I mention this because
I’m self-aggrandizing Matthew Weiner often cites The Apartment as one of his major influences in creating Mad Men. The era (The Apartment is a 1960 film) and the business milieu are obvious, but at the oft-cited Burns Center event, he also talked about the way that The Apartment starts with a lot already going on; that more of the movie shows you things that the characters already know (Baxter has a crush on Fran, Baxter’s apartment is being used by management, etc.), than shows you things that haven’t happened yet. When something new happens, it’s major.
Another very visible movie for us Mad Hatters is How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, starring Robert Morse (our own Bertram Cooper). Weiner says he didn’t have Robert Morse specifically in mind for the role, just someone venerable from the era who could hold that kind of power.
If you’re not familiar with How to Succeed…, it’s a musical about, well, succeeding in business. An ambitious window-washer (Morse) uses a book of the same title as the film to guide him up the corporate ladder. The jobs don’t matter, the work doesn’t matter, and the methods don’t matter. It’s all about success.
I compare the two in my review: