THE FABULOUS FIFTIES (1960)

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drednm

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THE FABULOUS FIFTIES (1960)

PostSat May 12, 2018 7:11 am

TV special that aired on NBC on January 22, 1960 in color (with B&W clips) and hosted by Henry Fonda. Only a B&W copy survives.

Sort of an "Omnibus" style show that seems more like PBS than NBC, the show gives facts and figures about the decade and how the country changed amid a series of skits and musical numbers. The opening montage of music of the decade is just excellent, showcasing popular music, rock n roll, opera, broadway, movies ... and all of it instantly recognizable. Any musical montage that includes Peggy Lee singing "Fever" can't be anything but good.

There's a long musical number about the decade's dance crazes that features Dick Van Dyke as a (mostly) silent mime-like figure whirling from one set to another and leaning dance moves from Broadway's Maria Karnilova. We also get extended scenes of Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison in "My Fair Lady" and Jackie Gleason in "Take Me Along" (both shows were running at the time), skits featuring Shelley Berman and Nichols and May and Comden and Green. Suzy Parker shows up as the epitome of 50s glam and Leora Dana reads a very moving excerpt from "Gift from the Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

I have to admit that when they got to the "in memoriam" section I didn't recognize most of the non-show biz people and they were not identified as their images flashed by. Also of great interest were the in tact commercials by GE, showing off their latest in refrigerators, stoves, dish washers, televisions, and washing machines. The oddest may have been the washer/dryer that was all one machine and the portable dishwasher that did its work in 4 minutes!

A fascinating time capsule.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
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https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com

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