|Directed by||Mark Robson|
|Produced by||Fred Kohlmar|
|Written by||George Axelrod|
Phfft: Chronicle of a Happy Divorce|
by George Axelrod
|Music by||Friedrich Hollaender|
|Edited by||Charles Nelson|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|88 minutes|
|Box office||$1,550,000 (US)|
Phffft is a 1954 black-and-white romantic comedy film starring Judy Holliday, Jack Lemmon, and Jack Carson, and features Kim Novak in a small but significant role. The picture was written by George Axelrod and directed by Mark Robson, and was the second film starring Holliday and Lemmon that year, after It Should Happen to You.
Nina and Robert Tracey (Judy Holliday and Jack Lemmon), married for eight years, suffer marital problems and divorce. Robert takes up with his womanizing Navy buddy Charlie Nelson (Jack Carson) while Nina looks to her interfering mother for guidance. Robert spends the night with Janis (Kim Novak), a Marilyn Monroe-type character who finds the dashing Robert "real cute" but he feels uncomfortable with Janis and other girls he dates. Nina also tries to date other men but fails as she is still in love with Robert. Although they try to ignore each other when they accidentally meet, it is obvious that the past is not dead. Then one night, they find themselves in a nightclub, dancing the mambo together.
- Judy Holliday as Nina Tracey (née Chapman)
- Jack Lemmon as Robert Tracey
- Jack Carson as Charlie Nelson
- Kim Novak as Janis
- Luella Gear as Mrs. Edith Chapman
- Donald Randolph as Dr. Van Kessel
- Donald Curtis as Rick Vidal
- Arny Freeman as Nina's language teacher
- Eddie Searles as Tommy
- Merry Anders as Marsha
- Mylee Andreason as Robert's dance teacher
- Sally Mansfield as Miss Comstock
- Joyce Jameson as Secretary
- Bess Flowers as Nightclub Dance Extra
- Jimmie Dodd as Cab Driver
- Shirlee Allard as Secretary
- Wendy Howard as Artist's Model
- Charlotte Lawrence as Radio actress as Cynthia
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The script was an original by George Axelrod. Columbia bought it from him for $80,000.
- During filming, Jack Lemmon left the set as his first wife, actress/model Cynthia Stone gave birth to their son, Chris Lemmon.
- This was the second film in which Jack Lemmon appeared with Judy Holliday. In that same year, Lemmon's debut film It Should Happen to You starred Holliday. This was also Lemmon's third film of his career.
- The title "Phffft" comes from Walter Winchell's column which was widely syndicated during the 1950s. When a celebrity couple's marriage broke up, Winchell would describe the break-up as "phffft".
- Columbia Pictures approached George Axelrod to produce a film version of his popular play, The Seven Year Itch but the film rights were tied up as long as it was running on Broadway. He instead offered them "Phffft!" - an earlier play of his dealing with a similar subject.
Awards and honors
- Judy Holliday was nominated for "Best Foreign Actress" at the BAFTA Awards in 1955.
- The film was also nominated for "Best Written American Comedy" at the Writer's Guild of America.
- 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1955', Variety Weekly, January 25, 1956
- BY WAY OF REPORT: Independent Group to Make CinemaScope Pictures in England -- Other Matters By A. H. WEILER. New York Times 13 Dec 1953: X9.