The Censors


Honestly, this movie really pushes the limit as far as censors in those days are concerned. I get the whole common law solution they give to us at the beginning of the movie, but I am referring to the many blatant references to sex in the film.

Ex: Robert Montgomery undressing at the end of the film, and Carole Lombard saying "don't you dare"

or the bedroom scene when she smashes the champagne over his head (it's very obvious what he was planning)

or the mother saying over the phone "well don't ...." (it's very obvious she said "don't have sex with him unless he marries you first").

This is really explicit stuff for the early forties. Sex isn't just implied, it's all but said on screen. How did they ever do it?
Great film!

reply

And what about when Robert Montgomery writes "Miss Anne Krausheimer" in his appointment book and then writes a "t" over the last "s" of "Miss" and finishes the word as "Mistress"?


:)

reply

Ambiguous. We assume you are making a reference to the meaning of mistress as a woman in a continuing extramarital sexual relation. Probably not. That would be insulting Lombard. Montgomery truly loves her. He would not make such a remark. The title Mrs. is short for Mistress. Given the letters MIS, it would have been easier to make the change to Mistress.

reply

Nope, he really did mean Mistress as in kept woman.

Remember he didn't tell Ann that the marriage was null and void. He never intended to. He was trying to get her to bed without marrying her. That's why she got so mad at him.

He had also stated earlier that if he were to do it over again he wouldn't marry her. But once he discovered he wasn't married to her, he thought he could have her and still be unmarried.

And later in the movie she mentions how he ruined her dress the first date they were on due to his being amourous.

Mistress is exactly what he intended.

reply

Thanks, Amjunus, for explaining that on my behalf!

Also, I've read that the scene when Gene Raymond is confering in the restroom with his parents, and the plumbing (pipes) start shaking, etc. was considered highly ribald "bathroom humor" as it was obvious that someone in the bathroom directly above them had just finished "taking care of business".

reply

So you're saying he changed Miss (meaning single woman) to Mistress (being an equivalent to Mrs. and meaning married woman)? Two problems. First, it would make no sense to change Miss Krausheimer to Mrs. Krausheimer. He would have to change it to Mrs. Smith for that to make sense. Second, are you saying the scene is supposed to show some undying love for his wife and that he loves being married to her? If so, then when he got together with here he would have immediately proposed. Instead, he leaves her in ignorance. Sorry, but he wanted the thrill of having a "mistress". That's the entire point of writing Mistress Krausheimer and also the entire point of not telling her they need to remarry.

reply

'Sorry, but he wanted the thrill of having a "mistress".'

I agree. He enjoyed feeling 'naughty' while still being 'married.' After all, their marriage was common-law at that point. However, not the marriage that would be recognized and accepted at their level of affluent society in that day and age.

He got to enjoy having a 'mistress' without having a mistress. Without telling his wife about the legal complications, he also could enjoy 'marriage' without being married the way she and everyone else recognized their marriage.

It's an interesting predicament that he was enjoying as much as possible, as long as possible, as long as he didn't have to discusss the legal situation with his wife. All the raciness and naughtiness would be enjoyed in his mind, while she continued to act as his legitimate wife. As far as he knew, she could stay ignorant of the facts as long as he wanted her to stay ignorant of the facts.

That excited him.

reply

Fiat's reponse is correct. The premise was that the husband just wanted to enjoy the excitement of being illicit with her that night even though he knew he would remarry her once he told her the truth. It was a different time so highly risque for him. Which is obvious from the wife and her mother's reaction once they realized the mariage wasn't legal. The equivalent today of what he was doing is couples who roleplay of meeting a stranger. The problem is, had he told his wife, he knew she would never go along with it.

reply

Yes, exactly. He was just being playful.

reply

The scene where Ann is spinning the Champagne bottle in the ice bucket and then remembers that she's not married, letting go of the bottle like it was on fire: I wonder how the censors missed the obvious symbolism there.

reply

What about when Montgomery happily tucks his handkerchief into his pyjama pocket for his "clean-up" after sex. A similar thing was shown in Alfie as Michael Caine drapes a kerchief over his shoulder during the sixties' original, but that was over 20 years later!!

Nobody's perfect!

reply

I almost died too. This is the most provocative film during The Code period that I have watched so far, they must have bribed THE SENSORS or something.

reply

@jealousskunk - what did "The Code period" represent? I'm curious because I know there was an early time in Hollywood where there were no censors and I thought, perhaps, this film fell in that time?

reply

Plus, they have a king sized bed instead of that ridiculous twin bed nonsense you see in that period for married couples.


"Victor, what are we going to do to stop this fiendish tit?"

reply