Promises! Promises!

1963 film by King Donovan

Promises! Promises! is a 1963 movie. It was the first Hollywood sound movie to feature a major star—Jayne Mansfield—in the nude. She was in three nude scenes that together lasted a bit over a minute.

Promises! Promises!
Promises promises poster 01.jpg
Movie poster
Directed byKing Donovan
Produced byTommy Noonan
Donald F. Taylor
Written byTommy Noonan
William Welch
StarringJayne Mansfield
Marie McDonald
Tommy Noonan
Mickey Hargitay
Music byHal Borne
CinematographyJoseph F. Biroc
Edited byEdward Dutko
Noonan-Taylor Productions
Distributed byNTD
Release date
  • August 15, 1963 (1963-08-15)
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited States

Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner was charged with obscenity when he printed nude photos of Mansfield on the set in his magazine. The movie was banned in some American cities. It was a big box office success in cities where it was shown.


Sandy Brooks (Jayne Mansfield) wants to get pregnant. Her husband Jeff (Tommy Noonan) is too stressed out with work to make love to her. They take a cruise, and meet another couple (Marie McDonald and Mickey Hargitay).[2]

The four get drunk. They change partners when going to their rooms. Later, both women learn they're pregnant. They wonder whether the fathers are their own or the other's husband.[2]

Nude scenesEdit

Promises! Promises! was the first Hollywood sound movie to feature a big star in the nude.[3] For some, the nude scenes were the movie's main attraction. [4] There are only three short nude scenes.

Together, these three scenes last a little bit over one minute.[4][5] Mansfield was seen only topless in the movie, but the book Hollywood Babylon shows her on the set completely nude. Her pubic hair can be seen.[6]


In June 1963, Playboy published a photo article about the movie. In the photos, Mansfield plays with one of her breasts. Publisher Hugh Hefner was arrested and charged with obscenity.[6] He was acquitted by the jury.[7][8]


Promises! Promises! was banned in several American cities.[9] Both the original movie and an edited version had box office success in places where it was not banned.[9]

Mansfield was voted one of the Top 10 Box Office Attractions by theater owners that year. Movie critic Roger Ebert wrote about Mansfield, "Finally in Promises! Promises! she does what no Hollywood star ever does except in desperation. She does a nudie. In 1963, that kind of box office appeal was all she had left."[10]


  1. TOMMY NOONAN: A TYRO AT FILM PRODUCTION BUT A TERROR WITH PURSE STRINGS Alpert, Don. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 03 Feb 1963: B4
  2. 2.0 2.1 Brennan, Sandra (2006-11-25). "Promises! Promises!". The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-11-25.
  3. Black, Gregory D. (January 26, 1996). Hollywood Censored: Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies (Cambridge Studies in the History of Mass Communication). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56592-8.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Faris, Jocelyn (1994). Jayne Mansfield: a bio-bibliography. ABC-CLIO. p. 94. ISBN 0-313-28544-6.
  5. Craig Hosoda, The bare facts video guide, page 137, Bare Facts, 1991, ISBN 0-9625474-2-5
  6. 6.0 6.1 Anger, Kenneth (November 15, 1981). Hollywood Babylon: The Legendary Underground Classic of Hollywood's Darkest and Best Kept Secrets. USA: Dell (Reissue edition). ISBN 0-440-15325-5.
  7. "Has Hef ever been arrested?". Playboy Online. Archived from the original on 2006-12-06. Retrieved 2006-11-29.
  8. Edward P. Comentale, Ian Fleming and James Bond: The Cultural Politics of 007, page 57
  9. 9.0 9.1 Dirks, Tim. "Sex in Cinema: The Greatest and Most Influential Erotic / Sexual Films and Scenes". Film Site. Retrieved 2006-11-23.
  10. Ebert, Roger (June 30, 1967). "Miss Mansfield's Film Career: Cast as a carbon copy". Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago. p. 46.

Other websitesEdit