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Susan Slept Here (1954)


Kid Dabb
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20pdibk.jpg

 

Wasn't there some Code in the fifties about this kind of premise? I mean.. husband and wife still couldn't be shown to share the same bed and sometimes, not even the same bedroom.

 

So how's come a 35-year old man can be shown to be very involved with a 17 (18?) year old girl and even marry her? If she were 18 it may have been legal but the basic relationship was not one condoned by the viewing public.. I don't believe it was at that time.

 

And the suggestive poster above just feeds it - so how do they get away with it?

 

Don't get me wrong. I like this movie a lot and it does not offend me in any way. It's sort of a "cousin" to the Tammy films (which could also drift into this area).

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>If she were 18 it may have been legal but the basic relationship was not one condoned by the viewing public.. I don't believe it was at that time.

 

Yeah, well, you might be right here, Kid...BUT word is this movie DID do boffo box office business in Utah for some reason! ;)

 

LOL

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At least Baby Doll was viewed as highly controversial and prompted a ban initiated by the Roman Catholic National Legion of Decency. Ironically, as is usually the case, this most likely had the opposite effect - human nature and all.. and.. it was an award nomination magnet.. LOL! :)

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Spoiler alert: Well, it certainly appeared at the end of the movie as if they were going to have sex, as she leads him with great determination toward the bedroom and closes the door.

 

A good deal of the dialogue is devoted to making sure the viewers know everything is on the up-and-up: Susan does have a signed parental consent form, and the intentions of Powell's character are at least initially entirely honorable. But I would love to read some reviews from that era to see if anyone was scandalized.

 

Also, remember the legal age of marriage was quite young in some states in those days, especially the South. Jerry Lee Lewis maaried his 13-year-old second cousin in 1958. That didn't sit well in the court of public opinion: it pretty much destroyed his career. But the marriage itself was completely legal.

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The first time I saw this film, I thought it was silly. The second time I saw it, I thought it was ok. The third time I saw it, I liked it. :)

 

They make it clear that, although they marry when she is 17, they don't "do it" until she is 18. She is 4 months away from her 18th birthday when they get married, then he goes away for a while to write a screenplay.

 

Anyway, the story is funny, the acting is good, and I am now able to suspend all disbelief as I watch it. :)

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>sewhite said: Also, remember the legal age of marriage was quite young in some states in those days, especially the South. Jerry Lee Lewis maaried his 13-year-old second cousin in 1958. That didn't sit well in the court of public opinion: it pretty much destroyed his career. But the marriage itself was completely legal.

 

>Fred said: They make it clear that, although they marry when she is 17, they don't "do it" until she is 18. She is 4 months away from her 18th birthday when they get married, then he goes away for a while to write a screenplay.

 

It wasn't so much her being 17 going on 18 as it was the age difference. Granted, there were, and probably still are - even in reverse, May-December relationships and marriages in real life, but our society has always been highly hipocritical with regard to these matters. It was this hipocritical response toward this film that was lacking and it certainly wasn't with Baby Doll - that is, basically, what I'm curious about.

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And I'll throw in for good measure..

 

In 1991, when the relationship began, Woody Allen was 56 and Soon-Yi Previn around 19. Asked whether their age difference was conducive to "a healthy, equal relationship," Allen said equality is not necessarily a requirement in a relationship and "The heart wants what it wants. There's no logic to those things. You meet someone and you fall in love, and that's that."

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I think what got a lot of people upset over BABY DOLL, was that one long hot scene on the swing with Eli Wallach and Carroll Baker, who was about to turn age 20 in the film. Oh, and also the advertising poster caused some reaction.

 

I don't recall any bad reaction in the press to LOLITA in 1962.

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>Actually, Fred, I have to disagree with you. In that final scene, when it certainly appears they're moments away from "doing it:, she tells him she's still two months away from turning 18.

 

Hmm, I must have missed that. I guess I'll have to watch this film again. :)

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