Remembering "The Moon Is Blue"


"The Moon Is Blue" may be called a classic movie, though probably if I asked for a show of hands of who saw or remembers it, I'd see few, if any, hands in the air! It's slid into relative obscurity, it seems.

So why mention it? Well, the perky theme song is delightful, for one thing. The story was somewhat a break-through for Hollywood at the time. But mostly, - it happened to come out and coincide with major events in my life, else I'd have missed it altogether!

It had a prestigious director: Otto Preminger; and featured some beloved stars. But, you may think, it's inordinately corny! OK.I can live with that! With scenes atop the Empire State Building to kick it off, where a young woman promises to retain her virginity in a feeble attempt to discourage a fellow's advances, - what else?

The trailer

The Lyrics


The Song

It is surely surmised from the film's B&W footage that it is not recent, even though Technicolor was widely used in 1953 when it was filmed and released!

Ah, yes. 1953 was the year I graduated from college in Dallas, started working as a Bridal Consultant at a fine Houston store, met my first husband-to-be and tragically lost my sister and her family to a horrible car-train accident. My world forevermore changed by the end of that year.

Odd that, amidst major life-changing events occurring and approaching as I was seeing this movie, - that I so vividly recalll standing in the couture department, surrounded by designer clothes and luxury furs, calmly discussing this newly released movie with the department manager, who surely could hardly believe my obvious naiveté! Perhaps that's a reason it stuck in my mind!

Doesn't it often seem that the most major events of one's life float into the life-lake from incidental sources, then move on toward and over the dam carried along by the most trivial waters of everyday or inexplicable events and experiences? If we try to piece together a logical sequence for most of it, we're unable, though those trivialities, such as this little film, lodge in our memories right beside the more important events!

The 1950s were a rather stuffy and staid decade, wedged between the pressured War Year 40s and the 'break-free, let it all hang out' Rock-n-Roll 60s. Certainly In the 1950s, movies were still strictly monitored for breaches of traditional morality at all levels.

It was rather surprising and a little refreshing that this little film, which didn't earn a big place in movie history, while remaining tame by today's standards, broke free enough to venture into a daring romp and frolic, defying some of the time-honored rules, and allowing it to be somewhat risqué, while still hanging onto a degree of innocence! Oh, there were some slightly venturesome movies from the beginning of film-making, but this one was 'getting by with' considerably more!

The story had been on Broadway before coming to the silver screen, but in neither setting had it begun to upstage the big musicals of that era, or other 'pixie-ingenue' stories featuring the Audrey Hepburns or Leslie Carons who dominated the genres then.

Yet It did go on to be nominated in several categories for awards that year, though its lasting impact was minor. Of course two of its stars were already extremely high-profile, well-established; while the ingenue was a virtual unknown.

In the story, the two unscrupulous lead males vye for the maiden-ingenue's notice and were strictly 'up to no good'. Her little white Peter-Pan collared naiveté provided a protective bubble among these lecherous men of the world, keeping the suspense pulsating and lingering! Will she weaken? When? Which guy? haha.

As I say, it's all very tame by today's standards, but perhaps, even so, it's all the more bewitching and convincing. Or - perhaps you 'hadda be there!" I lived through my share of little white Peter-Pan collars, as well as little white gloves and tiny hats precariously perched atop my pixie hair-style! Of course, the gloves and hats were required to be worn everywhere, with proper dresses or skirts. The only jeans I even owned were reserved for really 'rough wear' in the country!

William Holden (April 17, 1918 – November 12, 1981),American actor, won both Academy Awards and Emmy's for Best Actor in 1953 and 1974. He reigned as one of the most popular and well known movie stars of all time, always the biggest box office draw during the 1950s, He was one of the "Top 10 Stars of the Year" six times in his heyday, among many other awards. He filled starring roles in several most popular and critically acclaimed films of all time.

Maggie McNamara (June 18, 1928 – February 18, 1978) was an American stage, film, and television actress and fashion model, a role in which she was highly successful prior to acting.

As an actor she was nominated for several awards, one being for her leading role in The Moon Is Blue. Other of her well-known appearances were inThree Coins in a Fountain and several popular TV series, including "Twilight Zone". But her acting career was brief and relatively modest. She died of an overdose at only age 50.

David Niven (1 March 1910 – 29 July 1983), was an English actor and novelist, among the popular ones in Europe and the US, known for his sophistication and wry wit. His numerous well known roles earned him a bevy of awards during a lengthy career.

