Tuesday, July 21, 2009

21 July 1955 “Disneyland Opens, A Movie and A Thought”

17 July 1955: Disney Land Opens:
“Back in the early 1950s, Anaheim was a sleepy little town, and the area around it was nothing more than acres and acres of orange groves. Enter Walt Disney, the original Imagineer. Disney's initial idea was to build a park near his Burbank studio for his employees and their families, but those plans changed over time and his dream grew.
disneland areial He bought over 160 acres of those sleepy orange groves around Anaheim and set about, in 1954, building his "Magic Kingdom." Original plans called for a 9 million dollar 45-acre park, but by opening day the park covered 160 acres and had cost 17 million. Opening day was a gala affair: The ceremonies were broadcast live on ABC with Art Linkletter and Robert (Bob) Cummings as hosts, with celebrities like Ronald Reagan, and VIPs like the Governor of California also in attendance.
giant_squid_1955a The park was turning a profit by its second year of operation, and new rides were soon planned. The Viewliner train in 1957 whisked visitors between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. The Matterhorn, Submarine Voyage, and the Monorail opened in 1959.
Today Disney Inc. is global, with theme parks in Florida, Paris, and Tokyo, a cruise line in the Bahamas, a cable and network TV presence.”

july life This life cover features the young Susan Strasburg who stars in the movie Picnic with William Holden and Kim Novak that comes out this summer, 1955.
I really liked the movie. It was a different way, for me, to see Kim Novak. I always loved her in Bell, Book, and Candle (that doesn't come  out for another three years I think).
I don’t want to appear a prude nor to wish stifling on any art form or restrictions placed upon the creative arts, but with that said, I love that a movie, such as this, can convey so much passion, anger, love, lust etc. The human condition is all here in this film without illicit sex scenes or gory fights or even swearing. As I said, I am not a prude and I would not want to restrict creativity, what I want is for the newer generations to want to break from the easy way now to simply swear, show sex, and cut off a head graphically, to the more pure representational way to represent the human condition. I don’t want to stifle but to encourage a new growth of expressionism in film that leads away from the flagrant obvious photographic and pornographic showing of the obvious. It would be stunning to see how it could be done. It would be a great study in a film class to put to the students to make a horror film, a love story, a film exposing the illicit and bad qualities of the human animal without the obvious use of couple having sex, man with head chopped off etc.
It is almost easy now to just show everything. I think some of the art is lost in needing to veil it in a way. I know I find more beauty and joy in things that can be subtle and leave me thinking and wondering, but it seems we need everything just handed to us today. Another example of our lazy society. It is as if we are saying to the viewers, “You don’t have to wonder or imagine if the couple making love did so, or if the monster is eating its victim or any subtle ideas whatsoever”  Again, I am not a prude, but maybe I am just a romantic or a crazy time-traveler. I think we have broken everything down and revealed all, that has been done. Now, the real challenge: to hold the attention of our generations of mindless TV watchers who take entertainment as a oxygen, it is always there. We are always plugged in, tuned on etc. We have a sort of numb approach to all of it and I really think a new movement of subtlety and more artful expression really could be well received. Perhaps we could even allow new generations to get a bit of their own imagination and wonder back. I know, I am from the cynical and ironic generations. Nothing can be too serious or too real, or we cannot trust it and scoff at it. There is something envious in me when I look to these simpler more naive generations. I want to look at a simple love story and this, “oh how sweet”, but we are the ironic crowds. Perhaps, because we cannot or do not want to feel to intently, we cannot let anything be serious, I am not sure.
I realize this rant is not very vintage, but it feels very much how I am beginning to react in my own skin to the modern world, one in which I felt very much a part, and am now wondering where my place in it could be? If it can be changed? Should it be changed? And can we change it? Do any of you out there feel this way or does what I have said make any sense? I feel, sometimes, I am merely becoming a walking anachronism.
I promise, next post will have recipes, cleaning tips and tangible ideas, but today, perhaps due to the rain, I am introspective. Now, I have a pile of ironing calling my name and I have to do more packing and labeling of boxes for my move.


  1. I don't thing ou are being prudish. I think you are sick and tired (like many of us are) of being "spoon fed" at the movies. They have gotten so wrapped up in using their computers to make it as "realistic" or "graphic" or what have you as they can that they have lost something very elemental to a movie. The story. I went recently to watch "Transformers 2" with my two oldest children and my hubby. I was BORED silly. The movie was one long special effect. The storyline was insanely weak. OHHHH, the two main characters are having a relationship, and the deepest it gets is web-chats and arguing over whom should say 'I love you' first????

    I am a HUGE fan of old movies. One of my favorites is "The Thin Man" with Myrna Loy and William Powell. It is witty, suspenseful(sp?) and totally engrossing. I have in all seriousness watched it over 100 times. I have NEVER found it tiring, dull or campy.

    I feel that they are taking the lack of talent in Hollywood and making up for it with massive special efect, gratuitous sex, excessive swearing, and ridiculously unneccessary violent scenes. Think about the last three "Star Wars" films.The were all filmed before green screens and much of it was done in the computer. "The Thin Man" was filmed on a shoestring budget (they used their own clothing for there was no wardrobe budget) and made in 2 week. It is a classic. What does that say about the modern Hollywood??? I am not sure, but I don't think it is flattering.

