The Pleasure of His Company (1961)

115 mins | Romantic comedy | 26 May 1961

Director:

George Seaton

Writer:

Samuel Taylor

Producer:

William Perlberg

Cinematographer:

Robert Burks

Editor:

Alma Macrorie

Production Designers:

Hal Pereira, Tambi Larsen

Production Companies:

Perlsea Co., Paramount Pictures Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

Producer William Perlberg and director George Seaton acquired the film option to Samuel Taylor and Cornelia Otis’s play, The Pleasure of His Company, before it was produced, as reported in a 26 Feb 1958 NYT news item. The project was set up at Paramount Pictures, and the purchase price was said to be higher than $350,000. The following year, a 25 Feb 1959 NYT item stated that Samuel Taylor would begin work on the screenplay after completing an Alfred Hitchcock project entitled No Bail for the Judge. In a conflicting report, the 18 Jan 1960 DV stated that George Seaton would direct from his own script; however, only Taylor received screenwriting credit in the final film.
       The 25 Feb 1959 NYT announced that Fred Astaire and Lilli Palmer were in talks to star. A few months later, Debbie Reynolds’s casting was reported. The Pleasure of His Company was set to be part of a seven-picture deal Reynolds was forming with Paramount, according to the 28 Jul 1959 DV. Charlie Ruggles was the only member of the original Broadway cast to reprise his role in the film. Cast members also included Stephen Cheng, according to a 19 Nov 1959 DV item, and Janet Thomas, Florine Caplan, and Gae Gordon, who were cast as bridesmaids. The 10 Feb 1960 DV brief that announced their casting noted the three young women were the daughters of comedian Danny Thomas, production manager Harry Caplan, and the late writer-producer Leon Gordon, respectively.
       Principal photography began on 25 Jan 1960, as stated in a 15 ... More Less

