Susan Slept Here (1954) Poster

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Somewhat silly but still fun.
DSchryer1 January 2004
The plot of this movie was a bit silly even when it came out in 1954. But because it features Debbie Reynolds at age 22 (playing a 17 year old) -- when she was very beautiful, vibrant, and also quite sexy -- it's one of my favorite films. Everyone seems to concede that the young Debbie Reynolds was talented and spunky, but because of her girl-next-door persona, few seem to recognize that she had more genuine beauty and sex appeal than many overtly "sultry" or "sexy" actresses of her era -- or, indeed, of any era. The rest of the cast is quite adequate but it's Debbie who makes this movie a lot of fun to watch.
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Exceptionally funny
zetes7 September 2002
After the lamentably unseen The First Time, the next Frank Tashlin movie showing at my local revival theater was Susan Slept Here. I was sure that SSH could not live up to the high standard set by the first film. But it did, and surpassed it. Personally, I think it's one of my five or ten favorite comedies. Dick Powell (whom I've always loved) stars as Mark Christopher, a Hollywood screenwriter who hasn't had any success after winning an Oscar (which, incidentally, serves as the narrator). He once had an idea to write a serious picture (as opposed to the frivolous comedies that he has specialized in) about a juvenile delinquent, which he mentioned to a policeman friend of his. Well, on Christmas Eve, that policeman, along with his partner, shows up at Mark's door with a 17 year-old juvenile delinquent as a present. Her name is Susan (Debbie Reynolds, whom I also love, almost desperately!), and the policeman proposes that Mark hang around her for a couple of days, you know, for research. He's in a hurry to take his girlfriend (the gorgeous but ferocious Anne Francis, who would star in Forbidden Planet a couple of years later) out on a date, but that comes to an abrupt halt when Susan answers Mark's phone. You know the schtick: Mark starts out annoyed at Susan, but they grow attached. The age difference is brought up frequently enough so it doesn't get too creepy. Mark is 35 ([laugh] - maybe when Powell was dancing with Busby Berkeley) and Susan is 17 (Reynolds was 22 at the time, but she is probably the only actress who could get away with playing a teenager until she was in her 40s). For a very long time Mark doesn't respond to Susan's crush. The only major flaw in the film - and even it's acceptable - is Mark's motivation in marrying Susan. He does it, he says, to save her from six months jail time (she has been arrested for assault on a sailor and vagrancy). It's not very believable, but it's also not that big a deal.

The two leads are exceptional. This was Powell's last movie. After it, he retired to television, although I only call it retirement as a movie snob; he was enormously, enormously successful in the new medium. He's more or less the straight man here. He has a particularly great scene where he watches a 20 year-old movie for which he wrote the dialogue on television. As the actors speak their horrendous dialogue, we watch Powell as he mouths their words, both a man's and a woman's (it's a break-up scene), with an embarrassed look in his eyes. If Powell is good, Reynolds is masterful. She's such an odd actress, not conventional in any way. She had her own niche in Hollywood. Her acting is doll-like with its jerky movements and huge facial expressions. That isn't a criticism whatsoever. I have never seen her in a straight drama (the closest is How the West Was Won); I'd imagine she acts differently, or she never made one. In comedies like this and Singin' in the Rain, she's absolutely perfect. There is not a moment when she's on screen during which I was not laughing myself to tears. The film also has one of the greatest supporting casts ever. Anne Francis I've already mentioned. I very much appreciate the fact that the writers didn't make her character abominable; Susan Slept Here, although it's not a musical, is very much a direct descendent of An American in Paris and Singin' in the Rain. One criticism I have of Singin' is that Jean Hagan's villain is too cartoonish (or at least I would have that criticism if Hagan weren't so damn funny in that movie). Francis in SSH is played sympathetically for the most part. Glenda Farrell plays Mark's secretary, Maude, an alcoholic who answers the telephone on Christmas morning: "You talk, I can't." Alvy Moore is Mark's friend and assistant, Virgil, who can crack wise with the best of them. Horace McMahon and Herb Vigran play the two cops, and Les Tremayne plays Mark's lawyer, who is obsessive about his therapy sessions. Red Skeleton has a wordless but amusing cameo as Maude's teenage sweetheart. 10/10.
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This is a cozy movie to watch anytime.
ewfalupaguss31 July 2001
I love the apartment in this movie. It is so fifties, in a very good way. The song is good too. This is a cozy movie to watch anytime. Debbie Reynolds is cute and funny, the dialogue is witty, and even the kind of creepy age gap thing has its charm! I've seen this a few times on turner classics, but missed taping it. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys stylish witty comedies with a twist of the surreal.
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Glamorizing a Touchy Premise
dougdoepke31 December 2008
I confess to a soft spot for this candy-box confection. Ordinarily 10 minutes of Debbie- Reynolds-spunk is enough to last me for 2 hours. But I've got to admit she brings genuine verve and sparkle to the role. Never mind that Dick Powell is closer to 50 than the movie- claimed 35, and at least twice as old as the juvenile Reynolds. Fortunately their clinches are kept to a minimum, even as the under-age innuendo is exploited to the hilt for titillated 1950's audiences. If the plot skirts the bounds of good taste, director Tashlin keeps things from straying with a speeded-up pace that allows little pause for contemplation. I would love to have been in on the meetings where studio exec's kicked this premise around for the censors.

