

Woman on the Run declares its noir sensibility with a a Thonet No. 18 right at the beginining, when Eleanor Johnson (Ann Sheridan) lifts Rembrandt (actor uncredited) off of a Thonet No. 18.

Thonet No. 18s show up in later scenes, for example, this one with the Thonet No. 18 in the foreground, used as a stand for a painting.

Young Man with a Horn 1950 Kirk Douglas
Lauren Bacall
Doris Day
Hoagy Carmichael

Director:
Michael Curtiz

Doris Day, Hoagy Carmichael and Kirk Douglas in a hospital room scene.  Thonet No. 45s in the background.
Many other Thonet Chairs shown very briefly or barely visible, especially in Galba's Club.
Caged 1950 Eleanor Parker
Agnes Moorehead
Ellen Corby
Hope Emerson

Director:
John Cromwell

 
Quicksand 1950

Mickey Rooney
Jeanne Cagney
Barbara Bates
Peter Lorre

Director:
Irving Pichel

A restaurant scene in the film features Thonet No. 18 chairs at the tables. This shot includes a noir shadow of the chair.

Dan Brady (Mickey Rooney) is just entering the scene at the far right.

The Asphalt Jungle 1950 Sterling Hayden
Louis Calhern
Jean Hagen
James Whitmore
Sam Jaffe
John McIntire

Director:
John Huston


 

Several Thonet models appear in this set, Cobby’s Office, which is shot from different directions in different scenes. No. 18,  No.18 variant with narrower inner back loop, No. No. 45 ½,

In the two screenshots, Thonet No. 18s are casting noir shadows.

Above: “Doc” Erwin Riedenschneider (Sam Jaffe) sits next to an empty Thonet No. 18 casting a noir shadow.

Below, Dix Handley (Sterling Hayden) stands next to a Thonet No. 18 on the other side of the room, also casting a noir shadow.

The Happy Years 1950

Dean Stockwell
Darryl Hickman
Scotty Beckett
Leo G. Carroll
Elinor Donahue

Director:
William Wellman

A shot during a pancake-eating contest features a Thonet No. 45 ½ and a Thonet No. 18.
The Breaking Point 1950

John Garfield
Patricia Neal
Phyllis Thaxter
Juano Hernandez

Director:
Michael Curtiz

The Breaking Point is the second of three screen adaptations of Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not. All three have shots of Thonet chairs.

In the dance bar scene, Leona Charles (Patricia Neal) the tables are set with simple ladder-back Thonet chairs. Similar chairs appear in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, below.

Borderline 1950

Fred MacMurray
Claire Trevor
Raymond Burr

Director:
William A. Seiter

Pete Ritchie (Raymond Burr) frowns at his beer while Madeleine Haley, posing as Gladys LaRue (Claire Trevor) gets up close during a dance routine in a Mexican café.

The café tables all have Thonet No. 18 chairs.

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman 1951

Ava Gardner
James Mason
Nigel Patrick
Sheila Sim
Harold Warrender
Mario Cabré
Marius Goring

Director:
Albert Lewin


 

Pandora (Ava Gardner) appears early in a bar called Las Dos Tortugas (the two turtles). The bar’s chairs are Thonet No. 14, with the older circular lower leg brace and optional back braces. Some have an added cane insert.

Bullfighter Juan Montalvo (Mario Cabré) makes his dramatic entrance to Las Dos Tortugas later in the film. (image cropped slightly)

 

Pool of London 1951

Bonar Colleano
Earl Cameron
Susan Shaw

Director:
Basil Dearden


 

Thonet No. 18 chairs in a dressing-room scene. A noir shadow is barely visible on the left.
The Big Night 1951

John Drew Barrymore
Preston Foster
Joan Lorring

Director:
Joseph Losey


 
Thonet No. 3 Writing Desk Armchairs in Tuffy's Tavern.
On Dangerous Ground 1951

Ida Lupino
Robert Ryan
Ward Bond

Director:
Nicholas Ray
Ida Lupino (uncredited)

  Just glimpsed in a restaurant scene: a Melnikov Roundback café chair designed by Michael Thonet, or a variant.
His Kind of Woman 1951 Robert Mitchum
Jane Russell
Vincent Price

Directors:
John Farrow
Richard Fleischer

Thonet No. 18s and No. 45s in a diner.
Sudden Fear 1952 Joan Crawford
Jack Palance
Gloria Grahame

Director:
David Miller


 
The opening scene of Sudden Fear shows a rehearsal of Halfway to Heaven, a new Myra Hudson (Joan Crawford) play, with Thonet No. 18s on the stage set.
The Greatest Show on Earth 1952 Betty Hutton
Cornel Wilde
Charlton Heston
James Stewart
Dorothy Lamour
Gloria Grahame
Lyle Bettger

Director:
Cecil B. DeMille

Four clowns and a Thonet No. 18.

As each clown attempts to sit in the chair, the next clown in line jerks the chair away.

Vicki 1953

Jeanne Crain
Jean Peters
Elliott Reid
Richard Boone

Director:
Harry Horner


 

Jill (Jeanne Crain) and Vicki (Jean Peters) in Webster’s Cafeteria. The chairs are Thonet No. 391 or similar, with the more modern curved leg braces.

 

Jill packing in Club Capri, with upholstered Thonet chairs.

The Band Wagon 1953

Fred Astaire
Cyd Charisse
Oscar Levant
Nanette Fabray
Jack Buchanan

Director:
Vincente Minnelli

This is the final segment of the musical within a musical. The segment has a noir (ganster) motif, is set in “Dem Bones Café,” and features both Thonet No. 18s and No. 45s.

Other scenes also feature Thonet chairs.

