Once Upon a Honeymoon

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When our soci­ety went from “buy­ing to replace” to “buy to be happy”, the effect snow­balled over the decades with the force needed to keep from expe­ri­enc­ing a real exis­ten­tial crisis.

Once Upon a Hon­ey­moon is a 1956 musi­cal spon­sored film about a cou­ple wish­ing for a new home. It starts off with a group of angels who decide to help a cou­ple have a hon­ey­moon. The hus­band (Jeff) tries to write a song, while the wife (Mary) day­dreams about a new home, and imag­ines what it would be like to have the lat­est house­hold prod­ucts with the help of the angel. The angel then helps the man come up with a new song called “A Cas­tle in the Sky”.

The film was directed by Gower Cham­pion, and starred Vir­ginia Gib­son, Ward Ellis, Alan Mow­bray, Chick Chan­dler, Veron­ica Pataky and Rus­sell Hicks. In recent years the film has gained a small fol­low­ing, after it was mocked on the show Mys­tery Sci­ence The­ater 3000. It is in the pub­lic domain.


Design for Dreaming, General Motors’ Futuristic High Camp

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Set at the 1956 Gen­eral Motors Motorama, this is one of the key Pop­u­luxe films of the 1950s, show­ing futur­is­tic dream cars and Frigidaire’s “Kitchen of the Future.”

Design for Dream­ing (1956) is a musi­cal spon­sored film about a woman (played by dancer and chore­o­g­ra­pher Tad Tad­lock; real name “Thelma Tad­lock”) who dreams about a masked man (dancer and chore­o­g­ra­pher Marc Breaux) tak­ing her to the 1956 Gen­eral Motors Motorama at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and Frigidaire’s “Kitchen of the Future.” The entirety of the dia­logue is sung, though the actors do not move their lips to their char­ac­ters’ pre­re­corded voices.

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Design for Dream­ing has gained a small cult fol­low­ing, with some enjoy­ing it for its per­ceived camp value, and oth­ers enjoy­ing it for nos­tal­gic rea­sons. One promi­nent show­ing of the film was as a short fea­ture in a fifth-season episode of Mys­tery Sci­ence The­ater 3000 (MST3K).

The BBC doc­u­men­tary series Pandora’s Box by Adam Cur­tis made exten­sive use of clips from Design for Dream­ing, espe­cially in the title sequence. Some footage was also used in the music video for Peter Gabriel’s 1987 sin­gle “In Your Eyes”, Rush’s 1989 music video for “Super­con­duc­tor”, a 1989 com­mer­cial for the Nin­tendo Game Boy game Super Mario Land, a 1994 com­mer­cial for Power Mac­in­tosh, and in brief clips on an episode in the 2nd sea­son of Penn and Teller: Bull­shit. Clips were dis­played dur­ing Nine Inch Nails con­cert per­for­mances. Part of the film, with dia­logue, is played dur­ing the open­ing titles for The Hills Have Eyes. Some snip­pets (with­out dia­logue) are played in the video watched by Michael Dou­glas dur­ing his phys­i­cal in The Game and in the open­ing titles for The Step­ford Wives.