Anyway, Powell is appropriately dour as the sober-sided screenwriter, while Glenda Farrell gets the kind of caustic role that would later suit Thelma Ritter to the proverbial T. And, of course, there's Alvy Moore looking like a college freshman and getting all the clever wisecracks, even if in real life he was a veteran of the bloody WWII battle for Iwo Jima! Too bad Anne Francis doesn't get more screen time as "the other woman". But then she does show why she deserved that drop-dead sexy outfit she wore in Forbidden Planet (1956). Cult director Tashlin manages a few of trademark effects from his cartoonist past--- note Reynolds cooling off her libido with a swinging freezer door, and, of course, the fantasy sequences that fit in perfectly.

All in all, I think RKO got away with one-- had the movie been handled less deftly, someone might have landed in 1954's county clink.
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Washington Slept Here, too.
copper196314 January 2009
Well, not really. But, nevertheless, there seems to be quite a traffic jam snaking its way through Dick Powell's life and apartment. Does anyone knock? Or call ahead? In Mr. Powell's last appearance on the silver screen (he would soon slide over to the small screen), the former juvenile crooner turned hard-edged gumshoe actor, finds himself entangled in one of the most bizarre babysitting assignments ever. Debbie Reynolds plays the swooning teenager placed in the charge of bachelor Powell. He's a screenwriter and she's a piece of work. Incorrigible, really. Also on hand is the Amazon-like, Anne Francis--all 5'8" of her. She's his fiancé and is striking to look at: her famous facial mole comfortably in place, face impeccably made up and her blue eyes popping like fireflies kissing an electric bug zapper. She's definitely a sight for sore eyes. The plot, as it is, revolves around Debbie trying her best to break up the upcoming marriage between Dick and Miss Francis, and steal Powell for herself. Nothing new. But expertly rendered off. Oh, did I mention that the proceedings occur between Christmas and New Year's Eve, the twelve days of Cristmas falling firmly into play. Director Frank Tashlin has the seasonal colors lords-a-leaping off the screen. I love the fake white Christmas tree adorned with blood red balls. All of the apartment's holiday decorations signal a sobering degree of suburban chic. There's a wild dream sequence involving Debbie trapped in a bird cage and Anne spinning a spider's web. Have I mentioned how lovely Anne Francis was? She's a knockout. In the end, the movie is pure farce and slightly perverted. Otherwise, this film might be the perfect package to open up on a Christmas morning. The RKO logo is in color and the film is narrated, strangely, by an Oscar statuette. So enjoy. Pass the eggnog and light the yule log, please.
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Delightful Movie to Watch Christmas Eve--Even if dated today
paluska2 January 2000
Yet another Frank Tashlin (a former cartoonist) farce, set in LA on Christmas Eve with juvenile delinquent Debbie Reynolds (as perky and as cute as ever) consigned to old Oscar-winner Dick Powell--with the late Alvy Moore as his kookie sidekick, Virgil. Dated now with early 1950s song and look (dig that crazy sports car Powell drives), "real nervous" dialogue, etc. but something still comfy and fun about it--especially to watch on Christmas Eve. Look for great cameo at end by Red Skelton. Oh yes, and *I* like dill pickles and peanut butter!!
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Somewhat curious love story plot for the 1950s...and Powell's last acting part
theowinthrop25 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
It must have been in the air at the time, though why in the Eisenhower Years?