The Fake 1953 Dennis O'Keefe
Coleen Gray
Hugh Williams
Guy Middleton
John Laurie
Eliot Makeham
and many others

Director:
Godfrey Grayson

Thonet No. 14
Journey to Italy 1954

Ingrid Bergman
George Sanders

Director:
Roberto Rossellini

Thonet No. 18s (with optional back braces) In the Bersagliera restaurant.
The Big Knife 1955 Jack Palance
Ida Lupino
Wendell Corey
Jean Hagen
Rod Steiger
Shelley Winters

Director:
Robert Aldrich

A set within a set.
I'll Cry Tomorrow 1955

Susan Hayward
Richard Conte
Eddie Albert
Margo
Jo Van Fleet

Director:
Daniel Mann


 
An early scene in I’ll Cry Tomorrow shows girls hoping to be chosen for a movie role, and their mothers, sitting on Thonet chairs. The model seen clearly here is a Thonet No. 18 with the narrow back loop.
Three Cases of Murder 1955 Alan Badel
Orson Welles
John Gregson
André Morell
Patrick Macnee

Three Cases of Murder is a so-called omnibus movie with three separate stories.

This scene is in the middle segment “You Killed Elizabeth,” directed by David Eady.

The chairs look like a more modern version of the No.12 or No. 393 shown in the 1904 Thonet Illustrated Catalogue.
French Cancan 1955

Jean Gabin
Françoise Arnoul
María Félix
Édith Piaf

Director:
Jean Renoir

Café scenes feature Thonet chairs, as befits this consciously painterly film.

Here two models appear to have the backs of the Thonet No. 14 and Thonet No. 18 models, but with trapezoidal seats. These chairs also have unusual leg bracing.

The Phenix City Story 1955

John McIntire
Richard Kiley
Kathryn Grant

Director:
Phil Karlson

Just the top of a Thonet No. 18 (lower right) in a bar scene.
Guys and Dolls 1955

Marlon Brando
Jean Simmons
Frank Sinatra
Vivian Blaine

Director:
Joseph L. Mankiewicz


 

In the gangster-romance musical Guys and Dolls, tables at Mindy’s are furnished with Thonet No. 18 chairs, with the optional back braces.

Top: Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra) tries to sucker Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando) into betting on whether Mindy’s sold more cheesecake or strudel the previous day.

Bottom: Nathan sings to Miss Adelaide (Vivian Blaine) using one of the Thonet No. 18s as a prop.

Also see Cover Girl, The Band Wagon and Cabaret.

Illegal 1955

Edward G. Robinson
Nina Foch
Hugh Marlowe
Jayne Mansfield
DeForest Kelley

Director:
Lewis Allen

Thonet No. 18s and No. 45—and Victor Scott (Edward G. Robinson)—in Joe’s Bar.

A Thonet No. 45 appears in another scene, in D.F. Jarvis Bail Bonds, where Victor Scott is getting his stomach pumped after drinking poison in a courtroom.

Wichita 1955

Joel McCrea
Vera Miles
Lloyd Bridges
Peter Graves
Sam Peckinpah

Director:
Jacques Tourneur


 
 

In the bar of the Keno House, Gyp Clements (Lloyd Bridges) is knocked out of Thonet No. 18, with the narrower back loop.

The arm chairs at the bar’s tables are Thonet No. 3 office chairs, or similar.

The Catered Affair 1956

Bette Davis
Ernest Borgnine
Debbie Reynolds
Barry Fitzgerald
Rod Taylor

Director:
Richard Brooks


 

Ralph Halloran (Rod Taylor) and Jane Hurley (Debbie Reynolds) meeting in a diner, with Thonet No. 45s (variant with narrower inner back loop).

Below, a later restaurant and dance hall scene with Thonet No. 18s.

The Killer Is Loose 1956

Joseph Cotten
Rhonda Fleming
Wendell Corey
Alan Hale Jr.

Director:
Budd Boetticher

The room in which police are recording a tapped phone is furnished with Thonet No. 18 chairs. Here the shot is over the back of an empty chair.
The Killing 1956 Sterling Hayden
Coleen Gray
Vince Edwards

Director:
Stanley Kubrick

Kola Kwariani and Sterling Hayden in the “Academy of Chess and Checkers.” A Thonet No. 45 seems like a third party to the conversation in this shot.

Both Thonet No. 18s and No. 45s are visible in several shots in the academy.

Around the World in 80 Days 1956 David Niven
Cantinflas
many cameos including
Marlene Dietrich

Director:
Michael Anderson

Marlene Dietrich between Thonet No. 18s.

Top Secret Affair 1957

Susan Hayward
Kirk Douglas
Jim Backus

Director:
H.C. Potter

A nightclub scene, with Thonet No. 18s at the tables.
Witness for the Prosecution 1957

Tyrone Power
Marlene Dietrich
Charles Laughton

Director:
Billy Wilder


 

After a brawl in Die Blaue Laterne (The Blue Lantern), Thonet No. 18 chairs are among the wreckage.
According to IMDB: “In order to show just one of Marlene Dietrich's famous legs, an entire scene was written that required 145 extras, 38 stunt men and $90,000.”

In a back room, where Christine Helm (Marlene Dietrich) lives, Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power) reaches for a Thonet No. 18 that holds up the ceiling. He later knocks the chair over, bringing the ceiling down.

Sweet Smell of Success 1957

Burt Lancaster
Tony Curtis
Susan Harrison
Martin Milner

Director:
Alexander Mackendrick

 

Early in the film, Joe Robard (Joseph Leon) in Robard’s Jazz Club, with Thonet No. 18s at the tables. (Detail below)

Thonet No. 18 chairs are also visible (barely) in later shots in 21 Club.

