Kathy Nolan and Richard Crenna as Kate and Luke McCoy

Pop Culture in Review for the Year 1957

During the fever of pop culture in the 50s, each year came with its fair share of uniqueness. Though in past years, the fashion and music industry kept the public busy in their affairs, 1957 was all about transformation.

A lot of work was seen in the fields of technology and science. Other than that, the cold war and tension among the countries of different rivalries were stronger than ever. Fights against racism and political games were also observed to a huge extent.

On the other hand, development in the field of electronics was truly impressive. From Toyota starting its dealership in the United States to the development of a nuclear reactor, this year came with massive changes. Let’s have a look at some of the major highlights of 1957 and understand why it holds great value in history!

Films

The Bridge on the River Kwai was Premiered

poster for the US theatrical release of The Bridge on the River Kwai

Based on a war theme, this ever-famous movie was inspired by a novel of popular writer Pierre Boulle. This film revolves around the story of railway construction and the incidents that took place around it. Contrary to what one may say, this movie doesn’t involve much drama. The cast has amazingly dictated the emotions of the writer through their expressions. It was awarded the title of the best screenplay, and the novel writer received it.

Over the years, this film has received seven academy awards. Not only that, but it has also been preserved to be one of the best American movies ever produced. However, its popularity doesn’t stop in the US, as it was also included in the list of best British movies of the 20th century.

Fun fact: even though the story was inspired by the novel, it was rewritten by two blacklisted writers, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson. They secretly worked on the film and later gave the credits to Paul. Though this secret was revealed soon after the release, and both of them were credited afterward.

The Movie Sayonara was Released

poster for the film Sayonara

Made in the direction of Joshua Logan, this movie was also based on a war theme. But unlike other war movies that mostly featured politics and drama, this one revolved around a love story. The main lead, an American army officer, falls in love with a Japanese dancer. The films beautifully capture the tension between the two and how they coped up with the rivalry of their countries.

Another thing that made this movie stand out was its diverse nature. For an exclusive America, talks of racism and direct discussion of it were pretty new for the viewers. How this movie has addressed this issue, and how it has expressed an all-inclusive picture, definitely forces the viewers to appreciate the work that is put into it.

Old Yeller was Released

Theatrical release poster for the 1957 film Old Yeller

1957 was the year when the all-time famous movie, Old Yeller, was released. The sweet story of a pet owner and his love for his dog attracts the viewers of all ages. But then the drama and intensity that this film represents leave everyone in a state of shock.

How a stray dog somehow convinces the main role to love him and to adopt him is truly impeccable. How this movie represents that humans can have a pretty strong bond with a pet is amazing to watch. But unlike those cute stories, this one has a twist.

Because once the dog named Yeller becomes the family member of Travis (the main character), he gets infected with a disease. And, to stop that infection from spreading in the family, his owner has to shoot him. The family then adopts the baby of the yeller, naming him young yeller. And since the one who died was his father, the movie was called old yeller.

This film was not only famous in its time, but it still has a big fan base. People still watch it to reconnect with their memories. Also, in 2019, it was preserved to be one of the finest movies ever produced in the land of America.

Television

“The Real McCoys” was debuted

The Real McCoys title card

The first season of the ever-famous series, the Real McCoys, debuted in 1957. It features a light heart comedy theme that is based on a family’s story. The series takes us to a journey where the McCoys try to settle down on their farm that they inherited.

For people with a background in California, this new life seemed to be quite tricky. Adjusting to the farm life and the hurdles they face in the process makes the viewers burst into laughter. It is a family-friendly show and was aired on ABC.

Due to its ever-growing fan base, the series was continued for six seasons. The popular show finally ended in 1963, with a total of 240 episodes. You can still stream it online and relive the moments that you enjoyed before.

“Divorce Court” debuted

One of the most followed television shows, the divorce court, debuted in 1957. Unlike the recent season, it used to be more dramatic in the beginning. In the show, several real-life divorce cases were reenacted with all the drama elements to spice it up.

Though now the theme has changed a lot, the basic concept remains the same. Until now, almost 35 seasons of this show have been released, each being more popular than the last one. Some countries also adopted the idea and created their own versions. But in the world of television and life-inspired shows, the divorce court still holds its position.

I Love Lucy Ended

This year the all-time favorite show of Americans I love Lucy ended with the ending of the 6th season. But the public wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet. So, the show then went on with small episodes of comedy hours. Although these weren’t full-fledged episodes, the followers of the program still liked it.

I love Lucy first, starting in 1952, revolved around a young girl named Lucy and her life. Being a young girl, the struggles of her life were beautifully expressed in the serial. Because the young generation could relate to it, it was highly popular among them.