In the 1950s several films (two by Billy Wilder) had successful marriages between young women and middle aged men. Wilder's two films were SABRINA (where Audrey Hepburn falls for Humphrey Bogart) and LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON (where Hepburn fell for Gary Cooper). Hepburn also was paired in FUNNY FACE with Fred Astaire. Astaire was also in the movie DADDY LONG LEGS with Leslie Caron as his ward turned lover. Caron would also be in GIGI where her little girl is paired off with a slightly older Louis Jourdan.

And there was SUSAN SLEPT HERE, Frank Tashlin's second feature film comedy, starring Dick Powell and Debbie Reynolds. The difference in ages is mentioned - Debbie Reynolds is supposed to be 17 (she was 21 at the time), but Powell is supposed to be roughly 20 years older. He is supposed to have been an early Oscar winner (for screenplay) and to have served in the navy with his friend Virgil (Alvy Moore), who was his superior officer. It is possible if Powell was 55 to concede this, but he is supposed to be about 43 or so. He just looks too old. But despite this the film does work. It has good lines in it (particularly some zingers used by Glenda Farrell at her favorite target Anne Francis, and by Les Tremayne as Powell's overwrought and overworked attorney).

Powell is a successful if jaded screenwriter who is dating Anne Francis, a snobbish Senator's daughter. On Christmas Eve he is visited by two members of the L.A. Vice Squad (Herb Vigran and Horace MacNally) who have a "gift" to drop off. Vigran had been an adviser on a film script that Powell worked on, and the latter made the mistake of mumbling an idea about having a day or so talk with a genuine juvenile delinquent about his lifestyle). Of course the problem is he meant a male juvenile delinquent.

Vigran (in what is really the only weakness of the story) has arrested Debbie Reynolds in a brawl with some military police, but has not reported it yet. He thinks she'd be perfect to give to Powell for his research over Christmas Day (Vigran eventually pays for this stupidity and it's outcome by getting demoted - he's lucky, in real life he might get arrested and charged with pimping). The plan is for Debbie to be "rearrested" on December 26th, and thus to act as though nothing wrong was done.

Powell is not pleased with this - he can't depend on his secretary Farrell, nor on Moore (who quickly takes a powder). He tries to work around the "Susan" problem, but no matter what he tries it blows up in his face. Worse, Reynolds answers the phone by habit, and Francis discovers that her boy friend has an underage girl in his house.

Slowly, however, Powell and Reynolds settle down and learn about each other's life. It turns out Reynolds mother is out of the U.S. with her second husband (a man Reynolds thinks was a better choice than the first husband, who was her own father). The mother is one of these modern types, and has left a note of consent for whomever Reynolds meets whom she may wish to marry. Powell finds that she is a feisty and independent young woman, and he finds himself falling for her. But when Moore learns that they shared Powell's apartment for the night, he drags Powell's lawyer Tremayne into it. Tremayne starts planning damage control to prevent a scandal or worse* But the detectives return to pick up Reynolds (Vigran's Sergeant is not very understanding about what they did - really hard to understand that reaction!!).

