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?
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.
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!