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The only reason this film gets as high as four is for all the talent
involved. If Frank and Dean had sung in this film it might have rated
higher. But the plain fact is that Marriage on the Rocks just ain't
Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin are best friends and partners in an advertising agency. Sinatra is married to Deborah Kerr with two kids and a mother-in-law in the house. Dino is a carefree bachelor and all around swinger and boozer. Basically these two really play themselves so there's no great stretch of any thespian talent.
Through an odd combination of circumstances, Sinatra and Kerr whose marriage is going through a rough patch go to Mexico on a second honeymoon and through the machinations of divorce attorney Cesar Romero they get an instant Mexican divorce. Then when Sinatra can't make it back to Mexico, he sends Dino back to pick up Kerr and offer an explanation and Martin winds up married to Kerr.
Now their roles are reversed and Martin is now a stepfather to Nancy Sinatra and Michael Petit and Sinatra's having a whale of a good time leading a swinging, ring-a-ding life. Of course all gets righted in the end.
We've seen it all before from Frank and Dean. This would be their last joint film appearance for 17 years until Cannonball Run II. Mainly because of the critical roasting this film got. Both of them just walk through the parts here. Dean Martin was just starting his highly successful television series which would be his main venue for the next decade and Frank was doing some very nice television specials around that time.
It would have been nice if both of them had sang some more on the big screen, but no more movie singing for them, except for Dino in the first Matt Helm film.
In any event the Rat Pack was breaking up as the two of them plus Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Joey Bishop all started doing their own thing more and more.
Deborah Kerr looks like she's wondering how she got there with the boys, she certainly doesn't have the right spirit to be a Rat Pack broad like Shirley MacLaine or Angie Dickinson or Barbara Rush.
In fact Marriage on the Rocks is one colossal waste of an incredible assembly of talented players.
This movie stars Deborah Kerr, one of the greatest actresses in
history. She was nominated for Academy Awards six times and should have
been nominated a few more times. I just saw her in "Night of the
Iguana," and I thought that was another performance she should have
gotten an academy award nomination for. I have never seen her give a
bad performance. She gives a charming and funny performance here,
keeping the movie together. Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin are spotty,
good in some scenes, not-so-good in others.Sinatra is mostly
sleepwalking, with Martin occasionally giving some funny lines, but
Sinatra doing one-take -- let me out of here,is it 5 o'clock yet --
This could have been a good movie. There are a couple of ways they could have gone with it. First, they could have turned it into a real musical. They already had two of the greatest singers of the time and Deborah Kerr who had starred in "The King and I". How hard would it have been to hire a couple of songwriters to knock out eight songs and get a choreographer to stage a few numbers. This would have added some energy to the slow,plot.
Okay, if they didn't want to turn is into a musical, they could have made it into a more realistic comedy. In the movie, Deborah is tired of her marriage to dull Frank and wants to marry swinging Dean. Fine, lets do it. Only in the movie, Deborah gets a fake divorce from Frank and a fake marriage to Dean. This is silly, not funny. In order for the movie to work, the divorce and marriage had to be real. This would, no doubt, have made Frank really sad, and not just pretend sad, as in the film, but that would have made us care about him. Because it is not a real divorce, and Frank and Deborah's marriage isn't really threatened, nor is Frank and Dean's friendship, there is no intensity to the film.
Divorce is a painful process. The filmmakers, and, I suspect, Frank Sinatra, didn't want any of that pain in the film. They just wanted a breezy comedy. Unfortunately, fake pain from a fake divorce does not equal comedy. Slipping on a banana peel is funny, faking slipping on a banana peel is not.
Most of the film is hit and miss. Joi Lansing as Dean's curvy secretary was funny. Having 21 year old Davey Davison as a Go-Go dancer lusting after 49 year old Frank was not.
You know the direction is not very good when you have Nancy Sinatra playing a scene as Frank Sinatra's daughter and you're convinced by the end of the scene that they have never met each before.
I remember watching this movie when I was young.I have watched for it to come on again but I haven't found it yet.I thought it was very funny.It also shows people to appreciate what they have in life,not envy the other person's life. It seemed to me that the cast had fun doing this movie. There are so few movies to watch now that don't have too much graphic sex and violence that I wish more people would watch these older movies. They were extremely funny and could be viewed by the whole family. Laughter is truly the best medicine. It makes you feel good, happy, and decreases stress. I recommend it.Hey out there! Give it a chance with an open mind! You'll enjoy it!