The Smallest Show on Earth 1957

Bill Travers
Virginia McKenna
Peter Sellers
Margaret Rutherford
Bernard Miles

Director:
Basil Dearden


 

The Smallest Show on Earth is a British comedy in the tradition of American screwball comedies, with no hint of noir in the plot.

The presence of Thonet No. 14 chairs in the Private Office of the Bijou Kinema (the “flea pit”) is a reference to the golden past of film (and film noir), as the Bijou is part of that past.

Above, Robin Carter (Leslie Phillips), Matt Spenser (Bill Travers) and Jean Spenser (Virginia McKenna) in the office. Below, Jean Spenser in the the office with a noir shadow of the No. 14 she’s sitting on.

 

A Face in the Crowd 1957

Andy Griffith
Patricia Neal
Anthony Franciosa
Walter Matthau
Lee Remick

Director:
Elia Kazan

In the background of a bar scene, the chairs are Thonet No.18 variant with a narrow inner back loop.

The Gun Runners 1958

Audie Murphy
Eddie Albert
Patricia Owens
Everett Sloane

Director:
Don Siegel

Sam Martin (Audie Murphy) rushes into the dance bar, using Thonet No. 18s to keep his balance.

The Gun Runners is the third film version of Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not. All three have shots of Thonet chairs.

Teacher’s Pet 1958 Clark Gable
Doris Day
Gig Young
Mamie Van Doren

Director:
George Seaton

The Thonet chairs in this scene look like examples of the dining chair designed by Gustav Siegel for Thonet in the early 1900s, in this case with decorative nails.

Also see The File on Thelma Jordon (1950).
Party Girl 1958

Robert Taylor
Cyd Charisse
Lee J. Cobb

Director:
Nicholas Ray


 

In Party Girl, Thonet chairs appear in a dressing room set, and in several bar scenes (top image) but are barely visible.

The violent, climactic scene features a Thonet No. 18 in a corner, casting a noir shadow on the wall. In this image, Rico Angelo (Lee J. Cobb) realizes that the game is up, while the chair looks on.
Orders to Kill 1958

Eddie Albert
Paul Massie
Lillian Gish
James Robertson Justice
Irene Worth
Philip Bond
Leslie French
John Crawford

Director:
Anthony Asquith


 
Thonet No. 54s (or similar) in a restaurant scene.
Some Came Running 1958 Frank Sinatra
Dean Martin
Shirley MacLaine

Director:
Vincente Minnelli

Two Thonet No. 18s in a hotel room.
The Crimson Kimono 1959

Victoria Shaw
Glenn Corbett
James Shigeta

Director:
Samuel Fuller


A Thonet No. 18 in Sugar Torchs’ (Gloria Pall) dressing room at the 258 Club.

Shuto (played by the Japanese-American wrestler and stuntman Fuji) throws a Thonet No. 18 at Det. Sgt. Charlie Bancroft (Glenn Corbett) in a Pool Hall.

Thonet No. 18s and No. 45s stacked on tables.
The Nun's Story 1959

Audrey Hepburn
Peter Finch
Edith Evans
Peggy Ashcroft

Director:
Fred Zinnemann

This set, the day room in a mental hospital, is furnished with Thonet chairs, model unknown. There are also Thonet No. 18s barely visible, as well as a Thonet Kanapee.
Middle of the Night 1959

Fredric March
Kim Novak

Director:
Delbert Mann


 

Jerry Kingsley (Fredric March), with his back to the camera, Betty Preisser (Kim Novak) and Walter Lockman (Albert Dekker) in the office of Kingsley’s garment factory.

The chair is a Thonet No. 23 Writing Desk Armchair.

Some Like It Hot 1959

Marilyn Monroe
Tony Curtis
Jack Lemmon
George Raft
Joe E. Brown

Director:
Billy Wilder

 

It’s Chicago. 1929

In Mozarella’s Funeral Parlor (24 Hour Service), “Spats” Colombo (George Raft) cleans his spat after a drunk spilled “coffee” on it.

Most of the chairs in Mozarella’s are Thonet No. 18s, some with the optional back brace like the one Spats’s henchman (Mike Mazurki) is sitting in.

A Thonet No. 45 is visible in one shot.

 

The Apartment 1960

Jack Lemmon
Shirley MacLaine
Fred MacMurray
Jack Kruschen
Edie Adams

Director:
Billy Wilder

Barely more than five minutes into The Apartment C. C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) enters his apartment, which is furnished with four Thonet chairs.
Shots toward the kitchen (right) and bathroom (left) look past the chairs.
Two Thonet No. 4 Café Daum chairs sit at a circular table with one half folded down.
Two Thonet No. 15 armchairs also appear in the apartment. One is on the left here.
Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) walks between the twoThonet chair models to the bathroom where she attempts suicide.
In a late scene, Fran Kubelik is reclining in Baxter’s bed, which has an ornate Thonet bentwood headboard.

The Thonet chiars have been rearranged and the circular table unfolded for a dinner.

(See Irma la Douce, 1963
Edward G. Boyle was a set decorator for both movies, and for others directed by Wilder.)

The Sundowners 1960

Deborah Kerr
Robert Mitchum
Peter Ustinov
Dina Merrill
Michael Anderson Jr.

Director:
Fred Zinnemann


 
 
 

While Zinnemann insisted on filming much of The Sundowners on location in Australia, interiors were filmed in Elstree Studios in England.

Several sets feature Thonet chairs. The first (top) is in a kitchen. A Thonet No. 14 is in the back right. (Detail)

A house Ida Carmody (Deborah Kerr) hopes to move into includes two Thonet chairs. The first, a Thonet No. 18 with optional arms appears in two scenes. In the second screenshot, the chair awaits Bluey Brown’s wife, who’s about to have a baby.

