Monday, August 23, 2010

MM@M: Look Like Hayley Mills. Feel The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Mad Men @ the Movies investigates cinema references... a fancy excuse to talk about tv's best series.

Episode 4.5 "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword"
In this episode SCDP attempts to win the Honda campaign but Sterling still hates the Japanese from his WWII days. Meanwhile, it's Draper Vs. Draper again as Don (Jon Hamm) and Betty (January Jones returns.) hurl hate at each other. Tween daughter Sally tries to tune them out by misbehaving i.e. engaging in perfectly normal behavior like masturbating. Uh oh! In one sequence Sally cuts her own hair, sending her babysitter and her father into hysterics.

Don: Why would she do that?
Babysitter: She probably wanted to look older or like Hayley Mills. I don't know."
Heaven to hear 60s child star Hayley Mills (a personal fav) referenced on Mad Men. Hayley is best remembered today for the back-to-back family friendly classics Pollyanna (1960) and The Parent Trap (1961). She was actually the last actor to win the Academy's intermittently awarded Juvenile Award (you know the one-- the only Oscar Judy Garland ever got. Grrrr.) Mills would have most definitely been an idol for Sally's generation.

The previous summer moviegoers had enjoyed Hayley in The Moon Spinners (64) and she had two films in theaters for 65: Disney's That Darn Cat (pictured up top) and The Truth About Spring. This episode takes place in 1965 which happened to be the last year Mills could be referred to as a teenager...

Hayley Mills leaving her teen years. 18 in 1964 (left) & 19 in 1965 (right)

She was exiting adolescence just as Sally was entering it. In 1966 she actually played a young married woman in The Family Way.

Nevertheless, for the family friendly Hayley memories this particular episode conjures, the pop culture reference that leads to the most adult-specific hysteria is not from the movies but from the small screen. Sally watches television's The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (from its debut season '64-'65) while at a sleepover (her friend is already asleep). In the scene, David McAllum is tied to a chair, and his masculine pheromones are doing a hormonal whammy on confused Sally. (Or maybe Sally's just going to be into bondage as an adult.)

Further reading?

In case you can't get enough Mad Men the morning after...


David Coley said...

I'm calling it right now. Roger Sterling won't make it out of this season alive.

Leehee said...

Growing up, watching "The Parent Trap" over and over and over again (I'm a twin, so it came naturally), I wanted Maureen O'Hara to be my mom...but I wanted to BE Hayley Mills.
I grew up in the 80's and not the 60's but I really was one of those little girls obsessed with her. People tend to forget how adored she was back in those days, and how many people, particularly tweens as we now call them, looked up to her. Just another reason why Mad Men is so great and totally gets the time period spot on!

Oh, and I'm *SO* excited to be the comment du jour! :-)

jbaker475 said...

Another great MM episode (and subsequent MM@M post). Season 4 might actually stand a chance at becoming the show's best year yet if they keep up this momentum. Oh, and that Peggy/motorcycle GIF is beyond priceless.


Only 11 votes on the poll with hundreds of readers popping in for mad men at the movies? weird.

Maybe Illya Kuryakin just don't make TFE readers tingly? or maybe not enough TFE readers read mad men. how much more can i recommend it?

David -- probably not a bad call. BUT even though i admire the show for being willing to change each year (as in real life) that would be the craziest missing persons blow possible beyond Don & Peggy. for the tone of the show and all.

Bia said...

Hopefully Betty becomes more prominent, I'm not loving her demotion to guest star status.

Murtada said...

This was a fantastic episode. That scene with Roger and Joan. Sublime, those two have fantastic chemistry.

And Sally Draper is becoming quite the interesting character. Spinoff needed : Coming Unhinged, the story of Sally Draper and the turbulent 1970s.

SusanP said...

As I said on your FB post, Betty is awful. Then again, I think her reaction (in particular to Sally's youthful urges) is more a reflection of the times (and how her own mother reacted to her sexuality).

Also, it was hard not to really feel for Sally when the babysitter said she should talk to her mom about sex. Yeah right!

Poor girl. I hope the shrink--who seems pretty perceptive and caring--helps.

Paul Outlaw said...

Nat, I'm thinking that it was Glenn Corbett, the man on the left, and not David McCallum, who got Sally so worked up. Just sayin'....


Murtada -- Mad Men is like the first tv show i've wanted a spinoff of since Buffy (it wasn't Angel by the way. I was dying for a Faith, The Vampire Slayer series) I would have gladly watched a show about Sal when he left (though it woulda been sad) or about Joan.

and though i hated Sally at first i could totally see a show about her taking us through the 70s :)

Susan P -- for sure. I think Betty is probably the least understood character among Mad Men watchers. People just seem to despise her so much. And yes, she's an awful awful parent but she's a fascinating character in a lot of ways. Being an awful parent doesn't mean the actress is bad (I hate reading that)

Bia -- i do like that the show fluctuates who is carrying its weight (beyond Don that is) but I can see feeling that way. I hope she doesn't go the way of Sal, Ken or Duck. But on the other hand I can see her staying less prominent from now on. Especially if we see Don remarrying.


Paul -- perhaps I see your point. Thanks for the link. Or maybe it was Glenn TIED to David that did it? Maybe she'll start chasing the gayboys in highschool?

SusanP said...

Nat - the fact that people despise Betty so much is a testament to how well January Jones plays the role.

But it's tough, unlike the "villain" character on most shows and movies, it isn't a fun and charismatic role. The character is not just awful but, more importantly from a fan standpoint, pretty unlikable. The fact is we root for characters we actively like, even if we can admire the performances of those we don't.

I do think that the writers could do more to get viewers on Betty's side. I'm hoping that the therapist can help her as much as she will (hopefully) help Sally. I also think, despite the somewhat creepy way he came into her life, that Henry has the potential to be a really good partner for her.

Of course, stability doesn't necessarily make good drama, but I'd like to see the character have a chance to evolve in the way that Pete -- still a jerk, but in my opinion a more likeable one -- has changed since the series began.


Susan -- agreed. stability isn't good drama. BUT it certainly doesn't kill good drama to have some counterpoint work going on and a little more cooling of Betty's hysterical fury could go help.

in a way i'd like to see them attempt to find some joy in her relationship with henry -- it could still be fucked up obviously but at the very least, let's hope they're having great sex!

Orion said...

Yeah, until this I had no idea who Hayley Mills was. I was like who does Sally want to look like? I know, let me go and sit in the FE corner now.


Orion -- no need to sit in a corner. I'm happy to be of service. But really... HAYLEY is awesome. Truth: she's my personal favorite child star ever. (the competition is limited since i can usually pass on any actor under 21 or so... i like my actors with some life seasoning in them, you know)

yes, i like Hayley's child performances more than Jodies or Natalies or Shirleys and the like.

but maybe this is because i'm an absolute nut for The Parent Trap.