Episode 2.3 "The Benefactor"
Two film moments in this episode. In the first Betty is at the stables where she rides when she and her friend spot Arthur (Gabriel Mann) the prettyboy fiance of one of her wealthy peers. Betty won't admit her attraction.
Sarabeth Carson: He looks like a little boy.Gabriel Mann doesn't look much like Monty except for that arguably little boy lost quality. The actor, who you might recognize from High Art or the Bourne trilogy, certainly doesn't look his age (38).
Betty Draper: I guess.
Sarabeth: He reminds me of Monty Clift in A Place in the Sun, learning how to ride so he can worm his way into the upper crust.
Betty: Somewhere there's a pregnant girl floating in a lake.
Sarabeth: I'm from the South. There are such people.
While several Mad Men characters talk about going to the movies, Don Draper (Jon Hamm, the lead) is the only one we ever follow into the cinema and the only one whose frequent moviegoing is discussed by other characters. Later in this episode he steps out of the office to take in a French film. The sequence has no dialogue apart from what's onscreen, the Francois Villon's poem "Ballade des dames du temps jadis."
There seems to be disagreement online about which film this actually is (I'm not sure myself. Anyone know?) but the French New Wave was a big deal in NYC in the 60s so an avid moviegoer like Don Draper would certainly partake. I love that Don watches movies in the pose that Mad Men's marketing team made so instantly famous.
Though this moviegoing sequence has no dialogue or explanation, it has repercussions. Don fires his new secretary who doesn't cover for him -- excuse me, "manage expectations" -- while he is catching this matinee.
Have you ever sneaked out of work or school for a movie?
Other cultural references in this episode: Movies: Pinnocchio (like A Place in the Sun, it's a recurring reference on Mad Men) | Celebrities: Killers Leopold & Loeb | Art: The Medicis of Florence | TV: The Defenders | Literature: F Scott Fitzgerald's "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" | Entertainment Politics: "I miss the Black List"