1953 July 8

Eeek! A Virgin! The Film “The Moon is Blue” Premiers in New York

 

The film The Moon is Blue, which premiered in New York City on this day, was reportedly the first to use the work “virgin” in a major motion picture since the adoption of the restrictive Motion Picture Production Code on June 13, 1934. Director Otto Preminger decided to challenge the Code, and also did so with other films. The Moon is Blue was banned in Boston, Kansas, Ohio, and Maryland. In Chicago, only adults were admitted.

There is some debate among film critics about whether Code officials objected to the word “virgin,” or the fact that the script made fun of the young woman because she was a virgin, or both.The Supreme Court on October 24, 1955 overturned a ban on the film by the Kansas state censorship board.

Preminger was also instrumental in breaking the Cold War Hollywood blacklist of directors, writers and actors because of their political views, when on January 20, 1960 he announced that he was hiring the blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo to write the script for the film Exodus.

Learn about the movie, The Moon is Blue (1953): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046094/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Learn more about Otto Preminger:  Otto Preminger, Preminger: An Autobiography (1977)

See a timeline of film censorship: https://www.aclu.org/files/multimedia/censorshiptimeline.html

Read: Foster Hirsch, Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King (2007)

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