Are you excited as I am that “Mad Men” is finally back on the air? It’s been way too long since we’ve been able to follow the troubled exploits of Don Draper, advertising man extraordinaire and partner in Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. As the fifth season begins, Don is newly married to Megan, his former secretary, and he seems to be fairly content with his life. (At least for the first 20 minutes of the premiere episode.)
The times seem to be a-changing for Don and the rest of the “Mad Men” gang. It’s now 1966 and we’re seeing widespread social changes beginning to encroach on the lives of our beloved characters. Since we last hooked up with the Madison Avenue set, babies have been born, a few marriages are barely holding on, and the advertising gurus are busy thinking up new ways to keep Americans convinced that they desperately need the products that they’re hawking.
In 1966, going to the movies was still a big deal. People tended to dress up for the evening. Since ticket prices had creeped up to a whole dollar in many cities, moviegoers were a bit more choosey in what they spent their money on. Especially with gas prices at an unheard-of 32 cents a gallon! What were the films that Don Draper and his co-horts enjoyed the most in 1966?
Don Draper: John Frankenheimer’s “Seconds” stars John Randolph as a wealthy but unhappy middle-aged man who, thanks to a mysterious organization called “The Company” and a series of surgeries, is able to transform himself into a young, strapping Rock Hudson and get a second chance at life.
Peggy Olsen: “Georgy Girl” stars Lynn Redgrave as an eccentric single gal who tries to find herself through men while over-compensating for her deep-down belief that she is an ugly duckling.
Pete Campbell: William Wyler’s “How to Steal a Million” features Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole in a wild caper as beautifully dressed con artists specializing in forged art.
Betty Draper Francis: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” directed by Mike Nichols, features Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton as a warring, boozing couple who nearly destroy each other with their vicious verbal sparring.
Joan Holloway Harris: Antonioni’s risqué “Blowup” stars Vanessa Redgrave as a seductive but emotionally reclusive woman who gets involved with an arrogant, self-indulgent photographer played by David Hemmings.
Roger Sterling: “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” is a zany musical starring Zero Mostel that is set amidst the hierarchy of slaves and their masters in Ancient Rome.
Megan Draper: Claude Lelouch’s lush “A Man and a Woman” tells the sexy story of a young woman and an older man who quickly develop a strong and possibly dangerous mutual attraction.
Trudy Campbell: Debbie Reynolds is adorable as “The Singing Nun,” based on a real-life sister who topped the charts with her hit song “Dominique.”
Bert Cooper: Old-school hijinks abound in “Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number!” with Bob Hope as a middle-aged married man who hooks up with a gorgeous actress played by Elke Sommer.
Ken Cosgrove: Andy Warhol’s underground film “Chelsea Girls,” shot at the Chelsea Hotel in New York, follows the provocative adventures of some of Warhol’s avant-garde circle including Nico, Ondine, and Brigid Berlin.
Harry Crane: The science fiction adventure “Fantastic Voyage” features sexy Raquel Welch as a surgeon’s assistant who is miniaturized and inserted into the body of a Soviet scientist to try to remove a blot clot in his brain.
Bobby Draper: A big-screen version of the hit television show “Batman” features Adam West as the Caped Crusader and Burt Ward as Robin, the Boy Wonder.
Sally Draper: Hayley Mills shines in “The Trouble with Angels” as a rebellious but scathingly brilliant girl who manages to wreak havoc at her all-girl boarding school.
Henry Francis: Alfred Hitchcock’s “Torn Curtain” is a nail-biting political thriller that stars Paul Newman and Julie Andrews as pawns in a game of human chess where loyalties are tested.
Lane Pryce: Michael Caine plays “Alfie,” a British man who leads a self-centered hedonistic life until personal events force him to confront past decisions.
Faye Miller: In “The Group,” a bunch of female graduates from an east coast college in the 1930s examine controversial topics such as free love, contraception, abortion, and lesbianism.
Sal Romano: In “The Oscar,” hunky Stephen Boyd plays a movie star who will stop at nothing to claw his way to the top of the Hollywood food chain.