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Movie Plots that Could Have Been Ruined by Cell Phones

Surobhi Banerjee
It might be hard to comprehend the fact that technology, like cell phones, has actually ruined the chances of creating new-age Hollywood classics. For this, we need to take up a list of a few good movies, and contemplate that if there were cell phones at the time of their making, what would have happened.
Romeo and Juliet -- several versions of this classic romantic tragedy, in the form of successful movies, have entertained the audience for years. Kids of two rival and wealthy families fall in love with each other, which is absolutely forbidden. They cannot live without each other, and so devise a plan. Of course, being from affluent families, the kids have cell phones. So, the plan is exchanged via messages and ultimately, no one dies. One really happy ending!
Nothing romantically tragic about the story, is it? Well, with all the technological advancements, and their pervasive effect, the directors have been finding it difficult to create a plot that has minimal tech intrusion. 
A decade back, a storyline that was conceivable and presumably logical, has been rendered ridiculous in the present, thanks to cell phones, Internet and social networking websites. This could be another reason as to why we have been forced to see innumerable vampire, zombie, and fantasy movies; it is easier to believe in these unreal characters.
The spectators are aware and use modern gadgets, and can no more believe that in time of need, these gadgets and technologies fail to show up in the movies.
But, for some time, let's imagine that cell phones have always been around. Well, in that case, some of the brilliant movies might have withered away, unnoticed.
* Spoiler Alert: Some of the following content may reveal the plot/mystery/suspense of a movie.

** The images are only for the purpose of representation. They do not depict any true scenario.

The Top Picks


With everyone equipped with camera phones, Clark Kent would have a hard time concealing his actual identity. He would have to run around the city, escaping from camera-yielding fans, in search of a darkened alley, to change into his flashy red costume.
But he, like everyone else, uses his cell phone's GPS to find a nearby private changing room or a secluded alley, and whoosh!!! There he flies to save the world again, though he might not reach on time.

Play Misty for Me

Clint Eastwood's directorial debut shows Evelyn (Jessica Walter), a sociopath, harassing the poor radio jockey Dave (played by Eastwood). After being perplexed and frustrated by her croaky voice for quite a long time, Dave simply adds her number to 'blocked call' or 'no call' list.
And then, well, there is nothing left to watch in the movie. All the attempts by Eastwood and his career as director, go down the drain.

Die Hard

In all the Die Hard movies, except for Live Free or Die Hard, the destruction could have been avoided by a simple call from John McClane. All he had to do was call up Los Angeles Police Department and give his identification, which the LAPD would have verified and sent in SWAT teams. Crisis averted. But, I wouldn't be a die hard fan of the Die Hard movies.


Norman Bates, the second-greatest villain (according to American Film Institute's list of the top 100 film heroes and villains), relies on his angel-like looks to make the visitors of the Bates Motel comfortable enough to spend the night. And then he changes into his murderous self and commits gruesome killings one after the other.
But, belonging to the tech-savvy generation, Marion uses her cell phone to browse the net for reviews, and finds out that the Bates Motel is not as good as it sounds. She sees various comments posted by those who survived the stay but were unhappy with Norman's services.
So, Bates Motel never gets another visitor, there are no more murders committed, and Norman goes back to his hobby of taxidermy.

Sixteen Candles

Everyone is busy with Ginny's wedding. And then one morning, they see a notification on their phone. It is Samantha's 16th birthday. The day is celebrated with great joy. And none of the chaos that follows in the movie actually happens. And 'the Geek' never collects enough money to go to the senior party.

The Big Lebowski

Jackie Treehorn knows that the real Jeffrey Lebowski cannot walk and is bound to use a wheelchair. When it is apparent that there are two people by the name Jeff Lebowski, he messages or calls his goons to get money from the one who is in the wheelchair.
The Dude doesn't get hurt, the war veteran doesn't have to die, Maude doesn't meet Dude, and he gets to keep his favorite rug.

