|Directed by||Delbert Mann|
|Produced by||Douglas Laurence|
|Screenplay by||Dale Wasserman|
by Evan Hunter
|Music by||Kenyon Hopkins|
|Edited by||Fredric Steinkamp|
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.
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?"
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.
- James Garner as Mr. Buddwing
- Jean Simmons as The Blonde
- Suzanne Pleshette as Fiddle Corwin
- Katharine Ross as Janet
- Angela Lansbury as Gloria
- George Voskovec as Shabby Old Man
- Jack Gilford as Mr. Schwartz
- Joe Mantell as 1st cab driver
- Billy Halop as 2nd cab driver
- Raymond St. Jacques as Hank
- Ken Lynch as Dan
- Nichelle Nichols as Dice Player
- Charles Seel as Printer
Awards and honors
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).
- Garner, James; Winokur, Jon (2011). The Garner Files: A Memoir. Simon & Schuster. p. 256.
- "NY Times: Mister Buddwing". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-26.