House as Cinema Star - Page 2

Enticing Hollywood with light, openness and style, modern homes have become faves for TV and movie shoots
House as Cinema Star
Eichlers and other MCM homes have been popping up in movies and TV ads with regularity in recent years, popularized in part by the 'Mad Men' TV series (above).

The modern homes of Palm Springs also are appearing in romantic spots. BMW promoted its F23 2 Series convertible by filming a party at the home of the president of the Palm Springs Modernism Committee.

Feature films and TV shows show off our favorite homes, sometimes in passing—simply, it seems, for the visual stimulation—and other times in more depth and for a variety of reasons.

'Mad Men' popularized the aesthetic among the general population, particularly with its mid-1960s fashion, but also by way of the sleek offices of the Sterling Cooper ad agency and Don Draper's bachelor pad in New York City.

On the big screen over the years, modern houses or studio-built versions of modern houses have appeared in such films as the 1959 original of 'House on Haunted Hill' and 1975's melodrama 'Day of the Locust' (both featured Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House in Los Angeles); and 'L.A. Confidential' (1997), which used Richard Neutra's trend-setting Lovell House, also in L.A.

Not to be overlooked are two classics—Hitchcock's 'North by Northwest' (1959), in which Cary Grant clambers up the studio set of the 'Vandamm House' to rescue Eva Marie Saint from the villains; and the smash 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' (1986), which, with the help of rising star Matthew Broderick, put the steel-framed Ben Rose House of Highland Park, Illinois on the map.

Over the years a number of modern homes have emerged as cinema stars on their own, appearing in movie after movie and TV spot after TV spot.

House as Cinema Star
The memorable car crash scene in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off.' The 1986 film, which featured rising star Matthew Broderick, put the steel-framed Ben Rose House on the map.
House as Cinema Star
House as Cinema Star
For this Western Digital TV commercial, the storage cloud is brought home—to an Eichler, of course.

Not surprisingly, considering Hollywood's penchant for glitz, many of these homes were designed by architect John Lautner, who was known for curvaceous forms and dramatic cantilevers and spaces.

His flying saucer-like Chemosphere House shows up in 'Body Double,' among other films; and his Elrod House, which looms over Palm Springs as a vision of curved concrete and rock, hosted a battle between James Bond and the well-built ladies Bambi and Thumper (who emerged victorious) in 'Diamonds are Forever.'

But it's Lautner's Sheats-Goldstein House that achieves cult star among his houses, with many filmic appearances (noticeably 'The Big Lebowski') and a newfound popularity among the hip-hop set.

Babyface performed 'We've Got Love,' Snoop Dogg shot 'Let's Get Blown,' and soulstress Tracie Spencer emoted her way through 'It's All About You (Not About Me)' in the house.

Another movie star is the 1951 Fox House, in Chatsworth, designed by Pereira & Luckman and once inhabited by Sinatra. It's been in 'Mad Men,' 'Dreamgirls,' and Oliver Stone's 'Savages,' among others.

Mid-century modern homes are even popping up in computer games, and in cartoons aimed at toddlers, like Nick Jr.'s 'Shimmer and Shine,' in which castles magically appear on a neighborhood otherwise made up of pastel-hued Eichler-like homes.