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The rise and fall of Hollywood's separate marital beds


skimpole
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Last night I noticed that in The Trip to Bountiful the son and daughter in law have separate marital beds.  The movie was made in 1985, was based on a teleplay made in the fifties, and the movie refers in passing to President Truman.  I though the separate beds was odd.  I though they existed as a Code convention, so there was no reason to have them in a 1985 movie.  (On the other hand the daughter in law is portrayed as a horrible shrew, so maybe she avoids sex just out of spite.)  Are there other examples of separate marital beds surviving past the end of the Code?

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Last night I noticed that in The Trip to Bountiful the son and daughter in law have separate marital beds.  The movie was made in 1985, was based on a teleplay made in the fifties, and the movie refers in passing to President Truman.  I though the separate beds was odd.  I though they existed as a Code convention, so there was no reason to have them in a 1985 movie.  (On the other hand the daughter in law is portrayed as a horrible shrew, so maybe she avoids sex just out of spite.)  Are there other examples of separate marital beds surviving past the end of the Code?

 

 

I thought that was unusual, too.  As if it were in imitation of a code-era production.  Can't think of any other examples.

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Funny, but seeing as how the story DID take place in the 1950s, AND considering that my own parents up until 1963 and when we moved into another house slept in twin beds, I didn't think that it was odd at all.

 

(...and even though my Mom wasn't even CLOSE to bein' a damn shrew like that ***** of a wife her poor son saddled himself with in that movie...and I certainly don't think my Pop thought of my Mom in that way either very much...well, okay, there WAS that one time Pop that ol' skinflint caused a stink about Mom purchasing that new wall-to-wall carpeting without his knowledge and there seemed a little riff in their relationship for a while and thus those twin beds might have come in handy, but that kind'a thing was usually few and far between, ya understand)

 

;)

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I wish movies would just GET OUT of the bedroom.

 

We all know what they're "doing", we don't need to see it. It does NOT make the charactors more intimate to the viewer, but just slows down the story & makes viewing uncomfortable.

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Funny, but seeing as how the story DID take place in the 1950s, AND considering that my own parents up until 1963 and when we moved into another house slept in twin beds, I didn't think that it was odd at all.

 

(...and even though my Mom wasn't even CLOSE to bein' a damn shrew like that ***** of a wife her poor son saddled himself with in that movie...and I certainly don't think my Pop thought of my Mom in that way either very much...well, okay, there WAS that one time Pop that ol' skinflint caused a stink about Mom purchasing that new wall-to-wall carpeting without his knowledge and there seemed a little riff in their relationship for a while and thus those twin beds might have come in handy, but that kind'a thing was usually few and far between, ya understand)

 

;)

 

Dargo,

 

That's interesting. When we were little our parents slept in one full bed.

 

But when they built a new house in the late fifties, my mother was insisting upon twin beds because my father snored.

 

They couldn't get twin beds in the style that she liked, so they had to settle for one full bed. In light of everything, my father settled in the basement den on a number of nights--snoring his head off after watching his favorite series with Robert Taylor, Lee Marvin and Chuck Connors. LOL

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Heh---

 

When me and my first wife were expecting, and trying to save up for a downpayment on our OWN house, we "house-sat" for an old couple my in-laws knew, who spent winters in Arizona, and THEY had a set up of two twin matresses on a king boxspring. 

 

The only "modern day" movie I can think of at the moment that had a married couple in twin beds is '83's  A CHRISTMAS STORY.

 

But, as I haven't seen EVERY movie ever made, there are probably more.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Those with an interest in this topic should definitely go through the full run of Joe McDoakes comedy short subjects of the 1940s and 50s. (See Warner Archive for titles not airing regularly on TCM.) The relationship between Joe and Alice involve a LOT of bedroom scenes. It is also quite obvious that Joe and Alice are doing a lot more than just sleeping, provided SHE is not snoring (i.e. So You Want To Hold Your Wife).

 

In So You Want To Hold Your Husband, Alice makes sure they have ONE big bed, but Joe prefers to use the guest room instead and share it with the dog (a Great Dane here). In So You Love Your Dog, he is literally sleeping in bed with Dusty (a collie) instead of Alice! (By the way, Dusty is a male dog even though he resembles Lassie... another male collie who played female on screen. Go figure.)

