“Mad Men” isn’t just a show about the 1960s and early 1970s; it’s deeply rooted in the era, quick to whip out a reference to historical events and even movies from the era. Now that its run is about to end, you may long for more of the same. Here are some movies that not only hail from the same period but show it in different lights.
‘The Apartment’ (1960) (Netflix Instant)
Creator/showrunner Matthew Weiner has cited this Billy Wilder Best Picture winner as one of “Mad Men”’s chief influences, and it’s not hard to see why: It’s an office dramedy set in the heart of New York in the same era. Its antagonist could even be Don Draper deeper into middle age: a self-hating exec (Fred MacMurray) having an affair with a pretty elevator operator (Shirley MacLaine), who instead falls for the sadsack drone (Jack Lemmon) who lends his apartment out for dalliances.
‘Patterns’ (1956) (Amazon Prime)
Weiner has also given shout-outs for this obscurity, which finds a pre-“Twilight Zone” Rod Serling writing about a high-powered New York exec (Van Heflin) battling with his conscience. Sounds vaguely familiar! The film also stars Everett Sloane, Ed Begley and “Network”’s Beatrice Straight.