(*Having sexual relations with any underage child or girl is always treated quite harshly in the U.S., but California had a really heavy reputation in this area back in the 1920s - 1960s because of the Hollywood crowd. In the Marx Brothers' 1940 comedy GO WEST, Groucho's name of "S. Quentin Quayle" was based on the term "San Quentin quail" which was about under-aged, but attractive girls who got men into serious trouble when arrested. The trial of Errol Flynn for rape in 1944 was worse because the two victims were teenage girls. I may remind you also of the still odd situation involving director Roman Polanski today concerning a statutory rape charge from California.)

Powell flees with Reynolds to Las Vegas where they can get legally married despite her age. He reasons that they can remain married for a few months (while he is working in Sun Valley on a screenplay) and she can then get the marriage annulled, while he finds her a job. But Reynolds is determined to prove herself a good wife. And Powell is not all that sure if he wants her to cease being his wife - especially after Tremayne sees evidence that she may be pregnant.

The wit in the script is hard to describe - it ranges from comments like Farrell momentarily thinking Reynolds has arrived in Sun Valley, and welcoming her with a "Come to momma", but finding it is Francis (whom she loathes) and saying, "Oh, Dracula's daughter!", to Tremayne having a session with his psychiatrist interrupted by an angry Powell, and letting Powell take over his session as Tremayne can bill him for it later). The acting is good. Anyone who thinks of Moore only as "Hank Kimble" on GREEN ACRES should see his rather thoughtful Virgil, who gets an emotional slap-in-the-face from Reynolds that makes him rethink himself carefully. All in all it is far better than one would have thought - given the one blunder in the screenplay that I mentioned.
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The major and the minor
jotix10015 November 2005
What would a confirmed bachelor, of a certain age, do with the unexpected arrival of a lively 17 years old girl into his life? Reason would indicate to run away from the situation! But have no fear, in the theater, as well as in the movies, these two unmatched people get to grow fond of one another and eventually they get married. That seems to be the premise of "Susan Slept Here", a movie that proves irresistible because of the two leading stars.

Under the direction of Frank Tashlin, this movie, although reflecting a naivete not in synch with the present times, is good fun to watch. The film is done with an impeccable good taste and there is never anything tawdry, or out of place with what one is watching.

Dick Powell was at his best when he took the part of Mark Christopher a thirty-something man in the plot, but looking older than that. Debbie Reynolds, as Susan Landis, brought her winning personality and charm to this rebel girl that begins a total transformation as she discovers she is attracted to Mark.

The supporting cast is also up to task under Mr. Tashlin's guidance. Anne Francis is seen as Isabella, Mark's present love interest. Glenda Farrell, Horace McMahon, Herb Vigran and Alvy Moore, among others make this delightful film into a winner.

Mr. Tashlin includes a dance sequence that plays as a dream in which Mr. Powell, Ms. Francis and Ms. Reynolds are seen as the players. The film is festive and it will delight any viewer looking for an easy time at the movies.
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May-December romance in the jive era
didi-56 July 2003
One of the missed opportunities of the era was to have Debbie Reynolds and Dick Powell paired in this very funny and perceptive romantic comedy, but not to make it a musical. That would have given it just that bit of an edge to make it different to hundreds of other movies being churned out with similar plotlines.

However, what we have is Reynolds as a teenage delinquent foisted on the well-meaning Powell, a writer, at Christmas. He wants inspiration for his writing, she wants a sugar daddy. Guess how this one ends up?