Movie poster

It won't be coming to a theater near you! It may not appear in a DVD store near you or on an online video store. But you can say you've heard of it and hopefully, that you found that it promises good entertainment if and when it is located!,

Little Girl Blue - by Diana Krall

This poignant song, one of my favorites, is not from this movie, but it seems fitting; so sharing it here!


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Comments 36 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Oddly I remember this movie. I have not even heard of the name for decades. How lovely to have it revived by your wonderful reflections and recollections. Thank you for a wonderful story.

drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

The name of the film is familiar, Nellieanna, but I do not recall having seen it. That would not be unusual, of course. But I did love both William Holden and David Niven and saw most of their movies. The female lead has the pixie look of Audrey Hepburn. Thanks for your sweet recollections and including Diana Krall - also one of my favorites.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ah, Billy! Glad you enjoyed the reminder, but I'm thinking that this film must have made a repeat performance, for you to have remembered it at all, - because you were surely not even born or at least, not out of diapers in 1953 when it made its first rounds in the theaters across the country! There would be no other way to see it for many more decades back then. Even now, the DVD is rather expensive from Amazon!

I appreciate your comments. I have to admit that my 'movie reviews' are strictly subjective! I'm 'seeing' them in my mind's eye, and recalling what I was doing at the time when I experienced them, so that the visuals simply trickle forth onto the pages. It would be fun to hear others' recollections on the same basis from their subjective treasure troves!

Of course, I looked up life-spans and a few facts about the actors, but, even in my report of those, it was from my remembered view that I interpreted their pertinent film biographies, callously discarding details such as exactly what other films won them notice. If there is some governing board for acceptable movie reviews, mine would usually land in the hopper, along with, possibly, any other of my 'historical' recollections and reports! I do take liberties, I confess!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Well, dear DRBJ - you're just too young to have seen it, although intimately remembering William Holden and David Niven and most of their movies may suggest another explanation! ;-)

Oh, yes, Maggie McNamara did follow in that pixie image of Audrey Hepburn. I suspect that there were only two predominate female images at that time: - the Audrey-pixie or the Bette Davis-brassy broad. Any other deviations leaned heavily one way or the other. But then, the 50s were rather regimented years of which I have first-hand knowledge, anyway. This touched every part of living, from in the home to in the workplace. Maybe it was sort of a counter-reaction to the stressful war years. Or maybe it's just my own perspective, what with my sister trying to regiment me at the time. (Can anyone imagine a more futile effort?)

Thank you for your interesting response!

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

This was a surprise. A pleasant one at that. Thank you

xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

I actually did see the movie in the theater in 1953 or 54, and always remember that catchy tune. I was thinking Audrey Hepburn too. William Holden and David Niven are two of my all time favorties. I just now looked Holden up on IMDB to be reminded of his long list of great movies. Remember Picnic with Kim Novac, The World of Susie Wong, Bridge on The River Kwai with Alec Guinness, Love Is A Many Spledored Thing? What a great actor! In high school, the men's choral group I was in sang what I now know was the theme to The Proud And The Profane, the song about Colin Black, who "drove his men and lived in sin..." He was a WWII behind the enemy lines commander.

Anyway, great hub! Holden should maybe be your next subject?


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Martin - I understand. I do write prose hubs, but not as many or as often as I do poetry! So it can be a surprise when I switch! Thank you for your comment!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Jim - AH! Glad you remember the movie and the tune!

Oh, yes - Bill Holden is one of my long-time favorite actors too! Picnic is way up in my favorite list and Love Is A Many Splendored Thing was one of George's and my favorites too. So many of the great movies he was in come to mind. Maybe I will write a hub about him. Thanks for the suggestion!

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Thank you for this beautiful hub here on "The Moon is Blue" and pointing out how the little things in this life (next to major life issues) still stick in our minds. I do love William Holden as one of the great actors. Never saw this movie, but wish I had. Your choice of songs is perfect here. Also, your imagery is stunning.

Really enjoyed reading about this movie, which I will most likely never see.

Voted up ++++ and sharing (will come back to share, buttons not showing up on my end for some reason)

Hugs and love, Faith Reaper

xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

We will look forward to it. That IMDB list is comprehensive for his many movies.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

FAITH - thank you, dear friend, for this lovely comment. The DVD is available @ Amazon, but is a bit steep in price. But it looks like the entire movie is available on a u-tube @ - I haven't tried to see it there, but I may take a look when I have time.

