31 user 10 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


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?


Giving a drunken promotional interview for Ryan's Daughter (1970) to the young Roger Ebert in 1969, Robert Mitchum vented his low opinion of director Robert Wise: "Bobby even times a kiss with a stopwatch. He marks out the floor at seven o'clock in the morning, before anybody gets there. Lays it all out with a tape measure. True. It's very difficult to work that way. I worked with him and Shirley MacLaine and Shirley said, 'Why doesn't he go home? He's just in the way...' " See more »


Gittle pours milk into a pan so she can make warm milk - but she only leaves it on stove for about five seconds. See more »


Jerry Ryan: Well... so long, honey.
Gittel 'Mosca' Moscawitz: I love you, Jerry. As long as you live, remember the last thing you heard outta me was I love you.
Jerry Ryan: I love you too, infant.
See more »


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

User Reviews

The rusty mechanisms (and theatricality) of the plot is saved by the leads...
5 August 2001 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

The frustrating loop-de-loops of an uncertain love relationship between a Greenwich Village kook-dancer and a Midwestern suit-and-tie lawyer on the verge of divorcing his wife of 12 years. Though highly entertaining, this light-drama obviously derives from a play, as the lines of dialogue have not been reworked for the screen. It gets awfully pedantic at times; for instance, we know the characters' names, they know their names, so why do they keep saying to each other, "Jerry?", "Yes, Gittel?" "I'm sorry, Jerry." "I know, Gittel." The performances by Shirley MacLaine and Robert Mitchum are excellent (we like them even before their self-doubting, insecure characters take shape), but this stage-vehicle hasn't been turned into a star-vehicle. The leads banter back and forth in a curiously under-populated vacuum, however their increasingly tense conversations contain the startling ring of truth. Ted McCord's black-and-white cinematography provides a terrific compensation for the film's minor weaknesses; André Previn's "Apartment"-like score is rapturous as well. *** from ****

22 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 31 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »






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 »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed