In the distant future of 1980 mysterious aliens are making missions to Earth and kidnapping people. Absolutely nothing is known about them. American Air Force Colonel Ed Straker is put in command of the secret organization SHADO which includes a lunar base with space fighters, a submarine that launches a jet that shoots down UFOs and a secret base located underneath a movie studio in England where Straker poses as a movie producer. To keep up appearances Straker and his paramilitary staff have to look the part. Fancy cars, and campy mod outfits for everyone. The kind of thing that inspired Austin Powers.
Interestingly enough, while you are recovering from laughing at the early 1970s/last 1960s styles, you will get engrossed in strong plots, strong scripts and strong acting.
This isn’t a space opera. The stories revolve around the dearth of information about the aliens, the palpable desperation of SHADO to find out why they are here and some strongly cerebral cloak and dagger plots.
I was reading on another blog that some people believe that in 40% of American marriages wives now earn more than their husbands, they expect this trend to continue and that this trend will bring more gender role changes. I have no idea how that statistic coexists in reality with the often quoted stat about women only earning ___ cents for every dollar earned by a man.
Looking back to old movies, books, etc I agree that gender roles in the US have changed a lot.
What I find really fascinating about these changes is how extreme they are and how unnoticed they seem to be.
As an example, I recently joined the huddled masses in watching “The Hunger Games”. In the movie, a teenage couple struggle to live in a “survival of the fittest” situation. A plot where the role of the hero is usually reserved for a man. Yet, it is the “macho” hunting skills of the lead female who saves the couple, several times. She even rescues her love interest who shows his gratitude for her protection with physical affection.
Journalists and other commentators will often pick up on the smallest things to have something to write about. Yet, I haven’t seen this aspect of the movie mentioned anywhere. A gender bender like that even a short time ago would have seriously freaked people out.
Are things like this going unnoticed because the changes are slow, subtle or is it a generational thing? A new generation is born into what things have changed into, to them it is normal, so it isn’t a big deal to be noticed?
During a recent episode of Mad Men, the gritty realistic soap opera about Maidson Avenue advertising people in the early 1960s, one of the characters mentioned getting The Rolling Stones to perform a commercial for Heinz Baked Beans. They thought they had a chance, as The Rolling Stones had previously agreed to do a Rice Krispies commercial in the UK. It turns out that the Rolling Stones really did make a commercial for Rice Krispies. I’ve watched it several times. I have to admit, it is quite catchy .