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The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 8 May 1956 (USA)
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An ex-soldier faces ethical questions as he tries to earn enough to support his wife and children well.

Director:

Nunnally Johnson

Writers:

Nunnally Johnson (screenplay), Sloan Wilson (novel)
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Peck ... Tom Rath
Jennifer Jones ... Betsy Rath
Fredric March ... Ralph Hopkins
Marisa Pavan ... Maria Montagne
Lee J. Cobb ... Judge Bernstein
Ann Harding ... Helen Hopkins
Keenan Wynn ... Sgt. Caesar Gardella
Gene Lockhart ... Bill Hawthorne
Gigi Perreau ... Susan Hopkins
Portland Mason Portland Mason ... Janey Rath
Arthur O'Connell ... Gordon Walker
Henry Daniell ... Bill Ogden
Connie Gilchrist ... Mrs. Manter
Joseph Sweeney Joseph Sweeney ... Edward M. Schultz
Sandy Descher ... Barbara Rath
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Storyline

Tom Rath lives in Connecticut and commutes to work every day in Manhattan. He's happily married and has a loving wife and three children. Money is a bit tight and when the opportunity arises, he applies for a public relations job with a major television network. During his long commute to work everyday, Tom reminisces about the war. Although 10 years have gone by, he is still haunted by the violence and the men he killed. He also thinks of Maria, an Italian girl with whom he had an affair while stationed in Rome. At his new job, the head of the network Ralph Hopkins takes an immediate liking to him. Tom soon realizes that he will have to choose between becoming a wholly dedicated company man or maintaining a healthy work-life balance. When he learns that Maria gave birth to his son after he left Italy, he decides to let his wife know and ensure that the boy is cared for. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Motion Picture That May Very Well Be THE VERY GREATEST! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | German

Release Date:

8 May 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Mann im grauen Flanell See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,670,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$10,875,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The train station scenes were filmed at the former New Haven Railroad Westport and Saugatuck station. In 2017 it is called simply Westport station and train service is provided by Metro North Railroad. See more »

Goofs

He was in Italy in June and July 1945 having the affair - only problem is that the war in Europe was over in May. Rome was liberated in June 1944. See more »

Quotes

Ralph Hopkins: Somebody's got to do it. Big successful businesses are not built by men like you. 9 to 5 and home and family. You live on them but you never built one. Big successful business are built by men like me. They give everything they got to it. Live it body and soul. Lift it up regardless of anybody or anything else. Without men like me there wouldn't be big and successful businesses. My mistake was in being one of those men.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood or Bust (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

(I'm a) Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech
(1908) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Billy Walthall
Music by Frank Roman and Mike Greenblatt
based on "Son of a Gambolier"
Music by Charles Ives (1895)
Played on the ukulele by Gregory Peck
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Suburbia circa 1950s
3 March 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

The novel by Sloan Wilson, in which this film is based, offered an innovative view of the life in a small "bedroom community" in the Connecticut of the 50s. Nunnally Johnson, the director, and adapter, tried to bring the essence of the book to a film that would make sense of the text. At times, Mr. Johnson succeeds, but the film he gave us is a bit dated when one looks at it today.

Granted, some things never change, but the conflicts that made the basis for this melodrama, have been dealt with, more effectively in other, more distinguished films.

If you haven't seen the film, perhaps you should stop here.

In the center of the story we are presented with the epitome of decency: Gregory Peck. This great man was an excellent actor, his honesty exudes from every pore of his body. As Tom Rath, the former Captain of WWII, he has kept a secret that comes to haunt him at a crucial point of his life. Tom is ambitious, but he will not play the game until the kind president of the corporation has a heart to heart talk with him, recognizing Tom is a rare commodity in the business world.

The film offers a view of the complexity that is the corporation, as we knew it then. Greed had not taken over business yet. But what comes across clearly is the ambition of the people in the game of climbing the ladder of success.

Tom is happily married to Betsy, who shows signs that maybe she'll become either an alcoholic, or a Stepford wife. Her life goes into a tail spin because of the reality she must face in accepting what Tom has kept hidden inside. Betsy is not an endearing character; she doesn't elicit our sympathy until the end of the film, in which she comes to accept her lot in life. Jennifer Jones' interpretation of Betsy is not as effective in this film, perhaps because of the direction given by Mr. Johnson.

The cast if first rate. Fredric March and Lee J. Cobb, two of the best all time actors of the American stage and screen give life to both of the characters they play. Seen in the pivotal role of Maria, Marisa Pavan, the gorgeous Italian actress makes an impression on us. Keenan Wynn, also, has a small, but important part in the film.

View this movie as a curiosity piece, as it has lost some of the appeal it might have caused when it first came out.


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