31 user 9 critic

Two for the Seesaw (1962)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 24 November 1962 (USA)
Jerry Ryan is wandering aimlessly around New York, having given up his law career in Nebraska when his wife asked for a divorce. He meets up with Gittel Mosca, an impoverished dancer from ... See full summary »


Robert Wise


William Gibson (play), Isobel Lennart (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Robert Mitchum ... Jerry Ryan
Shirley MacLaine ... Gittel Mosca
Edmon Ryan ... Frank Taubman
Elisabeth Fraser ... Sophie
Eddie Firestone ... Oscar
Billy Gray Billy Gray ... Mr. Jacoby
Learn more

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Jerry Ryan is wandering aimlessly around New York, having given up his law career in Nebraska when his wife asked for a divorce. He meets up with Gittel Mosca, an impoverished dancer from Greenwich Village, and the two try to straighten out their lives together. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


a square from Nebraska? an off-beatnik from Greenwich Village? It just didn't figure... that they would... that they could... that they did!


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The producers paid $350,000 for the film rights to the Broadway play. According to an article in the 18 May 1962 edition of the New York Times, the Mirisch Co. bought the rights at the request of Elizabeth Taylor, who wanted to play the lead. But because of her long-term commitment to Cleopatra (1963), she was unavailable. See more »


At c.15 minutes, in the Chinese restaurant, Jerry and Gittel order two bowls of rice but the waiter only brings them one bowl with their meat dish and a dipping sauce. See more »


Gittel 'Mosca' Moscawitz: What have you been doing in New York?
Jerry Ryan: Mostly walking, by day and by night.
Gittel 'Mosca' Moscawitz: Monotonous but healthy.
See more »


Featured in Robert Mitchum, le mauvais garçon d'Hollywood (2017) See more »


Second Chance
Music by André Previn
Lyrics by Dory Previn
Sung by Jackie Cain (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

Surprisingly Great.
6 October 2005 | by FlickersRULESee all my reviews

I call this film surprisingly great not because I was shocked that Mitchum or MacLane delivered fine performances, it's surprisingly good because of everything else this film has... in addition to M&M's delicious performances. I had no idea what to expect before watching this, just the way I like it. Because then I get the 5-10 minute rule to takeover -- either I'm hooked or I'm not.

Well it started right away. This thing was shot in B&W anamorphic, and shot beautifully. The opening shots drew me in for their wide angles and good framing and nice dramatic lighting(ie what normal people call a good mood setter)... noirish in some respects. And then it sucked me right in.

Maybe because it started on the stage and the scenes were so long but the dialogue was so well crafted that you just had to pay attention.

Maybe the fantastic real life portrayals by M&M - not straying nor betraying.

But I found myself constantly wanting to talk some sense into Jerry and Gittel -- ah thats what cinema is -- the desire to find out how it ends. And what an ending it is... I'll leave it at that.

I give it a 10 because it maybe is among the very best of this category - the "realistic character dialogue romance featuring two very odd strangers (think Stewart and Novak in Vertigo)". Shot well, acted well... kept me glued to the end. I give it 10 and not 9 because well, without spoiling it -- they didn't go where they could have gone. And I think that most audiences won't understand that final point once they see it. Thats a shame. But those who understand will agree - brilliance all around.

10 from me. And thats saying a HELLUVA lot.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

24 November 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Two for the Seesaw See more »


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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