Vintage General Motors Film Promotes the Kitchen of Tomorrow
Why doesn’t GM make musicals anymore?
About 60 years ago, General Motors’ favorite way of dramatizing its (hilariously kitschy) vision of the future was through the medium of song. That’s why the automaker made a musical about autonomous driving (no, seriously, that’s real and you can watch it here), and why it produced the delightful three-minute short below about the “Kitchen of the Future.”
Frigidaire used to be owned by GM, which is how this short 1956 promo, “Design for Dreaming,” came into existence. And thank goodness that it did.
Take a look:
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This film presupposes that in the 1950s, women didn’t dream of a future filled with greater autonomy, sexual freedom, or entrance into the male-dominated world of business and politics. No, silly—they dreamed of niftier kitchens! You know, the kinds that do all the work for you, so you have more time for shopping!
Casual sexism aside, this is a pretty delightful piece of post-war, space age American optimism. This is the kind of thinking that inspired some of the era’s best retro-futuristic vehicles, from the tail fins to the rocket-nosed grilles.
If nothing else, this film is a nice reminder that there was a time when GM could give MGM a run for its money in the musical department. Nowadays, when the automaker attempts a song, the results aren’t quite so spectacular…
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