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16 February 2009

Film Decor: Easy Living

The dazzling sets of this Mitchell Leisen romantic comedy are guaranteed to transport you away from all your worries, just as it did for audiences in 1937 at the height of the Great Depression. Some considered Leisen more a window dresser than an auteur, and certainly his days as an art director resulted in extraordinarily chic sets, including the über-haute hotel suite in Easy Living, co-starring Jean Arthur and Ray Milland.

Easy Living opens with millionaire J.B. Ball in an outrage over his wife's profligate spending, so much so that he tosses her newest sable coat out the window and into the arms of working girl Mary Smith. Mary in turn gets fired by the magazine where she works on account of the sensational sable they believe she has immorally acquired.

Mrs. J.B. Ball giving chase through her bedroom with the sable that will soon soar down from their penthouse aerie.

Not down on her luck for long, Mary is mistaken for Ball's mistess and given the premiere suite at the Hotel Louis Louis to reside in.

The Entrance....presided over by two Classical busts and a magical Murano glass sculpture atop a rather fantastic center table.

Two Views of the Main Sitting Room...a confectionery of blanc de blanc

The Bedroom....with intriguing trellis-mounted ceiling and walls


vicki archer said...

I have to watch this asap - thank you, xv.

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

Vicki - why not have a Leisen double feature? Get Midnight too (starring Claudette Colbert) - you are in for a treat! EEE

Toby Worthington said...

My all time favourite film of the 1930s.
Mitchell Leisen's directorial work was wildy uneven, but there's no question about the merits of Easy Living or Midnight.