One thing I did especially like were the dream sequences, involving cages and spiders and all kinds of things, in lurid pinks. Where was Tashlin's mind going here? Fun stuff throughout, however, with a sparkling performance from Reynolds.
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Couldn't be Made Today
Bob-4530 October 2000
Witty romantic comedy with a superior cast. Contains some of the sloppiness one would expect from RKO under Hughes. Powell's character has supposed to possess one of the first writing Oscars, yet he is only 35 (26 years after the first Academy Awards). Spotting Reynolds using Oscar as a nutcracker, Powell drops lit cigarette on carpeted floor. Reynolds offer Powell scrambled eggs; Powell and Reynolds are then seen eating eggs "over easy." However, even Hughes' RKO can't ruin wonderful performances from Powell, Reynolds, and a fine supporting cast. I rate this movie very highly because, underneath the frothy comedy is some very uneasy themes, which would garner such a movie an "R" rating today, assuming it could be made. Though by SUSAN, the 22 year old Reynolds was a real Hollywood veteran (she'd made SINGIN IN THE RAIN two years earlier), she plays a 17 year old (which she continued to do for at least the next three years; witness TAMMY AND THE BACHELOR) Powell's at ten years too old for the part, making the May-December romance issue REALLY stick out. This movie is a "coming of age" film for the characters portrayed by Powell, Reynolds and the character "Maude," Powell's man-hungry writing assistant (Always wondered if Rose Marie's character on DICK VAN DYKE was modeled on this character). Powell's Mark and Reynolds' Susan walk a slender tightrope which IS the "father-daughter / daughter-wife" romantic conflict. Mark is a lifelong bachelor, apparently unable to commit, unsure what he really wants. Susan is a young romantic, certain of what she wants, ready to commit. The movie has a good romantic score and a great ballad, "Hold My Hand." One shudders at what Hollywood would do with such a story these days. These days they usually kill one of the members of such a match, even when the female is in hear twenties. Make the girl 17 (such as here) and I doubt any studio would release it. MEMO TO HOLLYWOOD: Justice William O. Douglas and Charlie Chaplin both had "child brides." Sometimes, these things work. No one would believe Mark could keep his hands off Susan, since the "moral restrictions" so prevalent up to 1960 no longer exist. Food for thought...
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On paper it sounds creepy but on screen it works
calvinnme24 December 2011
This is the kind of odd thing that RKO would put together on its downhill slide in the 50's that sometimes would work and sometimes would not. This time it does seem to work although an ick factor seems to be hanging around just off camera that doesn't ever quite completely present itself. At least part of the enjoyment is seeing two veterans of the 30's Warner Brothers musical comedies together playing mature roles twenty years after the fact - Dick Powell as screenwriter-in-a-rut Mark Christopher and Glenda Farrell as his secretary Maude who likes to stay inebriated but is quite the philosopher and friend during her sober moments. She still has all of the bite and fun she had when she was Torchy Blaine.

The ick factor I talked about before is the marriage in name only of middle-aged Mark to 17 year old Susan Landis (Debbie Reynolds) who is left on Mark's doorstep by the police of all people, because one of the detectives thinks Susan would be good research for a serious script by Mark, and plus the detective doesn't want to put her in jail on Christmas Eve. The detective promises to return for her in two days. The marriage occurs because Susan will be booked on vagrancy without a visible means of support, so off they go to Vegas with Mark looking at this whole thing as a good deed to keep a basically good kid out of jail. However, Susan, the romantic, wants it to be something more. After the wedding Mark deposits Susan back in his Hollywood apartment while he goes off to an isolated spot - without Susan - to try and redeem the script he's been writing.

Susan and writer's block aren't Mark's only problems. He also has a rich girlfriend (Anne Francis) whom he seems to want to quit almost as much as the job at the studio he had writing fluff pieces but that paid well. It's hard to leave something behind that's comfortable and familiar for the unknown, even if it's slowly strangling you.

The funniest part of the movie is watching Susan, after she's legally married and living apart from Mark, trying to figured out how to win her man back. She tries everything from watching home movies of Mark's girlfriend and trying to imitate her moves and expressions to basting a turkey in an evening dress waiting for Mark to arrive for dinner, to memorizing how to make various mixed drinks. Then you have to wonder how much of this is love and how much of this is a teenage girl's natural curiosity about sex. Since Debbie Reynolds is just five years older than the part she's playing, she gives the role of Susan the realism of someone who is young enough to have recent memories of their teen years but is old enough to see the humor in them.