In another scene in the house, a Thonet No. 19 sits empty but prominently shown in the left foreground. It awaits Jean Halstead (Dina Merrill), who’s just entering.

 

One, Two, Three 1961

James Cagney
Horst Buchholz
Pamela Tiffin
Arlene Francis

Director:
Billy Wilder

 
 

The “Grand Hotel Potemkin,” in East Germany, is furnished with Thonet chairs, No. 14, No 507 or similar, and other models.

According to the script, the Grand Hotel Potemkin used to be the Great Hotel Göring, and before that, the Great Hotel Bismarck.

The name “Grand Hotel Potemkin,” may refer to the 1925 Eisenstein film Battleship Potemkin, but seems at least as likely to refer to a Potemkin village—a fake village—and the “Grand Hotel Potemkin,” is a fake “grand” hotel.

(Both images cropped from widescreen screenshots.)

 

Paris Blues

1961

Paul Newman
Joanne Woodward
Sidney Poitier
Louis Armstrong
Diahann Carroll

Director:
Martin Ritt


 
Thonet No. 18 chairs in Club 33, where the band practices and plays. There are also Thonet stools shown stored upside down in the practice scenes.
The Hustler 1961 Paul Newman
Jackie Gleason
Piper Laurie
George C. Scott

Director:
Robert Rossen


 

Thonet No. 45 in a bar scene.

Thonet No. 18 upstairs in the pool hall.

David and Lisa 1962

Keir Dullea
Janet Margolin
Howard Da Silva

Director:
Frank Perry

Thonet No. 18 in a single scene in the dining room of the residential psychiatric treatment center. Some other chairs in this set may be Thonet No. 18s with cloth back and seat covers.
Two Weeks in Another Town 1962

Kirk Douglas
Edward G. Robinson
Cyd Charisse
George Hamilton
Claire Trevor
Daliah Lavi
Rosanna Schiaffino

Director:
Vincente Minnelli

This Thonet No. 18 inexplicably sits in front of the first row in a studio screening room, between director Maurice Kruger (Edward G. Robinson) and the screen.

Hell Is for Heroes 1962 Steve McQueen
Bobby Darin
Fess Parker
Michele Montau

Director:
Don Siegel



The Manchurian Candidate 1962

Frank Sinatra
Laurence Harvey
Janet Leigh
Angela Lansbury
Henry Silva
James Gregory

Director:
John Frankenheimer


 

The famous Ladies’ Garden Club scene in The Manchurian Candidate shows the ladies sitting in a wide variety of chairs, including Thonet No. 18 chairs painted white.

The point of view of the soldiers also shows a Thonet No. 18 (detail).

Requiem for a Heavyweight 1962

Anthony Quinn
Jackie Gleason
Mickey Rooney
Julie Harris

Director:
Ralph Nelson

From a television script by Rod Serling.

Probably a Thonet No. 18 that Anthony Quinn is sitting on.

Irma la Douce 1963

Jack Lemmon
Shirley MacLaine
Lou Jacobi
Herschel Bernardi

Director:
Billy Wilder


 


Irma la Douce (Irma the Sweet) features Thonet chairs and other Thonet furniture more than any movie I’ve seen.

Chez Moustache (the bar/poolroom) includes Thonet No. 45s at the  tables and at least one Thonet bar stool at the bar.

Near the end of the movie, as Moustache mops the floor, Thonet chairs are shown stacked on tables, a noir trope.
One shot is through the chairs with important action—a police car arriving— outside the bar.

Irma’s “office” (bedroom), contains at least three styles of Thonet chair, including a Thonet armchair very similar to a No. 3.

The inspector’s office includes a Kanapee (sofa), similar to No. 12, a Kleiderstock (clothes stand) similar to No. 4 in the 1904 Thonet catalog, or the Café Daum coatstand, and what looks like a red upholstered Thonet chair.

(See The Apartment, 1960
Edward G. Boyle was a set decorator for both movies, and for others directed by Wilder.)

The Train 1964

Burt Lancaster
Paul Scofield
Jeanne Moreau
Michel Simon

Direcor:
John Frankenheimer


 

Thonet No. 54s appear in several restaurant scenes—Paul Labiche (Burt Lancaster) center. (cropped detail below).

Another scene briefly shows the top of a Thonet No. 18.

The World of
Henry Orient
1964

Peter Sellers
Paula Prentiss
Merrie Spaeth
Tippy Walker
Tom Bosley
Angela Lansbury

Director:
George Roy Hill

Henry Orient (Peter Sellers) and Stella Dunnworthy (Paula Prentiss) in Gino’s, a “spaghetti joint.”

Thonet No. 18s at the tables.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 1966

Elizabeth Taylor
Richard Burton
George Segal
Sandy Dennis

Director:
Mike Nichols


 
 
 

In the Red Basket Roadhouse “Cocktails - Dancing,” two models of Thonet chairs appear on camera:

Top: Thonet No. 18 chairs, the variant with a narrow inner back loop, behind Martha (Elizabeth Taylor)

Another No. 18 variant, with noir shadow, behind George (Richard Burton), under the Squirt sign

Below: A ladder-back Thonet chair, complete with noir shadow

The Killing of Sister George 1968 Beryl Reid
Susannah York
Coral Browne

Director:
Robert Aldrich

Thonet No. 18
Bullitt 1968

Steve McQueen
Robert Vaughn
Jacqueline Bisset
Robert Duvall

Director:
Peter Yates


 

In one scene, Lt. Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen) meeets an informant at Enrico's Restaurant, a famous resturant in San Francisco from 1959 to 2006.

