Tom Ford’s award-winning 2009 film A Single Man featured Colin Firth as George, a gay man who is grieving the death of his partner Jim (Matthew Goode) in 1962. Every scene was so beautifully filmed that I was kind of mesmerized by it. It certainly didn’t hurt that they shot a lot of it in a John Lautner-designed modernist house in California.
It’s known as the Schaffer Residence, built by architect John Lautner in 1949 for the mother of one of his employees. It’s on the market right now in the Montrose area of Glendale for $1.495 million.
The movie was so dark that it was difficult to get good screen shots from it. The light was a little brighter and warmer in scenes like this “happy flashback” when George and Jim were reading together in the house:
This was fashion designer Tom Ford’s first film (he wrote and directed it), and he brought his eye for beauty and style to every scene. It’s hard to believe it didn’t get an Oscar nom for Art Direction, which was by the “Mad Men” team of production designer Dan Bishop and set decorator Amy Wells.
The movie was based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood. Ford says it’s a story about isolation, and the isolation we all feel.
The house is fairly small. It only has 2 bedrooms and 1.5 baths.
Colin Firth was nominated for an Oscar for this performance.
Here are some photos of the house I found on the listing and around the Internet:
The listing agent says:
Hidden in a wooded valley at the foot of the Verdugo Mountains, the redwood, concrete and glass residence opens to the oak forest that influenced the form and orientation of the design. This world-class architectural treasure incorporates open-plan living, dining and den areas, two bedrooms, one & a half baths, laundry and attached two carport.
The house was also used in the movie Happy Endings.
Here’s how the open living area looks now:
And how the same area looked several decades ago, with a floral sofa and big yellow rugs that really didn’t suit the space as well:
I love the openness of the bedroom with all of the windows:
The kitchen, with green countertops that make me think of a Ping-Pong table:
In this photo of the kitchen, it looks lighter and much more yellow:
Were you a fan of A Single Man? Of the house? Was anyone else as upset by the ending as I was? (Fans of Tom Ford can check out his mod London townhouse with the stainless-steel walls and ceiling here.)
You can find more photos and info on the listing by Crosby Doe Assoc, and at the LA Times, Zippercut, My Turtleneck, and Elle Decoration. There is also excellent information about Lautner houses, including this one, at Triangle Modernist Houses.
(Some photos by Tim Street-Porter. Thanks to Marie and Kim for helping with this one!)