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FRANKLIN COEN
from the screenplay by Frank Davis & Franklin Coen
Night of the Quarter Moon


click to enlarge

Corgi, London, 1959
(price: 2/6; 192 pages)


The blurb on the back:

It started with the first rock hurled through the living-room window of their new home, the first muttered snarl of the cruel, heartbreaking world...
The next thing the young couple knew, all the forces of prejudice, of wealth, power, law, and entrenched San Francisco society were mobilised against their marriage - the young, white man, and the beautiful granddaughter of a proud African woman.


opening lines:
The old steamer trunk belonging to the captain, plastered with labels from ports all over the world, stood in the centre of the empty living room.


I can't tell whether this film (starring Julie London, John Drew Barrymore, Anna Kashfi, Dean Jones, Agnes Moorehead and Nat 'King' Cole) ever got released in Britain. I can't find any reference to it in Halliwell or in the Radio Times Guide to Film, but here's the book, proudly proclaiming itself to be 'a provocative novel based on the daring MGM film', as though we're supposed to recognize it. Anyway, I haven't seen it, but - judging from the novelization - it must be pretty poor stuff.

I mean, I don't want to sound unnecessarily na´ve but surely in California in the late-1950s a newspaper headline that read SOCIAL LEADER'S BRIDE REVEALED AS QUADROON would either not exist or - if it did - wouldn't stir up too much racial hatred. Or put another way, wasn't there a more pertinent aspect of racism that a 'daring MGM film' could had examined?

Whatever, the cover's great, the book's rubbish. There you are.


ARTISTIC MERIT: 1/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
1/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
4/5


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