The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker (1959)

87 mins | Comedy | March 1959

Director:

Henry Levin

Writer:

Walter Reisch

Producer:

Charles Brackett

Cinematographer:

Milton Krasner

Editor:

William Mace

Production Designers:

Lyle Wheeler, Mark-Lee Kirk

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

According to the Var review, the Catholic church objected that the two family premise of this film was unsuitable for comedic ... More Less

According to the Var review, the Catholic church objected that the two family premise of this film was unsuitable for comedic treatment. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Feb 1959.
---
Daily Variety
5 Feb 59
p. 3.
Film Daily
6 Feb 59
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 58
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jun 58
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 58
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Sep 58
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 59
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
7 Feb 59
p. 148.
New York Times
21 Feb 59
p. 25.
Variety
11 Feb 59
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Stills
Gaffer
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Exec ward des
Cost des
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Dial coach
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker by Liam O'Brien (New York, 30 Dec 1953).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
March 1959
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 20 February 1959
Production Date:
early June--late July 1958
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
30 December 1958
Copyright Number:
LP12758
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
lenses by Bausch & Lomb
Duration(in mins):
87
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19107
SYNOPSIS

In turn-of-the-century Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, young Wilbur Fielding, the son of the Rev. Dr. Fielding, learns that he has been appointed vicar of a small Rhode Island parish. Wilbur's new position means that he can finally propose to his sweetheart, Kate Pennypacker, but as he must leave for his new post in one week, Kate impulsively suggests that they marry immediately rather than endure an extended engagement as required by convention. Kate's father, Pa Horace Pennypacker, the proprietor of the Pennypacker sausage factory, divides his business life between his factories in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, spending alternate months in each city, and because he is currently residing in Philadelphia, he is summoned home to Harrisburg for the wedding. As soon as Pa receives his wife Emily's telegram regarding Kate's engagement, he jumps into his automobile and motors to Harrisburg, narrowly missing the Philadelphia sheriff who has come to issue him a summons for promoting a book about Darwinism that prominently depicts the police chief as a monkey. In Harrisburg, meanwhile, Pa's blustery father Grampa protests the impropriety of Kate's hasty marriage. Unknown to Grampa, Emily and the eight Pennypacker children, Pa has sired a second family of nine children who reside in Philadelphia. When Horace III, Pa's eldest Philadelphia son, learns of the summons, he hurries unsuspecting to Harrisburg to warn his father. Horace beats Pa to Harrisburg, and when he appears on the Pennypacker doorstep and introduces himself, Emily is incredulous. Soon after, Pa arrives home and is struck dumb at the sight of Horace. As Emily and her spinster sister-in-law Jane upbraid Horace about his secret life, Wilbur and his father arrive to discuss ... +


In turn-of-the-century Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, young Wilbur Fielding, the son of the Rev. Dr. Fielding, learns that he has been appointed vicar of a small Rhode Island parish. Wilbur's new position means that he can finally propose to his sweetheart, Kate Pennypacker, but as he must leave for his new post in one week, Kate impulsively suggests that they marry immediately rather than endure an extended engagement as required by convention. Kate's father, Pa Horace Pennypacker, the proprietor of the Pennypacker sausage factory, divides his business life between his factories in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, spending alternate months in each city, and because he is currently residing in Philadelphia, he is summoned home to Harrisburg for the wedding. As soon as Pa receives his wife Emily's telegram regarding Kate's engagement, he jumps into his automobile and motors to Harrisburg, narrowly missing the Philadelphia sheriff who has come to issue him a summons for promoting a book about Darwinism that prominently depicts the police chief as a monkey. In Harrisburg, meanwhile, Pa's blustery father Grampa protests the impropriety of Kate's hasty marriage. Unknown to Grampa, Emily and the eight Pennypacker children, Pa has sired a second family of nine children who reside in Philadelphia. When Horace III, Pa's eldest Philadelphia son, learns of the summons, he hurries unsuspecting to Harrisburg to warn his father. Horace beats Pa to Harrisburg, and when he appears on the Pennypacker doorstep and introduces himself, Emily is incredulous. Soon after, Pa arrives home and is struck dumb at the sight of Horace. As Emily and her spinster sister-in-law Jane upbraid Horace about his secret life, Wilbur and his father arrive to discuss the wedding. Just then, Grampa barges into the room and announces that his son is a bigamist. Outside, on the street, the sheriff stops Grampa and serves him with the summons meant for Pa. After Grampa strikes the sheriff with his cane, the sheriff arrests him and takes him to jail. As Kate sobs, heartbroken, Emily resolves that her daughter will be happily married. After Horace leaves for Philadelphia, the free-thinking Pa faces the Rev. Dr. Fielding to defend his behavior. Although Pa argues that morality is simply a matter of geography, and that he is doing mankind a great service by propagating the species, Kate declares that she cannot marry Wilbur because it would ruin his reputation. Meanwhile, as an act of defiance against their father, the younger children decide to run away from home. While Emily removes her wedding ring, Pa searches for his brood and is arrested and jailed by the sheriff. Upon returning to his church, the Rev. Dr. Fielding finds the Pennypacker children asleep in the pews. Locked in a cell with Grampa, Pa is visited by his eldest son Henry who informs him that Emily has gone to Philadelphia to meet his other wife. At Pa's Philadelphia home, Emily discovers that the other Mrs. Pennypacker died eight years earlier. Pa is released from jail after apologizing to the sheriff and comes home to a chilly reception. Soon after, Emily returns, slaps Pa and declares their marriage is over. The children then file in and decree that Pa was wrong to conceal his other family. Coming to her husband's defense, Emily tells the children that their stepfamily is motherless and then reassures Kate that there will be no public scandal. Chastened, Pa apologizes to his children and relinquishes their education to Emily. Jane then decides to move to Philadelphia to care for her motherless nieces and nephews. As Pa packs his suitcases to leave, the children beg him to stay, and with Emily's permission, he unpacks. Soon after, Kate and Wilbur are married, and Emily is so moved by the wedding that she asks the Rev. Dr. Fielding to renew her and Pa's vows. As the minister conducts the ceremony, Emily tells Pa to repeat the phrase "forsaking all others." +

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

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