It's a marriage merry-go-round when Deborah Kerr rather inadvertently divorces workaholic hubby Frank Sinatra while on vacation in Mexico; when he fails to make things right, she (once again) inadvertently winds up hitched to boozy best friend Dean Martin. Made during the time when films had become second priority to F.S. (Ol' Blue Eyes had earned his Oscar and, with some exceptions, it quickly became a downward spiral for him and the movies). This picture is quite plush and well-produced, but it's just a throwaway--a shame since the premise did have some interesting possibilities. Best part of the flick is Nancy Sinatra (barely out of her teens) and Tony Bill as the youngsters in love. The rest is a snooze. Happy Hour for the Rat Pack was finally over...closin' time guys! ** from ****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's hard to pinpoint just exactly what's wrong with this film. I think it's a combination of script problems and poor performance, mostly on the part of Frank Sinatra. Sinatra gave great performances in many other films but, as other reviewers pointed out, he seems to be sleep walking through this film, as if he's eager to get a take so he can leave. Nancy Sinatra is young and fresh and gives a sweet performance. Deborah Kerr does her best with what she's been given. Unfortunately, that isn't much. Dean Martin is the highlight of this film. As always, he's fun and charming, and his presence breathes into this film what little life it has. Needless to say, it suffers heavily when he's not on screen and the focus shifts to Sinatra. The plot has many problems. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense but, after all, it's just a film. I could have gone along with the plot, but the main problem is that this film's just plain boring. The basic plot goes something like this: Sinatra and Kerr have been married for 19 years. He ignores her. She complains. At Martin's urging, they go on a second honeymoon in Mexico. Once there, they get in a huge fight, and wind up with a quickie divorce. By the end of the night, both have second thoughts and decide to remarry. However, first Sinatra is called away on business and the wedding must wait until he returns. Martin is Sinatra's best friend and business partner. He leads the free-wheeling life of a swingin' bachelor, dating a bevy of girls but, mainly, his private secretary, Lola. When Sinatra's business detains him longer than expected, he decides not to fly back to Mexico to marry Kerr, who is waiting for him. Instead, he sends Martin (who professes to be an old hand at telling women he's not going to marry them) to break the news to her. In a case of mistaken identity, and before either knows what has happened, Kerr and Martin end up married (the ceremony was in Spanish). He quickly signs annulment/divorce papers, but she refuses to sign, thinking she can use Martin to make Sinatra jealous, and then he'll pay attention to her (Martin & Kerr used to date several years ago). Sinatra finds out her plans and calls her bluff, taking over Martin's pad and dating "Martin's" girls. Kerr acts as if she's mad for Martin and refuses to divorce him. Poor Martin only wants his house, life, and girl friend (whom Sinatra refuses to let him see) back. Sinatra & Kerr's poor children are stuck in between, and Martin is the only one who actually shows some responsibility towards them. Sound confusing and contrived? It is. The ending is incredibly rushed and haphazard. Sinatra & Kerr reunite, but we never get to witness their remarriage. We never get to see if Martin, who is the only one who did nothing wrong, gets his old life back. It's a very disappointing ending that leaves you flat - as this film, in general, does. If you're a fan of Martin's, you'll want to see this just because his performance is so fun, but be prepared to be bored when he's not on screen. For a better Sinatra-Martin pairing try "4 For Texas" or "Robin and the Seven Hoods".
In recent months, I've watched quite a few films by the so-called Rat
Pack. Some, such as "Oceans Eleven", were very good. However, quite a
few really look like the actors were just going through the motions
with substandard scripts--and "Marriage on the Rocks" is clearly one of
The film is supposed to be a kooky comedy about marriage and divorce. However, comedies, unless I'm mistaken, are supposed to be funny! This one lacks humor and more importantly any charm. The characters are all unlikable and very one-dimensional. Dean Martin plays an executive who NEVER works and chases women. Frank Sinatra plays an executive who ONLY works and is humorless and annoying. And, Deborah Kerr hates his wife who hates her marriage but NEVER tells her husband. As for the kids, they're all self-absorbed jerks.