The chairs are Thonet No. 45 ½ and Thonet No. 18, the variant with the narrow back loop.

Detail below. Bullitt is in the background left, just entering the restaurant.

Rosemary's Baby 1968 Mia Farrow
John Cassavetes
Ruth Gordon
Sidney Blackmer
Maurice Evans
Ralph Bellamy
Angela Dorian

Director:
Roman Polanski

Thonet No. 33 chairs show up in several shots of the kitchen.  Another Thonet chair can be seen in a bedroom scene.
The Sergeant 1968

Rod Steiger
John Phillip Law
Ludmila Mikaël

Director:
John Flynn

This screenshot is from the climactic scene where Sgt. Callan (Rod Steiger) kisses PFC Swanson (John Phillip Law) in a bar.

The chairs are Thonet No. 56 (1904 catalog) with the newer arched lower braces.

The Wild Bunch 1969 William Holden
Ernest Borgnine
Robert Ryan
Edmond O'Brien
Warren Oates
Jaime Sánchez
Ben Johnson

Director:
Sam Peckinpah


 
Two Thonet chairs appear in this scene. They look like part of the No. 19 - No. 31 series shown in the 1904 Thonet Illustrated Catalogue. Detail below.
The Cheyenne Social Club 1970

James Stewart
Henry Fonda
Shirley Jones
Sue Ane Langdon

Director:
Gene Kelly


 
The bar set in The Cheyenne Social Club includes Thonet No. 18 chairs and at least one No. 18 variant with the narrow inner loop. (Detail below)
Rio Lobo 1970 John Wayne
Jorge Rivero
Jennifer O'Neill
Jack Elam
Christopher Mitchum

Director:
Howard Hawks

Thonet No. 18s behind the table.  At the table, two writing desk armchairs No. 3 with the newer curved lower braces.
McCabe & Mrs. Miller 1971

Warren Beatty
Julie Christie
René Auberjonois
Michael Murphy
Shelley Duvall
Keith Carradine

Director:
Robert Altman


 

The bar set in McCabe & Mrs. Miller includes at least two Thonet models.

Top: Thonet No. 45 ½ in front of John McCabe (Warren Beatty) and Constance Miller (Julie Christie). (Detail from the widescreen screenshot)

Below: Thonet No. 18 variant with narrow inner loop.

Cabaret 1972 Liza Minnelli
Michael York
Joel Grey

Director:
Bob Fosse

The famous opening scene of Cabaret is full of Thonet chairs, mostly No. 18s.
A Doll’s House 1973

Jane Fonda
Edward Fox
Trevor Howard

Director:
Joseph Losey

In the Kaffe Salon
Emergency!: Season 3: "How Green Was My Thumb?" 1974 Kevin Tighe
Randolph Mantooth

Director:
Christian I. Nyby II

Fire in a winery.
The Front Page 1974

Jack Lemmon
Walter Matthau
Charles Durning
David Wayne
Susan Sarandon
Austin Pendleton
Carol Burnett

Director:
Billy Wilder


 

In Wilder’s widescreen remake of The Front Page, a Thonet No. 18 sits outside Walter Burns’ (Walter Mathau) office. In this detail, Hildebrand ‘Hildy’ Johnson (Jack Lemmon) walks out after telling Burns he’s quitting and getting married.

In a later scene, Mollie Malloy (Carol Burnett) fights off a crowd of journalists with a Thonet chair (unknown model) before jumping out the window.
(Burnet’s action pose in this detail is reminiscent of Clyde Beatty taming lions with a Thonet No. 18. See Thonet Chairs in Art.)

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia 1974 Warren Oates
Isela Vega
Robert Webber
Gig Young
Helmut Dantine

Director:
Sam Peckinpah


 
Columbo Season 2: "Etude in Black" 1976 Peter Falk

Director:
Nicholas Colasanto


A Star is Born 1976

Barbra Streisand
Kris Kristofferson
Gary Busey

Director:
Frank Pierson

In this third version of A Star is Born, John Norman Howard (Kris Kristofferson) first sees Esther Hoffman (Barbra Streisand) singing in a bar, and a fight breaks out. The bar’s tables are furnished with Thonet No. 18 chairs.
Emergency!
S 6, E10
“Welcome to Santa Rosa County”
1976 Kevin Tighe
Randolph Mantooth

Director:
Christian I. Nyby II

Thonet No. 45 and No. 18
Emergency! S6, E3 “The Unlikely Heirs" 1976 Kevin Tighe
Randolph Mantooth

Director:
Georg Fenady

A fire at a stage set.
Julia 1977 Jane Fonda
Vanessa Redgrave
Jason Robards
Hal Holbrook
Rosemary Murphy
Maximilian Schell

Director:
Fred Zinnemann


 
Columbo: Season 7: "Try and Catch Me" 1977 Peter Falk

Director:
James Frawley

 
The Turning Point 1977 Shirley MacLaine
Anne Bancroft
Tom Skerritt
Mikhail Baryshnikov
Leslie Browne

Director:
Herbert Ross

 
Despair 1978 Dirk Bogarde
Andréa Ferréol
Klaus Löwitsch
Volker Spengler

Director:
Rainer Werner Fassbinder

 
Time After Time 1979

Malcolm McDowell
David Warner
Mary Steenburgen

Director:
Nicholas Meyer

H. G. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) in Amy Robbins’ (Mary Steenburgen) apartment. Her table has two chrome Thonet No. 16 style chairs. Detail from widescreen image.
The Ninth Configuration 1980

Stacy Keach
Scott Wilson
Jason Miller
Ed Flanders

Director:
William Peter Blatty


 

Early scenes in The Ninth Configuration feature a Thonet No. 14 painted green.

