Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Pillow Balk: Rock Hudson, Doris Day and Changing Times

I saw the 1959 classic "Pillow Talk" the other night. I didn't like it. Hudson's character is smarmy and manipulative while Day's is weak and gullible.

It's also creepy. The whole thing has a kind of swinging playboy vibe that bugged me. It's amazing what was thought to be acceptable 45 years ago that society would punish socially, if not criminally, now.

In one scene Day's character is assaulted and nearly date-raped by a college boy. She acts like this behavior is typical though annoying. She agrees to have a drink with him once she's fended him off. Today, she would have agreed to press charges.

The final scene of the film has Hudson's character kicking in the door to his beloved's apartment to scoop her bodily from repose and carry her to his home. Once he has deposited her there against her will, she has a remarkable change of heart and decides she loves him. They live happily ever after.

Years ago, sexual harassment was a big topic of discussion. Now, it's taken for granted behavior similar to that displayed by the men in this movie is uacceptable.

The sexual harassment vangaurd may have gone over the line of common sense more commonly than we'd like, but such zealousness is understandable when we look back to what they were orignally up against.

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