42nd St. Nocturne

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In 42nd St. Nocturne, Xavier Barile painted New York City's Apollo Theatre aglow beneath a starry sky. Barile's lively "nocturne" shows moviegoers filtering in and out of the theater under a marquee advertising the main feature, The Moon is Blue. Directed by Otto Preminger, this 1953 comedy film caused an uproar when it appeared on the big screen. The story revolves around a virginal young actress pursued by a playboy architect. Preminger released the film without the approval of the Motion Picture Production Code, since he refused to remove such words from the script as "pregnant" and "seduce," language considered objectionable at the time. The director's rebellion was great publicity, and huge crowds flocked to see a movie that, as Barile's marquee advertises, was "spiced by more than a dash of sex."
Topic
Figure group
Cityscape\New York\New York
Cityscape\street\42nd Street
Cityscape\time\night
Architecture Exterior\civic\theater
Architecture Exterior\civic\Apollo Theater
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Artist
Xavier J. Barile, born Tufo, Italy 1891-died New York City 1981
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Xavier J. Barile
Medium
oil on fabric: canvas mounted on paperboard
Dimensions
8 7/8 x 11 7/8 in. (22.7 x 30.3 cm)
See more items in
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
1953
Type
Painting
Object number
1979.14.2