The Bachelor Party

"The Bachelor Party" is a 1953 television play by Paddy Chayefsky which was adapted by Chayefsky for a 1957 film. The play premiered to critical acclaim.[2]

The Bachelor Party
The Bachelor Party.jpg
US VHS cover
Directed byDelbert Mann
Written byPaddy Chayefsky
Produced byHarold Hecht
StarringDon Murray
E. G. Marshall
Jack Warden
Carolyn Jones
CinematographyJoseph LaShelle
Music byPaul Mertz
Alex North (uncredited)
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • April 9, 1957 (1957-04-09)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.5 million (US)[1]


Charlie Samson is a hard-working married bookkeeper in Manhattan, struggling to advance himself by attending night school to become an accountant. He has just learned his wife is pregnant with their first child, and worries whether he is ready for fatherhood. He and four co-workers throw a bachelor party for a fellow bookkeeper, Arnold Craig, who is about to get married. After watching explicit, short stag films at one member's apartment, they decide to go bar-hopping. Charlie is to be Arnold's best man.

Colleagues attending the party include the older married man, Walter, who has recently been diagnosed with asthma, and Eddie, a happy-go-lucky bachelor. The night becomes a turning point for all five men.

Charlie finds his loyalty to his wife tested during the evening, and he almost has an affair with a young woman he meets on the street heading to a Greenwich Village party. Charlie's young wife at home is also shocked to hear her visiting sister reveal her own husband's extra-marital affairs. Walter, in despair about his situation, wanders off during the evening.

Arnold becomes drunk and ambivalent about getting married, and he breaks off the wedding. He changes his mind after he sobers up and Charlie gives him a lecture about the benefits of married life, despite Charlie's having regretted his own marriage as the story began, and having gone to the party with the serious intention of committing adultery.

We last see Eddie at a bar, striking up a conversation with an older unattractive woman. In the end, Charlie decides that married life is the way to go, and that his struggle to build a home with his wife is worthwhile, and better than the empty and lonely existence of his friend Eddie, whom he used to envy.[3]

Television playEdit

"The Bachelor Party"
The Philco Television Playhouse episode
Episode no.Season 6
Episode 2
Directed byDelbert Mann
Written byPaddy Chayefsky
Produced byFred Coe
Production codeShowcase Productions
Original air dateOctober 11, 1953 (1953-10-11)
List of episodes

Chayefsky's teleplay was produced by Fred Coe for The Philco Television Playhouse on October 11, 1953. Delbert Mann directed the following cast:[3]

Film adaptationEdit

The 1957 film was directed by Delbert Mann, with Don Murray as Charlie, co-starring E. G. Marshall, Jack Warden and Carolyn Jones. Jones was nominated for the 1958 Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of a party girl who is actually very lonely. Mary Grant designed the film's costumes. Bosley Crowther wrote of the film, "Mr. Chayefsky in his writing and Delbert Mann in his direction of this film have made it delightfully amusing and compensating as it flows. For the most poignant revelations of emptiness and fear, they have provided hilarious explosions in the serio-comic vein."[5]



The Bachelor Party was nominated for one Oscar, one BAFTA award, and one award at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival:[6][7]

Group Award Won?
30th Academy Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Carolyn Jones
BAFTA Award Best Film from any Source (USA) No
1957 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or No

Chayefsky on The Bachelor PartyEdit

Afterword to The Bachelor Party:[3]

I am not sure to this day where the basic approach was wrong; but obviously the line of the story is six inches off from beginning to end, and the third-act resolution is hardly an inevitable outgrowth of the preceding two acts. I have also found that most directors take a somewhat different approach to my scripts than I do.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Top Grosses of 1957", Variety, January 8, 1958: 30
  2. ^ Stafford, Jeff. "The Bachelor Party (1957)". Turner Classic Movies, Inc. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c The Collected Works of Paddy Chayefsky (1994), Applause Books, New York ISBN 1-55783-191-2
  4. ^ Bachelor Party - TV episode at IMDb
  5. ^ Crowther, Bosley (April 10, 1957). "Screen: 'Bachelor Party'". The New York Times. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  6. ^ "Awards for The Bachelor Party (1957)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 30, 2007.
  7. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Bachelor Party". Retrieved February 7, 2009.

External linksEdit