This year the Olympic games were to be held in Tokyo, but they’re on hold until next year due to the pandemic. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the last time the Games were held in Japan, which produced a movie germane to the topic of Ivy League Style.
“It’s the Olympics, you know?” is a running line from the comedy “Walk, Don’t Run,” which is set amid the chaos of the 1964 Tokyo games. The city is so overburdened that stars Cary Grant and Jim Hutton are forced to take lodgings with a pretty young English girl who lives and works in the Japanese metropolis. It’s a moderately amusing comedy you might want to check out. Cary Grant doesn’t have much to do except be Cary Grant, and indeed this was his last film. Hutton plays a slightly sarcastic collegiate type, though far less goofy than his similar role in 1960’s “Where The Boys Are” (which we wrote about here).
Hutton plays an architecture student who lives in Greenwich Village and is competing in the racewalking competition, which is to athletic competition what humming is to a singing competition.Hutton’s main outfit for his sightseeing time in Tokyo consists of tapered trousers, desert boots, blue oxford, knit tie, and a natural-shouldered sack jacket, updated with short side vents in concession to the Continental influence.
Warning: Orthodox trads and neatniks may be offended by his shirt, which shows the puckering and character of non-chemically treated cotton, and, as he’s a slim guy, has a slim cut.
I don’t want to go on a nostalgic rant here, and I hope my regular readers have noticed my tolerance — or at least helpless resignation — at the march of time, but one contrast between then and now is worth pointing out. This being 1964, not only does Hutton’s character spend most of his sightseeing time in a jacket and tie, when he goes out to dinner with fellow athletes from the Olympic Village, he wears his Olympic blazer. In contrast, athletes these days go on television to do talk shows while representing their country overseas wearing sweatpants, shorts, t-shirts and even flip-flops. Evidently no standard of athletes can be asked save for their own lowest-common-denominator comfort. One assumes that it simply never occurrs to them, in our take-me-as-I-am/come-as-you-are era, that an athlete would be expected — or want — to wear anything but athletic clothing at all times of their life. — CC