Bus Stop (1956)

94-96 mins | Romantic comedy | August 1956

Director:

Joshua Logan

Writer:

George Axelrod

Producer:

Buddy Adler

Cinematographer:

Milton Krasner

Production Designers:

Lyle Wheeler, Mark-Lee Kirk

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

This picture marked Marilyn Monroe's return to the screen after a one-year absence. Monroe was dissatisfied with the roles that Twentieth-Century Fox assigned to her, and left Hollywood after completing The Seven Year Itch (see below). Suspended by the studio, she moved to New York where she enrolled in the Actors Studio, under the tutelage of famed acting teachers Lee and Paula Strasberg, according to a Sep 1956 article in Cue . After announcing the formation of Marilyn Monroe Productions, Monroe finally came to terms with Fox when the studio offered her a lucrative contract that granted her approval over directors, according to a May 1956 HR news item. Bus Stop was the first picture of Monroe's new seven-year contract.
       Many of the reviews commented that Monroe's New York experience had greatly improved her acting ability. The HR review noted that her performance had "been augmented by a sensitivity, poignancy and apparent understanding that Miss Monroe did not display before." An Oct 1955 Var news item noted that producer Buddy Adler initially wanted Montgomery Clift to play the role of "Bo." Don Murray made his screen debut in the picture and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Bo. The picture also marked the screen debut of Hope Lange (1931--2003), who married Murray during the film's production.
       Although a HR news item reported that Steffi Sidney was cast as a rodeo fan, her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Other HR news items noted that the rodeo sequence was filmed on ... More Less

This picture marked Marilyn Monroe's return to the screen after a one-year absence. Monroe was dissatisfied with the roles that Twentieth-Century Fox assigned to her, and left Hollywood after completing The Seven Year Itch (see below). Suspended by the studio, she moved to New York where she enrolled in the Actors Studio, under the tutelage of famed acting teachers Lee and Paula Strasberg, according to a Sep 1956 article in Cue . After announcing the formation of Marilyn Monroe Productions, Monroe finally came to terms with Fox when the studio offered her a lucrative contract that granted her approval over directors, according to a May 1956 HR news item. Bus Stop was the first picture of Monroe's new seven-year contract.
       Many of the reviews commented that Monroe's New York experience had greatly improved her acting ability. The HR review noted that her performance had "been augmented by a sensitivity, poignancy and apparent understanding that Miss Monroe did not display before." An Oct 1955 Var news item noted that producer Buddy Adler initially wanted Montgomery Clift to play the role of "Bo." Don Murray made his screen debut in the picture and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Bo. The picture also marked the screen debut of Hope Lange (1931--2003), who married Murray during the film's production.
       Although a HR news item reported that Steffi Sidney was cast as a rodeo fan, her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Other HR news items noted that the rodeo sequence was filmed on location in Phoenix, AZ during the JAYCEE World Championship rodeo, and that the exteriors for the diner scenes were shot in Sun Valley, ID. Although a Jul 1956 HR news item stated that dramatist William Inge sued to restrain exhibition of the film until after 1 Dec 1956, when all the first class stage productions of his play would be closed, that suit failed and the film opened in Aug 1956. From 1961 to 1962, ABC television broadcast a television series entitled Bus Stop , loosely based on Inge's play, starring Marilyn Maxwell, Rhodes Reason and Richard Anderson. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
18 Aug 1956.
---
Cue
1 Sep 1956.
---
Daily Variety
14 Aug 56
p. 3.
Film Daily
15 Aug 56
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jan 56
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Mar 56
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Mar 56
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Apr 56
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
22 May 56
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
25 May 56
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jul 56
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Aug 56
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
18 Aug 56
p. 33.
New York Times
31 Aug 56
p. 9.
New York Times
1 Sep 56
p. 19.
Variety
15 Aug 56
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Addl photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Exec ward des
Cost des
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Bus Stop by William Inge (New York, 2 Mar 1955).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"The Bus Stop Song," words and music by Ken Darby, sung by The Four Lads
"That Old Black Magic," words and music by Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen
"Rye Whiskey," words and music by Tex Ritter.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
August 1956
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 31 August 1956
Production Date:
mid March--late May 1956
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
14 August 1956
Copyright Number:
LP7347
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
lenses by Bausch & Lomb
Duration(in mins):
94-96
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18041
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Beauregard "Bo" Decker, a rambunctious young cowboy, leaves his Montana ranch for only the second time in his life to participate in the big rodeo in Phoenix. Bo is accompanied by the more worldly Virgil, who has shepherded him through his first twenty-one years. After boarding the bus bound for Phoenix, Virg offers Bo some fatherly advice about dealing with women. When the inexperienced Bo declares that he is "gonna find me a angel," Virg advises him to settle for a "plain old little girl." As the bus nears Phoenix, Carl, the driver, stops at Grace's Diner for breakfast. As Carl flirts with the tart-tongued Grace, Bo gulps down a quart of milk and three raw hamburgers. When Elma, a young girl who works at Grace's, boards the bus, Virg encourages Bo to court her, but Bo is not interested. In Phoenix, Bo is bowled over by the big city and its teaming masses. Across from their hotel room, Virg spots the alluring Cherie dancing at the Blue Dragon Club. When the club owner insults Cherie by calling her an ignorant hillbilly, Cherie, who aspires to be a great "chantoosie," shows her waitress friend Vera a map featuring a bold red line leading from River Gulch, Cherie's home town in the Ozarks, directly to Hollywood. Soon after, Virg enters the club and Cherie cajoles him into buying her a drink. When Cherie takes the stage to warble a song, Bo bursts into the room and immediately falls in love. Proclaiming that Cherie is his angel, Bo silences the noisy crowd, follows Cherie offstage and then pulls her out ... +


