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HOLLYWOOD, United States – Our colleague on the Latin American version of this blog, Juan Carlos Anez, recently compiled a list of the company’s film appearances over the last 15 years, which we thought we’d share with you. There are a lot more starring roles than you might imagine and it’s vital information for general knowledge quizzes!

Mobile phones weren’t really a staple of modern American life until the mid-90s and so Nokia didn’t make its big-screen debut – as far as we’re aware – until 1995 when Alicia Silverstone was spotted toting the Nokia 232 in Clueless.

The first Nokia smartphone in the movies we have been able to locate was the excellent Nokia Communicator 9000. Val Kilmer as The Saint used the device to foil the plans of a villainous Russian oligarch back in 1997.

Its first leading role, though, had to wait until 1999, and The Matrix when the film’s stars used a modified Nokia 8110 for communications between real and imagined worlds. In an interesting example of reality blending with fiction, the iconic Nokia 7110, released shortly before the film, adopted the spring-loaded front cover, to the delight of science fiction fans everywhere.

As mobiles started to become fashion items, the virtues of replaceable front covers were highlighted in 2000 with Charlie’s Angels. Each of the Angels had her own personalised Nokia 8210: Cameron Diaz’s was white, while Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu opted for red and black. The fashionable status and versatile appearance of the 8210 clearly struck a chord with prop departments everywhere, leading to appearances in Accidental Spy, About a Boy, Cats and Dogs, Football Factory and Domestic Disturbance, among others.

The next film in which a Nokia could truly be said to have starred was Cellular in 2004. Kim Basinger’s character’s life is saved thanks to a Nokia 6600 with which she is able to communicate with her eventual rescuer.

More recently, 2008’s Twilight saw the character Bella Swan with the equally fashion-conscious Nokia 7360. Also in 2008, in The Dark Knight, Christian Bale as Batman somehow manages to use his pre-release Nokia 5800 Xpress music to interfere with the villain’s communications tower. We guess that Alfred must have upgraded the firmware for him.

But perhaps the most up-to-date film appearance is the opening scene of 2009’s Star Trek where a young James T. Kirk gets a telling off and controls his music via the in-car Nokia. The device was designed jointly by the film’s prop manager and Nokia. Good to see that the company is still using ‘Gran Vals’ as the default ringtone in 2241.

Any more recent sightings that we’ve missed? Keep us posted in the comments.


Extra sightings from the comments, with the first mention.

The Hangover – E71 – spotted by Surya
Shaolin Soccer – 1100 – spotted by akash
Die Hard 4 – N90 & N770 – spotted by momchill and nic
Echelon Conspiracy – prototype – spotted by Micky
From Paris with Love – N96 – spotted by Micky
Wild Target – 6500 Classic – spotted by Baxter Chobb
The Bourne Ultimatum – N93 – spotted by Baxter Chobb
Taken – N80, N73, N90, N91 – spotted by chris manko and Albert
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer – N770 – spotted by Diego
The A-Team – N8, E71 – spotted by Douglas and adrian13
Transformers – N92i – spotted by Albert
Cloverfield – N76 – spotted by AdamF
The Transporter – 6800 – spotted by Lloyd
Valentine’s Day – E71 – spotted by Daniel
Vanilla Sky – Nokia Communicator – spotted by Jorge