Hollywood Sex Comedies, 1953–1964

A Critical Analysis of 25 Films


In stock

About the Book

The Hollywood “sex comedy”—a feature-length film in which sex motivates the storyline and the laughs are triggered by sexual situations—came into its own with the 1953 release of the once-controversial The Moon Is Blue. That film received very positive critical and audience response despite being denied a seal of approval from the Production Code Administration and receiving a “Condemned” rating from the Legion of Decency. (These two formidable watchdog agencies would continue to be challenged—and audiences would continue to be convulsed—by the abundance of sex comedies still to come.)
The present informal survey focuses on 25 selected examples of the genre, released between 1953 and 1964. Along with such familiar works as The Seven Year Itch, The Tender Trap, Pillow Talk and Kiss Me, Stupid, several lesser-known sex comedies like I Married a Woman, The Tunnel of Love, Happy Anniversary and Period of Adjustment are documented, analyzed and placed in context with their times. Some are masterpieces, others mildly amusing and a few downright awful, but all are fascinating artifacts of a bygone era in popular entertainment.

About the Author(s)

Hal Erickson is the author of numerous media-related books and was for many years a primary editor of the All-Movie Guide website. He lives and works in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Bibliographic Details

Hal Erickson
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 279
Bibliographic Info: 51 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9353-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5258-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments 1
Introduction: What Is a Sex Comedy? 5
Disclaimer 15
••••••••••••••••••••••••• The Films •••••••••••••••••••••••••
One. The Moon Is Blue (1953) 17
Two. Susan Slept Here (1954) 29
Three. Phffft (1954) 38
Four. The Seven Year Itch (1955) 47
Five. The Tender Trap (1955) 59
Six. The Girl Can’t Help It (1956) 69
Seven. The Little Hut (1957) 78
Eight. I Married a Woman (1958) 86
Nine. This Happy Feeling (1958) 96
Ten. The Tunnel of Love (1958) 104
Eleven. Ask Any Girl (1959) 113
Twelve. Pillow Talk (1959) 121
Thirteen. Happy Anniversary (1959) 133
Fourteen. The Facts of Life (1960) 142
Fifteen. The ­Marriage-Go-Round (1961) 149
Sixteen. Bachelor in Paradise (1961) 157
Seventeen. Boys’ Night Out (1962) 167
Eighteen. Period of Adjustment (1962) 175
Nineteen. Come Blow Your Horn (1963) 182
Twenty. Under the Yum Yum Tree (1963) 192
Twenty-One. A New Kind of Love (1963) 200
­Twenty-Two. Sunday in New York (1963) 208
­Twenty-Three. Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed? (1963) 216
­Twenty-Four. Goodbye Charlie (1964) 223
­Twenty-Five. Kiss Me, Stupid (1964) 232
Filmography 245
Bibliography 257
Index 263

Book Reviews & Awards

“This book is an engrossing trip through one of the liveliest parts of the transition between Old and New Hollywood. Classic­movie fans will find this an entertaining overview of the genre and probably some of their favorite films. Some may even add one or several new titles to their to-watch list.”—Library Journal