“I really thought you were a nice girl — I really did.”
A virginal aspiring actress (Maggie McNamara) accompanies an architect (William Holden) to his apartment, where she soon meets his embittered would-be girlfriend (Dawn Addams) and Addams’ playboy father (David Niven) — who, naturally, becomes interested in McNamara.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- David Niven Films
- Love Triangle
- Morality Police
- Otto Preminger Films
- Play Adaptations
- Romantic Comedy
- Strong Females
- William Holden Films
Otto Preminger’s cinematic adaptation of F. Hugh Herbert’s 1951 Broadway play was notorious for its open discussion of topics such as virginity, pregnancy, mistresses, and seduction; indeed, the entire storyline focuses on a refreshingly candid young woman (McNamara) who refuses to play romantic games, and isn’t afraid to voice exactly what she wants. While the film is very much of its era in terms of gender politics, it also plays with such notions openly — for instance, McNamara hopes to marry an older man and doesn’t mind if he already has kids, yet she’s more interested in cooking meals than living a pampered life. McNamara (who looks distractingly like Jean Simmons, though others have noted her resemblance to Debbie Reynolds) is well-cast in the lead role — and though her cadence-filled voice takes some getting used to, it’s at least distinctive. While the script is certainly no longer scandalous, the film remains an interesting historical glimpse into what once passed as controversial.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Ernest Laszlo’s cinematography
No, but it’s worth a look.