Saturday, June 30, 2012

Architecture of: Deception [1946]

As fictional New York apartment interiors go, the sets of Deception are as over-the-top in their preposterous scale and level of glamor, as they are almost-believable in their quirkiness. And aren't preposterously scaled & glamorous NYC apartment interiors one of the kinds of places moviegoers are most willing to suspend their disbelief about?  

Just how kept a woman Bette Davis portrays, (and almost how empathetic her situation!) is revealed best by the apartment and its details: It's supposed to be "artists' living" but it's huge; it's reached through a distinctly unceremonious service corridor and up a concrete stair, but it's a penthouse with river reviews filling enormous factory-sash windows

Commodious furniture, fabulous for entertaining, and the accoutrements of artistic practice and patronage aptly illustrate relations btwn a worldly, cultured benefactor and his cosseted, much younger protege. The small kitchen & occasional, residual angles of exterior building walls and eclectic mix of period styles in furnishings shows an enlightened, bohemian sensibility. The unlikely co-existence of these is what makes it both not-to-believed and just  possible enough to covet.

Deception   [1946]
Art Director  Anton Grot
Set Decorations George James Hopkins




"Well, here we are"
(looking at shop window) "People live here?"


"On top, artists, people like us..."

From the service elevator....
to an upper service hall....
up a poured concrete utility stair with pipe railings...
lit by caged safety lighting...

to a lavishly furnished, skylighted apartment -
with full-height, flush-panel closet doors -


Concrete block walls,
Double-height, metal factory-sash "atrium" windows,
 with inset double doors leading to a balcony with East River views.
Fireplace andirons in streamlined-classical, Art-deco Skyscraper style -

Glazed paneled, sliding, frameless pocket doors to bedroom behind -
Oversized, minimal floral arangement.

West side views too!
Refrigerator with bottom-mount freezer, ribbed-glass shaded, fluorescent under-soffit lighting and an open-backed, bentwood chair -

Modern ceramics, stainless steel cabinet pulls -


Skylights -
All light fixtures are floor, wall and table mounted never ceiling.


Frameless, tilted mirror affixed to the window in the bath!


Slipper chair at right




Asymmetrical geometric chrome-bar door-pulls, corner alcove tub, oversized tile finished walls -

Great counterpoint of organic ripply window treatment and sleek crisp orthagonality -
Thick dimensioned sandblasted glass-paneled pocket doors  & and an oversized, blade "cornice" big enough to be a sunscreen.

Uh - oh! Another blade cornice?


Trapezoidal trim openings -
Glass candelsticks -

Operable awning windows -



checkerboard wood gros grain wall covering -

Pleated (glass?) lampshade -

Sloped shirred & ruched curtains behind floor-to-clg curtains -
Backlit etched glass-fronted consul radio -




Full-height fixed-pleated fabric wall covering -


2 comments:

Bart Boehlert said...

Great post! Was watching the movie tonight on tv.

Bart Boehlert said...

Great post! Was watching the movie tonight on tv.