jondaris wrote:What kills me more than the prices is the relative wealth. I know Hollywood has always had a somewhat distorted view of reality, but the movies where a cop or a laborer can live in a two story single family home in a decent neighborhood while mom stays home with the kids just floors me. Was that ever possible?
Well actually, that is sorta part of the reason why I'm doing this. The ultimate goal is to sort of get an idea of the standard of living in general.
When Melvyn Douglas' character said with pride, "Well, I used to make $3,500 a year with the D.A.'s office!"....I was actually expecting the word 'month' instead of 'year'.
It just floored me for some reason, even though I know everything was cheaper back then. I mean jeez - I make more every two weeks than his character made in an entire year....and that got me thinking about if my standard of living as a whole would stack up to his.
That's sorta why I decided to amuse myself by keeping track of these sorts of comments made in films and sort of extrapolate info about the general standard of living.
Not really scientific or anything as it's only from films...but I figure that if they threw out numbers in films, they would probably be numbers that made sense to viewers of the time. So they are probably pretty close.
And viewers of the time would probably have expected consistency of facts. So if Melvyn said he made $3,500 a year and lived in a mansion....if that didn't make sense to viewers, it would have no doubt been troublesome to them, just as if someone said in a film today "Well, I make $27,000 a year"...and their character lived on Park Avenue.
That particular film was chock full of financial information being thrown around. I need to go back and gather more of the information as I can still remember where it is in the film.
I also need to go back and watch the beginning of DOUBLE HARNESS as well. That scene in the dress shop was chock full of numbers too.