Mostly, my objective was just to call attention to is and to how it happened in my life. There are some movies which just seem to have etched their memories in between and with my life events and - yes, that was what I was emphasizing, and not just movies, but books, travel experiences.

Life sometimes seems like a jigsaw puzzle with pieces fitting in here and there, some seem trivial, some more profound; but still, the "big picture" when it's put together is far beyond those little cutout parts which seem to go into it.

It may be part of the way we're designed. After all, we are only actually breathing air with hearts beating and keeping our physical lives going in those brief and ever-passing moments that are constantly flowing, almost like film sequences, too. We fill those moments with what is immediate, of course, picking and choosing what best fits and serves the life we're living. When we finally really 'get' the plot or the story-line of it, it clarifies and shows to be so much more than those passing disparate individual pieces; which at the moments are similar to getting just one little glimpse of the big picture of any one jigsaw piece we're attempting to place into it so we can proceed with the next ones.

It's fun to see how well one can match them up, sizing up shapes and bits of their images & continuing colors flowing from the pieces already placed into those being fit in, in order to complete a puzzle. So in ways - it is with life. We all want to make sense of it, don't we? At times, we are just inching along, finding our ways. But while we are "IN" any given moment, breathing with our blood coursing, we are ALIVE - not in any other time or place before or after that moment. Memories are static. They have value, of course, but we don't live in them. Anticipation is fuzzy & totally subject to variables. It's only when we get to another moment, that we're actually alive in it, where we have choices and choose directions and make things happen.

It's sad if people are so focused on other times and places - gone or not yet arrived - that they are literally missing the real time, like the one jigsaw piece they hold ready to fit in. It's just not possible to do the whole picture all at once! We get to choose if we focus on what is before us.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Jim - Yes, the IMDB list is quite comprehensive. I usually check Wikipedia as well. This one has been fun. I just added the actual very old, tattered sheet music of "The Blue Is Blue" as the background for the lyrics picture in the hub, just for the fun of it.

Now, fun is aside for awhile. I've gotta run some errands! haha. ;-)

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

Subjective movie reviews are the best dear Nellianna, they bring out the feelings that actually occur when watching a movie, not necessarily those the producers and directors want. I loved your phrase, "most trivial waters of everyday" what a perfect description of life!

I am an old movie buff, more of the thirties and forties, so I have to admit to not having seen this one. Thanks for the heads up.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Oh, Mary, thank you! I think you're so correct. We are barraged with the commercial ads for movies and then with the professional movie critics' analyses. But we give ours from the heart and the personal experience of seeing a movie! I also prefer that. Somewhere in the melee, maybe the facts about the film float to the top, but if we really want them unadulterated, for our uses, we probably need to see it ourselves! haha.

Yes, those trivial everyday items are like the threads in a woven piece of cloth. Alone and individually, they don't cover much, but as a whole fabric, they do all kinds of great things. So with life. It's made up of small moments and fragments, but it goes together to build - well - a person. While it's moving along its path, it's easy to overlook how important each fragment really is!

I started watching and loving movies during the 30s - and some of them all through each following decade. I still love the old ones, though every so often a really outstanding new movie blows me away!!

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Hi Dear Nellieanna,

Thanks so much for the link! You are so kind. I appreciate your lovely and thought-provoking comments back to me. Have a lovely weekend sweet friend.

Hugs and love, Faith Reaper

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Yes, I will, Faith - thank you, and same to you! We're in for some very needed rain. In fact, it's already started, just in time - I just had gutters installed on my house! They'll get a good test!

Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 3 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

Wow . . . 1953, what a year for you Nellieanna; and I'm so sorry about your sister and family! 1953 was quite the year for me too . . . I was born . . . lol! I watched all those 50's movies as a young teenage girl. Love William Holden and David Niven and the innocence of the times! Enjoy the ride down memory lane and that soulful song by Diane Krall. She would fit right in with the 50's! Kathi :O)

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ah, Kathi. So my son was born two years after you! Yes, there was an innocence to those times, at least by comparison. Then during the 60s, almost all the new films were war or violence-oriented - except "Love Story". Everyone was murmuring about what a relief it was.

Diana Krall is so versatile, she can don almost any time or style. I just love her music. That little song has had quite a history, too, f- rom Judy Garland to Karen Carpenter and Julie Andrews to Diana Krall. I fell in love with it the first time I heard it back in the 70s.

