The Cast Of ‘Mad Men’ Were Each Required To Watch These 10 Movies Before Filming

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Today marks one month until the ‘Mad Men‘ final season premiere, and the show’s creator Matthew Weiner has begun dropping trivia bombs on fans across the nation.

As part of his swan song before the final seven ‘Mad Men’ episodes hit TV Gothamist is reporting that creator Matthew Weiner will be heavily involved in a ‘Mad Men’ exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens:

This new major exhibition explores the creative process behind Mad Men, one of the most acclaimed television series of all time, now launching its final seven episodes on AMC. Featuring large-scale sets including Don Draper’s office and the kitchen from the Draper’s Ossining home, more than 25 iconic costumes, props, video clips, advertising art, and personal notes and research material from series creator Matthew Weiner, the exhibition offers unique insight into the series’ origins, and how its exceptional storytelling and remarkable attention to period detail resulted in a vivid portrait of an era and the characters who lived through it.

As part of the exhibit Matthew Weiner released a list of 10 movies that each cast member of ‘Mad Men’ was required to watch, and which has had a serious impact on the show itself. As the show’s creator Matthew Weiner handpicked these films (and wrote the descriptions below):

North by Northwest

Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. 1959, 136 mins. 35mm. With Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint.

“This film became an important influence on the pilot because it was shot in New York City, right around the time the first episode takes place. While more overtly stylized than we wanted to imitate, we felt the low angles and contemporary feel were a useful reflection of our artistic mindset. I had studied the film in depth at USC film school and absorbed much of its “ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances” narrative drive. It is worth noting that Cary Grant is playing an Adman named Roger, who is forced to assume another man’s identity.” —Matthew Weiner

The Apartment

Dir. Billy Wilder. 1960, 125 mins. 35mm print courtesy of the Packard Humanities Institute Collection at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. With Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine.

“I had seen this for the first time in film school and was bowled over by the dynamic writing and the passive nature of its hero, Jack Lemmon’s C.C. Baxter. It is definitely a story of its times, firmly rooted in a Manhattan where seemingly regular men behave unscrupulously, and it completely engaged my imagination as a representation of office and sexual politics at the time. It blends humor and pathos effortlessly.” −Matthew Weiner

Vertigo

Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. 1958, 128 mins. 35mm IB Technicolor print! With James Stewart, Kim Novak.

“Released to negative reviews, it now ranks for many as the greatest film ever made. I had not seen it before the show began, but finally caught it on a break after the first season. I was overwhelmed with its beauty, mystery, and obsessive detail. I remember watching the camera dolly-in on Kim Novak’s hair and thinking, “this is exactly what we are trying to do.” Vertigo feels like you are watching someone else’s dream.” −Matthew Weiner

Blue Velvet

Dir. David Lynch. 1987, 120 mins. 35mm. With Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper.
“Remarkably original for its time, this film had an impact on my generation that can’t be underestimated. I saw it as I was finishing college and applied to film school soon after. Indefinable in genre, Blue Velvet moves from murder mystery to film noir to black comedy to coming-of-age story, almost from scene to scene. With stylistic richness and psychological complexity, it celebrates the horror of the mundane and is filled with reference to a kitschy and ironic “’50s” milieu. This incredible observation informed much of the 1980s and became an inspiration for the series and its attempt to equally revise our mythical perception of the period. ” −Matthew Weiner

Les Bonnes Femmes

Dir. Claude Chabrol. 1960, 100 mins. 35mm. With Bernadette Lafont, Clotilde Joano, Stéphane Audran.

“I first saw this in film school and shared it to help the production design of the pilot because it was shot in the streets of Paris, with little embellishment, at exactly the time we were trying to recreate. The thematic aspects were valuable as well, as the film tells the everyday story of four bored working women led astray by their romantic fantasies. My favorite sequence, a kind of postscript to the whole film, is particularly relevant to the series as it features an unknown woman looking right down the lens at the audience.” −Matthew Weiner

Patterns

Dir. Fielder Cook. 1956, 83 mins. 35mm. With Van Heflin, Everett Sloane, Ed Begley.

“I saw this film version as a child on sick day from middle school; it was originally written and produced for live television in 1955. Rod Serling ingeniously creates a boardroom passion play with a chilling first-person climax that I never forgot. We used it often over the life of the series to get a sense of the real offices and to see how virtue and ambition can clash when the older generation is pushed aside and ruthless business confronts humanity.” − Matthew Weiner

Dear Heart

Dir. Delbert Mann. 1964, 114 mins. 35mm print courtesy of the Packard Humanities Institute Collection at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. With Glenn Ford, Geraldine Page, Angela Lansbury.

“Stumbling upon this film gave me the impetus to finally write the pilot. I was taken by this mainstream Hollywood film that reflected a very casual attitude towards sex, something that seemed uncharacteristic to my preconceptions of the era. With its glib bachelor hero and dowdy, conservative ingénue, it tells a tale of moral corruption and heartbreaking duplicity in the form of a light comedy. As Glenn Ford tries to change his ways and take responsibility for his meaningless romances in glamorous Manhattan, I found a jumping-off point for the series.” −Matthew Weiner

The Bachelor Party

Dir. Delbert Mann. 1957, 92 mins. Digital projection. With Don Murray, E.G. Marshall, Jack Warden.

“Originally written and produced for live television in 1953, this film reteams writer Paddy Chayefsky and director Delbert Mann, and reflects the painful realism of their previous collaboration, the Oscar-winning film Marty. The “swinging bachelor” was a trope of fiction at this time, but this film poetically undoes the clichés of male camaraderie and presents both the issues of fidelity and loneliness with an unflinching eye.” −Matthew Weiner

The Best of Everything

Dir. Jean Negulesco. 1959, 121 mins. DCP. With Hope Lange, Stephen Boyd, Suzy Parker, Joan Crawford.

“A highly stylized and star-studded adaptation of Rona Jaffe’s 1958 best-seller, this film became part of the group mind-set for the pilot. Although I felt that it was a visually glamorized, and extremely melodramatic, I could see that its story was a well-observed representation of working women in New York at the time. The workings of the office, the romantic complications, and the living situations all smacked of the truth. Like many popular films of the time, it helped to inform our characters—they certainly would have seen it, and it would have had an impact on their real expectations.” −Matthew Weiner

The Americanization of Emily

Dir. Arthur Hiller. 1964, 115 mins. 35mm. With James Garner, Julie Andrews, Melvyn Douglas.

“I saw this first in film school and was taken immediately with Paddy Chayefsky’s ironic and rhythmic dialogue and by its deep anti-war sentiment, which was shocking because it was rarely discussed in the context of the allies in World War II. James Garner’s portrayal of Charlie, a callow and glib womanizer who has given up on humanity and is then forced into heroism, influenced our attempt to recreate the mid-century male mindset and its relationship to existential absurdity.” −Matthew Weiner

So bros, if you’re a ‘Mad Men’ enthusiast and live in the NYC area and you want the chance to watch a movie with the show’s creator then you can head on over to the Museum of the Moving Image and check out one of those screenings above (screening times linked at the end of each movie’s description).

[Gothamist]