Producer William Perlberg and director George Seaton acquired the film option to Samuel Taylor and Cornelia Otis’s play, The Pleasure of His Company, before it was produced, as reported in a 26 Feb 1958 NYT news item. The project was set up at Paramount Pictures, and the purchase price was said to be higher than $350,000. The following year, a 25 Feb 1959 NYT item stated that Samuel Taylor would begin work on the screenplay after completing an Alfred Hitchcock project entitled No Bail for the Judge. In a conflicting report, the 18 Jan 1960 DV stated that George Seaton would direct from his own script; however, only Taylor received screenwriting credit in the final film.
       The 25 Feb 1959 NYT announced that Fred Astaire and Lilli Palmer were in talks to star. A few months later, Debbie Reynolds’s casting was reported. The Pleasure of His Company was set to be part of a seven-picture deal Reynolds was forming with Paramount, according to the 28 Jul 1959 DV. Charlie Ruggles was the only member of the original Broadway cast to reprise his role in the film. Cast members also included Stephen Cheng, according to a 19 Nov 1959 DV item, and Janet Thomas, Florine Caplan, and Gae Gordon, who were cast as bridesmaids. The 10 Feb 1960 DV brief that announced their casting noted the three young women were the daughters of comedian Danny Thomas, production manager Harry Caplan, and the late writer-producer Leon Gordon, respectively.
       Principal photography began on 25 Jan 1960, as stated in a 15 Apr 1960 DV production chart. With several weeks of filming yet to be completed, a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) strike caused production to halt on 4 Mar 1960, according to items in the 1 Apr 1960 and 7 Nov 1960 DV. An eight-month hiatus followed. On 7 Nov 1960, DV reported that shooting had resumed four days earlier in San Francisco, CA, where nine days of exteriors were scheduled to be shot before cast and crew returned to the Paramount Pictures studio lot in Hollywood, CA. According to the 26 Oct 1960 DV, the remainder of the shoot was expected to last four-and-a-half weeks.
       A sneak preview was held in New Rochelle, NY, on 17 Mar 1961, the 18 Mar 1961 NYT noted. Two months later, a charity premiere was scheduled to take place on 12 May 1961 at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Theater in Los Angeles, CA. A 7 May 1961 LAT item stated that the event would raise money for Resthaven, a psychiatric hospital for women. Theatrical release followed on 26 May 1961 in Los Angeles, where the film opened at the Paramount Hollywood Theatre. The picture was met with positive reviews.
       Fred Astaire won a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
12 Aug 1958
p. 1, 7.
Daily Variety
12 Aug 1958
p. 7.
Daily Variety
24 Oct 1958
p. 2.
Daily Variety
24 Apr 1959
p. 18.
Daily Variety
28 Jul 1959
p. 2.
Daily Variety
19 Nov 1959
p. 10.
Daily Variety
18 Jan 1960
p. 3.
Daily Variety
10 Feb 1960
p. 15.
Daily Variety
1 Apr 1960
p. 3.
Daily Variety
15 Apr 1960
p. 6.
Daily Variety
20 May 1960
p. 9.
Daily Variety
8 Jun 1960
p. 4.
Daily Variety
26 Aug 1960
p. 1.
Daily Variety
26 Oct 1960
p. 4.
Daily Variety
7 Nov 1960
p. 4.
Daily Variety
4 May 1961
p. 2.
Daily Variety
10 May 1961
p. 3.
Daily Variety
12 May 1961
p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
25 Jan 1960
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
26 Aug 1960
Section A, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
7 May 1961
Section O, p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
19 May 1961
Section B, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
21 May 1961
Section C, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
26 May 1961
p. 29.
New York Times
26 Feb 1958
p. 23.
New York Times
25 Feb 1959
p. 37.
New York Times
18 Mar 1961
p. 16.
New York Times
1 Jun 1961
p. 30.
New York Times
2 Jun 1961
p. 36.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Perlberg-Seaton Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Technicolor col cons
Title background photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus scored & cond
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Choreog
Choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairstyle supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to the prod
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play The Pleasure of His Company by Samuel Taylor, Cornelia Otis Skinner (New York, 22 Oct 1958).
SONGS
"The Pleasure of His Company," music by Alfred Newman, words by Sammy Cahn.
DETAILS
Release Date:
26 May 1961
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles premiere: 12 May 1961
Los Angeles opening: 26 May 1961
New York opening: 1 June 1961
Production Date:
25 January--4 March 1960
resumed 3 November 1960
Copyright Claimant:
Perlsea Co.
Copyright Date:
26 May 1961
Copyright Number:
LP20109
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
115
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After an absence of fifteen years, international playboy Biddeford "Pogo" Poole returns unexpectedly to San Francisco, California, for the wedding of his daughter Jessica. Though the young girl is immediately captivated by her father's savoir faire, her mother, Pogo's ex-wife, Kate, remains skeptically aloof. In the few remaining days before the wedding, Pogo takes over the household, rearranges the nuptial plans, and escorts Jessica on a whirlwind tour of the city. Overwhelmed by her father's charm, Jessica begins quarreling with her comparatively dull and unsophisticated rancher fiancé, Roger Henderson. Delighted by the turn of events, Pogo concentrates on wrecking both Jessica's pending marriage and Kate's current one to her second husband, wealthy industrialist Jim Dougherty. When Pogo sprains his arm at Roger's ranch, Jessica has a stormy argument with Roger, cancels the wedding, and announces that she is going around the world with her father in order to comfort him "in his old age." Hurt and dismayed by the implications of this declaration, Pogo insists that the wedding proceed, and when it is over he leaves town, taking with him Kate's treasured childhood portrait of Jessica and Jim's prized Chinese houseboy, Toy. All agree, however, that these deprivations are a small price to pay for having had the pleasure of Pogo Poole's ... +


After an absence of fifteen years, international playboy Biddeford "Pogo" Poole returns unexpectedly to San Francisco, California, for the wedding of his daughter Jessica. Though the young girl is immediately captivated by her father's savoir faire, her mother, Pogo's ex-wife, Kate, remains skeptically aloof. In the few remaining days before the wedding, Pogo takes over the household, rearranges the nuptial plans, and escorts Jessica on a whirlwind tour of the city. Overwhelmed by her father's charm, Jessica begins quarreling with her comparatively dull and unsophisticated rancher fiancé, Roger Henderson. Delighted by the turn of events, Pogo concentrates on wrecking both Jessica's pending marriage and Kate's current one to her second husband, wealthy industrialist Jim Dougherty. When Pogo sprains his arm at Roger's ranch, Jessica has a stormy argument with Roger, cancels the wedding, and announces that she is going around the world with her father in order to comfort him "in his old age." Hurt and dismayed by the implications of this declaration, Pogo insists that the wedding proceed, and when it is over he leaves town, taking with him Kate's treasured childhood portrait of Jessica and Jim's prized Chinese houseboy, Toy. All agree, however, that these deprivations are a small price to pay for having had the pleasure of Pogo Poole's company. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.