Redbook’s Portrait of the American Suburbs: 1957 Advermentary

Seems almost like a horror film on its surface. This is a 1957 documentary/advertisement for Redbook Magazine. But it presents a portrait of the American migration to suburbia that one could film in almost exactly the same way today. There’s nothing in here that you can’t find looking just the same today. The film’s constant referral to the ‘young adults’ who cherish their lives away from the crowded cities begins to sound downright weird after the tenth repetition. These ‘young adults’ can still be found today in suburbs all around Los Angeles. I’ve had plenty of backyard experience with these suburban young adults. You walk out into your pool area and you hear the neighbors playing some loud music. You know what they’re playing? Bad Company. The Who. Bruce Springsteen. The Bee Gees. John Cougar.

Living in the past. Some glory days lived right around high school graduation time. Then it was all downhill from there and a job that paid for the Sea-Doo and the Ford pickup. Spit in your barbecue if you know what I’m talking about.

There’s some damn fine filmmaking going on in this little advermentary though. I love the shots in part two with the car’s sideview mirror and the suburban yard people.