If my cable system ever drops Turner Classics, I don't know what I am going to do. I don't really do reality shows, and I don't like getting involved with a television series- too much commitment. But old movies? Love them! I can't get enough of them.
Nerve.com posted an interesting article yesterday about design in film. Blogger Phil Nugent listed five movies where "design nearly stole the show". I'll let you click over to see his choices, but one movie about which Nugent and I are in complete agreement is "My Man Godfrey". Early last year I posted a list of six of my favorite movies where design played a starring role, and "Godfrey" is right up there amongst the top. But why stop at six? Here are a few more movies whose sets and interiors have struck my fancy.
The Divorcée, starring Norma Shearer. When this film was released back in 1930, it caused a great scandal. A married woman having an affair... on screen? Horrors! The movie has those quintessential 1930s glamorous movie sets- Cedric Gibbons was the Art Director of this film, after all. But what you should really see is the so-called "country house" of the lead characters. It's a vision in white, black, Serge Roche-esque furniture, and satin. If Miles Redd had a country house (and maybe he does), this would be it!
Trouble in Paradise. Ernst Lubitsch's 1932 film is a sparkling, witty movie with Art Deco interiors and exteriors galore. The stylized Colet & Co. perfume factory is absolutely fabulous.
Who wasn't struck by the interiors in Gosford Park? I don't know which part of the house I preferred- the upstairs or the downstairs. Things were awfully glamorous up with the wealthy people, but I did love that kitchen too!
You can't have a list about movie interiors without mentioning Auntie Mame. Mame was a bit like Dorothy Draper on speed- she was all about having FUN, especially in her decorating. Mame's apartment went through so many different phases, and I can't decide which version I like best. Was it the over the top Chinese restaurant look? Or the crazy, modern Yul Ullu version?
The Paradine Case (1946), starring Gregory Peck. Set in London, this lesser known Hitchcock movie is actually rather good. Peck plays a dashing attorney who has an attractive, kind wife and lives in a very elegant home. What I never understood was why he would fall for his client, a woman of questionnable virtue- especially when said client has a gaudy, Baroque bed with a painting of herself on the headboard. Would you choose a tacky bed over a gorgeously appointed home? I thought not.
Over this? What was Peck thinking??
Image at top: My favorite person on TV- Robert Osborne.