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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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The first thing that ought to be pointed out is that this film is based on a book by Corrine Griffith (the little girl Corrie in the film) about her childhood in turn of the century Texas. Her father was a hard-drinking railroad executive who tried to make up for long absences and other failings as a husband and father by occasionally giving rather outlandish gifts to his wife and daughters.
Jackie Gleason, who had an undistinguished screen career in a range of roles in the Forties and a great success in comedy on television beginning in the Fifties, appears here near the peak of his form as a dramatic actor. This side of his talent is almost forgotten today, but it included his role as Minnesota Fats (for which he won Best Supporting Actor) in The Hustler, as well as very creditable star turns in Gigot and Soldier In The Rain.
In Papa's Delicate Condition we have Gleason playing a complex role that ranges from the breezy banter and physical comedy familiar from his work on The Life of Riley, The Honeymooners and The American Scene Magazine, to great pathos. No stranger to the pitfalls of "demon rum" in his own life, Gleason is masterful in his portrayal of a man deeply in love with his wife and children and yet seemingly doomed by his dipsomania to disappoint them. Gleason, a very successful composer and band leader who couldn't read music, also sings the title song Call Me Irresponsible which furnishes a wonderful portrait of his character - "Say I'm unreliable, but it's undeniably true, I'm irresponsibly mad for you."
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