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The Moon Is Blue

Overview

This is the story of a chaste young TV-commercial actress Maggie McNamara who is romanced by a playboy architect William Holden. Despite all sorts of temptations, the girl refuses the architect's invitation to become his mistress, holding out for marriage or nothing. Meanwhile, middle-aged rake David Niven tries to move in on the girl himself, with an equal lack of success. So why was this harmless little comedy so controversial? It seems that director Otto Preminger decided to film the play as written, retaining...
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Note: This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. This disc is expected to play back in DVD Video "play only" devices and may not play back in other DVD devices including recorders and PC drives.

Overview

This is the story of a chaste young TV-commercial actress Maggie McNamara who is romanced by a playboy architect William Holden. Despite all sorts of temptations, the girl refuses the architect's invitation to become his mistress, holding out for marriage or nothing. Meanwhile, middle-aged rake David Niven tries to move in on the girl himself, with an equal lack of success. So why was this harmless little comedy so controversial? It seems that director Otto Preminger decided to film the play as written, retaining such words as "virgin," "seduce," and "mistress" in the script. The antediluvian Motion Picture Production Code refused to approve the film so long as those naughty words remained in the dialogue; thus, Preminger released the picture minus the Code's seal of approval. Rather than hurt the film's chances at the box office, Preminger's bold move resulted in a major financial success -- not to mention the beginning of the end for the ancient, wheezy Production Code. However, in the meantime, troubles piled up; the Jersey City Municipal Court -- at the hands of Secaucus' Justice George King -- fined Alfred Manfredonia, manager of the Stanley Theatre, 100 dollars for screening the film declaring him guilty of violating a city ordinance, and a ban was imposed on the picture by the Maryland State Board of Motion Picture Censors. While The New York Times' Bosley Crowther dismissed the accusations of prurience, he blithely observed, "The Moon Is Blue is not outstanding, either as a romance or as a film...at times, it gets awfully tedious...Its charm...will depend on how much one delights in its choice of words."
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Shorn of the controversy that surrounded its release, The Moon Is Blue emerges as a cute, non-threatening, and mildly enjoyable sex comedy, very much of the 1950s. F. Hugh Herbert's screenplay has nothing more meaningful to say than had his stage script, but both are professionally made, with a healthy sprinkling of jokes some quite funny and a wide range of dependably made comic situations; it gets the viewer where he needs to go, and if it's not a terribly exciting trip, it's still pleasant. Director Otto Preminger keeps things moving with a light touch, and employs his bordering-on-intrusive-but-then-pulling-back camera to good use. He also manages, in some indefinable way, to film the characters in such a way as to subtly imply that perhaps the motivations of the leads are not as clear-cut as they seem, giving the movie a somewhat disquieting undertone. The trio of stars at the heart of the film are in top light-comedy form. Maggie McNamara is utterly adorable, creating a character that is winning, fresh, and delightful, and David Niven is at his suave best here. William Holden balances his vulnerability and sensitivity with an aggressiveness that works quite well, and there's tremendous chemistry between him and McNamara. Ultimately a time-capsule trifle, Moon is still undemanding and diverting.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/7/2009
  • UPC: 883316182345
  • Original Release: 1953
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: B&W / Full Frame
  • Time: 1:36:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 19,652

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
William Holden Don Gresham
David Niven David Slater
Maggie McNamara Patty O'Neill
Tom Tully Michael O'Neill
Dawn Addams Cynthia Slater
Fortunio Bonanova Television Announcer
Gregory Ratoff Taxi Driver
Hardy Kruger Couple in Final Scene
Johanna Matz Patty O'Neill
Johannes Heesters David Slater
Technical Credits
Otto Preminger Director, Producer
Edward Boyle Set Decoration/Design
Herschel Burke Gilbert Score Composer
Frederick Hugh Herbert Producer, Screenwriter
Ernest Laszlo Cinematographer
Don Loper Costumes/Costume Designer
Otto Ludwig Editor
Nicolai Remisoff Production Designer
Ronald Sinclair Editor
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