As for the plot, it's bad but is made worse because you hate the characters. While in Mexico, Frank and Deborah ACCIDENTALLY GET DIVORCED and SHE ACCIDENTALLY MARRIES Dean!! This is pretty far-fetched and contrived. Overall, it's a tiresome film that might have worked had it been better written and had the stars (who had HUGE clout in Hollywood at the time) insisted they be given a competent plot. Tiresome.
"Fuddy-duddy" Frank Sinatra (as Dan Edwards) runs an advertising
agency, with "drinking man" Dean Martin (as Ernie Brewer) assisting.
Mr. Sinatra thinks housewife Deborah Kerr (as Valerie) is happily
married, but she wants a divorce "on the grounds of boredom." Sinatra
thinks, "I don't have to be romantic." Ms. Kerr wonders what life would
be like if she married Mr. Martin, who romances a succession of busty
secretaries. Through a series of misunderstandings, Kerr gets her wish
Sinatra, Kerr, and Martin do not live up to the marquee value of their names. At least, Kerr seems to be alert. Teenage daughter Nancy Sinatra (as Tracy) and Honda hopping son Michael Petit (as David) are much better than the big stars. Boyfriend Tony Bill (Jim Blake) and an able supporting cast help a little. Strangely enough, Sinatra and Martin sing no songs; instead, their "Reprise" label is represented by Trini Lopez doing "Sinner Man", a minor hit after the film's original release.
**** Marriage on the Rocks (9/16/65) Jack Donohue ~ Frank Sinatra, Deborah Kerr, Dean Martin, Nancy Sinatra
I love this movie; wish I could get a video tape of it. It's lite, funny, sad and has wonderful actors/actresses in it. It's a good movie to just sit back and veg out to!. Dean and Frank just ham it up and Deborah Kerr just fits right in and goes along with it. That's what makes it so good!
Watching "Marriage on the Rocks," it's hard to image that it was made
by a studio that turned out so many great movies in the 35 years prior
to this one. But then, Warner Brothers wasn't alone in making such dull
and boring fluff in the 1960s and beyond.
The only reason I give this film four stars is because of two performers Deborah Kerr and Cesar Romero. They give it their best with the material they have. Kerr plays Val Edwards. Why in the world such a talented actress would agree to make this movie is beyond me, but she does try to put some life into her character and make her somewhat interesting. Cesar Romero plays Miguel Santos. I don't know if the script called for the level of excitement and energy his character provides but I suspect he pushed it some in an effort to elevate the film.
Other reviews have noted that Frank Sinatra as Dan Edwards and Dean Martin as Ernie Brewer are pretty much playing their everyday roles in life. At least the roles that were for their public image. Martin was not a late night carouser with the pack, but went home to be with his family. Neither actor does anything to lift this film beyond boredom. Sinatra just isn't believable as an ad agency magnate. And, Martin's playboy role is way over the top so that any humor it might have otherwise is lost in tedium.
The screenplay is blasé for this film. There can't be even half a dozen clever or witty lines. The film just sinks without any real humor. We know that all the leads could act in dramatic roles, and the males could croon some lovely tunes. As one other reviewer noted, had they put some songs in here, the studio would have boosted the film and made it at least entertaining.
This film intends to be wacky, I think, but ends up being nothing more
than annoying. Where is the comedy in this comedy? Comedies should be
fun. This one saunters through some boring situations, with lackluster
performances, and expects laughs, apparently.
Frank Sinatra plays the role of the married man, firmly entrenched in responsibility, with a family that doesn't appreciate him. He goes through the motions, except when it comes to his job.
Dean Martin is best friend and bachelor--another cliché of the mid-sixties. He is constantly juggling the attentions of sexy women, providing a stark contrast to his "square" buddy, Frank.
Deborah Kerr's talents are wasted as Frank's wife--feeling unfulfilled and starved for attention.
The entire story revolves around a reversal that is as unfunny as it is improbable--Dean mistakenly marries Deborah. Oh, what will they do? How can they possibly extricate themselves from this situation that is filled with life lessons and comic banter?
I cannot recommend this film to anyone. It is mirthless.
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