Monday, August 24, 2009

MM@M: "9 out of 10 Hollywood stars depend on LUX"

Mad Men at the Movies. In this series we've been covering movie references made on the 1960s show. Even if you don't watch, you're here because you love talking 'bout the movies. Previously we covered a telling Gidget reference, a throwaway Wizard of Oz bit and the scandal of Lady Chatterley's Lover. Episode 4 mentions an ad campaign that featured Hollywood's A-List actresses.

1.4 "New Amsterdam"
Young account executive Pete Campbell is at dinner with the rich in-laws. The father in-law has some unsolicited advice.
Tom: You've got to get that LUX soap campaign over to Sterling Cooper. Janet Leigh, Natalie Wood -- now, there's a day at the office. I'm telling you, you boys have got it made: Martini lunches, gorgeous women parading through. In my next life I'm coming back as an ad man.

Pete Campbell: Well, there's slightly more to it than that.
Tom: Yeah? Well, I'd keep that to yourself.
When Tom says "Natalie Wood" he gestures briefly toward his wife rather than the son-in-law he's speaking to. Is the Mrs. a fan? It wouldn't be surprising.

Natalie Wood for LUX soap --->

Wood's fame was not yet at its peak in 1960 (West Side Story, Splendor in the Grass and Gypsy coming right up) but she'd been quite famous since the mid 40s. She belonged to that rare breed of actor, the child star who becomes an even bigger teen idol and then a full on A List movie queen. As the book Pictures at a Revolution reminds us, Natalie held an odd cultural position in the 60s. Though Natalie was younger then many of the members of what came to be known as 'New Hollywood'
"she was Old Hollywood to the core... even if the term New Hollywood had been in use, Wood certainly would have considered herself no part of it.
It figures that she held great cross generational appeal.

But back to LUX soap for a minute. Their ad campaign was an enduring familiar one. It had featured legendary Hollywood beauties for decades with slogans like "To him, you're just as lovely as a movie star" and "9 out of 10 Hollywood stars depend on LUX"

Here's a few actressy LUX ads for fun.

An Olivia deHavilland ad from 1941, a German version starring Marlene Dietrich and Claudette Colbert's from 1935.

Rita Hayworth's from 1957. These ads were generally doubling as sneaky movie advertisements... this one for Pal Joey) and Debbie Reynolds' from 1956.

Other references in this episode
Television: a black and white western series... but which one? | Celebrities: Bob Newhart and Lenny Bruce | Books: Psalms and Nursery Rhymes From France | Theater: Bye Bye Birdie


Andrew K. said...

Va va voom >>> Olivia DeHavilland. This woman was gorgeous, I never understand why when referring to the pretty women of this era she is rarely mentioned. I blame her Melanie in GONE WITH THE WIND.

Deborah said...

The TV show was The Real McCoys.


love that Rita Hayworth's ad says "color does something for you" --given that Rita got famous in black and white but she was famously a red head so technicolor DID do something for her.

Catherine said...

LOL @ how grumpy Dietrich looks.

Rose said...

Ughhh. I love Rita Hayworth, but why couldn't they have given her a more flattering hair style in Pal Joey??? Granted, she looked older than her years at the time, but she was still a beautiful woman - not that you could tell with that hairstyle.

Iggy said...

Slightly offtopic:

I'm curious to know if Pfeiffer's Lux commercial in the 80s was because he was already a movie presence (Grease 2?) or if she was hired as a former beauty queen.

Adam said...

Loved Peggy's "Bye Bye Birdie" into the mirror in last night's episode. This show really does use its pop culture artifacts to get right to the center of its characters. I'm still holding out for more Joan so far this season.


adam... i was discussing that bye bye birdie scene on twitter today. it's amazing how much characterization they can shove into scene work like that. It helps that Elizabeth Moss is continually inspired as Peggy.

I have three favorite Peggy moments in the show and two of them are musical moments. That one last night, the dance for Pete (that he humiliates her for at the party) and that devastating monologue where she drops the bomb on Pete in the season 2 finale. Ouch.

lylee said...

Love this show, love this series, and I see someone's already beaten me to the punch about the use of "Bye Bye Birdie" last night.

Peggy's a fascinating character. It's funny, I'm totally rooting for her but I don't think I actually *like* her very much. That was a great scene with Pete end of last season, except I found her a little unnecessarily...cruel? cold? Maybe that's just what the truth is.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that Natalie Wood was raped by one of her co-stars? Everytime her name comes up on ohnotheydidnt, it's brought up...


lylee... EXACTLY! you know. at first i thought people were exaggerating when they claimed she was Don Draper's mirror but the more the show develops the more it becomes clear that they're both merciless to some extent (emotionally speaking) and career/identity building obsessed.

the show is so so so fascinating.

anon i had never heard that.

Anonymous said...

Seeing those ads is funny.
Agree with Catherine and Rose.

Rick said...

This has nothing to do with LUX... Nathaniel, I hope you go back and read this entry... I know your love for Natalie Wood ( remember she was MINE, but now we share )... well, I just read "Goodbye Natalie, Good bye Splendour" by the captain who was with the Wagners that fateful weekend... it was very compelling and made a lot of sense to me.

I know he tried to get to the tabloids a few years ago and tried to reopen the case, so I haave some feeling of validity in the book. Hope you read it and share your thoughts.

Iza Larize said...

I saw that MM episode with the Natalie Wood remark...very nice! :)

Iza Larize said...

I saw that MM episode with the Natalie Wood remark...very nice! :)