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On Moonlight Bay and the Cold War


noah80
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On Moonlight Bay has always been my favorite Doris Day film. It was popular and successful at the box office in 1951. But I didn't realize it was popular because people were freaking out due to the Cold War! I thought it was a fun and harmless musical but maybe there was a hidden agenda that I didn't know about. Perhaps the film was not so harmless after all...

An interesting review from DVDtalk.com: "Certainly one of Day's best-loved, most successful early nostalgia musicals, On Moonlight Bay was adapted from the Booth Tarkington Penrod stories, the lightly satirical, affectionately fictionalized and romanticized accounts of his youth in rural Indiana. Creating the "perfect" idealized mid-Western family during the innocent years prior to America's involvement in World War I, nervous Cold War audiences flocked to On Moonlight Bay to see well-scrubbed, clean-cut Doris Day and handsome Irish lunk Gordon MacRae fall in love under the watchful eye of her adoring, tolerant family....

Existing as a whole, complete evocation of a mid-western town that existed only in fantasy, it's not surprising that On Moonlight Bay was such a popular film in 1951. As the Cold War heated up, and the anxieties of the Second World War were transformed into the terrors of the nuclear age, it must have been a tremendous comfort to see the shining, happy faces of Day and MacRae as they fought and loved in a mythical, safe pre-WWI Indiana small town."

Doris Day and Billy Gray
the only cast members left
1951_zps957d2f8b.png

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Yeah, well, not all depression-era movies were about the misery of the depression.  Not all movies made during WWII were about the war effort or the sacrifices here at home, so ON MOONLIGHT BAY fits into THAT category.  If there was an "agenda" at all, it was probably the intention to take people's minds off the scary stuff.

 

Sepiatone

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