Tuesday, April 07, 2015

MAD MEN WEEK (Forgotten Movies)

Could not be more excited and yet depressed that this will be the last seven episodes of MAD MEN.
To celebrate that event, I thought we might look at the Sixties one last time. Starting with movies, what movie evokes the Sixties most to you.

I am going with THE APARTMENT.
If there is anyone who doesn't know the story, Jack Lemmon plays a guy who is trying to rise in an organization by allowing those above him to use his apartments for illicit rendezvous. When it looks like his favorite elevator girl (Shirley MacLaine) is going to be the next prey, he must take action.

Although this movie probably speaks to the culture of the Fifties more than the Sixties, it introduced a few of the subjects that will become big: the treatment of women, corporate culture, sex.  In many ways, there is two Sixties for me. The increasing number of troops going to Vietnam began a new sixties for me.

What movie would you say exemplifies the era best?

23 comments:

Kieran said...

When I think about 60s movies, firebrands define my perceptions of the era ...movies like Cool Hand Luke, Lawrence of Arabia, Spartacus, The Dirty Dozen...

Deb said...

For a movie that evokes that (early) Mad Men vibe, I'd go with 1959's The Best of Everything: three young women work at a New York publishing company; Joan Crawford plays their tough-as-nails boss. The treatment the "gals" get from the wolfish men in the company is about what you'd expect (although this being the late fifties, as opposed to an ironic look at the late fifties, none of the women complain too loudly). Even Joan Crawford has a romance--although her man is married and there are several scenes with her clutching the phone and saying things like, "Oh yes, I see. I understand you can't get out of a thing like that." And the sets are primo mid-century modern. Worth a look, if only as a curio for how things used to be.

Bill Crider said...

Dr. Strangelove.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

This is the early '60s of course. By 1966 or so it seemed like the world was changing, rapidly. The change (unfortunate, in many ways) from black & white to color was a part of that.

I miss black & white (and the Old Days).

Jeff M.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Dr. Strangelove - another great black & white movie.

I rest my case.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I also think of Doris Day movies. I think I am in the early sixties here.

Margot Kinberg said...

The Sixties were a complicated time! When I think the era, it's The Graduate...

George said...

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967) is a warning signal (although it's funny) about the world we live in today.

Anders E said...

As someone born in 1963 I barely remember the sixties. However, to me it seems there were three parts to the decade; the very early sixties, basically a continuation of the fifties. This ended when Beatlemania happened, i.e early 1963 in the UK, early 1964 in the U.S. and somewhere in between in continental Europe. That second part in turn ended when pop music ended being just exciting noise and was elevated to, ahem, counter culture and guys started growing a lot of facial hair. 1967, I'd say.

My candidate is a concert movie - The T.A.M.I. Show. Filmed in late October 1964 this is essentially from the tipping point when the sixties really bacame the sixties. The numerous audience shots are really interesting - some people look like it's still 1950 and not even Elvis has happened yet. And then at one point we see this blonde guy... Now, I knew surfers at the time could wear really long hair, but this dude looks exactly like Kurt Cobain from 1993. in 1964.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have never seen that, Anders. STRANGELOVE is a perfect choice. Although so is THE GRADUATE.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Patti, at one point they combined The TAMI Show and The TNT Show into one concert. It's been a long time since I saw it but it is worth seeking either or both.

Jeff M.

Richard said...

I''m thinking more of he late 1960s, so EASY RIDER comes to mind, as well as HELP! But I loved LAWRENCE OF ARABIA when I saw it, and 2001, BUTCH CASSIDY, GOOD, BAD, UGLY. Tere are so many!

Todd Mason said...

A lot of good suggestions, not least your choice, Patti. Among those I'd add are IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT and NOTHING BUT A MAN, though the latter is certainly rougher around the edges.

Seeing THE TAMI SHOW and THE BIG TNT SHOW discretely is better than the chopped and channeled re-edit. But it does remind me of CATCH US IF YOU CAN (released in the States as HAVING A WILD WEEKEND) which manages to be even more satirical than A HARD DAY'S NIGHT while still being a Band Film. Dave Clark 5 movie, directed by a beginning John Boorman.

And, such Of Course choices as MEDIUM COOL and PERSONA.

Todd Mason said...

And for More Despair, there's always CARNIVAL OF SOULS and THE IPCRESS FILE, though the ironies of THE LOVED ONE and THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD might just cheer one up backhandedly. (Though the book is definitely better in the case of THE LOVED ONE.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

I could just listen to the music from these movies forever.

Todd Mason said...

IT FOLLOWS, by the way, has a couple/few jump scares, one rather well-integrated and not actually gratuitous (the others are more arguable), but is mostly a film that haunts. I think you will mostly enjoy it if you see it...it resonated with me more than I thought it did by the film's end, in much the way that another seemingly fairly lightweight '60s film did...BULLITT.

Bernadette said...

Given I wasn't born until near the end of the decade these have all been watched from a distance but TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and PSYCHO are both on my list of all-time favourites...CHARADE and THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER are both close too - none of them speaks very much to the Mad Med era though...I'm holding off watching season 7 so shall have to avoid the internet for a bit

Todd Mason said...

For some reason (the novel's year of publication), I always want to think of PSYCHO as a 1959 film. But, of course, that raises the specter of THE HAUNTING (that other 1959 novel-source...)...

Anders E said...

Oh, how could I forget one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen - and also Roger Corman's finest moment? I'm referring to The Intruder (1962). Is that really Captain Kirk saying all those things?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IH0NJxQrDYI

pattinase (abbott) said...

CHARADE is one I can see over and over. HEART=I remember the book but not sure when I last saw the film. She is a favorite of mine. Just read REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE for the first time.

Todd Mason said...

Anders--and THE INTRUDER was based on Charles Beaumont's novel...which I hope to read...

Todd Mason said...

And Shatner was trying real hard to remember his lines in Esperanto not long after...if INCUBUS doesn't sum the daft experimentalism of the '60s...a commercially intended horror film in Esperanto...what does?

Todd Mason said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHUfHj2lTaM

INCUBUS.