The Catered Affair (1956)
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Movie InfoBette Davis goes the "kitchen sink drama" route in The Catered Affair. As the frowsy wife of Bronx cabdriver Ernest Borgnine, Davis insists that her daughter Debbie Reynolds have a high-class wedding--caterers and all. Reynolds and future hubby Rod Taylor want a simple ceremony, but Davis' mind is made up. The wedding snowballs into an unwieldy affair as Davis and Borgnine find that they must invite everyone they know or risk incurring the wrath of their neighborhood. When the cost of the affair exceeds the family's bank account, Davis rails at Borgnine for failing to be a good provider. It takes her till the very end of the film to realize what a fool she's been. Gore Vidal, of all people, adapted The Catered Affair from a TV drama written by Paddy Chayefsky; the original telecast had starred Thelma Ritter. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for The Catered Affair
Overall, the performances are good and there are occasionally amusing and touching momemts in the otherwise talky, mostly drab, affair under Richard Brooks' direction.
Richard Brooks directed in a sort of free-wheeling way that carries the action jumpily from poignancy to farce and from moments of frowsy frustration to scenes of vulgar squawling en famille.
The tragedy got lost somewhere in Richard Brooks's crushingly blunt direction.
This eminently watchable misfire divides amateur and professional critics alike.
Kitchen Sink Realism Paddy Chayefsky style and Bette Davis as a frumpy Bronx housewife sounds like contradiction in terms, and it is.
Audience Reviews for The Catered Affair
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