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Film / Design for Dreaming

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"Just because it's futuristic doesn't mean it's practical."
Crow T. Robot, Mystery Science Theater 3000

Design for Dreaming is a 1956 short film extolling the virtues and wonders of General Motors vehicles and the wildly implausible kitchen-of-the-Future.

The film itself is entirely in song, and begins with a woman being awakened by a masked man taking her to the 1956 General Motors Motorama, where she is introduced to several GM car brands, including Buick, Chevrolet Corvette, and Cadillac. She is then whisked into the "kitchen of the future" (because Frigidaire appliances was a division of GM at the time), loaded to the brim with futuristic (and implausible) appliances, destined to simplify the day for the housewife-of-the-future. Gamboling about and camping it up will apparently be the order of the day with the kitchen of the future.

An abrupt return to the Motorama features our plucky heroine dancing the "Dance of Tomorrow", followed by a presentation of more GM cars. Boarding the "fabulous, turbine-powered Firebird II", the masked man is unmasked, and the two drive off on the "Highway of Tomorrow".

Featured on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. For that version, please go to the episode's Recap Page Of Tomorrow.

Design for Troping:

  • All Just a Dream: The entire film, given the opening lines sung by the female character.
  • Car Porn: The very point of the short. Many of the cars shown are now very high-priced classic cars, especially the highlighted concept car, the Firebird II. The "cars of the future" mix in Costume Porn with outfits by such designers as Christian Dior.
  • Costume Porn: The cars are shown by having the woman wear various designer dresses that compliment each car.
  • Dream Ballet: The "Dance of Tomorrow".
  • The Future: The film shows a possibility of what cars and kitchens may be like.
  • Futuristic Superhighway: The film ends with the happy couple riding their turbine-engine car through "The Highway of Tomorrow."
  • No Name Given: The woman and masked man are unnamed.
  • Pretty in Mink: When the woman gets into the last car with the masked man, he pulls out a white mink wrap to go with her evening gown.
  • Scenery Porn: The highway model effects still try to show a sweeping shot of futuristic landscapes.
  • Stop Trick: Used frequently by the masked man.
  • "You!" Exclamation: The plucky heroine declaims "It's YOU!" to the Masked Man when, at the end as they drive off in the Firebird, he removes his mask. The man is Marc Breaux, a noted choreographer, and would direct musicals in the next two decades, most notably The Sound of Music, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and infamously Sextette.
  • Zeerust: The future is very 1950s.