(Sometimes called TV Parking.) Not parking for the movies, but the kind of ridiculously easy parking a character in a movie gets when s/he pulls right up to his/her destination, zeroing in on a miraculously wide-open parking spot in what otherwise is an impossibly tight urban area.
During the 1950s and 1960s, in movies and on television, Doris Day got such a rep for manifesting that lucky talent that a spin-off term was coined; see "Doris Day Parking." Generally Ms. Day's roles had her piloting sensible domestic sedans and station wagons, a visual metaphor for her competence, efficiency, self-reliance and ability to live without a man. By way of contrast, the neurotic characters Tony Randall portrayed often struggled with temperamental British roadsters, and Rock Hudson played dissolute types who poured themselves into a taxi -- hungover, drunk, in a hurry, or all three.
Times did change -- a little. On "The Doris Day Show," CBS-TV's' late 1960s career-girl sitcom and vehicle (no pun intended) for Ms. Day, her character drove a 1969 Dodge Charger. A red convertible Charger, on a legal secretary's salary. Modernity notwithstanding, Doris never seemed to have much trouble finding instant parking. In San Francisco. Business-district and high-rise parts of San Francisco. In all fairness, though, the opening credits included a very brief shot of her on the California Avenue cable car.
In 1985 writer-director-male lead Albert Brooks, playing opposite Julie Hagerty in the film comedy LOST IN AMERICA, saw a movie convention ripe for satire. The lead couple, having had all kinds of bad luck in the Heartland, moves to New York City to find new careers. As the soundtrack blares Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York," their car, shown in exteme high shot, dives (no backing) right into a perfectly sized parking space dead center in front of a white high-rise office building in Midtown Manhattan. This knowing send-up of, and homage to the Movie Parking convention (which fit the plot perfectly) never fails to draw howls from the audience.
"Man, we were so lucky. TV parking in front of the building; the FedEx van had just pulled away."
"You want to see Movie Parking at its finest? Alfred Hitchcock's VERTIGO from 1957. Jimmy Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara bel Geddes, all drove right up to Jimmy's apartment building, and it seemed to be the same spot perpetually open and waiting for them. Diagonal parking stalls, no less, or as you Midwesterners like to call it, angle parking."
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