Is Decency Considered Offensive?

Is Decency Considered Offensive?

The other day, while looking for a sweet movie to watch with my youngest grandson, a suggestion popped up that interested me: “That Touch of Mink.” I knew it was not something my grandson would enjoy. But, I am a Cary Grant fan, and my curiosity was aroused. My memory of that movie was pleasant but vague. Then, I noticed a warning in the description of the movie. It said, “This film reflects the standards, language, and attitudes of its time. Some viewers may find this content offensive.”

After Christmas, my grandson was gone and I had few obligations and lots of free time. Curious as always, I could not wait to find time to watch the movie. I wanted to see what could be so offensive. Doris Day is the female lead. I have never seen her do anything controversial, lewd, or in any way offensive. So one night, I built a lovely fire and settled down in my comfortable living room to watch the That Touch of Mink. It was easy to view on my laptop, in front of the blazing fire. My dogs were scattered over the sofa with me and the lights were low. Such a luxury to sit alone and watch a movie in my own home, times like this make me grateful and happy.

It is a chaste movie. It is about decency. It’s about a man trying to seduce a woman, but he never succeeds until he marries her. No swearing, no violence, no nudity, no sex, and barely any kisses are depicted in this film. There is a subtext about a man who is assistant to Cary Grant. This man is neurotic, to say the least. But his psychiatrist overhears part of a conversation, which leads him to believe his patient may be a homosexual. Of course, no one mentions the word “homosexual,” either. It is simply implied.

Nothing is more heart-breaking

than the demise of decency.

Guo Moruo

But this is the thing. The man is NOT homosexual. And the stars of the film are so careful step around the implications of his possible “mental issue” that it is used as comedy.

The entire theme of the movie is decency. It is about good people keeping each other safe from predators. It is about manners and restraint. It points out the moral implications of crossing the line, and when Doris Day does decide to travel to meet the man in Bermuda, she is foiled by her own stress at doing something immoral. Her conscience forbids it. She breaks out in hives and has to spend the night alone and humiliated by her “spots” while Cary Grant plays cards by the pool with a “bookie” who has his own problems with his love life. His girlfriend has a headache and wants to sleep alone. The “Bookie” tells Cary Grant that he “belted her across the chops.” Cary Grant answers (tongue in cheek) that he did “the same thing” though, of course, he did not. No one mentions battered women in this exchange. Perhaps this is what upset the censors.

There is another subtext about the sleazy, slimy unemployment office worker who tries to bribe Doris Day to meet him and go up to his apartment. But she tells him off and seems no worse for wear after dealing with him. In the last part of the film, she tricks him into thinking she is willing, in order to make Cary Grant follow her and confess his love. Which, with a twist or two, he does, carrying her off over his shoulder. Maybe that is what the censor did not care for?

A year or so passes, and the happy, married couple has a baby. They are out for a walk with the male assistant and leave the baby with him while they go off to take a photo. The man’s therapist appears and asks him how things went with his “relationship”, still misunderstanding. And the assistant says, “Oh! Just great! Look, here is the baby!” and that is how it ends. It is a comedy—a romantic comedy with lots of lovely clothes and pretty backdrops. It was made in 1962. It is one of the most light-hearted, un-controversial, and sweet movies I have seen in years.

That movie made me happy and content. However, the fact that there was a warning on it makes me feel slightly ill. Are we so depraved that we cannot tell the difference between good and evil? Is the world so upside down that a movie like the Barbie movie is touted and recommended for young girls, while “That Touch of Mink” carries a trigger warning?

If you don’t think people are under mind control

Just look at how they treat anyone who thinks freely and questions the official narrative.

The language in movies today is abominable. The morals are non-existent. Everyone is depicted as a victim (usually of white males). The whining about the “patriarchy” and strident feminism ruin many otherwise good movies. While there is a lot of gratuitous multi-racial casting, to appease the quota system. When I see people miscast as they are in Bridgerton, I simply cannot watch. Any self-respecting black person would be offended, too. Inserting people who would not actually be there because of their race does not ease tensions. It is historically inaccurate and, therefore, demeaning to the races it is trying to include. And then there is the issue of men and women. An old fashioned movie with a boy falling in love with a girl and no one being trans or bi-sexual is hard to find. These days a man needs to ask his date, “So, tell me, have you always been a woman?”

The Truth will set You free but ONLY if your eyes, ears and mind is open

Common sense has lost its commonness.

I miss it.

Copyright©. 2024 Bonnie B. Matheson

4 thoughts on “Is Decency Considered Offensive?

  1. Another good missive from Bonnie! I am on a Cary kick after watching a biography series called Archie- find it on Brit Box. A Touch of Mink is on my list! Wonder when the whining victims of the world will wake up. I find it a bit of a relief to get lost in the world of movies such as these.
    Thanks for another thoughtful piece. Cheers!

  2. You are so right!. The Bridgerton series is rediculous. There would bever be inter-racial relationships in the 19th century. It is ludicrous. I can’t wait to watch A Touch of Mink.

  3. Hi Bonnie and Happy New Year! I couldn’t agree with you more!!! I remember seeing That Touch of Mink with my parents at Rockefeller Center in 1965? on a trip to NYC for museums, plays etc from my hometown of Charlotte, NC! It was a thrill!

  4. Thank you for expressing what so many of us feel! T saddens me so the way the everything is upside down!
    Yes, I certainly remember “A Touch of Mink” and have watched it many times! I only watch TCM movies!
    Thank you once again! Keep it up!
    Jessica Zaring

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