Thank you for the kind sympathy. The loss still hurts, even after all this time.

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 3 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

I'm afraid this one was a little before my time Nellieanna, but it seems to have been quite a good film. Perhaps somebody might upload a copy on YouTube. Then I can watch it.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Christopher -- Yes, it was good, in its its quaint 1950s way! And as a matter of fact, I looked for someone else and found that it is on u-tube @

Thank you for the visit and comment, my friend!

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hi Nellieanna, tough for me to fantom that I could have missed a William Holden, David Niven movie, but do not remember this one. Your presentation is wonderful. TCM is likely to have it on DVD, but that is a guess. You did a lot of research on this one and the graphics attest to that.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Mike, maybe you missed it because it was before your time! Thank you for reading and liking my presentation of it. It is on DVD, but the regular price on Amazon is about $26, though it was reduceed to about $20. It is, as I just mentioned to Chritorpher in the previous reply, on u-tube in it's full length. Most of my 'review' of it was from my own memory about the film and the times, though I did make &/or assemble the graphics for it. It was a 'fun' hub to do!

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

See? Talking about my negligence and failures - I have even missed one of own Cybermamma's hubs!

I haven't seen 'The Moon is Blue', and wish I could get hold of it after I've read this hub of yours.

This paragraph of yours is a stunner, or shall I say a bummer: "Doesn't it often seem that the most major events of one's life float into the life-lake from incidental sources, then move on toward and over the dam carried along by the most trivial waters of everyday or inexplicable events and experiences?"

I must do something with this. Check your FB-Timeline :)

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Well, I just found hubs of yours I've missed. I try to regularly check the "latest hubs" from those I follow and at least make sure to visit those of my closest ones, followed by checking the most engaging titles. Some days I get to all the new hubs, but not every day as they're being pushed down & out by new ones. I gave up being superwoman a few years ago! :-)

There are literally days I spend nearly ALL day writing comments and replying to comments, and still get in bed after midnight. It's done in this household of one where anything that is done, is done by this one! I don't do the amazing amount and quality of stuff I used to do a few years back but I try to see to it that what I do get done has high standards of quality. What I don't get done - - I let go of and keep working on the ever-present things needing to be done as time goes on - and I'm grateful to be able to!

I know of few 'age peers' who can adequately take care of themselves, which IS my #1 priority! So I don't require myself or everyone else to be super people either.

Seeing real dedication and loyalty matters most to me. Like you said in one reply to a comment on your hub's thread, there is an ability to sense & know the character of those with whom we're associated. They don't have to prove it or demonstrate it like robots! They demonstrate it like real friends!

YOU are true-blue, through and through, my sweet CD! I just welcome when you do come by! I treasure your comments!! Big hugs.

"The Moon Is Blue" can be viewed in full on u-tube @

I'll make it a point to check FB. Thank you!

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Vincent Moore 3 years ago

I too have seen many William Holden and David Niven movies, but this one surely made me blue for who am I but a lost waif in the 6o's getting caught up in rocknroll. I enjoyed the innocence of movies made in the fities and so many shining stars I loved to watch. They were all so iconic and to watch them perform as sheer delight. Adding Diana Kralls little girl blue was an extra treat my dear. I love her work as well. Thank you for sharing this movie with us, tis one I am not familiar with, but regardless it had a great cast.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Vincent. Ah, yes. I can picture you as you describe yourself, caught up in the 60s and its R&R. I was removed from it as an active participant in any of it but from my own confined domicile, but I still had to seek out the best of its music and even got to see a few of its movies. It was during that time that "Mash" and "Catch 22" and "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Sound of Music" and "Love Story" came along, all of which I got to see. But I was spared a lot of the more violent ones!

"The Moon Is Blue" was in early 1950s, which was more my own hey-day. I can't say it was the best movie I ever saw (I've seen some really outstanding ones!) but it had a lot of charm and its occurrence in my life was significant, y'know. It certainly had an excellent cast!

I've never heard a Diana Krall song I didn't like, though some more than others. "Little Girl Blue" is a really poignant song. First time I heard it was by Julie Andrews, which gave it a different character. Julie's identifies more with the girl and Diana's is more from a perspective of observation, having moved on further.

I so appreciate your perspective on these times!

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

Wow! Thanks for the link, Nellieanna :) Bookmarked to be watch asap.

And yes, I am boots and all on your page. 'Super woman' had also died peacefully in me and now I am the only one left to do what's supposed to be done. Or to simply postpone what was supposed to be done until it is truly important and urgent.

