6.9/10
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25 user 7 critic

Good Neighbor Sam (1964)

To help his divorced neighbor claim a substantial inheritance, a family man poses as her husband. The ruse spills over into his career in advertising, and his recent promotion relies on his wholesome and moral appearance.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Director: Richard Quine
Stars: Janet Leigh, Jack Lemmon, Betty Garrett
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sam Bissell
...
...
Minerva Bissell
...
Howard Ebbets (as Michael Connors)
...
Mr. Burke
...
Reinhold Shiffner
Robert Q. Lewis ...
Earl
...
Girl
...
Irene
...
Jack Bailey
...
Edna
Peter Hobbs ...
Phil Reisner
...
Sonny Blatchford (as Tris Coffin)
...
Larry Boling
Riza Royce ...
Miss Halverson
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Storyline

Sam Bissel is a wholesome family man with a loving wife, Min, and two loving daughters. They lead a happy suburban life. The only part of Sam's life that he is not happy about is his job as a lowly cog in the art department of the advertising firm of Burke & Hare. Sam's professional life takes a major turn when he is made executive of the Nurdlinger Dairy account. Simon Nurdlinger is a wholesome family man who wants a wholesome family man with wholesome family ideals heading his account, Sam the only one in Burke & Hare that fits the bill. Sam's home life also takes a major turn when Min's college friend, Janet Lagerlof, moves in next door. Janet stands to inherit $15 million from her grandfather's estate, but the will has a clause that she must be happily married to inherit the money. Janet is technically divorced from Howard Ebbets, and states that getting back with Howard is not worth $15 million. But when Jack Bailey and Irene Krump - two of Janet's relatives who would like to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Slam! Bam! Here comes Sam!...Caught in the Middle of a Two-Woman Jam!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 July 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Leih mir deinen Mann  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Burke and Hare reference is also a self-referencial in-joke by Jack Finney who wrote GOOD NEIGHBOR SAM and INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. See more »

Goofs

When Min serves Sam macaroni and cheese, the serving spoon changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Sam Bissell: He took a shower?
Minerva Bissell: Well, of course. Didn't you take a shower at Janet's?
Sam Bissell: No, I didn't take a shower at Jan... What do you think I am? Some kind of a sex maniac?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Petticoat Junction: The Baffling Raffle (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Let Hertz Put You in the Driver's Seat
(uncredited)
Lyrics and Music by Richard Adler
Performed by The Hi-Los
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User Reviews

 
Frenetic, Overplotted Comedy
16 August 2003 | by (Savannah, GA) – See all my reviews

"Good Neighbor Sam" bombed big time when it was released in 1964. At the time I thought, "What a shame. This is Jack Lemmon's best comedic acting in years, and this is a pleasant movie."

Looking at it now, I understand why "Good Neighbor Sam" was a failure. For one thing, it's way overplotted (there's enough subplots for THREE sparkling comedies). It's played at the sitcom level and runs over two hours. The "domestic violence" subplot is disturbing, even for the times. However, it is still funny, beautifully cast (especially Lemmon, Dorothy Provine, Romy Schneider and Edward G. Robinson) and mostly gentle satire (the Hertz commercial retakes are a hoot). Best of all, the "billboard defacing," which happens near the end of the movie is the funniest sequence of all, meaning "Good Neighbor Sam" NEVER lets up.

Special note should be taken of Frank DeVol's music (the recurring theme is a classic). I recommend this one highly


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