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 ...
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At breakfast, Jane announces that she and Ralph are getting married the next week. All Jane and Ralph want is a small wedding with the immediate family and no reception. This is because ... 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>
What's strange about most of the reviews on this site is their acceptance of the social culture in The Bachelor Party as realistic. However, though its dialog contains some soul searching, and its characters have a certain earnest sincerity, the overall depiction of social conditions in this mid-'50's film is completely off.
As a woman who lived through this period, I would say it was not characterized by the kind of casual misogyny embraced by these buddies, but more by an emerging awareness on the part of women, that children and marriage were not just a blessing but a burden. Thus, I doubt that the writer, Paddy Chayefsky, was terribly satisfied by the final draft of The Bachelor Party. Indeed, Chayefsky wrote in the Afterword of that play - 'obviously the line of the story is six inches off from beginning to end, and the third act resolution is hardly an inevitable outcome of the proceeding two acts.'
More typical of themes of the mid-50's was Chayefsky's play, 'Marty,' in which Earnest Borgnine plays a butcher whose patient tenderness toward the shy schoolteacher he woos creates the foundation for their relationship. Also typical in the post WW2 mid-'50's was Chayefsky's film, 'The Americanization of Emily', in which James Garner plays a flagrant wartime coward forced to contend with conflicted Emily, who makes no apologies for her disgust at his cowardice.
In Marty, and The Americanization of Emily, men revealed their humanness, their fears, and need for love - qualities they were afraid women might forget as their own lives expanded. In The Bachelor Party, on the other hand, the theme is male existential boredom with marriage, and no reason is given other than the consensus between the bachelor and married men, that after children arrive socializing becomes more restricted, one ages, responsibilities increase, blah blah. The idea that arises out of this plot vacuum, a false one that flips the truth on its head and buries it, is that men, not women were wrestling with the issue of independence in the 50's.
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