 

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Regarding same sex couplings, two guys are prominently sharing a bed in a cramped apartment in So You Want An Apartment. Joe later shares a bed with his boss in So You Want To Be A VP. All is quite innocent with everybody in their PJs much like the Three Stooges (who constantly sleep together). Then again... So You Want a Party has a mail carrier kissing Joe at the door after a full reel of jokes concerning "playing post office".

 

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At least three titles (somebody can double check me here) feature a solo bed, this being a full dozen years or so before Bewitched became the first prime time TV sitcom to feature one bed... and how could Dick York NOT share one with absolutely gorgeous Elizabeth Montgomery? However, among these McDoakes shorts is the rather ironic So You Think You Can't Sleep, which concludes with Joe getting his own bed and staying up watching oldtime striptease on a movie screen!

 

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In the very last one released in 1956, they are back to separate beds... but with a new twist. So Your Wife Wants To Work has the spouses competing at work for the same boss with she winding up as vice president and he the stay-at-home Mister Mom.

 

This is also one of several titles that end with crying babies (including the above mentioned So You Want To Hold Your Husband). In other words, it does not matter whether or not you share a bed. The kids are produced regardless.

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Until I just now watched it, I forgot '62's PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT featured "His" and "Hers" bedspreads on Tony Franciosa and Lois Nettleton's twin beds.

 

And I've seen this flm several times(one of my faves) so....

 

MAJOR cranial flatulence!

 

 

Sepiatone

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Until I just now watched it, I forgot '62's PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT featured "His" and "Hers" bedspreads on Tony Franciosa and Lois Nettleton's twin beds.

 

And I've seen this flm several times(one of my faves) so....

 

MAJOR cranial flatulence!

 

 

Sepiatone

 

I watched just the last half of this film last night and yea,   those His and Hers bedspreads as well as the closet doors were a hoot.

 

Talk about corny.    But clearly this wasn't how any actual couple lived because the wife would get 3 closet doors with 'hers' on them and the guy would only get ONE!   :lol:

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"Dick Van Dyke Show"

 

 

 

 

By the way, it will be in colothis Sunday.

 

They don't explain how the baby was made from 2 separate beds. :lol:

 

 

 

I think it had somethin' to do with the help of walnuts, ham.

 

(...from the planet Twilo) ;)

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I watched just the last half of this film last night and yea,   those His and Hers bedspreads as well as the closet doors were a hoot.

 

Talk about corny.    But clearly this wasn't how any actual couple lived because the wife would get 3 closet doors with 'hers' on them and the guy would only get ONE!   :lol:

:D

In MY case, that ONE would only be HALF of it!  AND in a seperate room to boot!    And speaking of boots, my paltry three pairs of shoes would be under the bed.  Of which there IS only one.

 

Sepiatone

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Could have been maybe the time that her big toe got stuck in the bathtub faucet. That was totally an x-rated episode. I was 9 years- old and that's why, maybe, I remembered it!

 

Yeah, and Kathleen Freeman was hilarious in the role as the smart-mouthed hotel maid in that episode, wasn't she.

 

"Look Dearie, I'm not the one who was stupid enough to get their toe stuck in the faucet!"

 

(...and the ending where Rob wipes off the makeup to show Millie his laundry marker mustache and suggests he looks like David Niven, but Millie says he looks more like Ben Turpin was the perfect close to it)

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Lot of good lines in that show.

 

One of my favorites is the one where Laura and Millie take a night adult course in creative writing.  Millie comes in to say that, "My JERRY says I'm a NATURAL for the course.  He said I already look like JOYCE KILMER!"  Then stomps out swearing to KILL him after Rob tells her Kilmer was a man.  :D

 

Or the one in which, after Jerry is known to say something ridiculous, and Millie brags, "My Jerry's so DEEP."  and Rob, disgusted look on his face says, after Millie leaves, "Jerry's not deep, he's THICK!"

 

Liked that bathtub episode as much as the one where Rob gets bandaged head to foot from a ski accident.

 

Sepiatone

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