How does one become famous without really having any particular talent or skill? In modern times, you can accomplish this by posting a video on Youtube, Twitter or numerous other social media outlets but it was a lot harder to attract attention in the 1950s. It Should Happen to You (1954), directed by George Cukor, addresses the common fantasy of become famous and idolized by millions at a time when the possibility of an unknown achieving overnight recognition was highly unlikely.
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 →