Bravo, Lisa! There is nothing, nothing more disgusting (let me duck here for the flung bricks, rocks, and chunks of wood) more disgusting and awful and stomach-churning than a 1940's -1950's movie about earlier times. Swashbuckling costume dramas are one thing because there is an aura of surreal, goofy, removed fantasy about them anyway, whether it's pirates or the Thief of Baghdad or medieval knights. But get a story about the Jazz Age, gangsters, prohibition, and what do you get? Doris Day coifs, crinolined skirts just like any dressed up woman in the 1950's wore, guys in baggy suits and pompadours instead of the center-parted sheik hairstyles and 3-piece suits.
Bad enough, but 9 times out of 10 they don't even get the cars right, and I could just about gag at 1950's renditions of how they think 1920's music sounded, or ought to sound.
Some movies desperately tried and still didn't get it -- look at Singing in the Rain. It at least tried to impart a vague idea of the 1920's, queasy Technicolor costumes and garishly lit dance routines notwithstanding, but I still can't bear to look at it. I mean, everyone was still ALIVE then who'd experienced the 1920's first-hand, couldn't they try for more authenticity?
It isn't that difficult. That culty sit-com TV program "That '70's Show" manages to pretty much have the correct clothes, cars, and music from the late 1970's - - I was a teenager back then and they got it right, save for some anachronisms in slang. I affectionately recognize all the fashions, hairstyles, posters in bedrooms, and how basement rec rooms looked. If a TV show can manage to do it. . . .