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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.



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


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


The PIcture Everyone is Talking About! See more »


Comedy | Romance


M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 July 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La luna es azul  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Otto Preminger simultaneously shot an American and a German-language version of this film on the same sets. The German version was titled, Die Jungfrau auf dem Dach (1953) ("The Virgin on the Roof"). The stars of the German version, Johanna Matz and Hardy Krüger, appear in "The Moon Is Blue" as the young couple that speaks to William Holden on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Holden and Maggie McNamara make cameos in the same roles in the German version. See more »


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


David Slater: If more fathers had ripped more phones out of more walls, more daughters wouldn't get into trouble.
See more »


Referenced in The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002) See more »


Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes
Lyrics by Ben Jonson
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User Reviews

Not controversial nor important now but highly amusing.
19 June 1999 | by (San José, Costa Rica) – See all my reviews

The Moon is Blue broke the Moral Code of the Hays Office and started its liquidation, not by its content, but by its use of words that were not accepted by the code, such as virgin and seduction. For that reason, it was important and controversial in 1953. But at that time, the original play by F.Hugh Herbert was a Broadway hit like many other F.Hugh Herbert and Norman Krasna plays. A run-of-the-mill comedy with practically no story but plenty of funny situations. The movie version, whose risqué dialogue, both writer Herbert and director Otto Preminger refused to alter, is still funny and still amusing, because it is clever and merry. The movie is a fine example of photographed theater, but the camera movements and the direction make the movie move. In fact, The Moon is Blue is the best work of actual direction that Preminger achieved in his career, not only for the movement of camera but for the movement of actors and the perfect performances he extracted from William Holden, David Niven and the lovely newcomer Maggie McNamara (whose tragic story would make a good TV film). After so many years, The Moon is Blue is a delight to watch from every angle except that of content and significance.

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