Throughout its seasons, this show goes on about Lucy’s life. It shows how she balanced her life and stardom that she got from working in the industry. Over the period it was aired, this show received many awards and a lot of nominations. Truly, it is one of the most original series of American television.

“Leave it to the Beaver.”

the cast of Leave it to the Beaver

This one-of-a-kind children show debuted in 1957. It was the first show of American television that focuses on the children’s perspective on life. It features a story of a family with two kids that always manage to get in trouble.

Unlike other shows, this one doesn’t follow the life of all the family members. Instead, all the episodes had a similar pattern. It starts with both the kids doing something wrong and trying to get away with it. But they always got caught and later got lectured by the parents.

This show was designed in a way that taught children some meaningful lessons. That, too, without boring them or making them feel guilty. It was the first show that later inspired other directors to make shows specifically for children.

Technology

First Nuclear Reactor Plant

The first nuclear reactor plant was built in Pennsylvania, US. It was a breakthrough for scientists that have been working on cheaper electricity for a long time. This project provided an easy and efficient way of producing electricity.

Unlike hydroelectric power and solar energy, this one works on a single nuclear reaction. Though it needs regulated control and proper setup, the results are worth it. After it was first introduced, it has been providing cheaper electricity throughout the land of the United States.

First Vanguard TV3

The Vanguard rocket explodes on launch

After the successful trial of Sputnik 1 and 2 by the Soviets, the US decided to send their satellite around the earth’s orbit too. It was a small satellite made by Bell laboratories. It was planned to study the effects of the vanguard in orbit. After a lot of hype and high hopes, on December 6th, 1957, it was time to launch it for the first time.

During the launch, the satellite lifted off for 2 seconds, but then it shattered and destroyed. It was assumed that even if the experiment failed, the workers would be able to reuse it. But well, they were wrong. It exploded completely, and there was no way to use it ever again.

Though it was a pretty rough experiment, it still remains one of the important pieces of American history.

Music

US Navy Steel Band

US Navy Steel Band performing at the 1958 Brussels World’s FairThe one and only military band of the United States was founded in the year 1957. It was organized by a naval commander who later carried this on for years. The band featured classical instrumental music specific to the country.

After some regional fame, the band expanded to other areas as well. Though it was mainly famous for their work in Puerto Rico, they were still known in the country. After about 500 concerts, Steel Band was disbanded, but still, some of their fans still love them as much as they did before.

The Beat of My Heart

cover art for the album The Beat of My Heart

In 1957, Tony Bennett’s famous jazz album,the beat of my heart, was released. It had a total of 12 songs, each being unique in its own way. Not only that, but Tony also released a CD unique mix that contained sevendifferent songs.

Due to the catchy tune, it instantly became the go-to jazz music. All the songs contain some special inspiration for the listeners. In the days when the music industry was not as flourished as it is today, this album was a pretty big highlight of the year.

Round and Round Song was Released

The recorded version of the famous song round and round was released in the voice of Perry Como. This song came out in January and remained a big hit for the entire year. People of all ages couldn’t stop listening to this gripping music.

It was mostly known for strong melody and attention-grabbing notes. Ever since it was released, it has been remixed several times. A lot of famous singers have also released their covers of the song. But still, the value of the original song remains unchanged for the public and fans.

News

Mad Bomber Got Arrested

George Peter Metesky or more commonly known as the mad bomber, finally got arrested in 1957 after 16 years of terrorism. He was an electrician and mechanic by profession and somehow got into the bombing.

He planted numerous amounts of explosives in public spaces. Be it cinema, parks, or even restaurants; nothing was safe from him. With his terrifying attacks, people could not move freely anywhere. But almost after two decades, he was arrested in New York City.

Hurricane Audrey killed hundreds

Audrey before landfall

Hurricane Audrey was one of the worst surprises this year had in the bag. It hit the coastline of Louisiana. What seemed like a small cyclone on the calculations quickly became a 3rd level hurricane. When it hit the coast, no one knew it would cause so much destruction. All in all, it is said that it killed nearly 420 people.

Though it didn’t cause only life damage, it destroyed about millions if not billions worth of property. Only the offshore oil facility located on the coast got damage of 16million. Other than that, it destroyed the overall infrastructure of Louisiana and even had some effects on Texas.

Multiple reports of land-sliding and rainfall added to the already present mess of the hurricane. In an estimate, it is said that this hurricane caused nearly 128million worth of damage. And, this value is only for the first wave. Given the damages, it is safe to say that this incident was one of the terrifying moments of 1957.

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