It’s time to talk about set design and interior design in some of Hollywood’s most classic films. Last week, we went over Interior Design in Classic Movies of the 1950s , and this week we’re talking about the swinging 1960s.
The Apartment (1960)
“Shut up and deal.”
This dark comedy, directed by Billy Wilder and starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, won the Academy Award for Best Production Design in 1960 for black and white picture. The set was decorated by Edward G Boyle and Alexander Trauner was the Art Director.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
“We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don’t even belong to each other.”
This timeless classic features some interesting interior design and some bold choices in décor. The most notable is Holly’s (Audrey Hepburn) bathtub sofa in her Upper East Side apartment. The sofa is a claw foot bathtub that has been cut in half and decorated with padding and pillows.
This set was decorated by Ray Moyer and Sam Comer, and the film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Production Design, which ultimately went to West Side Story that year.
The Graduate (1967)
“Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.”
The Graduate, directed by Mike Nichols, tells the story of young Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) and his affair with Mrs. Robinson. It also conveys the lost feelings of an entire generation. Richard Sylbert (Chinatown, Catch-22, The Manchurian Candidate) completed Production Design and George R. Nelson (When Harry Met Sally, Apocalypse Now) completed set design.
The Parent Trap (1961)
“An amazing resemblance.”
This screwball comedy from Disney tells the story of two twins who were separated at birth when their parents divorced. They find each other at summer camp and scheme to get their parents back together. Parts of the film take place at an amazing ranch house in California.
West Side Story (1961)
“You forget I’m in America.”
This film adaptation of the famous Stephen Sondheim musical won the Academy Award for Best Production Design in 1961, beating out Breakfast at Tiffany’s and El Cid. It tells a Romeo and Juliet story within the Upper West Side of New York City in the 1950s. It was directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins.
The iconic red walls and hanging lighting at the school dance have been recreated for other versions of the play.
Stay tuned for next time, when we’ll publish a post on Interior Design in Classic Movies of the 1970s. What are your favorite set designs for the screen or the stage?