The Feel of the Rope: Reflections on Life at the San Francisco Cable Car Division
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(Jul 13, 2006)
A Documentary by Nick Tomizawa.
Invented and first used in San Francisco, the cable cars were a ubiquitous form of transportation around the world, only to soon be supplanted by the electric streetcar. Today, once again, San Francisco is the only place in the world you will see these cars out on the road.
What is it like to operate a cable car? Who are the people that run the cable car system? Why do these men and women call themselves a "family"? And what are the ties and traditions that bind them to each other, and to those who came before them?
The Feel of the Rope is a tribute to the men and women who carry on a San Francisco tradition that has continued for over 130 years. Through the words of employees past and present representing two generations of operators, managers, maintainers, trainers, and car builders, you will get an insider's look at what makes the cable cars the most unique transit system in the world.
Video photo album and additional clips included.
Top customer reviews
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It was fun, when we went to San Francisco, to see some of the guys in the movie working the cable cars. Not enough fun to justify the cost of the video, but fun, none the less.
The Feel of the Rope skillfully blends the anecdotes from the interviewees with each other, combines them with the outdoor cable car operational scenes which are coupled with musical scores that result in an engrossing presentation both for the cable car buff and the non cable car buff. The subject matter is treated with a high degree of sensitivity and competence. Uniquely, in this age which is too often characterized by indifference and cynicism, the workers, who are from a variety of backgrounds, present a portrait community, family and pride.
Yes, cable car operational technology is treated. But, the prime strength of The Feel of the Rope is the special feeling that one comes away with from the personal gratification the workers have from their jobs, as being San Francisco "ambassadors" on this world famous icon. Production standards are highly professional. Anyone interested in cable cars, even marginally, and employee attitudes and interaction will find The Feel of the Rope a highly worthwhile experience.
Walter Rice, PhD