Later, in Kane’s office in the castle, there are two Thonet No. 14s for visitors.

Rich and Famous 1981

Jacqueline Bisset
Candice Bergen
David Selby
Hart Bochner

Director:
George Cukor

In Rich and Famous, George Cuckor’s final film, Thonet No.16 chairs at a dining table in Merry Noel Blake’s (Candice Bergen) home.
The Verdict 1982 Paul Newman
Charlotte Rampling
Jack Warden
James Mason
Milo O'Shea

Director:
Sidney Lumet

 
Buffalo Bill: Season 2: Episode 2 "Buffalo Beat" 1983 Dabney Coleman
Max Wright
Joanna Cassidy
Geena Davis
John Fiedler

Director:
Tom Patchett

No. 18 and No. 16
L'argent 1983

Christian Patey
Béatrice Tabourin
Didier Baussy
Vincent Visterucci

Director:
Robert Bresson

Thonet No. 54 (or similar) in a restaurant scene near the end of the film.
Lianna 1983

Linda Griffiths
Jane Hallaren
Jon DeVries

Director:
John Sayles

 
The Trip to Bountiful 1985

Geraldine Page
John Heard
Carlin Glynn
Richard Bradford
Rebecca De Mornay

Director:
Peter Masterson


 

Jessie Mae (Carlin Glynn) sits on a Thonet No. 19 in Sam’s Pharmacy

 

In a late scene in a bus station,  Mrs. Watts (Geraldine Page) and an unocupied Thonet No. 98, or a similar model in the 90 series.

The Quick and the Dead 1987 Sam Elliott
Tom Conti
Kate Capshaw
Kenny Morrison
Matt Clark

Director:
Robert Day

 
Best Seller 1987 James Woods
Brian Dennehy
Victoria Tennant

Director:
John Flynn

 
Another Woman 1988

Philip Bosco
Betty Buckley
Blythe Danner Sandy Dennis
Mia Farrow
Gene Hackman
and many others Director:
Woody Allen

 
The Freshman 1990

Marlon Brando
Matthew Broderick
Bruno Kirby
Penelope Ann Miller
Frank Whaley

Director:
Andrew Bergman

Carmine Sabatini, “Jimmy The Toucan,” (Marlon Brando, parodying his portrayal of Vito Corleone in The Godfather) operates out of a headquarters furnished with Thonet No. 18 chairs. (Detail).

It’s not a coincidence that a film satirizing filmmaking includes this reference to so many past films.

The Committments 1991 Robert Arkins
Michael Aherne
Angeline Ball
Maria Doyle
and many others

Director:
Alan Parker

More Thonet chairs in other scenes.
Agatha Christie's Miss Marple:
They Do It with Mirrors
1991 Joan Hickson
Jean Simmons
Joss Ackland
and many others

Director:
Norman Stone

 
Howards End 1992 Anthony Hopkins
Vanessa Redgrave
Helena Bonham Carter
Emma Thompson
James Wilby
Samuel West
Jemma Redgrave
Prunella Scales
The wedding party tent is furnished with Thonet No. 18 chairs. The penultimate shot of the party looks through one chair (detail from widescreen screenshot).
Citizen X 1995 Stephen Rea
Donald Sutherland
Max von Sydow

Director:
Chris Gerolmo

The chair is a Thonet No. 54, with a plywood seat.
Shanghai Triad 1995 Gong Li
Li Baotian
Li Xuejian
Sun Chun
Wang Xiaoxiao

Director:
Zhang Yimou

Thonet chairs also appear in other scenes.
A Summer's Tale
Conte d'été
1996 Melvil Poupaud
Amanda Langlet
Gwenaëlle Simon
Aurelia Nolin
Aimé Lefèvre
Alain Guellaff
Evelyne Lahana
Yves Guérin
Franck Cabot

Director:
Éric Rohmer

 
America's Sweethearts 2001 Catherine Zeta-Jones

Director:
Joe Roth

The scene is from “Time Over Time,” a film made by Hal Weidmann (Christopher Walken), reworking the opening of Cabaret.
Zeta-Jones is sitting on a No. 16. A No. 18 is in the background.
The Quiet American 2002 Michael Caine
Brendan Fraser
Do Thi Hai Yen

Director:
Phillip Noyce

 
Till Human Voices Wake Us 2002 Guy Pearce
Helena Bonham Carter

Director:
Michael Petroni


 
Evelyn 2002 Sophie Vavasseur
Pierce Brosnan
Stephen Rea
Alan Bates
Julianna Margulies
Aidan Quinn

Director:
Bruce Beresford

 
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind 2002

Drew Barrymore
George Clooney
Julia Roberts
Sam Rockwell

Director:
George Clooney


 

In a break-room scene, the chairs look like a variant of the Melnikov Roundback café chair designed by Michael Thonet.

In the background of a bar scene, a Thonet writing desk armchair No. 3.

 

Speakeasy 2002

David Strathairn
Nicky Katt
Stacy Edwards
Arthur Hiller
Lake Bell
Christopher McDonald

Director:
Brendan Murphy

A restaurant set
There are Thonet chairs in at least one other set.
In the Cut 2003

Meg Ryan
Mark Ruffalo
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Kevin Bacon (uncredited)

Director:
Jane Campion

In a restaurant scene most chairs are the usual Thonet No. 18s. One, barely seen early in this set is a Thonet No. 16.

