Monday, May 11, 2009

Bowling Another Frame

Pushing the re-set button for a moment on our bowling alley theme (something you didn’t have to do in the days of human pinsetters, push any re-set buttons), here’s a look at Fred MacMurray getting his mind off his troubles in “Double Indemnity” (1944) as he takes off in the middle of the work day to go bowling. Such is the glamorous life of the insurance salesman.

In this scene, just as was discussed in this post from April, you can visibly see the pinsetters in the background jumping down to pick up the fallen pins. This film, however, though it was made during the war was set before the war. The director was careful to put male pinsetters in MacMurray’s pre-war bowling game and not the female pinsetters as was common during the war, shown in “Since You Went Away.”

And what’s that in the lane next to him? A woman wearing tailored trousers in public? Before the war? (Come to think of it, I always thought Barbara Stanwyck’s iconic tight sweater in this movie reflected World War II more than the pre-war era.)


Raquelle said...

I'm really enjoying this series you are doing with the supermarket, newspapers in films etc. It's a pleasure to read!

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Thanks, Raquelle. I owe it to my unfortunate fascination with the mundane. I hope all our readers will take in your terrific examination of Hollywood's movie treatment of Latinos.

John Hayes said...

Interesting observation about the women's trousers being anachronistic in a film set prior to WWII; I wasn't aware of this, but I can think of some cultural reasons why it would make a lot of sense.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Particularly tailored trousers with a narrow leg. The style in the Depression was a wider leg, very casual for the beach and such. Of course, new trends probably began in California and then hit the rest of the country. Cities on the Eastern seaboard were far more conservative well into the 1960s. Probably a lot of women first wore pants downtown in public as part of uniforms for war plant jobs.

Raquelle said...

I have a fascination with the mundane too, which is probably why I love your posts! Sometimes it's the seemingly insignificant details that are the most interesting. Anachronisms are interesting too!

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

There's probably a lot of us out there, looking at all the stuff in the background. I wonder if there's a support group for people like us?

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