A look at the life of Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of human sexuality research, whose 1948 publication "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" was one of the first recorded works that saw science address sexual behavior.
Called Prok as an adult (short for Professor Kinsey), Alfred Kinsey has been interested in biology since he was a child growing up in the early twentieth century, despite the criticisms of such being evil nonsense from his overbearing and devoutly Christian father, professor Alfred Seguine Kinsey. Prok goes on to become a biology professor at Indiana University, initially focusing on the study of gall wasps. But those studies in combination with questions from his students, coming to terms with the needs of sex with his own wife, a former student of his named Clara McMillen (who he calls Mac), and what he sees as the gross misinformation on the subject currently within popular belief makes him change his focus to human sexuality. Many of those gross untruths - as he sees them - are that oral sex and masturbation cause a slew of maladies, which are perpetuated by what is presented in the university's hygiene class taught by Professor Thurman Rice. With the approval of faculty head ... Written by
Cole Porter wrote the song "Too Darn Hot" for the Broadway musical "Kiss Me Kate," which premiered in 1948, the same year as the publication of Alfred Kinsey's book "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male". The song contains the lyrics "According to the Kinsey report / Ev'ry average man you know / Much prefers to play his favorite sport / When the temperature is low." The Ella Fitzgerald recording of this song is played on the soundtrack. When MGM produced its movie version, Kiss Me Kate (1953), the same year as the publication of Kinsey's "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female", the film's censors changed the lyrics to "According to the weather report...." See more »
The newspaper headlines about Kinsey's first book in the late 1940s are pasted onto current newspapers. Just above one of the headlines we see a story about the New York Mets and the Houston Astros. These teams did not exist in the late 1940s. See more »
Don't sit so far away. Anything that creates a distance should be avoided.
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At the end of the film (following the main cast credits), a montage featuring Kinsey Institute footage of the mating habits of various animals is accompanied by "Fever" by Little Willie John. See more »
A rather well researched, interesting and involving biography of an important man to science, the film not only provides an insight into Kinsey's life and the attitudes of the time, but it also digs deep into the characters. Superb acting assists too, with Neeson and Sarsgaard both in good form, however it is Linney who shines the most as Kinsey's wife. But what gives the film such an extra boost is how confronting it manages to be. It is a daringly different film, packing the punches and managing to even have a few good laughs. The style feels unique, yet the technical aspects of the film are rather ordinary. It is a bit too uncomfortable to watch at times also, but it generally succeeds. Condon has quite evidently put a lot of effort into writing and directing the film, and without much question, his efforts have paid off with success.
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