North by Northwest

Posted on 09/12/2004 in misc

I watched North by Northwest last night. Great movie, with Hitchcock's usual brilliant cinematography. One thing caught me by surprise though.

When Thornhill meets Eve Kendall on the train, she very openly propositions him into bed 5 minutes after they meet. (Not that there is anything wrong with being propositioned by a gorgeous blond...) However, this film came out in 1959. The big kiss between Cary Grant and Eve Marie Saint is not so much a kiss as two adults mashing their tightly closed lips into each other. I guess a real kiss would be too risque for 1959, but an unmarried blond hopping in the sack with a man almost twice her age is OK? I'm missing something here. I thought Hollywood still had the standards board enforcing one foot on the floor, married couples in separate beds, etc. through the 50's?

Was Hollywood way more socially liberal in the 50's than I realized?

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