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Interior Design in Classic Movies of the 1970s

Last time, we wrote about Interior Design in Classic Movies of the 1960s. This week it’s time to move onto the next decade: the 1970s.

The following five films feature notable interior design of the 1970s.

Chinatown (1974) this neo-noir film about PI Jake Gittes was directed by Roman Polanski. Polanski also cameos as a gangster that cuts Jake’s nose with a knife. Jake is played by Jack Nicholson and Evelyn Cross Mulwray is played by Faye Dunaway. The story is set in 1937 and follows the mystery of false dealings with water rights in the city of Los Angeles; the city itself becomes a character. The film won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction.

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The Godfather Part II (1974) is the sequel and a prequel to The Godfather (1972). It is the first sequel to a movie to win Best Picture. This story follows the crime family of the Coreleones following the end of the first film. A prequel about Vito Corleone is interwined with the story about the present day. Francis Ford Coppola directed this sequel, which stars Al Pacino as Michael Coreleone, Robert De Niro as Vito Corleone, Diane Keaton as Kay and Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen.

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Heaven Can Wait (1978) is a comedy directed by and starring Warren Beatty. Beatty plays Joe Pendleton, a professional football player who dies in a car crash. When Joe arrives in Heaven, it’s revealed that he wasn’t meant to die yet. He returns to Earth in the body of a millionaire who was murdered by his wife. This film won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction.

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Diamonds Are Forever (1971) is the seventh James Bond film and stars Sean Connery. It was directed by Guy Hamilton and the sets were decorated by Peter Lamont and John P. Austin. In this film, James Bond is infiltrating a group of diamond smugglers. Bond finds he must stop the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld from creating a laser and destroying Washington, D.C.

The film features the Elrod House, a modern home designed by architect John Lautner. The interior design in the set is very minimal and the set is decorated with unusually shaped furniture. The real house is located in Palm Springs, California.

Did you know Sean Connery was paid $1.25 million to return as Bond in this film?

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Alright, we know American Hustle (2013), directed by David O. Russell, wasn’t filmed during the 1970s. But the movie is set in the 1970s and we couldn’t help but include the stunning interior design in this movie. FBI agent Richie DiMaso (played by Bradley Cooper) forces con artists Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) into helping him con Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner). Meanwhile, Irving’s wife Rosalyn Rosenfeld (Jennifer Lawrence) creates drama and trouble for the criminal couple.

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In the next blog post in this series, we’ll go over interior design in movies of the 1980s. We can’t wait to revisit some of those trends.


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