This thing works because it is the 50's, because it is Susan with all of the romantic and aggressive sexual impulses rather than Mark, and because of the excellent supporting players. The one thing that doesn't quite work here is Dick Powell as a 35 year old. He seems like he's playing a man quite a bit older and more beat down than one of 35 - Dick Powell was actually 50 at the time- and perhaps Mark is lying - to himself and to Susan - when he says that's how old he is.

This isn't a masterpiece, but it is a cute romantic comedy that works.
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A charming Holiday movie with Dick Powell suave, and Debbie Reynolds beguiling.
mamalv26 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is a favorite Holiday movie of mine, as a result I never miss playing it on Christmas Eve. It is sweet, and charming, even though there is a age gap between Powell and Reynolds. That is no stumbling block however to the story of the teen who is "given" to Powell for the Holiday, so she won't have to spend the day in jail. Powell who was about 50 at the time, still looks great and her falling in love with this man is truly believable. He is reluctant to let her go to the juvenile hall, and tells his lawyer he could marry her. She overhears the plot and tells him no. He runs after her and takes her to Vegas for a quickie marriage. He goes to the mountains so as not to consummate the marriage, and get an annulment later. He leaves her with his best friend and by error his lawyer thinks she is pregnant. But by who? He hasn't even been there. He is furious, and confronts the friend and asks her to sign the papers. It is only after she tells him that she loves pickles and strawberries for breakfast does he realize his mistake. It is a glorious romp with Powell so confused and Debbie so persistent that you will love the ride. Highly recommended piece of holiday candy.
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A scriptwriter meets a real challenge.
michaelRokeefe16 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
SUSAN SLEPT HERE is a cute comedy about a Hollywood scriptwriter Mark Christopher(Dick Powell), a former Oscar winner, having trouble scripting another smash. His hardworking typist Maude(Glenda Farrell)is about to her wits end as well. Christopher has had an idea of writing a script about juvenile delinquency and on Christmas Eve he is given custody of a spunky 18 year old troubled teen off the street...Susan Landis(Debby Reynolds). This is really not appreciated by Mark's gofer Virgil(Alvy Moore)and his fiancé Isabella(Anne Francis)is in a slow boil with the lid ready blow. The situation is all quit innocent until it seems Mark decides to marry the young girl to keep her out of jail. Now he really has material for a new script. Also in the cast: Horace McMahon, Herb Vigran, Les Tremayne and Maidie Norman.
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Is this a sleeper?
samhill521524 September 2011
This is a weird one. It's an older man/very young woman kind of story but it's not played that way until the very end. When they finally get around to it it's handled well but only too briefly. During the whole film you can't but notice the really obvious age difference. Dick Powell was 50 and Debbie Reynolds 22. He was old enough to be her father. He was old enough to be Anne Francis' father who was 26 at the time. The story is actually pretty good. The downside is that it's really just a comedy but occasionally it takes itself too seriously.

The cast was excellent. It was great to see Glenda Farrell in a more mature part. I love her brassy style. Dick Powell was pretty good too in, as someone else noted, his last film. Red Skelton was a surprise. He pops up for the blink of an eye and then disappears. Anne Francis was a knockout, as always. She dominated every scene and some of her lines had real zing. Thanks to TCM for running her out of circulation movies. The difference with Debbie Reynolds couldn't be more pronounced at all levels but I guess that was the point.

Then there's the dream sequence, one of the coolest fantasy segments I've seen in a long time. Francis appears as a spider woman, spinning her web around Powell while the child-woman, Reynolds, attempts to keep that from happening. Again, the difference between them couldn't be more pronounced. The tall, curvaceous Francis was like a cool drink on a hot summer day. Reynolds was no match. She couldn't hope to compete but gave it a good try anyway. Too spunky for my taste.

