Teacher’s Pest

After 13 years as a MGM player and star attraction with 19 feature films to her credit, Esther Williams found herself facing an uncertain future in 1955 when her contract with the studio ended. But her next move not only surprised herself but must have made her fans and former colleagues at MGM do a double take. She starred in a lurid psychosexual melodrama from Universal-International, shot in Technicolor, entitled The Unguarded Moment (1956). 

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Mad Men Heyday

Matthew Weiner, the creator of AMC’s popular Mad Men franchise, has often pointed to specific films that influenced the look and feel of that popular TV series. Among them are obvious choices like Billy Wilder’s The Apartment (1960), Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (1959) and Fielder Cook’s Patterns (1956), based on Rod Serling’s teleplay, and less obvious influences such as David Lynch’s Blue Velvet and Claude Chabrol’s Les Bonnes Femmes (1960). One has to wonder though if Weiner ever saw the Jack Lemmon comedy Good Neighbor Sam (1964) because the art direction, production design and even the corporate politics on display seem to prefigure major aspects of Mad Men, albeit on a much lighter note. Continue reading