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The Tender Trap (1955)

Frank Sinatra , Debbie Reynolds  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Frank Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds
  • Format: Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 13, 2008
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00143XE2I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,860 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Tender Trap" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New featurette: Frank in the Fifties
  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

The future is no mystery to Julie Gillis. She has her life mapped out in details that fall just shy of where the wedding portrait will hang and the number of goldfish swimming in the bowl. Julie even knows she’ll be married next March 12. She just doesn’t know to whom. But it’s a cinch he’ll have blue eyes. Frank Sinatra headlines this ring-a-ding-ding delight with the title tune that became a Sinatra standard. Debbie Reynolds plays Julie, who sets her marital sights on a Manhattan talent agent (Sinatra) dedicated to life, liberty and the happiness of pursuit. Love is indeed The Tender Trap. And with Sinatra, Reynolds and comedy experts Celeste Holm, David Wayne and Carolyn Jones on call, it’s an entertainment gotcha!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "You are the softest girl." March 7, 2008
Format:DVD
- Julie Gillis to Charlie Reader (responding to his offer of dinner): "Well, I've only known you a few minutes, but you seem fairly nice. You're even attractive in a...offbeat, beat-up sort of way."
- 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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let It Captivate You Tenderly April 24, 2007
Format:VHS Tape
Set in the world of 1950s show business, THE TENDER TRAP tells the love story of Charlie Reader (Frank Sinatra), a 40-something bachelor theater agent and Julie Gillis (Debbie Reynolds), a 21 year-old ingenue who, six months after graduation, is cast in her first play.

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
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the title song. December 2, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I didn't grow up with Frank Sinatra, so the title song was just a nice Sinatra tune I'd heard a few times before I saw this film. Watching Debbie Reynolds and Sinatra perform it was sublime. (the 'finale' performance is dreadful, however)
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dated But Still Entertaining August 11, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
THE TENDER TRAP is a movie about a New York bachelor (Frank Sinatra) who has a bevy of girls flowing through his New York apartment to the amazement of his old friend (David Wayne). Wayne is a married man from Indiana who is visiting without his family and staying with Sinatra. A seemingly naive but determined young actress (Debbie Reynolds) from Scarsdale eventually puts an end to Sinatra's fun by springing her own tender trap. Before this happens she gets a lot of competition from a slightly older woman (Celeste Holm). At one point Sinatra is engaged to both women.
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").
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie!! It's funny and lighthearted.
Published 24 days ago by Bethany
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it. Love this type of movie
I enjoyed it. Love this type of movie.
Published 26 days ago by Richard DeVries
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very enjoyable movie.
Published 1 month ago by Carol Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE This Movie
LOVE This Movie!! I Sing this Song out in public. I'm a Jazz Singer. So I LOVE ALL Of The Songs SINATRA DOES!!!!
Published 1 month ago by gary p hussar
5.0 out of 5 stars Cute movie!
big Reynolds fan, so I loved it!
Published 1 month ago by sheila
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
There were no problems. Got the movie on time.
Published 2 months ago by Rebecca Gatlin
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this one with Frank Sinatra because of the music ...
Since I'm a Debbie Reynolds fan, I loved this one with Frank Sinatra because of the music and their pairing. It is a little slow, but great entertainment.
Published 2 months ago by Granny B.
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful '40s potboiler - bad rental deal
Light romantic comedy with Sinatra playing less tough than usual and the charming Debbie Reynolds as a woman whose primary goal is to get married. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tyro
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Old Stuff
I saw this film many years ago and really enjoyed it. A list of movie musicals reminded me
of it. I look forward to refreshing my memory of it in the near future.
Published 5 months ago by Daniel L Grace
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
I love classic movies. This has two of my favorite actors/actresses in it. A great watch whenever you want to smile :D
Published 6 months ago by Debbie
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