John and Mary attracted a great deal of press coverage in 1969 for being the one of the first American films in which the male and female leads (Dustin Hoffman and Mia Farrow) start out the film by spending the night together, rather than holding off until the end. The morning after, the boy and girl wander about New York, wondering if they'll truly commit themselves to one another. Both characters are haunted by unsuccessful earlier affairs, and both have enough hang-ups to fill volumes of psychological textbooks. Come nightfall, John and Mary end up back in bed...and learn each other's names for the first time. John and Mary was considered "beautiful," "progressive" and "significant" in the permissive 1960s; nowadays it's about as controversial as The CBS Morning News.
by Hal Erickson synopsis