Musings On Mad Men

madmen The talented cast of Mad Men (2010) If you’re a fan of the AMC series Mad Men you’re probably missing the show as much as I am. Season four left me wanting more and I’m eager for season five to start. I know I’m not alone because I often get asked to recommend films that have a “Mad Men feel” or “Mad Men qualities.” A lot of people seem especially eager and willing to watch older movies that they may have overlooked in the past or had no interest in seeing. Mad Men has become an unexpected gift to this film buff. illnever In the past when I’d recommend a movie like Michael Winner’s I’ll Never Forget What’s’isname (1967) I’d have to try and explain that it’s a “sixties film” and that the male lead (the wonderful Oliver Reed!) is a womanizer who is unhappy with his job as well as his wife and mistresses. Naturally people would just look at me confused and express no interest in seeing it. What did the sixties mean to them? Hippies? The Beatles? Protests? Drugs? Political Assassinations? Hard to say. I just know that I’ve had a hard time convincing people that the ’60s was much more than that. Now? All I have to say is Oliver Reed plays a “Don Draper type” and people seem to know exactly what I’m talking about and they actually express interest – you read that right – they express interest in seeing I’ll Never Forget What’s’isname. And you know what’s even more exciting? Once they actually watch the movie some of them can appreciate aspects of it that would have been completely misunderstood if Mad Men hadn’t paved the way for a better understanding of history and popular culture. Do I sound crazy? A bit far reaching? Maybe I am, but I honestly think Mad Men is helping some people better understand what life was like for my parents and grandparents in the ’60s and I value the series for that reason as well as many others. It’s quite simply one of the best written shows that’s ever been on television and I think it’s changing the way people view the past and experience the future. A lot of old films suddenly don’t seem so old anymore and people are watching them with new eyes. I’d love to write in-depth about my deep appreciation of Mad Men some day but in the meantime I decided to compile a brief list of films that might appeal to Mad Men fans who are looking for something else to watch on Sunday nights. You can find my list over at the Movie Morlocks Blog: Missing Mad Men?