Tag: 1960s

Retrotisements: Batman 1966 Movie Posters

Retrotisements: Batman 1966 Movie Posters

Movies, Retrotisements
Despite the tragic death of Heath Ledger, the intense ad campaign for The Dark Knight continues. Most of these ads reflect the rather dark and disturbing mood the film is sure to revel in. And for many Bat-fans, this is how it should be. 1966's full-length feature movie Batman is, at its core, a pretty dark and disturbing franchise about a kid whose parents are murdered and trains for years to become a high-tech vigilante. But it wasn't always this way. Despite the gritty origins of the character, ol' Bats had become a bit watered down by about the mid-1950s. This is due to a number of factors, but chief among them was the restrictions placed on all comics by establishment of the Comics Code Authority in 1954. The height of the character's neutering came about, however, with the 1966 de
Retrotisement – TV Stratolounger

Retrotisement – TV Stratolounger

Retrotisements
Sure, the writer's strike is history and new shows are airing as we speak - but what of comfort? What of style? In my opinion, most modern furniture is simply not up to the task of providing optimum TV viewing enjoyment and relaxation. Enter...the TV Stratolounger with Relax-A-Vision©, circa 1960.   Honestly, does life get any better than this? Wait, don't answer that, Maverick is about to start. That James Garner is one mean sumbitch!
Gray Flannel Mixtape – Desert Island #1s

Gray Flannel Mixtape – Desert Island #1s

Music
I'm not sure what the origin of the whole "desert island" thing is when referring to music, movies, and other stuff you really like. Why not a tropical island? That one Tom Hanks got stuck on in Cast Away seemed pretty nice, didn't it? Oh right, the point. So apropos of nothing, I recently participated in a fantasy draft on a favorite message board of mine. But instead of drafting a sports team, we picked from a list of every song that has ever reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, now in its 50th year. The only catch was that each team had to select at least two songs from each decade ('58 - '69 was lumped together). That made things interesting, because the pickings for truly good #1 songs started to get real slim starting in the 1990s. Overall I'm pleased with my team,...
“Boys Beware,” or The Courtship of Jimmy Barnes, Pt. 2

“Boys Beware,” or The Courtship of Jimmy Barnes, Pt. 2

Movies
OK, so I'm not so quick on the whole sequel thing. It's been a little more than two years since we last visited the 1961 Sid Davis public domain classic "Boys Beware." I guess it's taken me that long to shake the heebie jeebies I got from watching the first part. To recap - our hero, Jimmy Barnes, fell under the spell of a balding, mustached Lothario named Ralph. Jimmy somehow broke Ralph's spell and ratted him out to the cops. But before we get too complacent, the narrator (Lt. Williamson) jolts us back to reality by warning us that "all homosexuals are not passive. Some resort to violence, as in the case of Mike Merritt."   Our first shot of the new malevolent stranger has him taking in a game of youth basketball. There was no WNBA in those days, but the level of competit...
Bump with me — Classic network logo ID bumpers

Bump with me — Classic network logo ID bumpers

TV & Radio
I've forgotten about 95% of the TV shows I watched growing up, which is probably my brain's self-defense mechanism kicking in. But one thing I haven't forgotten is all those nifty little bumpers I was bombarded with multiple times a day. Some of them are iconic, some just quaint and cheesy. How many of these do you remember? (more…)
Retrotisements – Telephone technology

Retrotisements – Telephone technology

Advertising, Retrotisements
With the release of the much-ballyhooed iPhone just around the corner, I thought I'd take a look at a few other telephone innovations of the past. Satellite phone service While satellite phone service is no big deal now - and has in fact been eclipsed by cell phones in terms of sheer usage - this 1960 ad from Douglas (pre-McDonnell) recalls a time when the technology was very much new and exciting (the first American satellite, Explorer I, had only been launched in late January 1958). Picturephone   Other than jet-powered cars, few things scream "FUTURE!" like videophones. This 1968 ad from Western Electric (the manufacturing arm of AT&T) promised to bring the future to the present through the introduction of the Picturephone, but for a variety of reasons it flopped...
Retrotisement – Career Club Shirts

Retrotisement – Career Club Shirts

Advertising, Retrotisements
I'm willing to accept that 'fashionable' is a relative term, one whose definition changes almost daily. So I can see how his ugly-ass belt -- as well as her entire outfit -- might have been considered pretty hip back in the day. But you will never convince me that this grotesque farce of a 'dance' was ever popular, let alone socially acceptable. This was published in 1967 -- the dawn of the Psychedelic Era in the United States, as well as the height of Motown's popularity. As this ad shows, never has the disconnect between advertising executives and the youth culture of America been thrown so sharply into focus. (Yes, I do know that the Skate was in fact a real dance. But man oh man, was it ever white bread. Guess that's what you look like when you spend most of your adolesc...
Retrotisement – 1967 Magnavox TV

Retrotisement – 1967 Magnavox TV

Advertising, Retrotisements
You can have your fancy-pants plasma HDTVs -- for my money ($339.50 to be precise) there is nothing better than this Magnavox beauty. It's everything a TV should be - large, wooden, and... well, large and wooden. And classy? Mister (or miss), this friggin' set oozes class. It comes with its own flower arrangement and tambour doors. I have no idea what tambour doors are, but I want them. Perfect for kicking back on a Saturday afternoon and watching that local yacht team. Oh yeah, there's also a small one available for all you Neanderthal football fans. You get a tray.
“Boys Beware,” or The Courtship of Jimmy Barnes

“Boys Beware,” or The Courtship of Jimmy Barnes

Movies
Before the salad days when children and teenagers could look to trusted role models like MTV and professional athletes for guidance on how to behave, there were educational films. School kids were treated to lectures in the popular "talkie" format that showed them how to conduct themselves in all facets of life. So after reading, writing and 'rithmetic, Little Johnny got to learn the do's and don'ts of important areas such as dating, hygiene, good study habits, avoiding the pervasive influence of filthy Communists and, of course, our pal the atom! In retrospect, most of these films appear rather quaint and benign, if not a bit creepy. And then there's 1961's "Boys Beware." In just ten minutes, this Sid Davis Production managed to simultaneously entertain, confuse, and frighten a