Did Mad Men’s Season Premiere Pay Homage to The Graduate?

Slate's Culture Blog
April 13 2014 10:09 PM

Did Mad Men Just Pay Homage to The Graduate?

We noticed something familiar in the opening minutes of Mad Men’s season premiere Sunday night. As the drama followed Don Draper disembarking at Los Angeles International Airport, it used the same airport conveyor belt tracking shot that previously appeared in the opening sequences of Mike Nichols’ The Graduate (1967) and, later—in an apparent homage to The Graduate—in the opening sequence of Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown (1997). (Jackie Brown even used the same LAX people mover, with its tile mosaic background—the mosaics were completed in 1961.)

Was Matthew Weiner paying homage to those films? We’ve tracked down the previous two sequences so you can compare.

Read all of Slate's coverage of Mad Men.

Seth Stevenson is a frequent contributor to Slate. He is the author of Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World.

Ayana Morali is the co-executive producer of Slate V.