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The Private Lives of Adam & Eve

The Private Lives of Adam & Eve(1961)


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On the road to Reno, Nevada, Doc Bayles drives a bus transporting passengers Hal Sanders, a lecherous salesman, and runaway teenager Vangie Harper. When the bus stops in the small town of Paradise, Evie Simms, a lunchroom attendant, boards in order to obtain a Reno divorce from her mechanic husband Ad, whom she recently caught kissing neighbor Lil Lewis. Following Evie is Lil and her husband Nick, a casino owner and Evie's new paramour. Finally, beatnik Pinkie Parker, whose jalopy has just broken down, hops on the bus, where he is immediately smitten with Vangie. Before driving off, Doc counsels Ad to join the group in order to convince Evie to return to him. Ad is prevented from boarding, however, by a phone call warning him that flash floods are imminent and the roads have been closed. While Ad is on the phone, Nick persuades Doc to leave without him, and as a result Ad is forced to drive Pinkie's abandoned jalopy in pursuit of the bus. When Doc spots Ad behind them, he pulls over, unintentionally allowing Nick to take over at the wheel and speed off. Ad chases the bus over treacherous, winding streets until Nick knocks the jalopy over a cliff. Chastened, Nick stops, and Evie is relieved to see Ad emerge over the hill, unhurt. Upon learning about the flood, Doc insists they turn back to Paradise, but they are too late to avoid the deluge. After the bus is almost washed off the road, the frightened group seeks shelter in an empty church. Inside, Doc urges them to trust in God, although Nick declares they will soon die. As water floods in under the door, Ad holds Evie and convinces her to sleep. They share a dream about the beginning of life: While Adam awakens in the Garden of Eden and begins naming animals, the Devil sends one of his female companions, Lilith, to tempt Adam into betraying God. God, however, foils the Devil by reminding Adam not to eat an apple from the tree of life, and sending Eve to keep him company. Although Eve is as sweet and innocent as Adam, she quickly grows resentful of his work and jealous of Lilith. Eve, who wishes God would speak directly to her, is easily enticed by the Devil, disguised as a serpent. The snake urges Eve to eat an apple, and after she does, Adam follows suit, hoping to protect her from God's wrath. God spares their lives, but casts them out of Eden. While seeking shelter in a cave, Adam and Eve have their first fight, after which Eve forces Adam to move rocks around the cave, pursuing the perfect "furniture" arrangement. Although Eve is being unreasonable, Adam accepts blame for their fight in order to seduce her. In the morning, the Devil visits Eve and convinces her that Adam has failed to provide her with the right clothes and social activities. He entices her with a ridiculous hat made of fruit, which befuddles Adam, who nonetheless compliments it. Later, Lilith leads Adam to her hut, while the Devil urges Eve to cut her long hair. Lilith introduces Adam to the concept of a bed and gets him drunk on wine. At home, an annoyed Eve forces Adam to swear off liquor and women, but he returns to Lilith's the following day. As planned, Lilith kisses Adam just as the Devil leads Eve to the hut, and in a jealous rage, Eve pelts them with fruit. The Devil exults as Eve runs off, with Adam close behind. As a storm rages, Eve begs forgiveness from God, pleading with Him to speak to her. In response, God indicates to Eve that she is pregnant, and when Adam finds her, they embrace. Back in the church, as Ad and Evie awaken and realize they have shared the same dream, the group discovers that the rain has ceased. They leave the church in couples, Lil with Hal, Pinkie with Vangie and Ad with Evie, who expresses a sudden craving for dill pickles. As Nick looks back at the church, he finally understands that "the odds were with the house."