Saturday, September 12, 2009

MM@M: A Mama's Boy and a Man's Man

Mad Men at the Movies: Talking bout movies and movie stars referenced in the '60s set series. Previously: Gidget, The Wizard of Oz, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Natalie Wood and Joan Crawford in The Best of Everything.

1.8 "The Hobo Code"
Inside ad agency Sterling Cooper, three operators connect calls and listen in. One of them Lois, played by Crista Flanagan (right) has developed a crush on Salvatore Romano (Bryan Batt), the firm's closeted art director.

Lois: "Ciao Ciao". [smitten] My stars!
Operator #1: Two weeks in, she's already a goner.
Lois: He talks to his mother a lot.
Operator #2: Because he's not married.
Lois: He's in the art department? Well, what does he look like?
#1: Did you see that movie Marty with Ernest Borgnine? He lived with his mother.
#2: Stop teasing her.
Marty, released in 1955, won Borgnine the Oscar for best actor but in this context it's a derogatory remark, "Marty" as shorthand for homely mama's boy. The sassy operator even manages to make the Italian-American connection. At least she didn't compare Salvator to Norman Bates, right? He was the most famous mama's boy 'round about the time frame of this episode.

Later in the episode, a gay client Elliott (Paul Keeley) who is staying at the Roosevelt dangles a carrot for Sal.
I was in the lounge last night... and I end up having a drink with Robert Mitchum! Actually many drinks. [laughter]
I have no idea whether Mitchum was a favorite of the gay community in the 1950s but it wouldn't surprise me to hear that he was. Either way, Elliott is luring Sal to his current night spot with an icon of taciturn masculinity. One episode, two suitors. By the end of the hour Sal has rejected both Lois and Elliott in his own frightened way. Sal has become the unexpected star of this 'Mad Men at the Movies' series, hasn't he?

other references in this episode
Cinema: The Wizard of Oz "I feel like Dorothy and everything just turned to color" and 42nd Street | Books: Atlas Shrugged | Politics: Joseph McCarthy | Music: Miles Davis

special thanks, as always, to Mad Men fansite "Basket of Kisses" for goading this series into being


BelgianBoy said...

This show seems to be so amazing. Why isn't it on here? :-(

Tom Steele said...

We bought MAD MEN, season 1, but haven't watched it yet. When we do, I'm sure I'll enjoy your MM@M entries, particularly because I came of age in the 1960s and spent ALL of my spare time at the movies. There was *nothing* else to do in Toledo, Ohio. And I've always been grateful to the movies for helping to make me the happy homosexual that I am today.


Belgian... can't you get the dvd or not?

i figured people could follow along with the dvds since i went back to the first season.

also. i'm hoping there is something to be drawn from these posts even if you don't watch the show since they're about the movies and movie stars.

Deborah said...

I can't believe I left Wizard of Oz off my list! It's one of my favorite quotes.

BelgianBoy said...

@Nathaniel: Alas, my budget doesn't allow for massive DVD-shopping.

In between college and clothing, I'm trying to find a budget for so many things including the gym. But then again, fine entertainment is more important than looking good, right?

Paul Outlaw said...

other references in this episode
Cinema: The Wizard of Oz "I feel like Dorothy and everything just turned to color" | Broadway: 42nd Street | Books: Atlas Shrugged | Politics: Joseph McCarthy | Music: Miles Davis

I don't remember where it was mentioned in this episode, but could it be referring to 42nd Street, the 1933 film (or the book it was adapted from)? The Broadway musical was first produced in 1980 and was actually the first successful Broadway musical to be adapted from a film musical.


oh, oops! than it is a film reference. Thanks Paul. 42nd street is mentioned during Elliott and Sal's awkward lounge pickup

Glenn said...

I do love this stuff.

I'm planning on getting my hands on season 2 (just released on DVD here - not screened on TV yet) as soon as I've finished season 3 of Battlestar Galactica.