The Catered Affair (1956)

The Catered Affair (1956)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Catered Affair Photos

Movie Info

Bette 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
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
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Bette Davis
as Mrs. Agnes Hurley
Ernest Borgnine
as Tom Hurley
Debbie Reynolds
as Jane Hurley
Barry Fitzgerald
as Uncle Jack Conlon
Rod Taylor
as Ralph Halloran
Robert Simon
as Mr. Halloran
Robert F. Simon
as Mr. Halloran
Madge Kennedy
as Mrs. Halloran
Dorothy Stickney
as Mrs. Rafferty
Carol Veazie
as Mrs. Casey
Joan Camden
as Alice
Ray Stricklyn
as Eddie Hurley
Jay Adler
as Sam Leiter
Dan Tobin
as Caterer
Augusta Merighi
as Mrs. Musso
Mae Clarke
as Saleswoman
Jimmy Fox
as Tailor
Don Devlin
as Cabby
Sammy Shack
as Cabby
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Catered Affair

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (3)

Overall, the performances are good and there are occasionally amusing and touching momemts in the otherwise talky, mostly drab, affair under Richard Brooks' direction.

Full Review… | April 8, 2008
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

The tragedy got lost somewhere in Richard Brooks's crushingly blunt direction.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

This eminently watchable misfire divides amateur and professional critics alike.

Full Review… | April 8, 2008
TV Guide

Kitchen Sink Realism Paddy Chayefsky style and Bette Davis as a frumpy Bronx housewife sounds like contradiction in terms, and it is.

Full Review… | March 25, 2008

Plays like Marty but without the same winsome appeal.

Full Review… | November 26, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Catered Affair


Even the cast of Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, and Debbie Reynolds is not worth a rather pointless and mundane movie. How did such boring plot, subject mater, and screenplay draw such great talent is beyond me.

Vadim Dyment
Vadim Dyment

Another TCM Cruise viewing, with Debbie Reynolds in attendance. It's a cute movie of a working class girl whose mother takes over what is meant to be a small wedding, which soon spirals out of hand and reveals a lot of issues within the family unit. Well worth a look, give it a rental.

Bill Bryant
Bill Bryant

[img][/img] The Catered Affair This is ok. The characters got on my nerves. Their actions were rather cliche.

Jennifer Russett
Jennifer Russett

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