6.9/10
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The Reluctant Debutante (1958)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 25 December 1958 (Brazil)
A teenage American girl while visiting her father, is thrown into London society during the "Debutante Season".

Director:

Vincente Minnelli

Writers:

William Douglas-Home (screen play) (as William Douglas Home), William Douglas-Home (play) (as William Douglas Home)
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rex Harrison ... Jimmy Broadbent
Kay Kendall ... Sheila Broadbent
John Saxon ... David Parkson
Sandra Dee ... Jane Broadbent
Angela Lansbury ... Mabel Claremont
Peter Myers Peter Myers ... David Fenner
Diane Clare ... Clarissa Claremont
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Storyline

Upon her banking executive father, Lord Broadbent ("Jimmy"), remarrying who is now the second Lady Broadbent ("Sheila"), seventeen year old Jane Broadbent, who has been living in the States with her American mother since the divorce, pays her father in London a visit so that she can meet Sheila. Jane's visit coincides with it being "the season" in London: when all the society debutantes hold their balls to "come out" as being ready to find a suitable mate and marry. Sheila, as her first act of being Jane's British stepmother, wants Jane to come out along with all her British peers. Sheila believes that someone like if not David Fenner himself, he a guard at Buckingham Palace, would be a suitable mate for Jane. In attending some of the earlier season balls, Jane not only finds David Fenner a drip, but she also does not want to step on the toes of her first true friend in London, Clarissa Claremont, who is in love with Fenner himself. Fenner, in turn, doesn't seem to know that Clarissa ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

MGM presents the Comedy-Romance in luscious COLOR! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1958 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Mamá nos complica la vida See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France

Company Credits

Production Co:

Avon Productions (II) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Perspecta Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was shot in Paris because Rex Harrison was having tax problems and could not go to the U.S. or the U.K. See more »

Quotes

Jimmy Broadbent: My permission? I'm a married man. My wife and I make joint decisions.
David Parkson: Then tell her about Brenda Bassington.
Jimmy Broadbent: She wouldn't believe it.
David Parkson: Do you?
Jimmy Broadbent: Yes.
David Parkson: Well, then.
Jimmy Broadbent: Well, that has nothing to do with it. Truth doesn't mean the same to a woman that it does to a man. To them, it's what they want to believe, regardless of the facts...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'My Fair Lady' (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Wonder Why
(uncredited)
Music by Nicholas Brodszky
See more »

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User Reviews

Kay Kendall is divine!
16 December 2004 | by rubyslipperSee all my reviews

As others have noted, the plot is pretty slight, but it's a charming film, thanks to the effortless performances of Rex Harrison, Kay Kendall, and Angela Lansbury. The adults run away with this movie, rather like Beatrice and Benedick own 'Much Ado About Nothing,' even though Hero and Claudio are really the plot. The mile-a-minute dialogue between the older generation outshines the tame goings-on between Sandra Dee (who is completely adorable) and John Saxon (ditto). The reviewer who called Peter Meyers a Mortimer Snerd look-alike was spot on; he's so hilariously boring!

But to return to the exquisite Kay Kendall--her comic timing is superb and so is her dress sense! She looks totally fabulous in this film. It's terribly sad to see it and realize that she had not long to live. Film comedy lost a jewel in her.

According to the closing credits of 'What Every Girl Wants', 'The Reluctant Debutante' inspired that lamentable movie. Don't watch that; watch this!


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