Of Mice and Men

George knows that Lennie is in the barn and is alone. He also knows about Lennie's liking for Curley's wife. So, whenever George is not around Lennie, he calls him up at certain intervals and tells him to stay far away from her, and rather think about the soft rabbits that he wants to pet.
Lennie trusts George and does whatever he says. And finally they both achieve their dreams. Happy ending.

Mars Attacks!

The entire U.S. Force is trying to fight the Martians, but with no luck. Richie Norris and his grandmother accidentally find the nemesis of these red planet beings. His Facebook/Twitter update makes Norris a global hero, and he spends the rest of his life listening to "Indian Love Song" with his grandma.


The tech-savvy Cinderella and her Prince Charming meet at the ball, and before asking her for a dance, they exchange numbers. Cinderella, bound by the magic, leaves at midnight, leaving one of her glass slippers outside the palace. Prince Charming finds the slipper and calls up Cinderella. They meet the very next day and get married soon.


Leonard Shelby finds out that he is the one who committed his wife's murder. But due to his condition, he forgets the fact every morning, and sets on a tiresome quest to eventually find that he murdered his wife.
The circle continues, and then one day he sets a reminder on his phone. Now every morning, he checks the reminder, realizes that he is the culprit, and spends the day getting tattoos.

Other Honorable Mentions

Home Alone

OK, I understand if Kevin McCallister did not have a personal phone. But, if his family could afford a trip to Paris, they might as well have caller IDs on their home phones. He would pick her call, speak to her, and know that they did not disappear as he had wished. 
Although, it might have been tricky to tell your 8-year-old son that you have forgotten to take him with you on the trip. Nevertheless, if Kevin had a cell phone, he would have known that his mom was calling him, or messaging him.
He could have clicked a picture from his phone and sent it to the police, and help would have arrived within minutes. Kevin would not have become a neighborhood hero and would still be bullied by his elder brother.

An Affair to Remember

Nick Ferrante finds eternal love in Terry McKay, after a little tryst on-board SS Constitution. They set a date after six months, and decide to meet on top of the Empire State Building, after successfully ending their individual current relationships. 
On the appointed day, Terry meets with an accident and cannot keep her part of the promise. But, after being treated, she sends a message or calls up Nick and tells him the whole story. Nick rushes to the hospital and the lovers are reunited, without the hassles of heartbreaks and all that fuss.


Killer calls Casey on her cell phone. She gets his number, calls the police and tells them about the creepy call. They track the number, find that the killers are none other than Billy and Stu. The pranksters are caught and none of the teenagers die. And we are saved from all the sequels and spoofs.

Wrong Turn

So, Jessie cannot figure out the paper map! She opens Google maps and navigator, and the group gets turn-by-turn directions to their destination. They enjoy their hiking trip and the journey is pretty much uneventful. No 'wrong turns' and safe passage guaranteed.

The Wizard of Oz

Dorothy, in her magical ruby slippers, together with a few friends, is on her quest to find the great and talented Wizard. She and the company come across various hurdles as set by the evil witch. Then Glinda, the good witch, suddenly remembers something and calls up Dorothy. She tells her that if she clicked the heels of her magical slippers three times, she would immediately return to her home in Kansas. Good save, Glinda!

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Henry Jones Senior is a very intelligent man. He finds the way to cross all the hurdles and reach the inner chambers, where the Holy Grail is hidden. Instead of writing the clues down in a diary and sending it to his son, he messages him. 
He texts him all the clues with the correct spelling for the Word of God -- I-E-O-V-A. Indie gets into the chamber without much of the guesswork he generally does, gets the Grail, and heals his father, all in a matter of a few minutes. Wrap up the movie.


Little Bruce Wayne visits the opera with his parents. He gets scared and his parents decide to leave early from the theater. His father, Thomas Wayne, calls the driver and asks him to bring the car to the rear exit. The car arrives, everyone gets into it and it drives away safely. No one gets killed, Bruce is not traumatized and he never becomes Batman. The end.
The filmmakers now have very limited options. They can either embrace the technology and explore new avenues to create a flawless movie, or they can make movies based on historical events. And of course, if nothing seems to work, you can always rely on Gothic horrors and animations.