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If Jack Griffith's wife doesn't like the color of a neighbor's house, he'll arrange for it to be a house of a different color. If the owner of the ice cream parlor doesn't believe in selling triple banana splits for a penny, Jack will buy the establishment. And if Jack's little girl wants the pony in the circus parade, why not buy the entire circus! This last prank sends Amberlyn Griffith back to Texarkana c. 1900, where her father is running for his third term as mayor. Jack follows, bringing the entire circus. Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
The Hollywood Reporter announced on November 29, 1955, that Fred Astaire would star in "Papa's Delicate Condition," but on January 31, 1956, the same trade paper announced that Astaire would first star opposite Audrey Hepburn and Kay Thompson in "Funny Face." Once that film was completed in the summer of 1956, Astaire's interest in "Papa's Delicate Condition" had evaporated and the project languished until it was re-worked as a vehicle for Jackie Gleason. See more »
[Final lines of the film]
Papa, when I grow up, I'm going to marry a man just like you.
You do, and I won't let him in the house.
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I remember seeing Papa's Delicate Condition with cousins in a drive-in theater back when it was first released. I hadn't seen it since until recently and was pleasantly surprised at how well I remembered it and remembered it for being good.
The film is based on the memoirs of silent screen star Corinne Griffith of her childhood in Texarkana, Texas where her father is a railroad executive. Papa is Jackie Gleason and his delicate condition is a tendency to be overly generous and impulsive when drinking. Alcohol is supposed to loosen one's inhibitions and his Gleason's case, it loosens his wallet as well. All this is driving his wife Glynis Johns to the point of despair.
The film is a Music Man type look at turn of the last century America and it makes good use of period music, especially Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey. However one new song was written for Papa's Delicate Condition from Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn, Call Me Irresponsible. Gleason sings that one after Glynis has taken daughters Laurel Goodwin and Linda Bruhl away and gone to live with her father, Charlie Ruggles. The Great One is pretty much in his cups and to the accompaniment of a music box sings the sad refrain. The song gained for Papa's Delicate Condition it's one Oscar for Best Song. On record the standard version is by Frank Sinatra who enjoyed a big hit record with it in 1963.
I'm not sure what director George Marshall's reason was for casting one of the great imbibers of the last century as a dipsomaniac, but you won't find a trace of the braggadocious Ralph Kramden in Gleason's performance. It's an effective and gentler side of Jackie Gleason that was not seen often enough.
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