21 user 9 critic

The Bachelor Party (1957)

Approved | | Drama | 10 April 1957 (USA)
Five office friends meet up for a night on the town to celebrate the forthcoming marriage of one of them. As the night wears on and the drink starts to tell, they become more confidential ... See full summary »


Delbert Mann


Paddy Chayefsky (screenplay), Paddy Chayefsky (story "The Bachelor Party")
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Korean War veteran's morphine addiction wreaks havoc upon his family.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Don Murray, Eva Marie Saint, Anthony Franciosa
Madame X (1929)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A young lawyer unknowingly defends his mother who abandoned him when he was three.

Director: Lionel Barrymore
Stars: Lewis Stone, Ruth Chatterton, Raymond Hackett
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Although Vivian Revere is seemingly the most successful of a trio of reunited schoolmates, she throws it away by descending into a life of debauchery and drugs.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Joan Blondell, Warren William, Ann Dvorak
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

While waiting on a delayed flight, David Trask, who has left his unfaithful wife, meets three of his fellow passengers. When the aircraft crashes, he is one of few survivors, and sets out to resolve their unfinished business.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Bette Davis, Shelley Winters, Gary Merrill
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A scientist obsessed with the past transports himself back in time to 18th-century London, where he falls in love with a beautiful young woman.

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Tyrone Power, Ann Blyth, Michael Rennie
Abandon Ship (1957)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Ship's officer finds himself in command of a lifeboat full of survivors of a sunken luxury liner.

Director: Richard Sale
Stars: Tyrone Power, Mai Zetterling, Lloyd Nolan
Lawman (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A lawman from Bannock arrives in Sabbath to arrest all the cattlemen whose wild celebration the year before resulted in the accidental death of an old man.

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, Lee J. Cobb
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A reclusive, retired professor is faced with confronting modernity when a group of vulgar youths, led by an obnoxious marchesa, take up residence in his unused upper residence.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Helmut Berger, Silvana Mangano
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A widowed businessman becomes obsessed with one of his employees, the divorcée Betty Preisser.

Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Kim Novak, Glenda Farrell, Jan Norris
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fugitive Bill Saunders and lonely nurse Jane Wharton are crossed by fate when he hides out in her apartment.

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Burt Lancaster, Robert Newton
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two con artists take a shopgirl under their wing, but complications arise when she begins to fall for a mathematician, disrupting their marrying-for-money scheme.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Henry Fonda, Gene Tierney, Laird Cregar
Housewife (1934)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Nan Reynolds encourages her copywriter husband Bill to open his own agency. Nearly out of business, he finally gets a client. Former girlfriend Patricia Berkeley writes a very successful ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: George Brent, Bette Davis, Ann Dvorak


Complete credited cast:
Don Murray ... Charlie Samson
E.G. Marshall ... Walter
Jack Warden ... Eddie Watkins
Philip Abbott ... Arnold Craig
Larry Blyden ... Kenneth
Patricia Smith ... Helen Samson
Carolyn Jones ... The Existentialist
Nancy Marchand ... Mrs. Julie Samson


Five office friends meet up for a night on the town to celebrate the forthcoming marriage of one of them. As the night wears on and the drink starts to tell, they become more confidential in expressing their concerns and hopes. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They'll live it up tonight!




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 April 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Despedida de Solteiro See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


E.G. Marshall and Jack Warden appeared in 12 Angry Men (1957). See more »


In the subway scene, the moving image through the window behind the actors is not synchronized with the images seen through the windows further down the train. See more »


Eddie Watkins: I want that one over there. Not bad, huh? I think she's a communist. I think she wants me to join the party.
Charlie Samson: How you making out?
Eddie Watkins: Not so good. I may have to join the party...
Eddie Watkins: I better get back there. She's liable to recruit somebody else.
See more »


Featured in Playboy: The Story of X (1998) See more »


The Kentuckian Song
from The Kentuckian (1955)
Written by Irving Gordon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Worth Looking Into
6 December 2008 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Despite the reassuring conventional ending, this is one of the few 50's films to catch the decade's growing unease. It's a post-war period of fast rising prosperity and "settling down" into a comfortable life style denied to the Depression and war years. Migration to suburbs turns into a stampede as more and more folks can afford a piece of real estate. The movie's setting, however, is Manhattan, but the prevailing atmosphere of job, marriage and kids carries over.