Bottom line, it's worth watching for the actors more than anything else. You shouldn't take the story too seriously and the lines sometimes get in the way when they're just plain silly. But hey, Anne Francis is in it, that alone is worth a look.
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Calliegrl0126 July 2001
I thought this movie was very cute. They belong together even though Mark was 18 years older than Susan. Anyone could see it. This is truly an underrated film. All though the theme of the movie is very adult, it has the power to pull a cord with younger viewers. Especially young girls who like to date "older men." A very, very, very, very, very good film.
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I also would like to purchase this film on DVD
Flutwelle9 April 2005
I saw this film for the first time on the Classic Film Network only by chance. I missed about 20 minutes of it. I have been searching for it ever since. Where can I find it for purchase? If not available,why? It was an amusing and imaginative film. Dick Powell and Debbie Reynolds were delightful to watch. I really enjoyed watching all of the cast, some of whom when on to do sitcoms in the 60's and 70's. If anyone can send me information on purchasing this film, I would greatly appreciate it. Is there a website link I could go to or film company I could contact? Please email me a response or respond to this thread. Much appreciated!
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What a bundle those cops gave Dick Powell for Christmas
bkoganbing18 November 2005
Susan Slept Here turned out to be Dick Powell's swan song as a performer on the big screen. Of course he directed some more films and appeared frequently on television until he died. It's a pity he didn't go out with his performance in The Bad and the Beautiful.

Frank Tashlin has done so many better films, I'm still not sure whatever possessed him to do this one. The premise is absolutely laughable.

Dick Powell is a screenwriter who's looking to do more serious stuff than the fluff he's been writing. He had an idea for a film on juvenile delinquency so two friendly cops in Herb Vigran and Horace McMahon deposit 17 year old Debbie Reynolds on his doorstep. She's not a really bad kid and they don't want to put her in the system. So they give her to Dick Powell at Christmas time.

I mean is there anyone out there who doesn't see a problem? The term jailbait comes immediately to mind. Additionally Powell has a girlfriend, the young and sexy Anne Francis. Why Debbie Reynolds is any competition here is beyond me.

Susan Slept Here got one Oscar nomination. The song Hold My Hand, sung by Don Cornell in the background, was nominated for best song, but lost to Secret Love.

Powell and Reynolds do have some funny moments together and Alvy Moore as Powell's factotum and Les Tremayne as his lawyer also get a few laughs.

But it's not enough.
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excellent, well cast
henry-3023 January 1999
This movie is typical of its era having a great cast and story line along with a hit song. The theme is more adult oriented. But it is certainly suitable for family viewing and considered to be in the romantic comedy category.
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Go back to sleep, Susan!
moonspinner5525 July 2004
A ridiculous comedy given an arms-flailing direction. I love one of the comments here: "Couldn't be made today". Well, neither could "The Philadelphia Story" without a car chase or two. Nonetheless, does that mean the picture is worse for the wear for being old-fashioned? I don't think "Susan Slept Here" was good for any generation and it should fester peacefully in the memories of Debbie Reynolds-buffs. There is no sparkle in this story of a screenwriter who latches onto a much-younger girl for 'script research'. Dick Powell makes his farewell screen appearance in what must have been an embarrassment to him. Reynolds is pallid. Produced by one Harriet Parsons--who gives her famous mother Louella a number of inane plugs. *1/2 from ****
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Debbie has my vote
billpappas-15 May 2015
Every time I catch Debbie Reynolds in a movie from the early to late 50s, I am amazed more and more each time at how good she is working alongside older, bigger and more experienced actors.

She was almost still a kid yet could hold her own with the best of them such as in Singin' in the Rain.

And, she kept it up throughout her career to this day even in Behind the Candelabra.

I met her once at my job, not in show business, and she lit up the room as much as she does on the big screen.

An extraordinary woman who didn't always have it easy in her very public personal life. Yet, she always entertained us with her talent and not her personal issues as many actors have resorted to doing.

Who can not smile at the mention of her name? Susan Slept Here isn't really one of my favorite movies but Miss Reynolds is one of my favorite actresses and people.

