DEC 27th

List Mania: Top Movie Interiors

The week between Christmas and the New Year brings lots of top ten lists.  Usually it’s really important stuff like, “the top ten Hollywood break ups” or “the top Hollywood kids’ names.”  I don’t like to disappoint, so here is my important list…the top movie interiors.  Not just from 2010, I have complied my all time favorite list.  This was painfully difficult for me since I confess to watching movies at times for just the sets. Almost as sad as going to the movies for the buttery topping fix, but hey, we all have our stuff…

Enjoy and please add a comment on your favorite interiors so I can add for next year!

Dinner At Eight (1933)

Filmed smack in the middle of the Great Depression, this movie typifies Hollywood glamor and the public’s desire to forget their troubles at the movies.

Dinner At Eight

Jean Harlow's Bedroom is magnificent!

The Break Up (2006)

Being a native Chicagoan, I salivated at this cool set and could readily buy into the plot that neither one wanted to move out of their pad.

The Break Up

Hey Jen and Vince, "Why fight in such a great kitchen?"

The Nanny Diaries (2007)

Exactly what I imagined when reading the book.  Great job Andrew Baseman.

the nanny diaries 1

Mrs. X doesn't deserve her interior designer (or her nanny)

Citizen Kane (1941)

This is not only one of my favorite movie sets but one of my favorite movies of all time. Unbelievable interiors even in black and white.

Citizen Kane

Kane's mistress, Susan Alexander's childlike bedroom

Something’s Gotta Give (2003)

This is one of the first movies I’ve seen where I could identify furniture and lamps by the manufacturer.  I saw it in the theatre with a friend (also a designer) and we got “shushed” by other theatre patrons because of our excitement over the set design.

Something's Gotta Give

What gives and why? What more do you need, sister?

Gone With the Wind (1939)

Obsessed. With. This. Movie.  I’ve read the book (differs quite a bit from movie) and have the seen the movie at least a hundred times.  The ever patient Mr. Vermillion knows to DVR it every time it comes on.  Sadly, (for Mr. V) I quote the lines before the character says them.  It’s prompted Mr. V to say, “Frankly I don’t give a damn.”  The Atlanta house that Rhett gives Scarlett makes me drool.  This really is a gimme since every girl loves it for the clothes too.

Gone with the Wind

"Why, Rhett, thanks for the beautiful boudoir!"

It’s Complicated (2009)

This movie surprised me.  I thought it was going to be just okay and it turned out to be surprisingly engaging.   Another great set by Nancy Meyers who also did “Something’s Gotta Give.”

It's Complicate

Who wouldn't want to cook in this kitchen?

Atonement (2007)

The movie made me nervous but the sets were fantastic.


Creepy movie. Lovely set design.

After the Thin Man (1936)

William Powell, Myrna Loy, James Stewart and a fox terrier named Asta.  Do I need to continue?  The uncluttered symmetry of the Deco set is a winner.

After The Thin Man

Relevant even today

Auntie Mame (1958)

This movie (Rosalind Russell version) might have been the match to start my interior design fire.  The interior design is a character itself as it changes to show the passage of time.  Interesting, fun and all together iconic, it’s another gimme for set design junkies.

Auntie Mame

Rosalind Russell descending her ever changing stair case

A Single Man (2009)

Tribute to 1960′s swinging California interior design.  LOVE.

A Single Man

Flokati chair, Hollywood Regency White screen, Ikat draperies. Heaven

Top Hat (1935)

Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers dance their way across some of the most memorable sets ever.  Venetian canals, moving floors, Art Deco Hotel rooms, this one has it all!

Top Hat

Round bed. Enough said

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Wonderful old estate plus madcap comedy starring the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart.

The Philadelphia Story

I love the clothes almost as much as the set

Wall Street (1987)

Couldn’t find a picture but the image of Daryl Hannah as interior designer stapling fake brick onto newly rich Bud Fox’s 950,000 NYC apartment will stay with me forever. There is a montage scene where the two of them are cranking out handmade sushi to the tune of “This must be the Place” by the Talking Heads and it’s not to be missed.  Greed is good…

Wall Street

Blue Horse Shoe Loves Anacot Steel

And for Mr. Vermillion…an honorable mention for the cantina scene in Star Wars:

Star Wars

Hey Bartender!

It’s true!  My secret love job would be as a set designer.  I think they should have a separate Oscars show just for set design!

What is your favorite set?

Images courtesy of:  Cinemastyle, New York Times, Elle Decor, Traditional Home, Hooked On Houses, Shelterrific, Wookieepedia, Feathers

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5 Responses to List Mania: Top Movie Interiors

  1. Travis says:

    Since I try to include “Jaws” in all discussions relating to movies, I’m sure the set on board the Orca is worth mentioning – “Show me the way to go home…” And believe me, if you’re ever in a bar when they flick the lights, you’ll see some folks that look just like the creatures in that Cantina scene.

  2. Amy says:

    I know you have never been in a bar when they flick the lights…..Right?

  3. Ellen says:

    Auntie Mame! smiles.

  4. Margo says:

    Just watched the film noire movie “Laura”. The audience is introduced to the lush and sophisticated single girl apartment before we meet the star herself. Great intro.

    • Amy says:

      Thanks for the comment Margo! I love that movie! Creepy noire at its best. I now want to re watch it so I can look at her apartment.