Monarch of the Glen: Series 5: "Episode 4 or 6" 2003 Lloyd Owen
Alastair Mackenzie
Dawn Steele

Director:
Robert Knights

Both Thonet No. 16 and Thonet No. 18 in a restaurant scene.
Ray 2004 Jamie Foxx
Kerry Washington
Clifton Powell
Harry Lennix
Terrence Howard
Larenz Tate
Richard Schiff
Regina King

Director:
Taylor Hackford

Thonet chairs upside down on restaurant tables (or stacked) is a trope of noir movies.
Chaos 2005 Jason Statham
Ryan Phillippe
Wesley Snipes
Justine Waddell
Keegan Connor Tracy
Henry Czerny

Director:
Tony Giglio

 
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day 2008 Frances McDormand
Amy Adams
Ciarán Hinds
Lee Pace

Director:
Bharat Nalluri

No. 18 and No. 16 in a dressing room scene.
I’ve Loved You So Long 2008

Kristin Scott Thomas
Elsa Zylberstein
Pascal Demolon

Director:
Philippe Claudel

An unnamed man (Pascal Demolon) meets Juliette Fontaine (Kristin Scott Thomas) in a bar with rows of Thonet No. 18 chairs, their curves echoed by the curves at the top of the windows on the right.

Coco Before Chanel 2009 Audrey Tautou,
Benoît Poelvoorde,
Alessandro Nivola,
Marie Gillain,
Emmanuelle Devos

Director:
Anne Fontaine

 
Today's Special 2009 Aasif Mandvi

Director:
David Kaplan

Three models are shown:
No. 18, No. 16, No.14
Georgia O'Keeffe 2009 Joan Allen
Jeremy Irons

Director:
Bob Balaban

A Thonet No. 16 in a hospital room.

Grey's Anatomy: Season 5: "What a Difference a Day Makes" 2009 Ellen Pompeo
Sandra Oh
Katherine Heigl
and many others

Director:
Rob Corn

 
The American 2010 George Clooney

Director:
Anton Corbijn

In the Bar Del Monte.
Foyle’s War
Series 6 Episode 1
The Russian House
2010 Michael Kitchen
Honeysuckle Weeks
Anthony Howell
 
Foyle’s War
Series 6 Episode 3
The Hide
2010 Michael Kitchen
Honeysuckle Weeks
Anthony Howell

 
In an early scene in Der Alte Palast Dresden Cafe, one room has many Thonet No. 18s. In the background is a tall stool with a back, possibly a Thonet No. 10/14 or No. 20.
The Adventures of Tintin 2011

Director:
Steven Spielberg

The Captain, Snowy and Tintin, with Thonet chairs in the background.
Hugo 2011 Ben Kingsley
Sacha Baron Cohen
Asa Butterfield
Chloë Grace Moretz
Ray Winstone
Emily Mortimer
Christopher Lee
Jude Law

Director:
Martin Scorsese

 
Mildred Pierce 2011

Kate Winslet
Guy Pearce
Evan Rachel Wood
Melissa Leo

Director:
Todd Haynes


 

Mildred’s Restaurant is furnished with Thonet No. 16 chairs.

Two scenes feature the Thonet No. 16s upside down on tables:
This one is a turning point in the plot.  A later, similar scene is toward the end of the plot.

Renoir 2012 Michel Bouquet
Christa Theret
Vincent Rottiers
Thomas Doret

Director:
Gilles Bourdos

A Thonet No. 14 in the background.

Downton Abbey
Series 4 Episode 8

2013

Michelle Dockery
Gary Carr

Director:
Ed Hall

Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) and Jack Ross (Gary Carr) in Jack’s practice studio.

The chairs are Thonet No. 18, with optional back braces and the modern curved leg brace.

Foyle’s War
Series 7 Episode 3
Sunflower
2013 Michael Kitchen
Honeysuckle Weeks

Looking through a Thonet No. 14, with Foyle’s hat on the seat, at another Thonet No. 14, an echo of the over-the-shoulder shot from Foyle to Thomas Nelson.

Other episodes in series 7 also show Thonet chairs.

The Best Offer 2013 Geoffrey Rush
Jim Sturgess
Sylvia Hoeks
Donald Sutherland

Director:
Giuseppe Tornatore


 
The Best Offer—a film about an art collector—includes Thonet No. 18s in some scenes, and a Thonet No. 18 in a painting (apparently made for the film).
Inside Llewyn Davis 2013 Oscar Isaac
Carey Mulligan
John Goodman
Justin Timberlake
Adam Driver

Director:
Joel Coen
Ethan Coen


 

Thonet chairs upside down on restaurant tables (or stacked) and noir shadows of Thonet chairs are tropes of noir movies.

(Detail from full-frame screenshot and a further crop below to show the shadows.)

American Hustle 2013 Christian Bale
Bradley Cooper
Amy Adams
Jeremy Renner
Jennifer Lawrence

Director:
David O. Russell

Thonet No.14 appears in an outdoor cafe scene.
Jimi: All Is by My Side 2013 André Benjamin
Imogen Poots
Hayley Atwell
Burn Gorman

Director:
John Ridley

 
Saving Mr. Banks 2013 Emma Thompson
Tom Hanks
Paul Giamatti
Jason Schwartzman
Bradley Whitford
Colin Farrell

Director:
John Lee Hancock

 
Phantom 2013

Ed Harris
David Duchovny
William Fichtner
Lance Henriksen
Johnathon Schaech
Julian Adams

Director:
Todd Robinson


Thonet chair in background
Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself 2013 George Plimpton

Director:
Tom Bean
Luke Poling

In a Paris café
Days and Nights 2013 Jean Reno
Katie Holmes
William Hurt
and many more


and Director:
Christian Camargo

 

Foyle’s War
Series 6 Episode 1
The Russian House

2010 Michael Kitchen
Honeysuckle Weeks
Thonet No. 18s in a bar.
Blood Ties 2013 Clive Owen
Billy Crudup
Marion Cotillard
Mila Kunis
Zoe Saldana
Matthias Schoenaerts
James Caan

Director:
Guilleaume Canet

 
Good People 2013 James Franco
Kate Hudson
Omar Sy
Tom Wilkinson
Sam Spruell

Director:
Henrik Ruben Genz

 
Broadchurch (BBC) 2013 David Tennant
Olivia Colman

Director:
James Strong
Euros Lyn

 
Downton Abbey
Series 5 Episode 8
2014

Rob James-Collier

Director:
Michael Engler

Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier) in The Underground London Club The Velvet Violin.

