The Catered Affair1956
The Catered Affair (1956)
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as Mrs. Agnes Hurley
as Tom Hurley
as Jane Hurley
as Uncle Jack Conlon
as Ralph Halloran
as Mr. Halloran
as Mr. Halloran
as Mrs. Halloran
as Mrs. Rafferty
as Mrs. Casey
as Eddie Hurley
as Sam Leiter
as Mrs. Musso
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
This family drama is a quiet little movie, so if you're looking for a lot of action or a complicated plot, it's probably not for you. What it does offer is fantastic acting, a nuanced story, and a study in characters. Bette Davis plays a middle-aged housewife married to her cabbie husband (Ernest Borgnine). One morning, their daughter (Debbie Reynolds) casually announces to them that she intends to get married (to Rod Taylor), and that the two of them are going to have a simple legal ceremony with only immediate family present. In part because Davis didn't get a wedding herself and in part because she's disillusioned with her own marriage, she begins lobbying Reynolds to have a bigger wedding. I won't say anything more about the plot. There are some outstanding scenes with supporting actors in the movie, including one with the groom-to-be's parents at a dinner party (Robert Simon and Madge Kennedy), and others with the bride-to-be's elderly uncle, a confirmed bachelor, and a woman he sees socially (Barry Fitzgerald and Dorothy Stickney). In fact, Fitzgerald and Stickney were probably my favorite part of the movie, but it's hard to deny the excellent performances Davis, Borgnine, and Reynolds all deliver. Director Richard Brooks was brave in giving them the limelight in a "less is more" approach, and it paid off. It's hard to fathom some of the "professional" critics' negative reviews, and even though these things are always a bit subjective, I think if you like 'small' movies, you'll like this one.
Good simple kitchen sink drama with lovely well obseved performances from all.
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