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The Reluctant Debutante (1958)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  9 March 1959 (Sweden)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 851 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 5 critic

A teenage American girl while visiting her father, is thrown into London society during the "Debutante Season".



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Cast overview:
Kay Kendall ...
David Parkson
Mabel Claremont
Peter Myers ...
Diane Clare ...
Clarissa Claremont


Jimmy and Sheila Broadbent (Rex Harrison and Kay Kendall), welcome to London Jimmy's 17-year-old daughter, Jane (Sandra Dee). Jane is from Jimmy's first marriage to an American and has come to visit her father and the step-mother she has never met. While visiting Sheila has the idea of making Jane a debutante, an idea Jane resists. Difficulties range from Jane's apathy to being placed on the marriage block, the determined efforts of Sheila's cousin, Mabel Claremont, (Angela Lansbury) to win wealthy David Fenner (Peter Myers) for her debutante daughter Clarissa (Diane Clare), and Jane's attraction to David Parkson (John Saxon), an American drummer who plays in the orchestra at the coming-out balls. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


MGM presents the Comedy-Romance in luscious COLOR! See more »


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 March 1959 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Mamá nos complica la vida  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At the first ball, the song Jane is dancing to is "The Boy Next Door." The song is from Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), also directed by Vincente Minnelli. See more »


Sheila Broadbent: What! David Fenner? Let me speak to him again. David, this is Sheila. About your mother, darling...
David Fenner: Well, I'm afraid she's dead, actually.
Sheila Broadbent: Yes, I know, darling, that's why I'm so sorry about asking you to give her my love.
David Fenner: I'm afraid I can't, because she's dead.
Sheila Broadbent: I know, darling, that's why I'm so sorry. It was such a silly mistake to make.
David Fenner: Well, she couldn't help it, actually.
See more »


Rock Around the Clock
Written by Max Freedman and James E. Myers
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User Reviews

A fabulous light hearted comedy suitable for all ages
12 January 2007 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This is one of my very favourite movies. It is a lighthearted spoof on English upper-crust society. The cast including Sandra Dee, Rex Harrison, Kay Kendall, Angela Lansbury and John Saxon is a very well chosen mix, with other extremely good performances from supporting actors. It's a brilliant Minelli film with wonderful colour, costuming and quick clever humour. It shows us London in the height of the social season in the splendour and snobbery of the debutante era, portrayed superbly throughout with deft one line quips at which Rex Harrison and Kay Kendall are masters. It is good lighthearted entertainment, most probably more a chick flick, but I would recommend it to all. Hopefully it will be re-released.

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