The Catered Affair
The Catered Affair also known as Wedding Party, is a family
Family film
A family film is a film genre that is designed to appeal to a variety of age groups and, thus, families.In December 2005, Steven Spielberg's 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial came first in a poll of the 100 Greatest Family Films. The genre today generates billions of dollars per annum.Family...

 drama film
Drama film
A drama film is a film genre that depends mostly on in-depth development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes. Dramatic themes such as alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity, moral dilemmas, racial prejudice, religious intolerance, poverty, class divisions, violence against women...

 made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of films and television programs. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer...

. It was directed by Richard Brooks
Richard Brooks
Richard Brooks was an American screenwriter, film director, novelist and occasional film producer.-Early life and career:...

 and produced by Sam Zimbalist
Sam Zimbalist
Sam Zimbalist was an American film producer.-Early life:He began his career at 16 as a film cutter at Metro Studios...

 from a screenplay
A screenplay or script is a written work that is made especially for a film or television program. Screenplays can be original works or adaptations from existing pieces of writing. In them, the movement, actions, expression, and dialogues of the characters are also narrated...

 by Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal is an American author, playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and political activist. His third novel, The City and the Pillar , outraged mainstream critics as one of the first major American novels to feature unambiguous homosexuality...

, based on a television play by Paddy Chayefsky
Paddy Chayefsky
Sidney Aaron "Paddy" Chayefsky , was an American playwright, screenwriter, and novelist. He is the only person to have won three solo Academy Awards for Best Screenplay....

. The film score was by André Previn
André Previn
André George Previn, KBE is an American pianist, conductor, and composer. He is considered one of the most versatile musicians in the world, and is the winner of four Academy Awards for his film work and ten Grammy Awards for his recordings. -Early Life:Previn was born in...

 and the cinematography by John Alton
John Alton
John Alton A.S.C. , born Johann Altmann, in Sopron/Ödenburg, Kingdom of Hungary, Austria-Hungary, was an American cinematographer...


The film stars Bette Davis
Bette Davis
Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis was an American actress of film, television and theater. Noted for her willingness to play unsympathetic characters, she was highly regarded for her performances in a range of film genres, from contemporary crime melodramas to historical and period films and occasional...

, Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine is an American actor of television and film. His career has spanned more than six decades. He was an unconventional lead in many films of the 1950s, including his Academy Award-winning turn in the 1955 film Marty...

, Debbie Reynolds
Debbie Reynolds
Debbie Reynolds is an American actress, singer, and dancer.She was initially signed at age 16 by Warner Bros., but her career got off to a slow start. When her contract was not renewed, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer gave her a small, but significant part in the film Three Little Words , then signed her to...

, Barry Fitzgerald
Barry Fitzgerald
Barry Fitzgerald was an Irish stage, film and television actor.-Life:He was born William Joseph Shields in Walworth Road, Portobello, Dublin, Ireland. He is the older brother of Irish actor Arthur Shields. He went to Skerry's College, Dublin, before going on to work in the civil service, while...

 and Rod Taylor. It was Taylor's first film for MGM after having been signed by the studio to a long-term contract.


Agnes Hurley (Davis) is a frowsy and disillusioned housewife, married to Bronx cabdriver, Tom Hurley (Borgnine). She wants something better for her daughter, Jane (Reynolds). When Jane announces her engagement to Ralph Halloran (Taylor), Aggie sees this as an opportunity to have an elaborate wedding, with caterers and all the trimmings, despite the fact that the family cannot afford it and the daughter does not want it. The film deals with the ensuing conflicts within the family, which also involve Uncle Jack Conlon (Fitzgerald) and most of the neighborhood. It is not until the end of the film that the vain mother realizes what a fool she has been in forcing her own fantasy onto her family.

Television play

The television play A Catered Affair, written by Paddy Chayefsky, was first shown on television as part of the Philco Television Playhouse. It was broadcast on May 22, 1955. The cast included Pat Henning, Thelma Ritter
Thelma Ritter
Thelma Ritter was an American supporting and character actress from the 1940s until her death in 1969.-Early life:...

, and J. Pat O'Malley
J. Pat O'Malley
James Patrick O'Malley was an English singer and character actor, who appeared in many American films and television programs during the 1940s–1970s, using the stage name J. Pat O'Malley...


Stage musical

The play has been adapted to a stage musical called A Catered Affair
A Catered Affair
A Catered Affair is a musical with a book by Harvey Fierstein and music and lyrics by John Bucchino. It is based on both the 1956 film The Catered Affair written by Gore Vidal and the original 1955 teleplay by Paddy Chayefsky, set in 1953 in the Bronx...

, with book by Harvey Fierstein
Harvey Fierstein
Harvey Forbes Fierstein is a U.S. actor and playwright, noted for the early distinction of winning Tony Awards for both writing and originating the lead role in his long-running play Torch Song Trilogy, about a gay drag-performer and his quest for true love and family, as well as writing the...

 and lyrics and music by John Bucchino. It premiered at the Old Globe Theatre
Old Globe Theatre
The Old Globe is a professional theatre company located in Balboa Park in San Diego, California. It produces about 15 plays and musicals annually in summer and winter seasons...

 and played on Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 at the Walter Kerr Theatre
Walter Kerr Theatre
The Walter Kerr Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre. Located at 219 West 48th Street, it is owned and operated by Jujamcyn Theaters. One of the smaller auditoriums in the theatre district, it seats 975....

. The cast included Faith Prince
Faith Prince
Faith Prince is an American actress and singer known primarily for her work on Broadway. Prince has won the Tony Award as Best Actress in a Musical and received three Tony nominations.-Life and career:...

, Tom Wopat
Tom Wopat
Tom Wopat is an American actor and singer. He first achieved fame as Luke Duke in the long-running 1979 television series The Dukes of Hazzard, along with John Schneider. He also played Jeff, one of Cybill Shepherd's ex-husbands in the TV series Cybill.-Life and career:Wopat was born in Lodi,...

, Leslie Kritzer
Leslie Kritzer
Leslie Kritzer is an award-winning Broadway actress. She is from Livingston, New Jersey.-Biography:Kritzer, a 1999 graduate of the University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music, has also appeared on Broadway in Hairspray and was the character Serena in Legally Blonde The Musical...

and Fierstein.

External links

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