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


When you're in love, nothing else matters See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Rod Taylor was cast after giving an impressive screen test for the lead role in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956). See more »


At about the 30 minute mark, Ralph (Rod Taylor) and Jane (Debbie Reynolds) are sitting next to each other in front of the window. In the next moment, Uncle Jack (Barry Fitzgerald) then appears in the room, but now Ralph (Rod Taylor) is sitting at the opposite end of the table away from Jane (Debbie Reynolds), and Uncle Jack takes the seat where Ralph had been. 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 »


Referenced in Three's Company: The Catered Affair (1979) See more »


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

User Reviews

poignant and superbly acted
5 August 2004 | by robr29See all my reviews

I happened upon A Catered Affair on TCM recently by chance upon hearing the channels announcement it was written by Paddy Chayefsky; I was knocked out by Network, so I gave this one a chance. I recommend you do too. Wow! This film is real, gritty, poignant. It demands your intelligent attention, as every moment counts. I agree with Wayne Malin's overall review here, but would rate Debbie Reynolds performance more highly. I experienced her portrayal as a true rendering of a vulnerable, sensitive young woman coming of age. We empathize with the characters, who are given due weight throughout the story's development. We care and see the motivations of each person as they struggle to come to terms with complex issues that overwhelm them. Layers of competing interests collide with depth and resonance. Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine are magnificent, as are the supporting actors, most notably the grooms father and the brides best friend/maid of honor. As far as the ending, I found it a bit more believable than Mr Malin; the mom is faced with the realization that she's always had generations of family around her, who are all now leaving. She is about to live the rest of her life with the husband she has denegrated all their married life, the circumstances of which make us empathize with her meanness. Mom is faced with unwanted choices placed upon her. Instead of blaming others for her fate, a lifetime habit, she must choose either to leave the marriage, live in misery and loneliness which she now suspects has been somewhat self imposed, or admit some things about herself and open up a little, allowing for the possibility of some joy between them in their remaining years.

25 of 29 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