56 user 9 critic

The Catered Affair (1956)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 22 June 1956 (USA)
2:26 | Trailer
When Jane tells her parents that she is getting married to Ralph Halloran, her mother Agnes, starts planning an elaborate wedding, even though Jane does not wish it.


Richard Brooks


Gore Vidal (screenplay), Paddy Chayefsky (play)
2 wins. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Bette Davis ... Aggie Hurley
Ernest Borgnine ... Tom Hurley
Debbie Reynolds ... Jane Hurley
Barry Fitzgerald ... Uncle Jack Conlon
Rod Taylor ... Ralph Halloran
Robert F. Simon ... Mr. Joe Halloran (as Robert Simon)
Madge Kennedy ... Mrs. Joe Halloran
Dorothy Stickney ... Mrs. Rafferty
Carol Veazie ... Mrs. Casey
Joan Camden ... Alice Scanlon
Ray Stricklyn ... Eddie Hurley
Jay Adler ... Sam Leiter
Dan Tobin ... Hotel Caterer
Paul Denton Paul Denton ... Bill Scanlon
Augusta Merighi Augusta Merighi ... Mrs. Musso


At breakfast, Jane announces that she and Ralph are getting married the next week. All Jane and Ralph want is a small wedding with the immediate family and no reception, because Jane's parents are poor and Jane and Ralph can borrow a car for their honeymoon. But at dinner that night, all Ralph's parents talk about are the big weddings they gave their daughters, and everything escalates. Suddenly it's a big wedding breakfast with hundreds of guests. The problem is that for 12 years, Tom has been saving money to buy his own cab and license, but now that he can, all of that money is going towards a wedding that neither he nor Jane nor Ralph really want. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The story of a girl who wanted to lead her own life. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Craggy-faced Ernest Borgnine was 39 when this film came out, only 15 years older than his film daughter Debbie Reynolds, who was 24. His wife in the film, Bette Davis, was 48. See more »


The days and dates mentioned in the film only work if the year is 1951 or 1956. The license plates of the taxis all show a year of 1955. See more »


[first lines]
Bridge Attendant: Morning, Tom! How's the taxi business?
Tom Hurley: How's the bridge business?
Bridge Attendant: One more day like this, I'll own the bridge!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also shown in a computer colorized version. See more »


Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: 20 Fan Programmers (2014) See more »


Cailín Deas Crúite na mBó (A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow)
Traditional 18th-century Irish ballad
See more »

User Reviews

Bette Davis' personal favorite -- One of her very best!
5 October 2004 | by mdm-11See all my reviews

Bette Davis plays loyal wife to hard-working NYC cabby Ernest Borgnine. Borgnine is very close to realizing his dream to actually own his own taxi cab, complete with special licence, at last being his own boss.

All would be well, if not their young daughter Debbie Reynolds had announced her sudden plans to marry blue-blood Rod Taylor. Davis, unphased by the limited financial means, is determined to "give" their daughter a big wedding. The figures to foot the bill reach astronomical proportions, making everyone but Davis nervous.

The not entirely predictable outcome is one of the most satisfying Hollywood movie endings ever. -- This film was Bette Davis' personal favorite; she called her performance "my proudest effort". As a fan of all 4 stars, I agree that "A Catered Affair" is one of the very best films Bette Davis has ever starred in. "Cinema Candy" all the way through!

49 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 56 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

22 June 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Catered Affair See more »


Box Office


$1,008,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed