The Bachelor Party

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The Bachelor Party
The Bachelor Party.jpg
US VHS cover
Directed by Delbert Mann
Produced by Harold Hecht
Written by Paddy Chayefsky
Starring Don Murray
E. G. Marshall
Jack Warden
Carolyn Jones
Music by Paul Mertz
Alex North (uncredited)
Cinematography Joseph LaShelle
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s)
  • April 9, 1957 (1957-04-09)
Running time 92 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1.5 million (US)[1]

The Bachelor Party is a 1953 teleplay by Paddy Chayefsky which was adapted by Chayefsky for a 1957 film.

Television[edit]

Chayefsky's teleplay was produced by Fred Coe for The Philco Television Playhouse on October 11, 1953. Delbert Mann directed the following cast:[2]

Helen ...............................Kathleen Maguire
Charlie..............................Don Murray
Kenneth............................Bob Emmett
The Bookkeeper................James Westerfield
The Bachelor.....................Joseph Mantell
The Groom........................Douglas Gordon
Julie..................................Anna Minot
The Bartender....................Ely Segall
The Bar Hag.......................Elaine Eldridge
The Young Fellow...............Walter Kelly
The Girl.............................Bettye Ackerman
The Fiancée.......................Olive Dunbar

Film adaptation[edit]

The 1957 film was directed by Delbert Mann, with Don Murray reprising his role as Charlie, co-starring E.G. Marshall, Jack Warden and Carolyn Jones. Jones was nominated for the 1958 Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of a party girl who is actually very lonely. Mary Grant designed the film's costumes.

Plot[edit]

Charlie Samson (Murray) is a hard-working married bookkeeper, struggling to advance himself by attending night school to become an accountant. He and four co-workers throw a bachelor party for a fellow bookkeeper, Arnold Craig (Philip Abbott), who is about to get married. After the party, they decide to go bar-hopping. Charlie is to be Arnold's best man.

Colleagues attending the party include the older married man, Walter (Marshall), who has recently diagnosed asthma, and Eddie (Warden), a happy-go-lucky bachelor. The night becomes a turning point for all five men.

Charlie finds his loyalty to his wife tested during the evening, and he almost has an affair with a young woman (Jones) he meets on the street heading to a Greenwich Village party. Walter, in despair about his situation, wanders off during the evening.

Arnold becomes drunk and ambivalent about getting married, and he breaks off the wedding only to change his mind after he sobers up and Charlie gives him a lecture about the benefits of married life. This, in spite of the fact that in the beginning of the story, Charlie had been regretting his marriage and had gone to the party with a serious intention of committing adultery.

We last see Eddie at a bar, striking up a conversation with an older unattractive woman. In the end, Charlie decides that married life is the way to go, and that his struggle to build a home with his wife is worthwhile, and better than the empty and lonely existence of his friend Eddie, whom he used to envy.[2]

Cast[edit]

Awards[edit]

The Bachelor Party was nominated for one Oscar, one BAFTA award, and one award at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival:[3][4]

Group Award Won?
30th Academy Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Carolyn Jones
No
BAFTA Award Best Film from any Source (USA) No
1957 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or No

Chayefsky on The Bachelor Party[edit]

Afterword to The Bachelor Party:[2]

I am not sure to this day where the basic approach was wrong; but obviously the line of the story is six inches off from beginning to end, and the third-act resolution is hardly an inevitable outgrowth of the preceding two acts. I have also found that most directors take a somewhat different approach to my scripts than I do. A director whose mother abandoned him when he was four years old is going to have a definite attitude on how to treat the role of a mother in a given script. The homosexual director cannot have an accurate understanding of either the relationship between two men or that between a young man and a young woman. The writer must protect his script against these violations.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Top Grosses of 1957", Variety, 8 January 1958: 30
  2. ^ a b c The Collected Works of Paddy Chayefsky (1994), Applause Books, New York ISBN 1-55783-191-2
  3. ^ "Awards for The Bachelor Party (1957)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  4. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Bachelor Party". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-02-07. 

External links[edit]