The Catered Affair (1956) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Catered Affair (1956)

The Catered Affair (1956)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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

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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
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
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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.

April 8, 2008 | Full Review…

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.

March 25, 2006 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

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

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

This eminently watchable misfire divides amateur and professional critics alike.

April 8, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

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

March 25, 2008 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Plays like Marty but without the same winsome appeal.

November 26, 2007 | Rating: C | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Catered Affair


Good simple kitchen sink drama with lovely well obseved performances from all.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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