powered by AFI
No print of this film could be located. The above information was gleaned from contemporary reviews, news items and press materials. Although the Harrrison's Reports review cites the film's title as Private Property!, no other source included the exclamation point. Private Property was the first film for producer Stanley Colbert and writer-director Leslie Stevens. The partners had previously written the stage play The Marriage-Go-Round, which Stevens produced and directed for Twentieth Century-Fox later in 1960. Kate Manx was Stevens' wife.
According to several reviews, Private Property was produced for only $59,000 and was shot mainly at Stevens' home in Los Angeles. Before its release, the film was denied a Production Code seal and given a "C," or condemned, rating by the National Catholic Legion of Decency for "highly suggestive sequences, dialogue and music." However, as noted in a February 17, 1960 Hollywood Reporter news item, the New York State Board of Censors passed the picture without edits.
Press materials refer to Stevens as an "American New Wave" director, in reference to the French New Wave filmmakers who were earning acclaim at the time. A publicity line called the film "The most cussed and discussed film of our generation." Many reviews stated that although Private Property's subject matter was prurient, the filmmaking was excellent. Although Stevens was hailed as a rising young talent, he made only two more feature films.