The first I watched was Angel Face (1953) , "presented" by Howard Hughes and starring Jean Simmons and Robert Mitchum. I'm not sure what this film is and after watching it I wasn't sure exactly what it was that I saw. I just know that Robert Mitchum looked hot and that he slapped Otto Preminger during production. Go Mitchum! I would have liked to have slapped Preminger too for having to sit through this film. Although I titled this series "You Otto See It", I don't really recommend it. It's boring, confusing and the only thing to look forward to is Mitchum's pretty mug.
I did, however, like the beginning of the movie. Mitchum plays an ambulance driver, Frank, who gets called to the scene of a potential smothering. A rich woman claims someone tried to suffocate her and already we are suspicious. Then there is the woman's step-daughter, Diane, played by Jean Simmons, who is beautiful, tormented, has an angel face, blah blah blah. Frank and Diane slap each other a few times (many re-takes compelled Mitchum to slap Preminger) and are thrusted into a hot and heavy affair. Trouble is Frank's got this girl, Mary, played by Mona Freeman, a nurse at the hospital he works for. She doesn't have the angel face but she's got an angel heart. He should be with Mary but Diane is the one who excites him. Mary is confronted by Diane and finds out about Frank's infidelity. Frank doesn't know that Mary knows about Frank & Diane's rendezvous the previous night. When Mary confronts Frank, this gem appears in the dialogue:
Frank: I would have been lousy company last night. Ten minutes after I left Harry's I was in the sack.
Mary: I can believe that. Well, you can head for that same sack tonight.
I don't know much about the social norms of dating and relationships in the 1950's. But from what I gather from this film and others like it is that a man is free to see who he wants until he gets married. There isn't really a concept of a "boyfriend" or a committed pre-marital relationship, as we have in our contemporary culture. Just a courtship, which if successful, leads to an engagement which is mercifully brief and followed by a quick marriage. Engagements sometimes last hours or a few days, unless the beau is really dragging his heels. Maybe fast courtships and engagements were a way to snag a guy before a dangerous angel face lures him away. Who knows?
It's not that this film answered any questions I had, it just got me thinking. So at least I have that. In the end, the moral of the story was that beauty is dangerous and don't teach a girl how to fix a car.