    Good luck on the move...I HATE moving. I do look forward to more posts about cooking and cleaning an such. I enjoy those so very much.

    Take care,

  2. I agree with you and Lorie...it's like the easy way out when providing entertainment.

    Sooo many times I have commented while listening to a stand-up comedian..."Swearing doesn't make it funny. Anyone can swear. Big deal."

    I believe getting back to a more creative expression and less of a graphic one would provide Hollywood with a challenge. Maybe some of the traditional actors would embrace such a change.

    Working hard at www.sccworlds.com

  3. another vote of agreement with all of you!! i would also love to see a return to nuance!! maybe that is why the "hallmark channel" is so popular with the older generations....it's all they have left...

  4. 50’s Gal,

    You said, “I don’t want to stifle but to encourage a new growth of expressionism in film that leads away from the flagrant obvious photographic and pornographic showing of the obvious.” I agree 100%! In fact, your entire post could have been written by me. Thank you for your thoughts. I sometimes feel as if I am the only one who thinks this way—that I am a square peg in a round hole. That’s why I love your blog so much!

    Oh! I didn’t realize that you were moving. I haven’t been of the computer for a few days and need to catch up.

  5. 50's Gal
    I am glad to hear that you are going to a home that is surrounded by memories. Although they are mixed feelings, that is what builds a home not a house. I hope you can transplant your orchard and gardens. You have accomplished so much. Will you build a 50's kitchen there? Or just add 50's appliances as a housewife would have? What will you do with your present house?
    Thanks for the great blog on movies. I just watched "Pajama Game" the other day. I totally agree with the movies leaving nothing to thought and your own mind to figure out. Too much violence and sex. Sex is no longer the unspoken and respected privacy. Honestly how can one really feel sexy when one "has sex" every day thrown down your throat! What happened to true adventure and leaving to the imagination?

  6. 50's Gal - Another voice to add to the general feeling that Hollywood has forgotten that a good story beat special effects any day of the week! To that end Beloved and I are HUGE Netflix fans -- we have found that they carry a large selection of the classic films and they are oh so funny! We just finished watching the Donna Reed Show Season one as a family and my children just adored it!!! My 13yo son - kept saying that he thinks I am like Donna!!!! It just thrilled me :-)

    I too was wondering about your beautiful garden and orchard - will you be able to take some things with you??

    ~Mrs. J~

  7. Thank you for all your concern, and I wil be letting/renting out our house we have now. I will be moving my orchard over the next month and many of my perrenials. My grapevines and blackberry bushes (which are full of ripening fruit and the birds have not touched them!) and such will also go with me. Luckily, I have the house we will be moving to let for the summer, so I can come and go as I please and transplant things BEFORE our move and the house we are now in (which I am glad I did not start my mural that will now go to the new 'old' house)will be occupied Sept 1 and I already found a nice family to live in it with two kids and a dog, so it will be loved. I am taking my vintage fridge with me and my kitchen redo there will be a mix of 1900-1950s I believe. The kitchen that we now use at that house was added on around 1890 and it is small, and the cabinets were 'updated' in the fifties in a 'country style' so those will stay. Don't worry, I will blog and document all the changes. I have already been looking up vintage 'moving' techniques.

  8. You know I never thought about it but your post made me realize why I enjoy books more than movies and tv. I've always been an avid reader but now I just don't think about tv as entertainment. It's a great place for news but that's about all. Except for Mad Men- my reward for all my hard work.


  9. Oooooooooo Mad Men! Oh S how I love Mad Men! They have the seasons on Netflix, and even Darling Beloved likes that show - although it may have something (a LOT) to do with how AMAZING all the women look in it. But since it takes place in the early 1960's the clothes are not as appealing to me. :-(


  10. I completely agree with you, its so sad. I talk about this with my beau because we always remember playing outside all summer long until it was dark with the neighbor kids, inventing games to play or mashing up flowers to trying and make our own perfume (it never worked by the way) and even in winter, having snowball fights and building snow forts and digging tunnels. I have younger cousins and all they do is watch tv and play game boy or wii. They occasionally go outside, but not often. No wonder tv is the way it is. It seems like most who watch television are so desensitised that everything has to be put in their faces. Its too much of an inconvience to use your imagination. I think old movies are a lost art. Especially musicals and the movies Ester Williams was in. With all the technology, they could make such wonderful programs but instead we have shows made for meatballs with eyes.
    (Sorry this comment was so long)

  11. 50's Gal,

    You impress me with working on the project of your own home in redoing it to the 50's and then having to stop that, let someone else come in and live there, and then have to start all over in another house.

    First, you are generous to let people stay in your home with all that you have put into it.

    Second, you are having to start all over. That would be a really large undertaking. Kudoos t you. ;)

  12. Mrs. J~

    Your son's comment is adorable. And from a 13 year old boy!

    I like the clothes from Mad Men. I think of Betty as a young housewife in the mid 1950's so her clothes in the 1960's reflect that. She's also in her suburban cocoon so she'd be less trend conscious. The women at the office are more "sophisticated" to me because they are 'city girls."

    I can't wait for season 3 to start.


  13. Disneyland is fantastic attraction. I was in Disneyland during our Caribbean Cruise via ECT and my kids were in ecstasy from our vacation. We got a lot of fun there.

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