Phffft is a 1954 black-and-white romantic comedy film starring Judy Holliday, Jack Lemmon, and Jack Carson, and features Kim Novak in a small but significant role. The picture was written by George Axelrod and directed by Mark Robson, and was the second film starring Holliday and Lemmon that year, after It Should Happen to You.
|Directed by||Mark Robson|
|Produced by||Fred Kohlmar|
|Written by||George Axelrod|
|Based on||Phfft: Chronicle of a Happy Divorce|
by George Axelrod
|Music by||Friedrich Hollaender|
|Edited by||Charles Nelson|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$1,550,000 (US)|
Nina and Robert Tracey (Judy Holliday and Jack Lemmon), married for eight years, suffer marital problems and divorce. Robert shares the home of his womanizing Navy buddy Charlie Nelson (Jack Carson) while Nina looks to her interfering mother for guidance. Robert spends an evening with Janis (Kim Novak), who finds the dashing Robert "real cute" but he feels uncomfortable with Janis and other girls he dates. Nina also tries to date other men. Although they try to ignore each other when they accidentally meet, it is obvious that the past is not dead. Then one night, they find themselves in a nightclub, dancing the mambo together; they had both learned to dance since their divorce. Later, after a disastrous meeting at her home with Charlie, Nina tells her mother on the phone that she is still in love with Robert. He accidentally overhears the conversation, having dashed to her home because of his friend's reputation. Nina and Robert reconcile and remarry.
- Judy Holliday as Nina Tracey (née Chapman)
- Jack Lemmon as Robert Tracey
- Jack Carson as Charlie Nelson
- Kim Novak as Janis
- Luella Gear as Mrs. Edith Chapman
- Donald Randolph as Dr. Van Kessel
- Donald Curtis as Rick Vidal
- Arny Freeman as Nina's language teacher
- Eddie Searles as Tommy
- Merry Anders as Marsha
- Mylee Andreason as Robert's dance teacher
- Sally Mansfield as Miss Comstock
- Joyce Jameson as Secretary
- Bess Flowers as Nightclub Dance Extra
- Jimmie Dodd as Cab Driver
- Shirlee Allard as Secretary
- Wendy Howard as Artist's Model
- Charlotte Lawrence as Radio actress as Cynthia
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The script was an original by George Axelrod. Columbia bought it from him for $80,000.
- During filming, Jack Lemmon left the set as his first wife, actress/model Cynthia Stone gave birth to their son, Chris Lemmon.
- This was the second film in which Jack Lemmon appeared with Judy Holliday. Lemmon's debut feature film It Should Happen to You also starred Holliday.
- The title "Phffft" comes from Walter Winchell's column which was widely syndicated during the 1950s. When a celebrity couple's marriage broke up, Winchell would describe the break-up as "phffft".
- Columbia Pictures approached George Axelrod to produce a film version of his popular play, The Seven Year Itch but the film rights were tied up as long as it was running on Broadway. He instead offered them Phffft! - an earlier play of his dealing with a similar subject.
Awards and honorsEdit
- Judy Holliday was nominated for "Best Foreign Actress" at the BAFTA Awards in 1955.
- The film was also nominated for "Best Written American Comedy" at the Writer's Guild of America.
- 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1955', Variety Weekly, January 25, 1956
- BY WAY OF REPORT: Independent Group to Make CinemaScope Pictures in England -- Other Matters By A. H. WEILER. New York Times 13 Dec 1953: X9.