Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Moon is Blue (1953)

Donald (William Holden) pursues a chaste and unusually honest young woman. His ex-girlfriend and her father (David Niven) interfere with the evening.

I know this film, as most people do, from the 11th season episode of M*A*S*H. where Hawkeye and Hunnicut are trying to get a copy of this movie, believing it to be a "blue movie". They are disappointed by this RomCom, but I wasn't.

As many movies based on a play, it is rather wordy. The story is focused on the relationships between the characters. Accepting it for what it is, I was quite charmed. Very sharp, witty, clever dialog. Good acting and better photography than you normally get from a play conversion. Controversial in it's time, it's rather tame by today's standards. Patty asks frank questions, discusses her virginity, and the men are left to question their own motivations.

By the time of the M*A*S*H episode, the film was just under 30 years old. The two leads had passed by then, and in four more years every actor with a speaking role, and the director, would be gone. Our virginal lead took her own life. It's been almost 32 years since the episode, and the M*A*S*H cast is doing quite a bit better. Maybe they learned of the dangers of the whiskey and cigarette diet, what with them being doctors and all.

Don't watch this if you expect overt sexuality. Or hate movies with a lot of talking. If what I wrote appeals to you, make a point to find it (won't be easy). I left it on my DVR in hopes of convincing the wife to give it a try. No dice, and it expired. AMRU 4. There was a lot of wonderful dialog in this movie. I can't pick one quote, so I will go with ...
"You talk too much."