Westport of the 1950s has proven to be an alluring theme for the Westport Historical Society, which has several events lined up this month to celebrate the era — specifically as it was depicted in the television and films created at that time.
On Sunday, March 18, there will be a screening of the award-winning film “The Man in The Gray Flannel Suit,” which was based on Sloan Wilson’s 1955 novel of the same name. Set in Westport, it is the story of a public relations executive grappling with his responsibilities to his family, his job and to himself. The movie, which was partially filmed in Westport, features Gregory Peck, as well as Jennifer Jones and others.
Presented by the Westport Cinema Initiative, the event includes a pre-screening “martinis and light fare” reception from 2 to 3 p.m., at the historical society, 25 Avery Place, followed by the movie at 3:30 p.m., which will actually be shown across the street at the Westport Town Hall. A question-and-answer session follows the film.
Tickets for the event, which are $10 for the movie and reception, can be purchased in advance at the initiative’s website, or on the day of the event at the historical society or at town hall.
During the pre-screening reception, you might also want to take a look at the society’s latest exhibit, “Next Stop: Westport! The Inspiration for 1950’s TV & Film Writers.” As part of that exhibit, the society will be hosting “Lunch with Lucy, Ethel and Rod,” at the its Betty R. and Ralph Sheffer Gallery, Wednesday, March 28, from noon to 1:30 p.m. The event, for which reservations are required, costs $20 for members; $18 for nonmembers. Call 203-222-1424.
In addition to a light lunch, lunch guests will be entertained with several short script readings, as performed by Melody James and Lois Leftwich, from “I Love Lucy,” and “The Twilight Zone.” The final season of “I Love Lucy” took place in Westport and was co-written by former Westport resident Bob Weiskopf. Meanwhile, “Twilight Zone” creator Rod Serling lived in Westport during the 50s, according to the society.