A House Is Not a Home (film)

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A House Is Not a Home
Film Poster
Directed byRussell Rouse
Written bySteve Jankowski
Produced byClarence Greene
StarringShelley Winters
Robert Taylor
Cesar Romero
Ralph Taeger
Kaye Ballard
Broderick Crawford
CinematographyHarold E. Stine
Edited byChester W. Schaeffer
Music byJoseph Weiss
Distributed byEmbassy Pictures Corporation
Release dates
  • August 12, 1964 (1964-08-12) (San Francisco, California)

  • September 1, 1964 (1964-09-01) (New York)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited States

A House Is Not a Home is a 1964 drama film loosely based on the 1953 autobiography by madam Polly Adler. The film stars Shelley Winters, Robert Taylor, Cesar Romero, and Kaye Ballard. Raquel Welch made her film debut in a small role as a call girl. The song written for the film by Burt Bacharach and Hal David has become a standard.


Polly Adler is a poor Polish immigrant who works in a sweatshop. She loses her job after she is sexually assaulted by her boss, for which her housemates blame her. She then is forced to move out.

Her next apartment is in a building owned by Frank Costigan, a gangster. Frank approves of Polly's attractive girlfriends and pays her to have the ladies go out socially with his friends.

One thing leads to another, and soon Polly is the madam of a bordello. She has genuine feelings for musician Casey Booth, but does not reveal her true occupation to him.

Costigan becomes the top enforcer for mob boss Lucky Luciano and backs Polly's business, which ends up on Park Avenue offering high-class call girls. Casey proposes marriage, so Polly finally confesses what she does for a living. He is willing to overlook it, but Polly feels it is for the best if they part.


Actor Role
Shelley Winters Polly Adler
Robert Taylor Frank Costigan
Cesar Romero Lucky Luciano
Ralph Taeger Casey Booth
Kaye Ballard Sidonia
Broderick Crawford Harrigan
Mickey Shaughnessy Police Sgt. Riordan
Jesse White Rafferty
Lisa Seagram Madge
Meri Welles Lorraine
Connie Gilchrist Hattie Miller
Constance Dane Laura
Allyson Ames Gwen
Lewis Charles Angelo
Steve Peck Vince
Roger C. Carmel Dixie Keeler
J. Pat O'Malley Muldoon
Sandra Grant Call Girl
Raquel Welch Call Girl
Francine Pyne Red-Call Girl
Edy Williams Call Girl
Charles Fredericks Bert
Danica d'Hondt Vicki

Award nominations[edit]

Edith Head was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Black-and-White.

External links[edit]