Design for Dreaming

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Moving Image:Design for Dreaming
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Design for Dreaming is a short film from 1956 released on 16mm. It is held in the Prelinger Archives collection.

Produced to bring the 1956 G.M. Motorama to audiences unable to see it in major cities, this fim introduces the new 1956 cars, Frigidaire's "Kitchen of Tomorrow," and the electronic highways of the future. G.M.'s "dream cars" of the 1950s, including the Oldsmobile Golden Rocket and the turbine-powered Pontiac Firebird II, are also displayed. One of the more self-consciously surreal films in our collection, Design for Dreaming often looks like a Hollywood musical. A Fifties-style sleeping beauty is awakened into a dream by a magician dressed in tails who hands her an invitation to the Motorama at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. She flies through the nighttime sky to the hotel, where she sees the milling crowds and marvels at the new cars. With the magician she expresses her desires ("I want a Corvette..."; "This Buick's a beaut...Oh, what a dreamy ride! I think that I'd like to buy it!") until suddenly an apron appears around her waist and he carries her into the "Kitchen of Tomorrow." She briefly laments the plight of woman but is distracted by the wonders of the machine that reads recipes off computer cards, the glass-walled refrigerator, and the hemispherical glass oven that seems to be able to make a cake with lighted birthday candles on top. Dancing through the kitchen, she contemplates the life of leisure made possible by its labor-saving devices ("Tick, tock, tick, tock, I'm free to have fun around the clock!") until her cake is ready. As she blows out the candles, she is transported back to the Motorama, where the "dream cars" are presented by models sporting various designer outfits of the time. Her magician guides her into the Firebird II, which seems to have inspired John DeLorean's innovations twenty years later, calls the traffic dispatch center by radio, and they are off onto the electronic highway of tomorrow. As they ride through a futuristic urban landscape incorporating building models and real slot cars, the couple sings a duet linking their love to technological progress. "Tomorrow, tomorrow, our dreams will come true/Tomorrow, tomorrow, we'll make the world new/Strange shapes will rise out of the night/But our love will not change dear/It will be like the sun burning bright/Riding away/When tomorrow meets today!"

Design for Dreaming
Produced byMPO Productions
MPO Productions
Distributed byMPO Productions
Release date
Running time
ewid: 2437 | Fresh | || dopt: {{{dopt}}}