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Poster - Phffft 01.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Mark Robson
Produced by Fred Kohlmar
Written by George Axelrod
Based on Phfft: Chronicle of a Happy Divorce
by George Axelrod[1]
Starring Judy Holliday
Jack Lemmon
Jack Carson
Kim Novak
Music by Friedrich Hollaender
Cinematography Charles Lang
Edited by Charles Nelson
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • November 10, 1954 (1954-11-10)
[citation needed]
Running time
88 minutes[citation needed]
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1,550,000 (US)[2]

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.



The script was an original by George Axelrod. Columbia bought it from him for $80,000.[3]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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.


  1. ^
  2. ^ 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1955', Variety Weekly, January 25, 1956
  3. ^ 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.

External links[edit]