The chairs are Thonet No. 18.

Testament of Youth 2014 Alicia Vikander
Kit Harington
Taron Egerton
Colin Morgan
Emily Watson
Hayley Atwell
Dominic West
Miranda Richardson

Director:
James Kent

 
An Honest Liar 2014 James Randi
Alice Cooper
Bill Nye
Adam Savage
Penn & Teller
Michael Shermer

Director:
Justin Weinstein
Tyler Measom

This documentary shows Thonet chairs in several scenes, including this one, with Harry Houdini ringing a bell with his toes. Other scenes show stage escapes from being tied in a Thonet chair.
Houdini 2014 Adrien Brody
Kristen Connolly

Director:
Uli Edel

 
To Be Takei 2014 George Takei

Director:
Jennifer M. Kroot

This is a scene from Takei’s musical Allegiance, shown in the documentary.
Klondike 2014 Richard Madden
Abbie Cornish
Marton Csokas
Ian Hart
Greg Lawson
Conor Leslie
Tim Blake Nelson
Augustus Prew
Johnny Simmons
Tim Roth
Sam Shepard

Director:
Simon Cellan Jones

Thonet chairs appear in other scenes as well.
The Crimson Field 2014

Rupert Graves
Oona Chaplin
Hermione Norris
Suranne Jones
Kevin Doyle
and many others

Director:
David Evans

The field hospital set in The Crimson Field includes several Thonet Chair models. This screenshot, from Episode 2, highlights a Thonet No. 54.
Grandma 2015

Lily Tomlin
Julia Garner
Marcia Gay Harden
Judy Greer
Laverne Cox
Sam Elliott

Director:
Paul Weitz

A Thonet No. 391 in the Bonobo Café.
Danny Collins 2015 Al Pacino
Annette Bening
Jennifer Garner
Bobby Cannavale
Christopher Plummer

Director:
Dan Fogelman

 
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Series 3: “Murder & the Maiden” 2015 Essie Davis
Nathan Page
Hugo Johnstone-Burt
Ashleigh Cummings

Director:
Tony Tilse

Thonet chairs also appear in other episodes.
Bartender 2016 Don Cheadle

Director:
Gina Prince-Bythewood




 

One of nine short black-and-white films, a series of classic film-noir scenarios. The action takes place in a dimly lit bar with Thonet chairs, some on top of tables.

Written And Directed By
Gina Prince-Bythewood
Set Decorator: Marisa Collins

Presented by The New York Times

The Crown 2016

Claire Foy
Matt Smith
Vanessa Kirby
Eileen Atkins
John Lithgow
and many others


 
Thonet No. 18s in a “gentleman's club.” Another shot in the same set shows a Thonet No. 14 from the back..
Café Society 2016

Jeannie Berlin
Steve Carell
Jesse Eisenberg
Blake Lively
Parker Posey
Kristen Stewart
Corey Stoll
Ken Stott

Director:
Woody Allen

Thonet No. 18s
Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You 2016 Norman Lear
George Clooney
Bill Moyers

Director:
Heidi Ewing
Rachel Grady

This is a movie set shown in the documentary. Lear is sitting in a No. 18, the other three chairs are No. 16s.
La La Land 2016

Ryan Gosling
Emma Stone
John Legend
Rosemarie DeWitt

Director:
Damien Chazelle


 

Thonet No. 18s in the jazz club scenes, echoing many movies with jazz club scenes, including musicals Cabaret and The Band Wagon.

This is not surprising, as La La Land is full of homage to earlier musicals and other classic movies.

The Magnificent Seven 2016

Denzel Washington
Chris Pratt
Ethan Hawke
Vincent D'Onofrio
and others

Director:
Antoine Fuqua

A Thonet No. 18 in a very brief cameo in the background of one shot. (Detail from widescreen image.)
The Exception 2016

Lily James
Jai Courtney
Janet McTeer
Christopher Plummer

Director:
David Leveaux

Captain Stefan Brandt (Jai Courtney) in the bedroom of Mieke de Jong (Lily James).

The chair is a Thonet No. 45 ½. His pistol is one the seat.

Call the Midwife:
Series 6, Episode 8
2017 Created by Heidi Thomas Thonet No. 18s in a restaurant scene with, left to right, dentist Christopher Dockerill (Jack Hawkins), his daughter Alexandra Dockerill (Tipper Seifert-Cleveland), and nurse Beatrix “Trixie” Franklin (Helen George).
The Sense of an Ending 2017

Jim Broadbent
Charlotte Rampling
Harriet Walter
Emily Mortimer
Michelle Dockery

Director:
Ritesh Batra


At a boys’ assembly, in the foreground left to right:
Adrian Finn Jr. (Andrew Buckley), Tony Webster (Billy Howle) and Joseph Dobson’s empty chair, a Thonet No. 18.

The Lost City of Z 2017

Charlie Hunnam
Robert Pattinson
Sienna Miller
Tom Holland

Director:
James Gray

Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) sents a telegram in an office (a consulate?) next to a Thonet No. 18 with optional back braces.

(Detail from widescreen screenshot.)

Copyright 2018 Stephen Hart