6.9/10
1,119
25 user 9 critic

The Reluctant Debutante (1958)

A teenage American girl while visiting her father, is thrown into London society during the "Debutante Season".

Director:

Vincente Minnelli

Writers:

William Douglas-Home (play), William Douglas-Home (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Rex Harrison ... Jimmy Broadbent
Kay Kendall ... Sheila Broadbent
John Saxon ... David Parkson
Sandra Dee ... Jane Broadbent
Angela Lansbury ... Mabel Claremont
Peter Myers Peter Myers ... David Fenner
Diane Clare ... Clarissa Claremont
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Storyline

Jimmy and Sheila Broadbent (Rex Harrison and Kay Kendall), welcome to London Jimmy's 17-year-old daughter, Jane (Sandra Dee). Jane is from Jimmy's first marriage to an American and has come to visit her father and the step-mother she has never met. While visiting Sheila has the idea of making Jane a debutante, an idea Jane resists. Difficulties range from Jane's apathy to being placed on the marriage block, the determined efforts of Sheila's cousin, Mabel Claremont, (Angela Lansbury) to win wealthy David Fenner (Peter Myers) for her debutante daughter Clarissa (Diane Clare), and Jane's attraction to David Parkson (John Saxon), an American drummer who plays in the orchestra at the coming-out balls. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Such Wonderful Screen Fun! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1958 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Mamá nos complica la vida See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France

Company Credits

Production Co:

Avon Productions (II) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Perspecta Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "The Reluctant Debutante" by William Douglas-Home opened on October 10, 1956 at Henry Miller's Theatre, ran for 134 performances and was nominated for two 1957 Tony Awards for acting. William Douglas Home also wrote the screenplay on which the movie version was produced. See more »

Quotes

Sheila Broadbent: Jimmy?
Jimmy Broadbent: Yes?
Sheila Broadbent: Shut the door.
Jimmy Broadbent: I... I can hear you better with it open.
Sheila Broadbent: Shut the door!
Jimmy Broadbent: Yes, darling.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'My Fair Lady' (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock Around the Clock
(uncredited)
Written by Max Freedman and James E. Myers
See more »

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User Reviews

Nobody Mentioned the Costumes
6 May 2004 | by gregorybnycSee all my reviews

I can't add much to what has already been said of this delightful movie. But nobody has mentioned the costumes. It's astonishing to note that Balmain created the dresses for both Kay Kendall and Angela Lansbury. Nearly 50 years later, Kendall still looks ravishingly current in her haute couture day and evening wear. The magnificent red dress she wears in the first party scene is a perfect example and she had the stunning figure to enhance these wonderful costumes. Angela, who had a nifty figure herself, is a more full-figured woman. She's also playing a nasty bitch in this film, and her costumes reflect this aspect of her personality. Instead of looking chic, she looks dowdy.

Sandra Dee's costumes were created by MGM's Helen Rose. I didn't care for any of her daytime wear which was very much a product of the 50s, but it is with gowns that Rose's talent shines, and there's a lovely blue gown with tiny blue bows in the final scenes of this movie that you really notice, and Dee wears the dress like the prom queen she was.

Rex Harrison could wear stylish men's clothing with panache, and he does so here too.

I love this sophisticated movie, which I only discovered a few years ago. And the interior sets are equally beautiful.


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