The red office phone

GosseDrentGosseDrent Utrecht, the Netherlands
in Literary 007 Posts: 11
Hi all,

I was wondering, the red phone from the books, what kind of phone would it be? For me, I always pictured a phone without dials. Just a phone that M can call to, but 00's can't call to M. Something like a Cortelco from the 50s (Google has some good pics). Maybe I am wrong and somewhere in a chapter Bond does call to M, so it does need to have numbers. If you know something or have a theory I’d be pleased to read it. I want to add a red phone to my collection. But before I do that I want to be as accurate as possible. Although I do think we have a lot of freedom with this prop. Thanks in advance for helping me research. Cheers.


  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    edited June 2022 Posts: 14,242
    Been wanting to add a red phone to the collection for ages. I can only speak of the ones seen in the films, of which I have three of those old rotary phones. I think they came out around 1959/1960 which still lines up with the books. These being the GPO 706 and Bell Systems models from the early Connery films. I guess you mean one like in the Fontainebleau hotel in Goldfinger which has a blank dial for limiting outgoing calls to the reception.

    In Thunderball, you see a red GPO 706 during the mission briefing in the meeting room. You never see the dial from the front, but from the side, it looks like it has the typical finger dial. I would think M's red emergency phone would have a full dial complete with numbers and lettering (GPO 706L model), free of restrictions, though I do like the look and concept of the dial-less option. You can also buy those blank dials separately, I've seen them on eBay.

    Good luck on your search, personally I would go for the red 706L as it covers both novel and film. I nearly bought one a few months back, but wasn't liking the prices offered.
  • GosseDrentGosseDrent Utrecht, the Netherlands
    Posts: 11
    I thought these would fit my thoughts on how internal calling would work.PR57719V6.JPG

    The first one being given to agents so they can pick up the phone. The second one being used by M to call the agents.

    Aren't the red ones we see in the movie only used by M? It wouldn't tell us anything about Bond phone but maybe it does tell us which phone brand MI6 used internally. Also, in OHMSS there isn't a red phone, but there are these two GPO 706's

  • GosseDrentGosseDrent Utrecht, the Netherlands
    edited June 2022 Posts: 11
    There's also this 706CB Mk. II, problem with that one is however it's from 1964. So the literary Bond could never've used it. And a red (no dial) phone I'm looking for should probably be from the 50s 706CB_red-1.jpg

    One from the 50s that could be possible is the Red GPO 332L. It fits the 50s time period and its a GPO just as in the films. I haven't found any red no-dials yet. But there is this black GPO 332 CB.



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