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The Moon Is Blue (1953)

M | | Comedy, Romance | 8 July 1953 (USA)
Two aging playboys are both after the same attractive young woman, but she fends them off by claiming that she plans to remain a virgin until her wedding night. Both men determine to find a way around her objections.

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Writers:

(written for the screen by), (stage play "The Moon Is Blue")
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
David Slater
...
...
Michael O'Neill
...
Cynthia Slater
...
Television Performer
...
Taxi Driver
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Storyline

Successful architect Don Gresham (William Holden) engages a young actress, Patty O'Neill (Maggie McNamara), in conversation on top of the Empire State Building, and she accepts his invitation to dinner. Dropping in at his apartment on the way, they decide to dine there as Patty announces herself an excellent cook. Don slips out to buy food, and Patty is briefly visited by his ex-fiancée, Cynthia Slater (Dawn Addams), and not too briefly, by Cynthia's father David (David Niven), a middle-aged, practiced charmer who, on her invitation, stays to dinner. A slight accident at the table occasions Patty to change her dress for Don's bathrobe. While Don is away placating the jealous Cynthia, David loses no time in offering Patty a proposal of marriage and a six hundred dollar gift. She accepts the latter and is surprised by Don in a grateful kiss to David. Don is still enraged with Patty when her father arrives, and, outraged to discover his daughter in a bachelor's apartment, knocks him ... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's about nothing else in the world...but the facts of life! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 July 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La luna es azul  »

Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Terry Moore and Diana Lynn mentioned for Maggie McNamara role. See more »

Goofs

When Donald returns from the grocery store his coat is wet from the storm, but the grocery bags and box are dry. See more »

Quotes

David Slater: I wonder why it tis that young men are always cautioned against bad girls? Anyone can handle a bad girl, it's the good girls men ought to be warned against.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Express (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes
(uncredited)
Traditional
Lyrics by Ben Jonson
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User Reviews

 
An Evergreen Period Piece
10 January 2002 | by (New York, N.Y.) – See all my reviews

Long before Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks discovered they loved each other atop the Empire State Building, William Holden and Maggie McNamara met on the observation tower of the venerable skyscraper in the film version of the hit Broadway play, "The Moon is Blue." One of the best and most sprightly comedies of the early fifties, Otto Preminger had a fight on his hands when the film went before an aghast Production Code board.

The movie makes rather light of a young woman's commitment to chastity, suggests that seduction is an amusing and acceptable pastime for a single male and uses words like "pregnant" and "virgin" offhandedly. The lovely, talkative, self-assured Patty even demands to know the meaning of the charge, by her new boyfriend's barely ex-girlfriend, that she's a "professional virgin." Shocking stuff and approval was denied. Perhaps equally stunning to the Hollywood censors was Preminger's decision to release the film without approval, something he had the clout to do.

As it turned out, audiences were able to deal with this explosive material. :) And almost fifty years later, when virtually nothing remains to be said or done on the silver screen, this film retains its charm, humor and attractiveness because a superb trio of actors - William Holden, Maggie McNamara and an irrepressible David Niven, who steals some of the scenes - gives a timeless quality to their sterling performances.

The script hews pretty much to the original play with minimal set changes. The dialogue is witty and fast. Preminger knew he had created a gem of a romantic comedy and it's good entertainment today in a world where the values expressed by the characters seem as remote as the social customs of the Neandertals. I hadn't seen the film in decades - I rented it and I'm going to buy a copy. This is a true and timeless classic.

By the way, don't skip the trailer that precedes the film. It's very funny.


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