The Best of Everything

Hope Lange in The Best of Everything (Courtesy of SweetSundayMornings via Flickr)

My reservoir of civic concern has yet to fill up again, so let me fill the time by writing a few lines about a worthwhile old movie, The Best of Everything (1959).

Mid-century modernism and the sexual and social mores that went with it inform this surprisingly somber melodrama, which stars Hope Lange, Joan Crawford, Donna Baker, and Suzy Parker as working women whose lives intersect at a New York publishing firm.  Shot on location in Manhattan in glorious Technicolor, the film is a visual and sociological trove of period detail.

A steadfastly chick-centric perspective and an emphasis on female solidarity lend distinction to the film’s portrayal of sexual opportunism and the hazards of women’s sexual freedom just prior to the dawn of modern feminism (a.k.a. “women’s lib”).  For more on the premise, plot, and fun modernist setting of the movie, click here, here, and here.

Image:  Hope Lange in The Best of Everything, from this source.

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