Another old movie blog no down payment – 1957 gas in oil

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Just about four years ago we covered the movie “Strangers When We Meet” (1960) here. I wish I had known about “No Down Payment” at the time I wrote about that movie, because they would have made great companion pieces. They are both about suburbia in Southern California, the car culture, a young post-war population coming of age as the 1950s “Silent Generation”. They also have in common the actress Barbara Rush. In “Strangers” she plays the wife of Kirk Douglas, a woman comfortably settled in her suburban kitchen, but ambitious for her husband to excel and obtain even more for them. She is devastated to learn of his extramarital affair.

In “No Down Payment”, Barbara Rush is the more settled wife of Pat Hingle, who is a more modestly successful owner of an appliance store. They appear to have a happy marriage, though not without stress. electricity and magnetism notes The two movies have a couple of important differences, however. One is that “Strangers” is in color and has a more glossy look to it, a more soap-opera storyline. It is focused more tightly on the extramarital affair of Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak. The other characters are like satellites that bounce off their relationship.

This is an ensemble piece. The acting is very good, and the writing is excellent. It has a quiet, black and white look, and being the earlier picture by three years there is a less cynical view of the suburban jungle. electricity units of measurement However, the examination of this world is refreshingly straightforward, and manages to take what is a familiar landscape a turn it into a strange new world. The so-called Silent Generation may have been less political and more secretive about its anxieties, but we can see that there was a lot of self evaluation going on.

“Though Americans took great pride in talking about their individualism, he [de Tocqueville] noted, their special genius — and the source of their greatest potential weakness — lay in their ways of cooperation with each other…creating a dictatorship of the majority. ‘In times of equality,’ he wrote, ‘no matter what political laws men devise for themselves, it is safe to foresee that trust in common opinion will become a sort of religion, with the majority as the prophet.’”

Though social conformity is a strong force, the money angle is what drives them more fiercely. gas leak explosion Tony Randall, tragic with a drink in his hand and a smile on his lips and that wonderfully giddy giggle, "what this country needs is easy credit. No man should have to pay cash for anything. No money down is the secret to prosperity…if only the banks would loosen up, every man could have anything he wants, not when these old and washed up — now, when he’s young and washed up."

Interesting that at their backyard barbecue they first dance to a song on a hi fi called “Something’s Got to Give,” a 1940s swing number here in a more sedate arrangement. These people are not kids. Rock n’ roll is not their era. However, later on in the movie they dance to a “rock” number called “The Drive-in Rock.” Car culture and rock n’ roll in one flick of the switch by the director.

Loved your review ~ quite insightful. Jeffrey Hunter’s character was quite conflicted, along with the others of course, but when he pulls out that screwdriver from his inside jacket pocket, the first thing I thought of was he is the embodiment of the new "nerd" and wondered if his character would end up later in life with the pocket protector in his shirts, and a sliderule always close at hand!

It’s a movie I have always enjoyed watching, the few times I was able to find it on TV over the years, probably because it was made the year I was born. It tells a more revealing tale of life in Postwar "Levittown/GI Bill" America, putting the Cleavers and the other schmaltzy "perfect families" of 1950’s TV America firmly in their place. In fact, I enjoyed it enough that I have it recorded ~ on a VHS tape. astrid y gaston lima reservations Unfortunately, I don’t have a VCR hooked up any longer, and for whatever reason I have not seen it scheduled on TCM. If they did show it, I missed it.

Hope this will become a more visible part of the genre of movies showing real life in America, because it really does touch on many of the conflicting issues and rapid changes in attitudes and some of the then~unidentified problems with post~war PTSD. electricity generation efficiency I know ~ I grew up a child of the backlash of several of these issues. Of course the movie can’t show all the details of the results of the actions the characters take ~ there just isn’t time. I guess that is left up to us to imagine, seeing that everything seemed to have one of those "happy ever after" endings for those remaining in Sunrise Hills.

Another minor issue involves the issuance of a ‘can’ of Coke to the young son of Hingle’s and Rush’s characters. Coke only came in bottles back then, as were shown being removed from the fridge, and cans were away off in the future at this point. As I said, it’s a minor issue, but I know reviewers are generally sticklers for accuracy, so I thought perhaps you might like to know.