Love you, Nellieanna!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

My pleasure, sweetie. Hope you get a chance to watch it.

haha - Yes - the freedom to choose is a great joy, though we usually choose to do what is supposed to be done. It's just that it's so much more a personal choice of our ongoing choosing in the first place.

Well, I always felt I was doing what I chose to do - but there is a vast difference when the consequences are one's own in every way - - and the responsibility! It's the difference between being Superwoman and being Integrated Woman, maybe. :-)

epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

Well Nellieanna not only are you our resident first lady of the Hubs but you are also a wonderful writer of film and this awesome hub presentation would awe any film student.

It's a film I have not seen but your legendary passion for putting together a hub is very much evident here with your world class research and documentation right down to the images and the video.

Another lady I would like you to meet is Suzette Naples (unless you know her) and she has put together a similar awe inspiring hub on a film called To kill a mockingbird.

This one is a real beauty though and a must for film goers of all ages especially the younger crowd because let's face it - they don't make them like they used to.

Even A night to remember - the black and white version of the Titanic is every bit as good as the more famous James Cameron version.

Sending you 3 big Canadian hugs from Colin, Tiffy and Gabriel on this sunny sunday afternoon by the lake and one more beautiful full moon tonight before it goes on the wane.

lake erie time 4:02pm

and yes I will look into this film now that you have my attention , interest and curiosity

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Colin! I'm blown away by your great comments and compliments.

I don't know Suzette Naples, but both the book and the film, 'To Kill A Mockingbird' are among my all-time favorites. I must look into her hub!

True, they don't make movies like they used to, and it's too bad. This one is so very 'of its time' that may seem a little corny, but it was a corny time! Period movies are supposed to capture the essence of the period, and this one does! :-)

It is also a sweet love story, though not of the calibre of "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing" or "An Affair To Remember" or "Casablanca".

I've never seen "A Night To Remember", but I would love to! I treasure "Titanic" and have it in my DVD library. The story is haunting. Even 'Downton Abbey' started off its first season's scene with the timely news of the tragedy, which indirectly set the stage for the entire series.

Thank you for a great comment and teaser; - now I must pursue the path to meeingt Suzette Naples! :-)

brakel2 profile image

brakel2 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi Nellieanna - I love to read your hubs and enjoy the art and beauty that is always present. I remember the movie and that I saw it but don't remember all the details. Everything is so different now, and I can barely find a movie I enjoy. Your description of the movie and the difference from today is important to the movie itself. The pictures of the leads adds to the entertainment of this hub. The movie was at an important part of your life, and you will always remember this movie. It is so nice to cross your path again and hope all is well with you. Pinning and sharing. Blessings. Audrey

wallace 14 months ago

Nan and I saw this in 1953

afterwards she said" yes I have been thinking and Yes I will marry you"

She is gone but I have the movie and will watch it again tonight.

December 24 2015

Oh how I miss her

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 14 months ago from TEXAS Author

I discovered just now that my reply to your comment, Audrey, which I kept copied to a file for comments here, inexplicably no longer appears here in the actual comments. There was no date saved for when I answered it, but it would have been soon after you posted the comment, which is now 2 years ago. Anyway, I've copied that actual reply here:


Hello, Audrey! How nice that you dropped into this hub and found it worthwhile, and that it stirred vague memory from your own experience. It is fun for me to revisit it, too.

I know what you mean about difficulty finding current movies to enjoy. There are some good ones occasionally, but the avalanche of those not worth the time to view them nearly buries them. Fortunately, I've assembled a good DVD collection of favorites I enjoy seeing again and again.

Thank you for the kind words about my hubs and for the sharing this one!

Thank you for the sharing!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 14 months ago from TEXAS Author

Hello, Wallace. Your response touches me deeply. I empathize with the missing of the one you love. Thank you for sharing those precious memories connected with "The Moon Is Blue".

brakel2 profile image

brakel2 14 months ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi Nellieanna - You are so sweet to remember to get back to me and to keep records of your comments. "The Moon is Blue" is a splendid love story, as I remember. I think of you often about your kindness and writing with passion. You are so well loved by all. Thanks for all you do. Merry Christmas. Blessings, Audrey

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 14 months ago from TEXAS Author

I thank you so much. I wish you, too. Hoping you've had a very lovely Christmas and will wish you a most happy new year, Audrey.

It's been a lovely Christmas.

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