6.9/10
2,312
27 user 14 critic

Good Neighbor Sam (1964)

Approved | | Comedy | 22 July 1964 (USA)
To help his divorced neighbor claim a substantial inheritance, a family man poses as her husband. The ruse spills over into his career in advertising, and his recent promotion relies on his wholesome and moral appearance.

Director:

David Swift

Writers:

James Fritzell (screenplay), Everett Greenbaum (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Lemmon ... Sam Bissell
Romy Schneider ... Janet Lagerlof
Dorothy Provine ... Minerva Bissell
Mike Connors ... Howard Ebbets (as Michael Connors)
Edward Andrews ... Mr. Burke
Louis Nye ... Reinhold Shiffner
Robert Q. Lewis ... Earl
Joyce Jameson ... Hotel Prostitute
Anne Seymour ... Irene
Charles Lane ... Jack Bailey
Linda Watkins ... Edna Bailey
Peter Hobbs ... Phil Reisner
Tristram Coffin ... Sonny Blatchford (as Tris Coffin)
Neil Hamilton ... Larry Boling
Riza Royce ... Miss Halverson
Edit

Storyline

Sam Bissel is a wholesome family man with a loving wife, Min, and two loving daughters. They lead a happy suburban life. The only part of Sam's life that he is not happy about is his job as a lowly cog in the art department of the advertising firm of Burke & Hare. Sam's professional life takes a major turn when he is made executive of the Nurdlinger Dairy account. Simon Nurdlinger is a wholesome family man who wants a wholesome family man with wholesome family ideals heading his account, Sam the only one in Burke & Hare that fits the bill. Sam's home life also takes a major turn when Min's college friend, Janet Lagerlof, moves in next door. Janet stands to inherit $15 million from her grandfather's estate, but the will has a clause that she must be happily married to inherit the money. Janet is technically divorced from Howard Ebbets, and states that getting back with Howard is not worth $15 million. But when Jack Bailey and Irene Krump - two of Janet's relatives who would like to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Slam! Bam! Here comes Sam!...Caught in the Middle of a Two-Woman Jam!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Burke and Hare reference is also a self-referencial in-joke by Jack Finney who wrote GOOD NEIGHBOR SAM and INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. See more »

Goofs

When Min serves Sam macaroni and cheese, the serving spoon changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Howard Ebbets: Say, he's sensitive, isn't he?
Minerva Bissell: Very! He's creative.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cheers: Bad Neighbor Sam (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Let Hertz Put You in the Driver's Seat
(uncredited)
Lyrics and Music by Richard Adler
Performed by The Hi-Los
See more »

User Reviews

 
Frenetic, Overplotted Comedy
16 August 2003 | by Bob-45See all my reviews

"Good Neighbor Sam" bombed big time when it was released in 1964. At the time I thought, "What a shame. This is Jack Lemmon's best comedic acting in years, and this is a pleasant movie."

Looking at it now, I understand why "Good Neighbor Sam" was a failure. For one thing, it's way overplotted (there's enough subplots for THREE sparkling comedies). It's played at the sitcom level and runs over two hours. The "domestic violence" subplot is disturbing, even for the times. However, it is still funny, beautifully cast (especially Lemmon, Dorothy Provine, Romy Schneider and Edward G. Robinson) and mostly gentle satire (the Hertz commercial retakes are a hoot). Best of all, the "billboard defacing," which happens near the end of the movie is the funniest sequence of all, meaning "Good Neighbor Sam" NEVER lets up.

Special note should be taken of Frank DeVol's music (the recurring theme is a classic). I recommend this one highly


19 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 27 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 July 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Good Neighbor Sam See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$9,072,726
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed