7.7/10
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The Catered Affair (1956)

At breakfast, Jane announces that she and Ralph are getting married the next week. All Jane and Ralph want is a small wedding with the immediate family and no reception, because Jane's ... See full summary »

Director:

Richard Brooks

Writers:

Gore Vidal (screenplay), Paddy Chayefsky (play)
Reviews
2 wins. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bette Davis ... Aggie Hurley
Ernest Borgnine ... Tom Hurley
Debbie Reynolds ... Jane Hurley
Barry Fitzgerald ... Uncle Jack Conlon
Rod Taylor ... Ralph Halloran
Robert F. Simon ... Mr. Joe Halloran (as Robert Simon)
Madge Kennedy ... Mrs. Joe Halloran
Dorothy Stickney ... Mrs. Rafferty
Carol Veazie Carol Veazie ... Mrs. Casey
Joan Camden Joan Camden ... Alice Scanlon
Ray Stricklyn ... Eddie Hurley
Jay Adler ... Sam Leiter
Dan Tobin ... Hotel Caterer
Paul Denton Paul Denton ... Bill Scanlon
Augusta Merighi Augusta Merighi ... Mrs. Musso
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Storyline

At breakfast, Jane announces that she and Ralph are getting married the next week. All Jane and Ralph want is a small wedding with the immediate family and no reception, because Jane's parents are poor and Jane and Ralph can borrow a car for their honeymoon. But at dinner that night, all Ralph's parents talk about are the big weddings they gave their daughters, and everything escalates. Suddenly it's a big wedding breakfast with hundreds of guests. The problem is that for 12 years, Tom has been saving money to buy his own cab and license, but now that he can, all of that money is going towards a wedding that neither he nor Jane nor Ralph really want. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a girl who wanted to lead her own life. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 June 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mädchen ohne Mitgift See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,008,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally a TV play starring Thelma Ritter as the mother. See more »

Goofs

Real-life radio soap opera "The Romance of Helen Trent" is heard on the radio while Hurley family members are waking up, eating breakfast, and preparing to leave for work; in reality, radio soaps weren't broadcast until late mornings/afternoons and/or evenings. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bridge Attendant: Morning, Tom! How's the taxi business?
Tom Hurley: How's the bridge business?
Bridge Attendant: One more day like this, I'll own the bridge!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also shown in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Three's Company: The Catered Affair (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Cailín Deas Crúite na mBó (A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow)
Traditional 18th-century Irish ballad
See more »

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User Reviews

Intense Drama Skillfully Acted
25 November 2003 | by builder6See all my reviews

This delightful production is full of life; a vignette which cuts deep to reveal the quiet despair, sullen defeat, and ultimate triumph of a marriage which had always looked back at its shameful beginning, but finally is freed to discover itself anew.

Davis' mastery of the Brooklyn tone and colloquialisms is uncanny. Her "Aggie" is real, and sympathetic, if not admirable. Her pain from the awakening knowledge of having only lived with, but not shared life with her daughter and husband touches us where it hurts. The fix of manipulating a "big" (but unaffordable) wedding for her daughter falls flat, forcing Aggie to grapple with the real issues of her life.

Her bachelor brother "Uncle Jack" (Barry Fitzgerald) is Aggie's counterpoint, full of Blarney, enjoying every moment to its fullest, as when he playfully informs delightful Mrs. Rafferty (his future bride) of her debt in their running game of Cannasta: $24,700.

Debbie Reynolds is lovely, earnest, in character and hard-hitting as Aggie's daughter Jane, sacrificing her own wishes, and torn between the conflicting needs of her mother and father.

Borgnine is the under-appreciated, self-sacrificing husband, giving up his long held dream of owning a taxicab if it would satisfy his wife, finally pleading his own case, and finding joy in his marriage.

A compelling story with excellent acting and staging.


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