MovieChat Forums > Daisy Kenyon (1947) Discussion > The trial was kind of absurd, no? SPOILE...

The trial was kind of absurd, no? SPOILER


The lawyers were hammering away in an effort to prove that Daisy and Dan were or were not having sex on September 12th, and that the breakup of Daisy's marriage was caused by the incident, but why would the court care? They were obviously involved for years before that point, and the phone conversation the wife overheard was undeniable. Not to mention his far more germane threat to kill the wife, as overheard by the daughters. There was already plenty of reason to think he was an unfit husband and problematic dad and that a divorce should be granted. The incident they're arguing about is pretty much beside the point, and in that era, custody would have gone to the mother as a matter of course.

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Yes, it was completely absurb.

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Agree!

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The most probable reason the lawyers were hammering away over whether or not Daisy and Dan were having a sexual relationship was that, at the time of the story, adultery was an offense punishable by a prison sentence in some states; put another way, Daisy and Dan both could've gone to prison.

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Not the point. The prior adultery was never in doubt or denied by anyone. The question was, why would they care if the pair had sex that particular evening? They could be sent to prison for the previous philandering anyway, if your supposition is correct.

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It's a court case, therefore evidence must be presented, and Lucille was naming Daisy as correspondent in her divorce case. Yes, we know that Daisy and Dan were lovers for a good while, but the conversation Lucille heard over the phone (evidence) was not concrete proof of an affair. Plus, the point being hammered home was that Daisy and Dan had lost touch after she married Peter, and Lucille's lawyers wanted to present evidence that Peter left Daisy because of her affair with Dan.

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Trials were often used as "dramatic options" to give any melodrama an air of importance (Leave Her to Heaven, Peytone Place, Written on the Wind, The Young Philadelphians, etc.). In this movie the trial did not add anything to the plot. For that "resource" to work, someone has to kill someone.

It tooked time for Henry Fonda to become recognized as a major star. He was often used as a taller Jack Lemmon, a more handsome Ralph Bellamy, a slimmer Jack Carson, a more intelligent Gig Young, or a more charismatic George Brent... I'm amazed that he accepted this role (as a second banana) after having done The Grapes of Wrath and My Darling Clementine.


Someone asked about the moral of the story. It's pretty clear. You have to do the right thing ...even though the heart may get in the way ...sometimes.


And Joan Crawford was still very appealing.

I lived through the era where old movies kept comming back to the big screen. Now it's almost impossible to see an old movie in a theatre. That's the only way you can get the full impact of a picture.

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the sphynx says > The lawyers were hammering away in an effort to prove that Daisy and Dan were or were not having sex on September 12th, and that the breakup of Daisy's marriage was caused by the incident, but why would the court care?
Even when both parties agreed to it, there had to be a reason to dissolve the marriage. Proving infidelity put Dan's wife in a better position to ask for what she wanted. The scandal was her leverage to get custody; a way to get back at him.

They were obviously involved for years before that point, and the phone conversation the wife overheard was undeniable.
This is true, and the wife knew it, but that particular date was the proof she always needed. She knew they were alone together that day and couldn't explain their way out of it; not in a way anyone would believe.

his far more germane threat to kill the wife, as overheard by the daughters
People say things in anger they don't mean. Had he acted on it, that might be different. Also, neither parent would have wanted the daughter dragged into court to testify. It might be traumatic and who knows what they would say; both were closer to their father than their mother. They could reveal things their mother had done to them and their father.

Besides, putting Dan in jail was not her goal. It could taint her own reputation by association and it wouldn't get her a divorce. What she wanted was a scandal to embarrass him and Daisy.

There was already plenty of reason to think he was an unfit husband and problematic dad and that a divorce should be granted.
Many husbands spend a lot of time away from their families; that's why the women usually didn't work. That doesn't make the father unfit. Dan loved his children and treated them well. It's true an affair damages the entire family but a failed marriage, while not the ideal, isn't worse than an intact but miserable marriage.

The incident they're arguing about is pretty much beside the point, and in that era, custody would have gone to the mother as a matter of course.
The wife's real goal was to embarrass Daisy and make her life difficult. At that time, the scandal would make Daisy the target of taunts and public ridicule; and both she and Dan could lose their jobs, their friends, and their social standing.

Children often ended up with their fathers because, like everything else, they were considered his possessions. Women had few rights so there had to be a pretty good reason for the court to deny a father custody if he wanted it.


Woman, man! That's the way it should be Tarzan. [Tarzan and his mate]

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