The Moon Is Blue (1953)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Sex Comedy  |   Release Date - Jul 8, 1953 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - Germany, United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Shorn of the controversy that surrounded its release, The Moon Is Blue emerges as a cute, non-threatening, and mildly enjoyable sex comedy, very much of the 1950s. F. Hugh Herbert's screenplay has nothing more meaningful to say than had his stage script, but both are professionally made, with a healthy sprinkling of jokes (some quite funny) and a wide range of dependably made comic situations; it gets the viewer where he needs to go, and if it's not a terribly exciting trip, it's still pleasant. Director Otto Preminger keeps things moving with a light touch, and employs his bordering-on-intrusive-but-then-pulling-back camera to good use. He also manages, in some indefinable way, to film the characters in such a way as to subtly imply that perhaps the motivations of the leads are not as clear-cut as they seem, giving the movie a somewhat disquieting undertone. The trio of stars at the heart of the film are in top light-comedy form. Maggie McNamara is utterly adorable, creating a character that is winning, fresh, and delightful, and David Niven is at his suave best here. William Holden balances his vulnerability and sensitivity with an aggressiveness that works quite well, and there's tremendous chemistry between him and McNamara. Ultimately a time-capsule trifle, Moon is still undemanding and diverting.