The movie follows five office co-workers on-the-town, celebrating one of the buddies' engagement (Arnold's). Anxiously uncertain Arnold is about to settle into the prevailing life style, which seems like a cause to celebrate. But as the movie progresses, layers of convention begin to peel away exposing a core of self-doubt and degrees of unhappiness among the married men (Blyden, Marshall, and Murray), and one that soon turns into full-blown angst over ordinary middle-class norms. Each party-goer reacts in an individual way as he begins to face a hidden personal truth. As a result, the party turns from a celebration into what amounts to a trial by fire, at the same time we glimpse some of the underlying tensions of the time.

Those tensions revolve around two core issues—sexuality and freedom. Settling down means security and the consolations of family and friends. But it also means a loss of freedom to explore new life styles and relationships. Murray, in particular, feels the conflict as the roving party opens up tempting new worlds and a sense of adventure, especially with Carolyn Jones' exotic seductress. It's really Murray's character who is pivotal as the less spirited Blyden and Marshall retreat from the temptations that urban nightlife offers. On the other hand, Murray's married man is stimulated, making his outcome emblematic of the film's outcome.

The movie is really more effective in opening these issues than in dealing with them. Warden, the bachelor, whom the others envy for his single-man freedom, is later shown as leading an empty and compulsive life, not to be envied. Similarly, Jones' sexual cravings are shown to be empty and unrewarding. Thus the deck is ultimately stacked against an unmarried life style, thereby reinforcing the conventions of then and perhaps now. I don't know if that was writer Chayefski's choice or whether the conformism was mandated by nervous producers, but the slant remains, nevertheless .

Two well-executed scenes expose tensions on the woman's side. Murray's sweet, pregnant wife Smith is visited by her older sister-in-law Marchand. The talk quickly becomes a heart- to-heart, where Marchand reveals the angst of a settled marriage, in which her doctor husband has pursued a number of affairs, leaving her with the kids and a comfortable life- style she'll stay with, even though she conveys an air of frustration and emptiness. When Smith objects that her husband, Murray, is not like that, Marchand tells her to just wait until they too have been married eleven years. What's more, she advises Smith to get rid of the pregnancy so that Murray will have a chance to finish accounting school and "fulfill himself". The implication is that marriage and family can become a trap leaving both partners unhappy. Needless to say, Smith's young wife is left deeply apprehensive, but hopeful that she and her husband are different. These are two very well written and well-acted scenes.

Taking an historical step back from the film-- the tensions on display here break into the open during the free-love counter-cultural movement of the 1960's, when a new generation not chastened by the hardships of the 30's and 40's arrives on the scene. Stripped of political context, their rebellion can be viewed as a more self-indulgent reaction to the confines of the job-marriage-family norm that Bachelor Party deals with and that their parents settled for. The issue of why the rebellion faded away in favor of a return to those more traditional norms remains an interesting question, but poses a context different from the one in the film.

The movie itself is well paced by director Mann, who manages to keep things moving despite all the dialogue. It's also a powerhouse cast with such familiar faces of the time as Warden, Marshall, Murray and Jones. Murray especially is an attractive player who managed to combine a sense of boyish enthusiasm with an adult-level of sincerity. As a young husband, he's perfect. Sure, the movie looks dated as fashions, styles, and technology change. But the underlying issues that the movie deals with remain as relevant now as then, as national divorce statistics, for one, testify. For a look at how similar themes were handled during the same period in a suburban rather than a city setting, check out No Down Payment (1957, Martin Ritt). Nonetheless, Bachelor Party remains a worthwhile look back in time for its perceptive exploration of conventions that in most ways are still with us.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 21 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed