I recently watched “It Happened One Night” (circa 1934), with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. You may remember it was about a spoiled heiress who was running away from her betrothed and an overbearing father. Gable was a newspaper reporter out of sorts with his editor and out of a job. A thief makes off with her luggage, leaving her destitute. Chance brings them together on the same bus. Gable recognizes her as an opportunity to redeem himself with the editor by covering the story. The bus breaks down and they end up sharing a motel room together. She is horrified when she learns Gable has taken a single room. When she balks, he tells her to relax that he can’t afford separate accommodations at $2 a night for a second room. Gable gallantly strings a rope between the two beds and hangs a blanket over it for privacy. There was no hanky-panky that night.

On television, when Lucy became pregnant decades ago, they were not even allowed to say the word on television and described her condition as being “in a family way.” Now they practically show how a woman gets that way!

There used to be a Hays office that censored films. In “Gone With the Wind,” producer David O. Selznick was given permission (and fined) to use the word “damn” in the final scene. I believe that was when the flood gates were opened, and that’s why we have the type of films we have today. The Hays office lasted about 30 years until it was replaced by the ratings system.

I hope I don’t spoil the ending for anyone, but in the first mentioned movie, it was once when it didn’t happen one night. How do you suppose it would end if they remade this film today?

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