I too wondered immediately about the wisdom of offering a small child an 8 ounce bottle of concentrated sugar water and caffeine in the middle of the night when he said he was only "thirsty" and likely would have received a glass of water from his own mother, if anything at all, had she been there. "Scraping him off the ceiling" following a Coke so late was exactly what I thought when I saw this happen, and how very pleased his mother would have been at the prospect!

The other part I happened to have also wondered about at the end, were all the missing puzzle pieces, such as how the Town Council were pursuaded to throw out their documented prejudices and allow a member and his family of the Asian culture to purchase a home in their all-white enclave and become church attending, mortgage interest and tax paying participants in the Caucasian-only world? And where was Jone Woodward’s character going in a taxi at the end of the movie? She was a widow, without a husband to support her now. How could she possibly survive in the world where every woman had to be married, with no education, no job skills, and no husband? What about the Flaggs? Did Jerry succumb to his alcoholism or did he keep his new job working in Herm’s appliance store?

I think another source of resentment and false superiority that Cameron Mitchell’s character feels against Jeffrey Hunter’s character is that while Cameron was sweating it out in the Pacific theater during the War, earning medals and respect while wearing the uniform, Hunter’s character was "sweating it out" by working his intelligence in the desert of the Southwest United States, working on "the calculations" for constructing the first atomic weapons to be used to end the conflict.

Mitchell’s semi-hidden displays in his garage of his medals, uniforms and other souvenirs of battle in the jungles are the only things that give him a sense of self-importance and self worth. Being confronted with a college educated neighbor who escaped the life threatening conflict he was forced to endure was just more than he could handle.

And Hunter’s character, David, felt somehow less of a man for having escaped the conflicts that all his neighbors had to endure and survive, even though he certainly provided a considerable service on his own. Something about not having a thrilling story to tell later when asked by his children "What did you do in the War, Daddy?" was a troubling prospect for those who managed through luck, education, or physical infirmity to escape the battles fought by their contemporaries.

It Happened to Jane is special to my family. electricity review worksheet My mother was selected to play the wife of Aaron Caldwell, the Chester town selectman in the movie and has a speaking part about the parking meter revenues gathered from outside his general store in the town center. My older brother was one of the cub scouts delivering coal donated by town residents to fuel Old 97. We grew up in Deep River. A few years ago a niece provided every member of music family copies of It Happened to Jane on DVD. The Connecticut River valley was truly an idyllic spot for growing up in the mid-Twentieth Century! Jack Klevecz

Thank you, the Lux Theatre broadcast was absolutely marvelous, and far superior, as you have indicated, the film. I have always admired Dorothy McGuire, and she has it all over Jean Peters. This is not as clear cut a differential between Joseph Cotton and Dan Dailey, but at this point in their grand careers, I will take Dan. electricity year invented Again thank you. September 22, 2015

In the early 1990’s I caught this movie on AMC back when they showed great movies, and that same week I bumped into Pat Hingle standing in line at the bank in North Hollywood. I walked up to him, said hello, and told him how much I enjoyed his performance in No Down Payment. 935 gas block He smiled and said "Why thank-you son, that was a long time ago". I shook his hand, and off I went 🙂 September 9, 2015

Beautiful piece, Jacqueline, about yet another movie from the Unjustly Forgotten file. I agree a video release is decades overdue, (What is wrong with Universal Home Video? You’d think the only movies they ever made were monsters and Abbott & Costello. And don’t even get me started on the pre-’48 Paramounts they’re sitting on.) I count myself lucky to have scored a decent 16mm print on eBay some years back; otherwise it would have been a good 40 years since I saw it.

I happened upon this piece and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading it. Really a great appreciation of a wonderful movie. Raoul Walsh is one of my favorite directors and this is the first of his movies I ever remember seeing–it was on the big screen back in 1952 so I guess that dates me but a movie like this was ideal for my age, both for the adventure and romance.

I guess I’m going to be busy reading all your blogs that touch on events I’m familiar with. Judgement At Nuremberg caught my attention as I had the privilege of working in it for some 60 days. But more so as the German WWII history always recall my own trials during the war. I suppose we filmed this around 1959-1960 which is not that long after the ending of the war. Reconstruction in Europe was far from accomplished. For the audience in 1961 this history was still a part of everyone’s life. I was overwhelmed sitting in that set and listening to the greatest actors of that generation orate day after day… an endless live theater. A great blog.