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Tender Trap [VHS]
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- Charlie: "Thanks a lot."
- Julie: "But I can't have dinner with every nice, attractive man I meet. It's not part of my plan."
- Charlie: "How's that plan again?"
- Julie: "My marriage plan."
Frank Sinatra plays New York theater agent and swingin' bachelor Charlie Y. Reader, whose tryst with a hottie is interrupted by his sarcastic, longtime pal Joe from Indianapolis, who pays him a visit and then becomes a house guest (he'd just left his wife, Ethel, you see?). When Joe marvels at the series of beautiful dames Frank sees ("Where do all these tomatoes come from?"), Frank tells him, "Sure, it's fun. But let's face it...I would be happy to trade this rat race for your set-up in two seconds." Turns out Frank is weary of the fast lane and longs for domesticated bliss - if only he could find the right girl. One candidate seems to be Sylvia Crewes (Celeste Holm), a sexy, sophisticated fiddle-player.
But, then, in comes 21-year-old aspiring actress Julie Gillis (Debbie Reynolds), with whom Charlie is instantly attracted. But Julie is uptight, rigid and exacting, with definite, long-conceived plans for marriage. And, no, she doesn't at all buy what Charlie's selling. That is, until, he sings a song. Then, of course, she's butter.
So Charlie and Julie start keeping company, with Sylvia then being perenially stood up and Joe going out with her as Charlie's stand-in.Read more ›
To the naked eye, the main characters have nothing in common. Charlie is a playboy with all the toys and playthings that come with life in 1950s Manhattan. His bachelor pad is well appointed for casual romance. With an expansive view of the Brooklyn Bridge, a cozy sofa and a well-stocked bar, his apartment attracts what seems like a never-ending parade of gorgeous young starlets - much to the amusement of his married, hometown friend, Joe McCall (David Wayne), who is visiting during a rough time in his own marriage.
Julie, on the other hand, is determined to end her single life - precisely on the same calendar day her mother married at 22. Completely uninterested in scrawny, aimless Charlie and signing the acting contract that will keep her working beyond March 12th when she plans to marry, Julie is not a "sure thing" to say the least.
What happens next is perhaps formulaic in the grand tradition of old Hollywood films. Still TENDER TRAP is a terrific movie that I recommend highly to women looking for mindless entertainment. Plus, in a supporting role, Celeste Holm does a great job playing the quintessential 33 year old Manhattan woman, who seems as real today, in the aftermath of "Sex & the City," as she was 50 years ago.
- Regina McMenamin
As for the film itself, all you really need to know is that Sinatra is the New York bachelor, still playing the field into his thirties. Reynolds is dead-set on getting married: she has a deadline picked out, among other things. Sinatra goes after Reynolds.
While at first I found Reynolds' character to be over the top, the scene in which she's scouting out her future home decorations sold me. She's eccentric, but once she finds her man she nestles right in. Sinatra is right at home in the role, of course.
As to the plot, it does drag, but I think the only thing this film is guilty of is treating the issues it brings up with respect. Naturally, it all comes to the climactic conflict, and I applaud The Tender Trap for not sweeping it out of the viewer's mind as cleanly as another light-hearted film might. The characters are in a mess, and the innocent (or foolish) stand to get hurt. The film takes the time to resolve each of their situations admirably. It's not the swiftest wrap-up, but I think it pays off for the patient.
And then you can rewind it and watch Sinatra and Reynolds perform (Love Is) The Tender Trap all over again.
The film may be quite dated but it is still entertaining. The supporting cast includes Carolyn Jones and Lola Albright.
Charles Walters also directed EASTER PARADE and HIGH SOCIETY. THE TENDER TRAP received an Oscar nomination in 1955 for Best Song ("Love is the Tender Trap").
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wanted to humanely catch that pesky gopher in my back yard. This won't do it.Published 6 days ago by Ham Star
This is one my my favorite movies. Arrived quickly and I am happy with my purchase.Published 13 days ago by Laura D Shrader
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hard to say this film set women's rights back 100 years because it portrays a no nonsense woman who knows what she wants and... Read more
One of Drank Sinatra and Debbie Reynolds cutest 50's movies out there. I've seen it many times and am sure I will see it many more.Published 3 months ago by Suzanne Schumacher
Great Romantic movie, enjoyed the story and the acting, good for the entire family.Published 3 months ago by Gregory A. Kaatz
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