Monday, April 04, 2011

Frankie and Debbie fall into 'The Tender Trap'

Seemed like a good night for one of those fun comedies from the '50s. Rain and thunder and floods, oh my.

So, I slipped in my latest film from Netflix, "The Tender Trap," 1955, with Francis Albert Sinatra and Debbie Reynolds. I really wanted "Mad Men: Season Four," but I guess everybody else did, too. Short wait. Oh, well.

Frankie plays theatrical agent Charlie Y. Reader, playboy, God's gift to women, or so he thinks. Debbie is Julie Gillis, the charming, young actress who falls in love with him.

Charlie has it all -- a posh place in Manhattan, a snazzy wardrobe, a steady stream of lovelies parading through his pad. Like T.G. Sheppard, he loves 'em, every one. But that proves to be a problem when Julie falls for him. With her, it's all or nothing at all, to coin a phrase.

Those eyes, those sighs, they're part of the tender trap. And when it's Debbie Reynolds' laughing eyes, it's quite the trap, indeed.

David Wayne plays Charlie's best buddy and Celeste Holm plays the lovely lady to whom Charlie won't commit. Of course, he falls for her. Carolyn Jones pops in every so often as the chick who walks Charlie's dog.

"The Tender Trap" was originally a play by Max Shulman and Robert Paul Smith. It opened in October 1954 at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway. I saw Tom Selleck there, in a revival of Herb Gardner's "A Thousand Clowns," in September 2001, right before the towers tumbled.

It's fun fluff, perfect for a rainy Monday night, when you have the blues and don't know why. I've put it on pause to look in on the NCCAA Tournament final. Go Butler! How can you not be for Cinderella? It's "Hoosiers" come to life...

Well, I just spotted some lightning, so I guess I'd better go. Hope you're having a good night. I'll see you soon.

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