Unraveling the Mystery: The Tape Recorder Used by Jude Law in the Movie ‘Road to Perdition’

In the 2002 film “Road to Perdition,” Jude Law’s character, Harlen Maguire, is seen using a tape recorder during a pivotal scene with Tom Hanks’ character, Michael Sullivan. This seemingly minor detail has sparked curiosity among film and technology enthusiasts alike, leading to questions about the specific model and brand of the tape recorder used in the film. This article aims to unravel the mystery behind this iconic prop.

The Tape Recorder in “Road to Perdition”

The tape recorder used by Jude Law in “Road to Perdition” is a vintage model, reflecting the film’s 1930s setting. It is a reel-to-reel tape recorder, a type of tape recording system that was popular from the 1940s to the 1970s. The model used in the film, however, is not explicitly identified, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact brand or model.

Reel-to-Reel Tape Recorders

Reel-to-reel tape recorders, also known as open-reel recorders, were the first type of tape recorder to be commercially available. They were widely used in professional recording studios and broadcasting stations before being replaced by cassette tapes and digital recording technology. Despite their obsolescence, reel-to-reel tape recorders are still valued by audiophiles for their superior sound quality.

Identifying the Model

While the exact model of the tape recorder used in “Road to Perdition” is not known, it is possible to make an educated guess based on the appearance and features of the device. The recorder appears to be a portable model, with a handle for easy transport. It also has a distinctive two-reel design, with the tape moving from one reel to another during recording or playback.

Possible Brands

Several brands were known for producing reel-to-reel tape recorders during the era depicted in “Road to Perdition.” These include Ampex, Revox, and Tandberg. However, without a clear view of the brand logo or other identifying features on the device, it is impossible to definitively identify the brand of the tape recorder used in the film.


The tape recorder used by Jude Law in “Road to Perdition” adds an authentic touch to the film’s 1930s setting. While the exact model and brand remain a mystery, the device is a fascinating piece of vintage technology that reflects the era’s recording practices. Whether you’re a film buff, a technology enthusiast, or just a curious viewer, the tape recorder in “Road to Perdition” offers a glimpse into the past and the evolution of recording technology.