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Friday Night at the Drive-In: "Ocean's 11" (1960)

The Rat Pack (started by Humphrey Bogart and inherited by Frank Sinatra after Bogey’s death) made two movies in the sixties. Neither were great shakes as movies go, but the first one, Ocean’s 11, is a wonderful time machine back to a place and time that no longer exist.

 

Released in 1960, Ocean’s 11 can be seen as the 1950’s last hurrah. In just a few short years, the British invasion in music and fashion would change everything. Film historians think the film was conceived as way to give Frank, Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, and the rest something to do with their days while they were headlining at the Sands resort at night.

Read more: Friday Night at the Drive-In: "Ocean's 11" (1960)

Summer and Soap

A Summer Place (1959)

Want to see how much times have changed? Drag this one-time blockbuster from 1959 out of mothballs and give a spin!

There’s a reason A Summer Place is best-remembered for its musical theme and not for its plot or acting. The subject matter is sex… middle-age sex and teen-age sex. And like most films from that time period, it wants to give you all the dirty details with a heaping dose of hypocritical moralizing.

Read more: Summer and Soap

The TV That Time Forgot: Sky King

In television’s early days, the hands-down, most popular, can’t miss genre was Westerns. Especially when it came to kids’ programs.

One of the many lies that TV peddled so easily in those more innocent days was that the American West was somehow virtually unchanged from its post-Civil War heyday. Sure, there might be telephones and here and there a jeep to help with the ranching, but people still preferred to ride horses and settled their disputes with a good ol’ six-shooter.

One Western that bucked that trend was Sky King, who not only didn’t ride a horse; he didn’t even ride in a car. No sir. Sky King help keep law and order along that still untamed frontier in an airplane! Not just any airplane – but in the legendary Songbird!

Right off, how fortunate was it that his parents thought to name him Schuyler (a.k.a. “Sky”) and that his last name was King? I mean, talk about wacky coincidences!

Read more: The TV That Time Forgot: Sky King

Operation Petticoat (1959)

What could be funnier than men having to discuss bras and panties, right? Ah, the much more innocent 1950’s came to an end at movie theaters with this extremely popular WWII-themed sex comedy.

Operation Petticoat was made at Universal Pictures in 1959, apparently because Navy veteran Tony Curtis really wanted to co-star in a submarine movie with his idol, Cary Grant.

In one of those ironic little twists, Curtis’ other big picture for 1959 was Some Like It Hot, which also involved women’s underwear (this time, him wearing it) and Curtis performing a hilarious impression of Cary Grant as part of that film’s plot.

The film was directed by Blake Edwards, who would go on to much greater fame with the Pink Panther series and so many more movies. Paul King, Joseph Stone, Stanley Shapiro, and Maurice Richlin wrote the script, incorporating many actual incidents from World War II (including the accidental torpedoing of a bus and women military members needing to be evacuated by submarine). Looking at this lightweight bit of fluff today it’s hard to see how their screenplay was nominated for an Oscar, but it was.

Read more: Operation Petticoat (1959)

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