How to Commit Marriage
|How to Commit Marriage|
|Directed by||Norman Panama|
|Produced by||Bill Lawrence|
|Written by||Michael Kanin|
|Music by||Joseph J. Lilley|
|Edited by||Ronald Sinclair|
|Distributed by||Cinerama Releasing Corporation|
How to Commit Marriage is a 1969 comedy film directed by Norman Panama and starring Bob Hope and Jackie Gleason in their only movie together. The supporting cast features Jane Wyman as Hope's wife, Tina Louise as record-producer Gleason's love interest, Leslie Nielsen as the straight man, and Professor Irwin Corey as a Middle Eastern guru named "the Baba Zeba." Tim Matheson also appears in an early role. This was Jane Wyman's final film appearance. A rock band entitled The Comfortable Chair appears as a rock group, performing their song "A Child's Garden." The movie was filmed in the then-current version of Cinerama.
Music student Nancy, the 19-year-old daughter of Frank, real estate broker, and Elaine Benson (Bob Hope and Jane Wyman), wants to marry fellow music student David (Tim Matheson), the 20-year-old son of Oliver Poe (Jackie Gleason), record producer. What the bride doesn't know is that her parents are about to get a divorce.
Poe is opposed to marriage and doesn't want the kids to get married. At the church, when the wedding is in progress, he exposes the Bensons' secret. Nancy and David decide marriage isn't necessary. They will live together instead, travel around the country with a rock band and heed the advice and wisdom of a Persian mystic called the Baba Zeba (Professor Irwin Corey).
Frank and Elaine are seeing other people. He is involved with a divorcee, Lois Grey (Maureen Arthur), while she is developing an interest in Phil Fletcher (Leslie Nielsen), who also is recently divorced. Poe, meanwhile, continues to see, LaVerne Baker (Tina Louise), his live in girl friend.
Then one day, Nancy finds out she is pregnant. The Baba Zeba persuades her to put up the baby for adoption, paid off by Oliver. Frank and Elaine conspire behind their daughter's back to adopt their own grandchild.
Complications arise, resulting in Frank trying to bribe the guru and even disguising himself as one of the Baba Zeba's robed followers. By the end, all is resolved; the Bensons get back together, David and Nancy have their baby, even Poe and LaVerne have married giving the film a thriced blessed happy ending.
- Bob Hope as Frank Benson
- Jackie Gleason as Oliver Poe
- Jane Wyman as Elaine Benson
- Leslie Nielsen as Phil Fletcher
- Maureen Arthur as Lois Grey
- Tina Louise as LaVerne Baker
- Tim Matheson as David
- Paul Stewart as Willoughby
- Irwin Corey as the Baba Zeba
- JoAnna Cameron as Nancy
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