6.7/10
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Phffft (1954)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 10 November 1954 (USA)
While pursing new companions, a former married couple keep running into one another all over town.

Director:

Mark Robson

Writer:

George Axelrod (story & screen play)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: George Cukor
Stars: Judy Holliday, Aldo Ray, Madge Kennedy
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Judy Holliday ... Nina Tracey
Jack Lemmon ... Robert Tracey
Jack Carson ... Charlie Nelson
Kim Novak ... Janis
Luella Gear Luella Gear ... Edith Chapman
Donald Randolph Donald Randolph ... Dr. Van Kessel
Donald Curtis ... Rick Vidal
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Storyline

After eight years of marriage, Robert and Nina divorce. He takes up with his womanising Navy buddy Charlie Nelson while she looks to her interfering mother for guidance. Both start dating other people, but although they try and ignore each other whenever they accidentally meet, it is obvious the past is not dead. Then one night they find themselves in a nightclub doing the mambo together. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Don't Say It! See It! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

10 November 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Phffft! See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies. See more »

Goofs

As Jack Lemmon pulls away from the stop light in his sports car, the car shifts gears while both his hands are on the steering wheel. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Nelson: A mustache is a very important thing. That's part of the famous Charlie Nelson theory in the efficacy of face hair in dealing with the opposite sex.
Robert Tracey: [Slightly taken aback] What?
Charlie Nelson: Always remember this: dames become unpredictable when faced with a mustache. It both arouses, and angers them, because... being as it is a symbol of masculinity, they feel drawn toward it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Lady with the Torch (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

First-Rate Fluff
5 September 2011 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

I love that scene where the phony doctor and nurse keep upstaging each other while on TV. What a sparkling little comedy from two of the best comedic actors of the time —Holliday and Lemmon. Holliday is less pixilated than usual, but then she does play a TV writer. Lemmon also has fewer tics than usual, but that doesn't hamper the laughs at all. They play a married couple who divorce when he prefers reading second-rate Mickey Spillane to her. Of course, once divorced, they pine for each other following a series of comedic misadventures.

That manic dance number alone is worth the price of admission. I just hope they did it in one take, otherwise get out the respirator. Then too the "whooshing" bed proves a great bit of comedic inspiration. Note how its whooshing back and forth becomes innuendo in that flashback scene where they first meet. And what a cutely appropriate final whoosh to the movie as a whole.

A lot of credit should go to ace screenwriter Axelrod, who devises a series of amusing episodes where Nina (Holliday) and Robert (Lemmon) try to out-do one another in the I'm-so-over-you department. He grows a mustache and gets a sports car, while she does what any woman is expected to do—she gets a new wardrobe. Meanwhile, that expert performer Jack Carson lends first-rate actorly support but questionable best-friend advice; at the same time, Kim Novak gets into the swing with a vivacious party-girl performance.

All in all, the set-ups wear well despite the years. Sure, it's only well done fluff. Still, I'm just sorry there weren't more Holliday-Lemmon pairings, since their styles blend so perfectly as this movie so humorously demonstrates.


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