She is just naturally one of the best.
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Great Movie, Bad Timing
Calliegrl0127 July 2001
Last night I realized that this movie, all though well-casted and very good would been an American classic if Jack Lemmon and Sandra Dee were in the movie and if it was made in 1965. I thought the movie was very, very good, but I believe it would have been a huge success if made in the 60's because of the sexual revolution going on. It would have been a classic. This movie is a perfect example of a great movie, but made too early for its time.
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Debbie Likes Dick Powell
wes-connors3 September 2011
Claiming to be 35 years old (but looking more like 55), frothy "Oscar"-winning comedy writer Dick Powell (as Mark Christopher) is startled by a Christmas Eve present - it's nubile 17-year-old Debbie Reynolds (as Susan Landis). Nice to know this sort of thing can happen in Hollywood. As it turns out, vice police are responding to Mr. Powell's desire to write a dramatic story about teenage delinquency. Recently picked up with alcohol and a sailor, Ms. Reynolds is delivered to provide Powell with material for his story. Besides, the police don't want to arrest Reynolds on Christmas. Strange as it may sound, this Technicolor film unashamedly plays out as a leering countdown to sex between the older writer and his underage ward.

**** Susan Slept Here (7/14/54) Frank Tashlin ~ Dick Powell, Debbie Reynolds, Anne Francis, Alvy Moore
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Entertaining from beginning to end.
charbnoel-18 August 2006
Yes, I have seen this movie, which I adore for the story: light and fresh; the music: sentimental; the action: never a dull moment; the colors: out of this world and Debbie, never looses an once of her charms, femininity and such a pleasure to see her movies. Unfortunately the VHS I had of that entertaining film was "eaten" by another one due to a bad change of speed on my video.It could have happened to any of those classic movies I have, but not this one...Full of anger, i would have beaten myself...To-day i don't want to think too much about it, but trying to get that film as i looked everywhere but it does not seem to exist in any store on VHS or DVD. Any of you know a place where i can buy it? McFadden Flats and Andrea 88, made a wonderful try sending me copies but it did not work on my machine and i still don't understand why. Thank you again Andrea 88 and McFadden Flats for your trouble. Much obliged to IMDb for so much informations as well as services in the interesting movie world.
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1950s Era Romantic Comedy with a Hint of Christmas
LadyRowenaIvanhoe24 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This is a cute little movie for those interested in the films of the 1950s. There is a little bit of comedy, a little bit of Christmas cheer, and a little bit of gorgeous color. You also get a romance between an older man and younger girl that ends up as "happily ever after." There is something in it for just about anyone. The age difference between the principle characters is typical of films of the era which was one that was full of May-December romance movies and couplings. SABRINA, LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON, and many others come to mind. The age difference between the characters would be controversial today. However, you have to remember that watching an older film is viewing the societal mores of another era. It WAS another era and they followed different guidelines of acceptability.
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Remember you guys. She's underage.
SnoopyStyle3 December 2017
Mark Christopher (Dick Powell) is a successful Hollywood writer struggling with writer's block. War buddy Virgil is his assistant. Maude Snodgrass is his secretary. Isabella Alexander is his girlfriend. Vice cop Sam Hanlon brings over 17 year old juvenile delinquent Susan Beaurgard Landis (Debbie Reynolds) who he hopes would give Mark writing material. Mark allows her to stay instead of the reformatory over the Christmas holidays.

"Remember you guys. She's underage." That line alone makes this one of the most awkward comedy setups ever and it made me chuckle. Honestly, there are a few jokes that made me laugh. The premise is completely unrealistic. I wonder if it's as awkward for a contemporary audience. This is very light and romantic which keeps clashing with the underage part. I kept repeating to myself that it's another era until the romance takes one step too far. Old timey morals can't excuse that. It's undeniable that Debbie Reynolds is adorable and I want to accept this for her. I would give this a pass if they didn't go that extra step.
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