Beauregard "Bo" Decker, a rambunctious young cowboy, leaves his Montana ranch for only the second time in his life to participate in the big rodeo in Phoenix. Bo is accompanied by the more worldly Virgil, who has shepherded him through his first twenty-one years. After boarding the bus bound for Phoenix, Virg offers Bo some fatherly advice about dealing with women. When the inexperienced Bo declares that he is "gonna find me a angel," Virg advises him to settle for a "plain old little girl." As the bus nears Phoenix, Carl, the driver, stops at Grace's Diner for breakfast. As Carl flirts with the tart-tongued Grace, Bo gulps down a quart of milk and three raw hamburgers. When Elma, a young girl who works at Grace's, boards the bus, Virg encourages Bo to court her, but Bo is not interested. In Phoenix, Bo is bowled over by the big city and its teaming masses. Across from their hotel room, Virg spots the alluring Cherie dancing at the Blue Dragon Club. When the club owner insults Cherie by calling her an ignorant hillbilly, Cherie, who aspires to be a great "chantoosie," shows her waitress friend Vera a map featuring a bold red line leading from River Gulch, Cherie's home town in the Ozarks, directly to Hollywood. Soon after, Virg enters the club and Cherie cajoles him into buying her a drink. When Cherie takes the stage to warble a song, Bo bursts into the room and immediately falls in love. Proclaiming that Cherie is his angel, Bo silences the noisy crowd, follows Cherie offstage and then pulls her out the back door. Pronouncing her name "Cherry," Bo performs acrobatics to woo her, and then kisses her. After escorting Cherie back into the club, Bo proudly announces that they are engaged, much to Cherie's surprise. Cherie is dumbstruck by this turn of events, and is accused by Virg of being a cheap hustler. Early the next morning, Bo barges into Cherie's boardinghouse bedroom and, hoping to impress her with his mind, begins to recite the Gettysburg Address. Bo then hauls the sleepy Cherie to the rodeo parade and hoists her up on his shoulders. At the rodeo, Bo wraps Cherie's green scarf around his neck for luck. After winning each event, the boisterous Bo cavorts around the arena, hollering for Cherie. When Cherie, seated in the stands, tells Vera that Bo bought a marriage license and shows her an engagement ring, Vera voices concern. Spotting a preacher waiting ringside, Cherie runs away, sparking rumors about an imminent marriage between the cowboy and the sultry blonde. Back at her boardinghouse, Cherie frets as Vera packs her bags and counsels Cherie to ask for an advance on her salary so that she can make a quick getaway. At the Blue Dragon, Virg informs Cherie that Bo is a virgin who has never even been kissed. Together, Virg and Vera coach Cherie on strategies for handling Bo, but when Bo comes to collect her, Cherie, unable to lie, tells him goodbye forever. The volatile Bo then rips the tail off Cherie's costume, sending her to her dressing room in hysterics. Climbing out the window, Cherie runs to the bus station, but Bo lassoes her and drags her onto the bus bound for Montana. As the bus approaches Grace's Diner, a blizzard closes the roads, forcing the passengers to take shelter in the diner. Cherie leaves the sleeping Bo in the back of the bus, and when he awakens, he barges into the diner and harangues Cherie for leaving him behind. Outraged by Bo's behavior, Carl orders him to desist. When Bo then slings the squealing Cherie over his shoulder, Virg blocks the door and Carl challenges Bo to step outside and slug it out. After Carl soundly thrashes Bo, Virg insists that Bo apologize to everyone that he has offended. The next morning, Bo makes amends to Grace and Elma, and then meekly asks Cherie for her forgiveness and returns her scarf. When she offers him the engagement ring, Bo asks her to keep it. After news comes that the roads have opened, Cherie tries to console Bo by confessing that she was not the angel he believed her to be. As Bo and Virg prepare to board the bus, Bo asks Cherie if he can kiss her goodbye, and after a tender embrace, he runs out of the diner. Bo soon returns and shyly states that Virg has suggested that her experience and his inexperience average out, thus making them the perfect couple. Asserting that he loves her just as she is, Bo asks Cherie to marry him. Cherie, touched by his sweetness, replies that she would follow him anywhere and then throws away her map to Hollywood. Realizing that Bo no longer needs him, Virg decides to remain behind. After Bo tenderly wraps his jacket around Cherie, she drapes her scarf around his neck and he escorts her onto the bus. +

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

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