The Best of Everything (1959)

Dir. Jean Negulesco. Caroline Bender (Hope Lang) lands a job in the stenography pool of a prestigious publishing company in New York City. Her keen literary insights and generous loyalty to her friends serve her well as she navigates the tumultuous business and romantic world of the New York City arts world. Based on the popular novel by Rona Jaffe, which the character Don Draper can be seen reading in the first season TV series Mad Men. The Matthew Winer created TV series clearly owes a large debt to this film, from the design of the offices to the dysfunctional patriarchal office politics and comradery between the female office workers. There’s another cinematic connection that might resonate more strongly, also based on a best-selling novel – The Devil Wears Prada, directed by David Frankel and based on Lauren Weisberger’s novel of the same name. Both stories are based on young professional women chronicling their careers in the competitive, glamorous and frequently toxic world of publishing, and their relationship with an impressive and powerful editor – in 1959 we have none other than Joan Crawford as Amanda Farrow, and 2006 we have equally the formidable Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly.

By Nicholas Hudson-Ellis

Co-Founder & Film Programs Manager of Bangkok Screening Room.