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The Tender Trap (1955)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 4 November 1955 (USA)
Charlie Reader is a successful theater agent. He is also successful with young ladies. One day he is visited by his old friend Joe, married with three children. Joe falls in love with ... See full summary »



(screenplay) (as Julius Epstein), (play) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Joe McCall
Sylvia Crewes
Jessica Collins
Poppy Masters
Howard St. John ...
Mr. Sayers
Joey Faye ...
Sol Z. Steiner
Mr. Loughran
Marc Wilder ...
Jack Boyle ...
Audition Dancer


Charlie Reader is a successful theater agent. He is also successful with young ladies. One day he is visited by his old friend Joe, married with three children. Joe falls in love with Charlie's girl Sylvia while Charlie spends his time with young actress Julie. Written by Mattias Thuresson

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Release Date:

4 November 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Armadilha Amorosa  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)|



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?


The original Broadway production of "The Tender Trap" by Max Shulman and Robert Paul Smith opened at the Longacre Theater on October 13, 1954 and ran for 102 performances. The original cast included Robert Preston and Kim Hunter. See more »


As Charlie breaks into Sylvia's wedding, he removes his hat and holds on to it. Sylvia then throws her bouquet to him and it's gone. A moment later, the hat is shown on a side table near some flowers. A little later, the placement of the flowers have changed. See more »


Sylvia Crewes: The night is young and we're middle-aged. Anything could happen.
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: The Best of Molly Shannon (2001) See more »


(Love Is) The Tender Trap
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Music by Jimmy Van Heusen
Performed by Frank Sinatra (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

"You See A Pair of Laughing Eyes........"
4 May 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

When the eyes are Debbie Reynolds and the viewer is Frank Sinatra, you can expect a lot of fun and The Tender Trap delivers that fun.

Frank Sinatra stars in the movie version of a play which had a modest run on Broadway concerning an actor's agent who's got the life we only dream about. Since this was the kind of life Sinatra really had, it sure isn't an acting stretch for him. Still Sinatra plays this thing very well. Of course everyone has beauties like Celeste Holm, Lola Albright, Jarma Lewis, and Carolyn Jones around. They all got a piece of old Blue Eyes.

In steps new client Debbie Reynolds, the 1950s all time good girl and she's not tolerating Frank's wolfish ways. She's got marriage on the mind.

It's an interesting commentary on the times that back in the 1950s, the ultimate goal for a woman was the house with the white picket fence, husband, and three kids. Even for one as obviously talented as Debbie Reynolds.

Sinatra's also got a male guest in the house, childhood friend David Wayne who blew in from Indiana and has announced his intention of getting in on Sinatra's action. He's left his wife, home, and three kids and is having an early midlife crisis. I think you can figure the rest of the plot from here.

One thing the play on Broadway didn't have was that wonderful title tune that James Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn wrote. Sinatra opens the film with that song before the title credits and Reynolds later sings it in the film. I remember what a mega-hit it was for Frank back in the day. So perfectly suited for him and his style. All I can say is Ring-a-ding ding ding.

Frank and Debbie do well together, too bad they never made another film together. The following year she made one with her husband Eddie Fisher and the demand for the team was underwhelming.

Everyone, but especially Sinatra aficionados should love this one.

35 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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