Under the Yum Yum Tree
|Under the Yum Yum Tree|
|Directed by||David Swift|
|Screenplay by||Lawrence Roman|
|Based on||Under the Yum Yum Tree (play)|
by Lawrence Roman
|Produced by||Frederick Brisson|
|Edited by||Charles Nelson|
|Music by||Frank De Vol|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|October 23, 1963|
|Box office||$5 million (US/ Canada rentals) |
Under the Yum Yum Tree is a 1963 American sex comedy film directed by David Swift and starring Jack Lemmon, Carol Lynley, Dean Jones, and Edie Adams, with supporting roles by Imogene Coca and Paul Lynde.
Jack Lemmon stars as the playboy landlord Hogan, a swinging bachelor. Women are mere playthings to him, plus he's a master con man. His bachelor pad is a holy temple of seduction: blood-red walls, African sculptures, a well-stocked cocktail bar, a switch-operated fireplace, and mechanized violins that play romantic music at the touch of a button. He walks around wearing a scarlet cardigan (with matching socks and shirts) and a devilish smirk. As the independently wealthy landlord of a beautifully designed California apartment block that includes tropical plants, he only rents rooms to gorgeous single women at just $75 a month.
The film begins as Irene (Adams), a recently divorced tenant, has just concluded a relationship with Hogan. She's moving out of the apartment with the assistance of her friend Charles (Lansing). It is immediately snapped up by her naive niece, Robin (Lynley). Hogan is thrilled at the prospect of yet another beautiful tenant to seduce, but is initially unaware that Robin's short-tempered, frustrated, bumbling boyfriend David (Jones) is moving in with her—but in a 'platonic' capacity only, to determine their compatibility.
Temptation is naturally there, but Hogan does his best to prevent David and Robin from consummating their relationship. Irene, who has only lately come to realize the extent of Hogan's promiscuity, is determined to prevent him from getting his hands on her niece. Irene confronts him at his barber, and Hogan is self-defensive and self-deluded to comic effect.
An older married couple, handyman Murphy (Lynde) and maid Dorcas (Coca) work for Hogan, he the stereotypical harried husband, she the stereotypical loud and overbearing wife.
- Jack Lemmon as Hogan
- Carol Lynley as Robin Austin
- Dean Jones as David Manning
- Edie Adams as Irene Wilson
- Paul Lynde as Murphy
- Robert Lansing as Charles Howard
- Imogene Coca as Dorcas Murphy
- Joy Harmon as Ardice
- Pamela Curran as Dolores
- Asa Maynor as Cheryl
- Laurie Sibbald as Eve
- Jane Wald as Liz (woman in shower)
- Celeste Yarnall as New Girl in Van
- Bill Bixby as Track Team Coach
- Bill Erwin as Teacher
- Matty Jordan as Maitre D'
- James Millhollin as The Thin Man
The film was adapted from a Broadway play by Lawrence Roman. The stage production opened on November 16, 1960 at Henry Miller's Theatre and ran for 173 performances. The original cast included Gig Young as Hogan, Sandra Church as Robin, and Dean Jones as David.
An hour-long unsold television pilot titled Under the Yum Yum Tree and directed by E. W. Swackhamer premiered on ABC on September 2, 1969. The manager of the apartment complex was played by Jack Sheldon and among the cast were Ryan O'Neal and Leigh Taylor-Young, who were married from 1967 to 1971. Both were stars of ABC's primetime serial Peyton Place, which broadcast its final episode three months earlier, on June 2.
- The song "Under the Yum Yum Tree", written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen, is sung by James Darren during the opening credits, and its melody is used thematically throughout the picture.
Slightly in advance of the film's release, as was the custom of the era, a paperback novelization of the film was published by Dell Books. The author was renowned crime and western novelist Marvin H. Albert, who also made something of a cottage industry out of movie tie-ins. He seems to have been the most prolific screenplay novelizer of the late '50s through mid '60s, and, during that time, the preeminent specialist at light comedy.