bradygirl_12 (bradygirl_12) wrote,

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Vintage Ads, Marilyn, & Paranoia

I've been perusing some comms while I set up my new journal and found (via a friend's journal), vintage_ads. Fun to comment on, and a great window into culture of the past. Ads in our industrialized societies tell a lot about those societies, and this looks like an interesting place to get some insights and have fun. :)

I've been perusing websites, too, of my favorite old '50s movies. I love Them!, a 1954 SF classic, and was surprised by the touch of feminism in a very Cold War film (the female scientist (Joan Weldon) is given much respect by her father, always called 'Doctor' in official meetings, and she's the one who goes with the two male leads (James Whitmore and James Arness) into a dangerous situation because of her knowledge). The film has such eerie music and a plot that's not that crazy considering it's one of the first 'giant (take-your-pick) from atomic radiation' movies. ;)

I've been reading up on Niagara, too, a 1953 film starring Marilyn Monroe that is a perfect time capsule as to social attitudes, clothing, cars, etc. The Korean War is mentioned several times, and the film noir mood is excellent. The area surrounding the Falls on both the American and Canadian sides have changed a lot since 1953, but it's amazing how much of it is still the same. I'll have to watch that again this weekend. ;)

You understand comics' Silver Age so much better when you study these films, noting the sexism and Cold War paranoia, just to name a few themes. This is the era of Lois trying to trap Superman into marrying her, and the Diana/Steve dynamic made far more conventional after a progressive Golden Age.

Though interestingly enough, the early '50s of McCarthyism, the Korean War, and the Russians successfully testing their first H-bomb is when Lois is still her tough '40s-style self and Wonder Woman hasn't been as sharply revamped. The transformations come later in the decade.

It also helps in understanding a lot of the 'feel' of The New Frontier.
Tags: canada, dc comics, golden age, lj, movies, niagara falls, silver age, the korean war, the new frontier, u.s.a.
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