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All reviews - Movies (1)

The Moon Is Blue review

Posted : 4 years, 5 months ago on 19 January 2013 05:01 (A review of The Moon Is Blue)

The five main stars of this film all died within seven years of each other; Maggie McNamara in 1978 aged 49, William Holden in 1981 aged 63, Tom Tully in 1982 aged 73, David Niven in 1983 aged 73, and Dawn Addams in 1985 aged 54. Director Otto Preminger died the next year at the age of 80.

Maggie McNamara was nominated for an Oscar for her role in this movie (her first movie), but acting work quickly dried up for her thereafter. She only went on to star in three more films over the next ten years, including Three Coins in the Fountain in 1954 which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, and won for Best Cinematography. She appeared in a few television shows during the 1960s, including The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Hour, before succumbing to an overdose of barbiturates in 1978.

In this movie, she reminds me of an amalgam of a young Audrey Hepburn (circa Roman Holiday) with a young Shirley MacLaine (circa The Apartment). It's a charming movie which breezes by in 99 minutes; the opening scenes with Maggie and William Holden atop the Empire State building on a foggy, blustery day are particularly eye catching. Some of the subject matter is shocking considering the time period, (the frequent and offhand references to sex, pregnancy, domestic violence, and adultery, amongst other topics - which many of us wouldn't blink an eye at now, but was scandalous for 1953).

All of this gives it the air of being a movie made during the early 1960s rather than the sometimes more staid and buttoned down early 1950s. Or even, it has more in common with the kind of screwball comedies which were being made during the early 1930s before the Hollywood code, than it has with many of its contemporaries from the early 1950s. It is a movie out of time, if you will, one of the first glimpses of the changing social climate, - preceding Elvis Presley by two years - and definitely worth seeing.


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