Monday, July 10, 2017

Mid-Century Modern

I've mentioned in the past that one of the things I enjoy about old movies is the set design of things the way they looked back then, or at least the way people wanted them to look for a certain segment of society. The residences for the upper-middle-class families in The Best Years of Our Lives and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House would be good examples; that apartment kitchen Fredric March and Myrna Loy have looks tiny compared to some of the impossibly luxurious apartments we see on screen.

But for this post I'm thinking more of the Technicolor (or whatever color processes followed it) sets of the mid-50s to the mid-60s: things like the brick red appliances in Doris Day and Rock Hudson's large kitchen in Send Me No Flowers. Apparently, the term for it is "Mid-century modern", and TCM is showing a night of movies showcasing the design. (Sorry, no photos this time.)

It's just too bad that I really only care for one of the movies. The night kicks off at 8:00 PM with The Moon is Blue a "comedy" that violated the strictures of the Production Code, which is why the movie is famous, since I never found it funny.

The Best of Everything at 10:00 PM is one of those slightly-sprawling movies, like The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit or Return to Peyton Place that I'm probably a bit too harsh on, but they never quite live up to their billing.

I'm not a fan of Judy Garland's singing, so I don't care for her version of A Star is Born at 12:15 AM, especially considering the fact that it's interminable.

The house in North by Northwest (3:30 AM), however.... The one good thing about the movies is that TCM is showing a contemporary look at the designs, and not the nostalgia we've gotten since the Baby Boomers have been in the cultural ascendancy.

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