Properlyjaded and dating
As incredible as it may sound, Preminger's film version of The Moon is Blue was the focus of a major cause clbre due to its perceived sanguine approach toward sex, something that will strike anyone seeing the film nowadays as positively weird.
Preminger, ever the master showman, played the controversy for all it was worth, releasing the film without the vaunted Breen office Seal of Approval, and made the film into one of the blockbusters of the early fifties.
But the sixties saw a perhaps predictable decline in Preminger's directorial fortunes, and few would accord his later films the same accolades that were regularly bestowed on his earlier works.
Two years later Preminger offered Advise and Consent, a film which wasn't circumspect about portraying homosexuality in the highest levels of government.
Sandwiched before, after and in between this mere handful of films mentioned above are several other Preminger pieces, many of which are undisputed classics in their own right (Laura) or at least highly regarded if acknowledged as being somewhat flawed (The Cardinal).
While awaiting the outcome of her husband's surgery, Julie Messinger discovers he has been having affairs.
For more about Such Good Friends and the Such Good Friends Blu-ray release, see Such Good Friends Blu-ray Review published by Note: This title is currently only available in this box set: The Otto Preminger Collection.
Several more films in the fifties and sixties caused various ruckuses.
That film created a sensation due to its then remarkably candid discussions involving sex and rape.
While Preminger's 1960 film of Leon Uris' Exodus wasn't as patently controversial as some of his previous works, it continued Preminger's tendency of being an agent provocateur, at least behind the scenes, when the director started pounding the nails in the coffin of the blacklist by hiring Dalton Trumbo under his own name to write the screenplay.
A couple of years later Preminger caused headlines again when he tackled the subject of drug addiction in The Man With the Golden Arm.
1959 saw the release of both Preminger's film of Porgy and Bess, a well meaning if flawed adaptation that has been tied up in rights issues with the Gershwin Estate (which hated the film) and has rarely if ever been seen in the intervening years since its theatrical release, and what has become probably Preminger's most critically lauded film of this era, Anatomy of a Murder.
Some aspects of this review refer to all three films in this collection.
Otto Preminger loved pushing the envelope, and a number of his films, while seeming fairly pass today, were the subject of major controversies when they were released.