San Francisco debutante, Jessica Poole, is marrying Napa Valley cattle rancher, Roger Henderson, and hopes her peripatetic father, "Pogo" Poole, whom she hasn't seen for years, comes to the... See full summary »
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San Francisco debutante, Jessica Poole, is marrying Napa Valley cattle rancher, Roger Henderson, and hopes her peripatetic father, "Pogo" Poole, whom she hasn't seen for years, comes to the wedding. He arrives, disrupting the household of his ex-wife, Katharine, and her long-suffering husband, and befriending their cook, Toy. At first it seems that Pogo is set on breaking up the engagement, making up for years of neglect by wining and dining Jessica, showing up Roger as a hick, and enticing her to come to Europe with him. Then it seems his real goal is to win back Katharine's heart: why else would he have two tickets to Paris booked on a plane leaving right after the reception? Written by
Charles Ruggles was nominated for the 1959 Tony Award (New York City) for Supporting or Features Actor in a Drama for "The Pleasure of Your Company" and recreated his role in the movie version. See more »
When asked by James, Mr. Sanford tells him that Popo's plane leaves at 6:30. However, when everyone arrives at the airport to see Pogo off, the sign at the departure gate clearly shows the departure time as 4:30. See more »
I have probably seen this movie 40 or 50 times since video has been in existence, and I have yet to tire of watching Mr. Class, Fred Astaire, weave his way through this Cornelia Otis Skinner/Samuel Taylor gem of a light comedy that engages you from start to finish.
Everything about this production from the opening credits appearing over what could be the finest still photography of San Francisco ever put on the screen to the ensemble of endearing characters to the heart-warming musical themes, fashion PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY into a film that after forty years still spins an enduring tale of a long, lost playboy father turning up unexpectedly to attend his daughter's wedding.
Lili Palmer is a perfect fit as Astaire's spicy, estranged wife who may have never quite doused the flames for her ex; Debbie Reynolds is a natural as the naiive daughter pining for the real father she never had; Gary Merrill offers a rather patient detachment from most all of Astaire's antics as his current wife nearly loses her heart all over again to her ex-husband's charm. Charley Ruggles is the aloof, wise grandfather, who seems to be amused by Astaire's manipulations and really has little to do or say until uttering a few choice observations near the end. Tab Hunter turns in a surprisingly solid performance as Reynolds' rancher-fiancée--especially when considering that in 1961 Hunter was still pretty much stuck in his "teen idol" phase.
The fun of this movie, before it turns to sad lessons of regret, lies in catching the dialogue repartee and the meddling contrivances of Astaire. For some of the exchanges between Astaire and Palmer on second marriage and "dull, domestic life," get a solid side swipe by playboy Biddiford Poole, before he himself gets the final comeuppance. In all, the treatment of a long-lost dashing second husband appearing without warning for his daughter's wedding who throws a monkey wrench into the settled lives of well-to-do San Franciscans is, in many ways, wonderfully witty.
THE PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY simply does not age. It is one of those enduring pieces that weaves its own charming spell from Astaire's bon-vi-vant arrival at SFO to his grim realization before leaving again: "I've missed the boat in oh-so-many ways." THE PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY is a light-hearted comedy with a solid message about regret that hits home for many. But lest Astaire become too much an object of sympathy, he has the last laugh on Palmer and Merrill that caps the film with just the right touch at the end.
Trivia: Cyril Ritchard starrred in the original Broadway production, but Astaire, who had just about retired in '58 after the death of his wife, was cast as Biddiford Poole....Delores Hart was originally cast as Jessica, his daughter in the stage play. After making a number of films and earning about $50,000 a picture, Hart stunned Hollywood in 1964 and announced she was entering a convent. She became a nun and remains one to this day...Gary Merrill, who plays Palmer's second husband, also played the husband of Bette Davis in the film classic ALL ABOUT EVE...The exterior of the Dougherty home where some of the action is shot was, in fact, the Spreckle's Mansion, a San Francisco landmark....Tab Hunter was about at the end of his teen idol days when he made this film. He had recorded "First Love" which was a top 40 hit in the late '50's....
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