P Placement

It took me years of viewing RW to realize the film includes an early example of product placement. I could never make out that Lisa’s overnight case had a brand name, although now I realize Grace Kelly speaks the words “Mark Cross” clearly enough. I guess I just wasn’t expecting PP in a 1954 film, so it wasn’t until I read the script that I got the message.

              Lisa, I won't be able to give you
              any --

    She smothers him with still another kiss. Then moves back.

              -- pajamas.

    She laughs, gets up. Goes to the large handbag on the table.
    Is is a Mark Cross ladies 'attache' case.

              You said I'd have to live out of one
                   (Picks up case)
              I'll bet yours isn't this small?

              That's a suitcase?

                   (Starting to open it)
              A Mark Cross overnight case, anyway.
              Compact, but ample enough.

    She has opened it, and surprisingly enough, it is a compact
    outfit of pajamas, slippers, toothbrush, toothpaste, and all
    the general necessities for a comfortable overnight stay.
    She comes to Jeff, sits in his lap again, displaying the
    inside of the case

Branded or not, the critics weren’t slow to see the case as a sexual symbol, and that Lisa’s flaunting of it was a signal to Jeff of her availability. As if Lisa needed such a symbol; she made her intentions clear at her introduction, when she emerged in Jeff’s apartment, Jaws-like, from the depths of twilight gloom. Still, I guess there’s no harm in demonstrating that Lisa’s conscious and unconscious minds are in perfect accord.

That overnight case, by the way, is now a pricey collector’s item.


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