Ian Hamilton, Writers in Hollywood :

One day Ben Hecht got a call from Bernie Hyman, MGM production head, asking for help on a movie about to be shot. “I won’t tell you the plot,” Hyman said. “I’ll just give you what we’re up against. The hero and heroine fall madly in love with each other—as soon as they meet. What we need is some gimmick that keeps them from going to bed right away. Not a physical gimmick like arrest or getting run over or having to go to the hospital. But a purely psychological one. Now what reasons do you know that would keep a healthy pair of lovers from hitting the hay in Reel Two?” Hecht told him that frequently a girl had values that kept her virtuous until she got married and that there were also men who preferred to wait for coitus until they had married the girl they adored. Hyman could hardly believe his ears. “Wonderful!” he cried, struck by the novelty of the idea. “We’ll try it.”
Declinists and doomsayers will be interested to know that this exchange took place in the mid-1930s.

Articles by Helen Rittelmeyer

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