Moon Is Blue, The (1953)

The Moon Is Blue (1953), produced and directed by Otto Preminger.

Bachelor architect William Holden picks up talkative confirmed-virgin-until-marriage Maggie McNamara (an even thinner, more anorexic version of Audrey Hepburn) and takes her to his apartment to get to know her better. She's doesn't mind a little affection, but please hold the passion (so to speak). Turns out she is an actress and the Chloro-Foam Beer girl ("With chlorophyll!") and has a police detective father who knows his duties.

Always tipsy neighbor David Niven drops by for raised eyebrows and acerbic comments. His grown daughter has been dating Holden and love has not run smoothly for them. He knows he is supposed to horsewhip the cad but can't summon the energy.

It ends like all Jane Austen books. As with many filmed plays it is dialogue heavy and not very cinematic.

According to the wikipedia this was a controversial film. The Breen office denied it a rating because of "an unacceptably light attitude towards seduction, illicit sex, chastity, and virginity". The studio released it without a rating, "for adults only" and it was banned in three states. There were some court cases and the success of the picture contributed to the weakening of the Code, for good and ill.

The censors were being heavy handed even by the standards of the time. It's a harmless story and nothing "bad" happens. As for David Niven being an irresponsible father who doesn't zealously guard the virtue of his own daughter: she's an adult and obviously knows what she's doing.

About the opening and closing theme song: it is an example of a type of 50s choral pop music used for jingles and show tunes which is now, and always has been, like hot needles through my brain.

Warner Archive title, available for rent from ClassicFlix.