Mister Buddwing

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Mister Buddwing
Mister Buddwing poster.jpg
Directed byDelbert Mann
Screenplay byDale Wasserman
Based onBuddwing
1964 novel
by Evan Hunter
Produced byDouglas Laurence
Delbert Mann
StarringJames Garner
Jean Simmons
Suzanne Pleshette
Angela Lansbury
CinematographyEllsworth Fredericks
Edited byFredric Steinkamp
Music byKenyon Hopkins
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • October 11, 1966 (1966-10-11) (U.S.)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States

Mister Buddwing is a 1966 American film drama directed by Delbert Mann and starring James Garner.

The film depicts a well-dressed man who finds himself on a bench in Central Park with no idea who he is. He proceeds to wander around Manhattan meeting women (Jean Simmons, Suzanne Pleshette, Katharine Ross, Angela Lansbury) as he desperately tries to figure out his own identity.

Based on the 1964 novel Buddwing by Evan Hunter, the evocatively shot black-and-white drama was written by Dale Wasserman and the lively jazz musical score was written by Kenyon Hopkins.

In his memoirs, Garner said "I'd summarize the plot but to this day I have no clue what it is. Worst picture I ever made. What were they thinking? What was I thinking?"[1]


A man (James Garner) wakes up on a New York park bench to find that his mind is a total blank. He has no identification on him, just a slip of paper in his pocket with a phone number on it.

The number leads to Gloria (Angela Lansbury), who doesn't recognize him but gives him money out of pity. For the purpose of identifying himself to people he meets, he invents a name, spotting a Budweiser beer truck go by just as a jet plane wings by overhead.

Now calling himself Buddwing, he spots a woman on the street he thinks he knows and calls out "Grace!" Turns out her name is Janet (Katharine Ross), but a flashback of a romance with her from college days goes through Buddwing's mind. He experiences similar flashbacks after meeting Fiddle Corwin (Suzanne Pleshette), who is an actress. They share a romantic fling, but images of her contemplating suicide flash through his mind.

The Blonde, a socialite, is on a scavenger hunt, just for kicks. Buddwing accompanies her to Harlem, where her goal is to get into a dice game. While there, a passing remark jogs Buddwing's memory. He recovers from the shock of an incident involving his wife and a pregnancy, ultimately remembering who and where he was before his blackout.


Awards and honors[edit]

The film was nominated for two Academy Awards; for Best Costume Design, Black and White (Helen Rose) and Best Art Direction, Black and White (George Davis, Paul Groesse, Henry Grace, and Hugh Hunt).[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Garner, James; Winokur, Jon (2011). The Garner Files: A Memoir. Simon & Schuster. p. 256.
  2. ^ "NY Times: Mister Buddwing". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2008-12-26.

External links[edit]