The Moon Is Blue
Artist: Otto Preminger
Date of Action: October 14-17, 1953
Region: North America
Location: Jersey City, New Jersey
Subject: Explicit Sexuality
Medium: Film Video
Confronting Bodies: City of Jersey City, Public Safety Director Bernard J Berry
Description of Artwork: The Moon is Blue is a 1953 film directed by Otto Preminger starring William Holden, Maggie McNamara, and David Niven. The story is about a young actress who meets an architect on the top of the Empire State Building and returns to his apartment with him for dinner, where he and a friend both try to win her affections even after her insistence that she plans to stay a virgin until her wedding night. The film was released by United Artists in the U.S. without a Production Code seal of approval. The Catholic Legion of Decency gave the movie a "C", "Condemned" rating.
The Incident: On October 14, 1953, the film was seized by police in Jersey City and the manager of the theater that had placed the picture on exhibition was arrested on charges of violating city and state ordinances banning possession of obscene films.
Results of Incident: On October 16, 1953, Superior Court Judge Thomas J Stanton denied an application for an injunction sought by operators of the Stanley Theatre to prevent police officials to interfere with the showing of the film and ruled that the police had acted within their rights in seizing the film.
• The New York Times