Baby Boomer's Guide to Sex in Movies of the 1950s
Newyorkgoomba on 10/05/2008
|Whether you accept the 1946-1964 era as the Baby Boomer time-line or, as some observers argue, the period 1942-1953, for us the 1950s was the first decade to shape our view of the world. I was born in 1947, spending my formative years in the 'City That Never Sleeps'. |
For me a large part of the 1950s in New York was defined by the fact that I could view the Loew's American, the theater inside our housing development, from my bedroom window. For what we missed at Loew's, that large console TV in our apartment's living room more than compensated by introducing my sister and I to Sci-Fi movies on Saturday afternoons and to the rest of 50s film with Saturday Night at the Movies or The Million Dollar Movie.
The producers of that movie fare were in turn influenced by the postwar boom, the rise of consumerism and the exodus to suburbia. The paranoia of the McCarthy Era, and the frightening power of the Atom bomb, mixed awkwardly with the low key tone of the Eisenhower years and a national attempt to put the memories of World War behind us.
This quiz features a number of controversial films that contrast with most folks' recollection of the 50s as an era of quietude and conformity. It was much more than that. In language, context and outright depictions, these films broke new sexual ground in American and world cinema.
Sources include Wikipedia, IMDB, Filmsite.org, and other web sites, and publications such as Premiere, JumpCut, Radical America and Cineaste. Special thanks to Peter Biskind (Seeing is Believing: How Hollywood Taught Us to Stop Worrying and Love the Fifties,1983) and J. Hoberman for their critical writings and reviews.
This is a reading quiz, not a fast one, for all you speed demon quiz-takers!
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