Papa's Delicate Condition

Papa's Delicate Condition is a 1963 American comedy film starring Jackie Gleason and Glynis Johns. It was an adaptation of the Corinne Griffith memoir of the same name, about her father and growing up in Texarkana, Texas.[1] Jimmy Van Heusen (music) and Sammy Cahn (lyrics) won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Call Me Irresponsible".

Papa's Delicate Condition
Papa's Delicate Condition.jpg
Directed byGeorge Marshall
Produced byJack Rose
Written byJack Rose
Corinne Griffith (book)
StarringJackie Gleason
Glynis Johns
Charlie Ruggles
Laurel Goodwin
Linda Bruhl
CinematographyLoyal Griggs
Edited byFrank P. Keller
Amro Productions
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • March 6, 1963 (1963-03-06)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited States

Another Cahn/Van Heusen song, "Walking Happy", was used in a scene with Gleason and his on-screen daughter Linda Bruhl walking down a street while he sings about the people they meet along the way, but the scene was cut before the film's release. The song was later used in a Broadway musical of the same name.


Jack Griffith, known as "Papa" to all, is a family man in a Texas town, but an irresponsibly eccentric one when he has had a drink too many. To impress his six-year-old daughter Corinne, he spends the family's savings to buy his own circus, simply so the little girl can have her own pony.

His elder daughter Augusta becomes distraught as her father makes some questionable business deals under the influence of alcohol. This causes strife within the Griffith household and makes her beau's father (the local bank president) forbid his son to associate with the Griffith family.

After his squandering leaves the Griffiths in debt, wife Ambolyn packs up Augusta and Corinne and moves to Texarkana, Texas, where her father, Anthony Ghio, is the mayor. Griffith attempts to use his circus to help Ghio's bid for reelection, but accidentally causes Ambolyn to end up with a broken hand.

Despondent, he leaves for Louisiana and is little seen or heard from by the family. Talked into an attempt at reconciliation, Papa is reluctant, believing the Griffiths want nothing more to do with him, but he is welcomed back with open arms.



The novel was published in 1952. Paramount Pictures bought the film rights and assigned Henry and Phoebe Ephron to adapt it.[2] In 1955, it was announced Fred Astaire would star and the film done as a musical.[3] However, filming was postponed so Astaire could make Silk Stockings.[4]

Filming ended up being delayed until 1962, with Jack Rose now the writer and Jackie Gleason the star.[5] Two songs written for the proposed Astaire film by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen were used, along with a new song, "Bill Bailey."[6]

"This picture is just vanilla", said Gleason. "but I needed something like it after Requiem for a Heavyweight, The Hustler and Gigot."[6]

The part of the young girl was played by Linda Bruhl, whose experience had mostly been in TV commercials.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Papa's Delicate Condition on IMDb
  2. ^ Hopper, Hedda (May 21, 1952). "Looking at Hollywood: Fred Allen Replaces Clifton Webb in Movie". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. b7.
  3. ^ THOMAS M. PRYOR (Nov 28, 1955). "M-G-M SIGNS TRIO FOR 'HIGH SOCIETY': Crosby, Sinatra and Grace Kelly to Star in New Film of 'Philadelphia Story'". New York Times. p. 27.
  4. ^ Louella Parsons:. (May 25, 1956). "Astaire Agrees to Do 'Silk Stockings' Role". The Washington Post and Times Herald. p. 60.
  5. ^ Scheuer, Philip K. (Nov 2, 1962). "Rose Tells Why He Sticks to Comedies: Locale Switches Save Costs; Only Problem 'Is It Funny?'". Los Angeles Times. p. D11.
  6. ^ a b THOMAS McDONALD (July 8, 1962). "FILM FUN FEST FINDS GLEASON IN A HEALTHY 'CONDITION'". New York Times. p. 73.
  7. ^ Scheuer, Philip K. (June 12, 1962). "Niven Will Contest Heston in 'Peking': Shibata Sells Script, Self; Darin Showbiz Phenomenon". Los Angeles Times. p. C11.

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