Bachelor Flat is a 1962 DeLuxe Color comedy film starring Terry-Thomas, Tuesday Weld, Richard Beymer, and Celeste Holm. Filmed in CinemaScope in Malibu, California, the film is a revised version of director Frank Tashlin's own Susan Slept Here of 1954.
Title card from film
|Directed by||Frank Tashlin|
|Produced by||Jack Cummings|
|Screenplay by||Budd Grossman|
by Budd Grossman
|Music by||John Williams|
|Cinematography||Daniel L. Fapp|
|Edited by||Hugh S. Fowler|
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century-Fox|
|January 12, 1962|
A charming British anthropology Professor Bruce Patterson (Terry-Thomas) has to live with Helen Bushmill (Celeste Holm), his fiancée. Helen is away traveling, and has failed to tell him that she has a 17-year-old daughter Libby (Tuesday Weld), who shows up at her mother's home unaware that Helen is engaged. Meanwhile he has to resist the advances of the neighborhood ladies who barge in unexpectedly.
At the same time, Patterson must deal with the continual invasions of Mike (Richard Beymer), his cynical neighbor and law student, who soon develops a crush on Libby. Intertwined in the story is Mike's persistent dachshund, determined to bury the professor's prize possession of a rare dinosaur bone.
- Terry-Thomas as Bruce Patterson
- Tuesday Weld as Libby Bushmill
- Richard Beymer as Mike Polaski
- Celeste Holm as Helen Bushmill
- Francesca Bellini as Gladys
- Howard McNear as Dr. Bowman
- Ann Del Guercio as Liz
- Roxanne Arlen as Mrs. Roberts
- Alice Reinheart as Mrs. Bowman
- Stephen Bekassy as Paul
- Margo Moore as Moll
In October 1960 20th Century Fox's Robert Goldstein announced he had bought the screen rights to a British stage comedy, Libby by Budd Grossman. The play had been staged in London the previous year. Grossman would write the script, Jack Cummings would direct and Frank Tashlin would direct. The plot was about an English professor at Hunter College who got involved with a group of 17 year olds on the loose from boarding school. It was to take place in Greenwich Village and was to be shot on location in New York in 1961.
Eventually the action was relocated to Malibu, where the film was shot starting April 1961. Lead roles were given to Fox contract stars Richard Beymer and Tuesday Weld. Gene Tierney was announced for the part of Weld's mother but Celeste Holm ended up playing it. Terry Thomas was cast in the lead role, his first lead in an American film.
Variety called it a "frivolous, farcical concoction" and credits much of the great comedy to the supporting cast. They praise Terry-Thomas' "comic intuition and creativity" saying it is also "responsible for most of the merriment". However, they say "neither Weld nor Beymer seems comfortably at home in farce, and the strain often shows through", and that Celeste Holm is "stuck regrettably in a rather bland role". The critic adds: "The dachshund, incidentally, is an accomplished low comedienne."
Eugene Archer in the New York Times did not find favor with the film, stating that Terry-Thomas "is at the mercy of the writer-director who usually turns out Jerry Lewis' broadest japes", referencing director Tashlin as the "responsible party", He also calls the plot "flimsy" and that Terry-Thomas "seems perplexed" in his performance. He concludes that "viewers with a tolerance for brash vulgarity and a fitful pace" will most likely show "astonishment, resignation, and, eventually, mild amusement."
- Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p. 253
- "Bachelor Flat Review by Fernando F. Croce". Cinepassion.org.
- BACHELOR FLAT Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 29, Iss. 336, (Jan 1, 1962): 2.
- New Company Will Spend $8.5 Million: Robson Directs 'Inspector'; Dana Wynter Will Join Kaye Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 7 Oct 1960: A9.
- RANDOM VIEWS FROM A LOCAL VANTAGE POINT By A.H. WEILER. New York Times 6 Nov 1960: X7.
- Nolan May Fly From 'Formosa' to 'China' Los Angeles Times 14 Mar 1961: C9.
- Beymer and Weld to Do 'Bachelor Flat' Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 24 Mar 1961: b5.
- Entertainment: Comic Takes First Shot at Hollywood Britain's Terry-Thomas Deserts Home Base for 'Bachelor Flat' Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times 6 June 1961: A6.
- Bogdanovich, Who the Devil Made It? 1998 Ballantine Books
- "Bachelor Flat review". Variety. January 1, 1961.
- Archer, Eugene (January 13, 1962). "Screen: Bachelor Flat:Terry-Thomas Cast in Hollywood Comedy". New York Times.[dead link]