Friday, 8 October 2010

"Charlie... You're not talking... - You're nibbling!"

In 1955 a succesfull play by Robert Paul Smith and Max Shulman - addapted for the screen by Julius Epstein and directed by Charles Walters - was brought to the screen in Eastmancolor: THE TENDER TRAP.

In a nutshell:

New York, mid-1950ies: Charlie Y. Reader (Frank Sinatra) - a theatrical agent - lives a happy life for a bachelor: numerous women(Lola Albright, Carolyn Jones, Jarma Lewis) clean his home, care for his meals and do other things for him, which a bachelor of 35 years would like. (you get the picture - don't you?) A special friend of him among this ladies is Sylvia Crewes (Celeste Holm), a sophisticated classical musician and no love interest of Charlie - though she is interested.

Then Charlie's childhood friend Joe McCall (David Wayne) visits him. Joe is a married father of three children and tired of marital life - and Charlie vice versa envies his friend a bit for his calm lifestyle incl. wife and children.

At an audition Charlie meets the actrice Julie Gillies (Debbie Reynolds) - and is at once interested in her. But Julie has definite plans for her future: She wants to get married - and though she doesn't know her future husband yet, she has a strict shedule: The wedding date is already set and at first sight Charlie is not the man she would like to take part in her plans.

While Charlie and Julie get acquainted to each other, Sylvia and Joe spend time together and Joe starts to develop romantic feelings. More problems ahead, when Julie decides that Charlie could be the man she was waiting for and Charlie is not (yet) ready to give up his female-filled life.

Watch out for:

  • A blonde Carolyn Jones as dog-sitting Helen - and watch the TV program carefully: There you can spot Esther Williams - quite tempting.


  • Lola Albrigth - who was a hat model and a showgirl in EASTER PARADE (1948) and one of Manuela's (Judy Garland) friends in THE PIRATE (1948) - played the part of Poppy Matson, whose familyname is boworred of Max Shulman's agent Harold Matson, while the surname of Joe McCall is borrowed of Robert Paul Smith's representative, Monica McCall.
  • Carolyn Jones is best known as Morticia Addams in TV series THE ADDAMS FAMILY (1964-1966).
  • THE TENDER TRAP shares some staff with HIGH SOCIETY (1956): Frank Sinatra, Celeste Holm and director Charles Walters.
  • The costumes were designed by Helen Rose.
  • The German DVD release has a 16 rating..
  • There is another film called THE TENDER TRAP: It is a 1974 documentary about carnivorous plants - narrated by Vincent Price!!! I would love to see that one!

    My favourite feature:

    Charlie's apartment is great!

    My favourite character:

    I love David Wayne - so this is no real question. .

    Celebrate the celluloid:

  • You could eat whitefish and/or

  • "rare Wisconsin cheese" and drink

  • scotch,

  • martini and/or

  • coffee.

Scene to see:

The restaurant scene - well, I would have start to watch the whole part in the restaurant beginning with Sylvia, Charlie and Joe talking and Julie joining them later - but this is pretty close to what I would have recommended:

Window shopping:

Celeste Holm's wedding costume is my favourite.

Quotes corner:

"When a man comes in and pays $15 for a tie - is it too much to expect a stinking tie to tie?"

A cute film. My favourite part - besides the restaurant scene - is when Charlie tries to get a date with one of "his" girls and all of them have other men! I think that is because in the beginning when all this girls are cleaning and caring it seems like he is putting on them and in the end he is the one who is left.

This film exaggerates satirically the chliché of the bachelor's and the bachelorette's dreams. David Wayne has again some sharp-tongued lines, which I like - and I love when Frank Sinatra - after a hard battle - forgoes to tie his tie.

Though it is in the mean part a comedy there are some not so cheery parts. And for the fans of 1950ies design: Julie visits a furniture exhibition! The scene is not very long, but all we will get in this film.

And of course - you'll get the opportunity to hear Frank Sinatra singing the song which was nominated for an Acadamy Award - this opening reminds me that I am going to need glasses:

I like opening credits..

Goodbye - I'll go and watch another movie - or this one again?

"Who was the girl in the turkish shoes? Because I think I am engaged to her."


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  2. I saw this movie and I loved it.


I really appreciate your comments - I'll read them all and if I can think of an answer I'll post it. :")