6.4/10
1,832
33 user 25 critic

A Hole in the Head (1959)

Approved | | Comedy | 15 July 1959 (USA)
An impractical widower tries to hang onto his Miami hotel and his 12-year-old son.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (play)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Julius Manetta (as Jimmy Komack)
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Fred
George DeWitt ...
Mendy Yales
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Abe Diamond
Ruby Dandridge ...
Sally
B.S. Pully ...
Hood
Joyce Nizzari ...
Alice
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Storyline

Tony Manetta runs an unsuccessful Miami hotel, on which he can't meet the payments. Another liability is his weakness for dames (Shirl, his sexy current flame, is even less responsible than Tony). But a solid asset is Ally, his sensible 12-year-old son. When Tony wants stolid brother Mario to bail him out again, Mario makes conditions: give up Ally, or at least get married to a "nice, quiet little woman" of his selection. Tony and Ally just play along to be diplomatic, but when the woman in question proves to look like Eleanor Parker... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Frank Hug...A Frank Squeeze...And Zing Will Go the Strings of Your Heart! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

15 July 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eine Nummer zu groß  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "A Hole in the Head" by Arnold Schulman opened at the Plymouth Theater on February 28, 1957, ran for 156 performances and closed July 13, 1957. The cast included Paul Douglas, David Burns, Lee Grant, Kay Medford and Joyce Van Patten. See more »

Goofs

At night at the kennel club, the lights over the bleachers go dark before the dog race starts, yet the shots of Tony and Jerry talking are still brightly lit. See more »

Quotes

Fred: Life is just a bowl of cherries
Tony Manetta: Why
Fred: I don't know. I ain't a philosopher!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title and the names of Frank Capra and the leading actors appear as an aerial advertisement attached to the Goodyear blimp. See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Episode dated 2 August 1959 (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

All My Tomorrows
(1959)
Written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen (as James Van Heusen)
Sung by Frank Sinatra (uncredited) behind credits
See more »

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User Reviews

sophisticated black comedy from the Fifties
1 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The 1950s had a number of strong films, and this is one of them. It's not what most people would call a black comedy, but I do. I agree with the previous poster who called this an under-rated gem.

First of all, I like Sinatra better as an actor than as a singer; he's also really strong in the original version of the Manchurian Candidate and in The Man With the Golden Arm.

This film reminds me a bit of the much more recent "Full Monty," with a middle-aged father who acts like a young adolescent who is essentially being parented by a pre-teen son who has had to grow up too fast. That's what I mean by black comedy; it's a situation that is so sad (and, alas, so common) that you have to laugh to keep from crying. (Another comparison, but not quite as apt, is to "A Thousand Clowns.") Sinatra's character is matched by that of his girlfriend, who says, without a trace of irony to the idea of having a baby, "I'm a baby myself."

It wasn't until I came here just now that I realized this was directed by Frank Capra; I should have been able to guess it.

Everyone mentions "High Hopes," and rightly so, as a terrific (and award-winning) song. But you gotta love any movie that has a tune about how "The monkeys have no tails in Zamboanga."


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