This blog series will review interior design in classic cinema. Each blog post will go over a different decade of movies. This week’s decade is the 1950s. Let’s go over some Hollywood classics and talk design.
Some of these films were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Production Design for art direction and set decoration.
All that Heaven Allows (1955)
“Cary, let’s face it: you were ready for a love affair, but not for love.”
All That Heaven Allows was listed by Elle Décor in their post Hollywood’s Classic Interiors. The sets were decorated by Russell A. Gausman and Julia Heron. You can see in Jane Wyman’s living room that small bits of hot pinks and oranges pop up against the mostly black and white color scheme.
Auntie Mame (1958)
“Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!”
Eccentric Mame Davis, played by Rosalind Russell, redecorates her apartment over and over in this classic film. The set decoration in this movie has inspired designers like Jonathan Adler.
Mon Oncle (1958)
This French comedy, directed by Jacques Tati, showcases some very modern sets. The set design was done bypainter Jacques Lagrange.
Pillow Talk (1959)
“You know, not every man ends every sentence with a proposition!”
This Rock Hudson and Doris Day comedy was filmed in Kodachrome. Jan Morrow is an interior designer who has to share a phone line with her chauvinistic neighbor. She works as an interior designer and it shows through in her apartment.
North by Northwest (1959)
“There’s no such thing as a lie. There’s only the expedient exaggeration.”
There’s architecture and design to be admired in this Hitchcock thriller. North by Northwest, one of Hitchcock’s most successful films, pays homage to the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright. The Vandamm House in the film was built in Culver City and exteriors were created with the use of special effects.
Next time, check back for a look at interior design in the movies of the 1960s, including classics like The Apartment and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
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