Five office friends meet up for a night on the town to celebrate the forthcoming marriage of one of them. As the night wears on and the drink starts to tell, they become more confidential ... See full summary »
Five office friends meet up for a night on the town to celebrate the forthcoming marriage of one of them. As the night wears on and the drink starts to tell, they become more confidential in expressing their concerns and hopes. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Please don't think I'm exaggerating when I call this movie a "must see." Other reviews have called this film depressing. I agree, but for entirely different reasons. The depressing part comes in realizing that there seems to be no room for the sort of superb writing and spot-on flawless performances in a mature drama such as we have offered to us by THE BACHELOR PARTY.
The reason for the scarcity of wonderful films like this owes to the movie's origin as a TV-play, at a time when the young medium was still showing outstanding pieces written by writers like the author of this screenplay, Paddy Chayefsky.
I once read an interview with King Vidor, discussing his amazing 1928 classic, THE CROWD. He said that there were people that he didn't care for in his life, but that he didn't have any actual "villains." His goal was to make a movie that, like life, was free from external fiends and instead was peopled with characters that had some internal obstacles over which they must prevail. That's the sort of thing that Chayefsky so brilliantly captured in THE BACHELOR PARTY. Each character had some missing or broken part with which they struggled. Some seem to triumph over their problems. Some might eventually. Some, well, let's simply say they have a long road ahead.
It was great to see E.G. Marshall and Jack Warden together again after seeing them in another movie from the same year (1957) - 12 ANGRY MEN. It was wonderful to see Philip Abbot as the nervous groom. Folks of a certain age will mostly recall him from dozens of guest-star appearances on popular TV shows. I didn't realize that Larry Blyden, who I mostly remember from classic game shows like "Match Game," "What's My Line?" "Password" and "To Tell the Truth" was also such an accomplished actor. The lead, Don Murray, isn't as highly regarded today and what a pity that is. I can't recall a Don Murray performance that I didn't like. Check out BUS STOP (1956), A HAT FULL OF RAIN (1957), HOODLUM PRIEST (1961), BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL (1964) and THE BORGIA STICK (1967) to get an idea of what this remarkable performer is capable of doing. And finally, in small roles, it was fun to see a pre-"Addams Family" Carolyn Jones in a part that bagged her a Best Supporting Actress nomination and Nancy Marchand as a friend or the main character's wife. Many of you know her as the mother from hell to Tony Soprano.
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