The Private Lives of Adam and Eve

The Private Lives of Adam and Eve is a 1960 Spectacolor comedy film starring Mickey Rooney (who also co-directed), and Mamie Van Doren. It is an American B-movie in which the plot revolves around a modern couple who dream that they are Adam and Eve. Others of their acquaintance assume the roles of various characters from the Book of Genesis during the fantasy sequences.

The Private Lives of Adam and Eve
Directed byMickey Rooney
Albert Zugsmith
Produced byRed Doff
Albert Zugsmith
Written byRobert Hill
Based onstory by George Kennett
StarringMickey Rooney
Mamie Van Doren
Fay Spain
Mel Tormé
Martin Milner
Tuesday Weld
Cecil Kellaway
Paul Anka
Music byVan Alexander
CinematographyPhilip H. Lathrop
Edited byEddie Broussard
Albert Zugsmith Productions
Fryman Enterprises
Famous Players
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • January 20, 1960 (1960-01-20) (United States)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited States


A bus heading toward Reno, Nevada, is being driven by Doc Bayles, whose passengers include a traveling salesman (Hal Sanders) and a runaway teen (Vangie Harper).

Feuding couples begin boarding. A waitress, Evie Simms, wants to go to Reno to divorce her husband Ad, having caught him kissing Lil Lewis, a neighbor. Lil wants a divorce from her own husband, casino boss Nick Lewis, who tries to catch up to the bus in a broken-down car belonging to Pinkie Parker, a beatnik.

A jealous Nick commandeers the bus when Doc briefly gets off and then inadvertently drives Ad off a cliff, nearly killing him. When a raging storm heads everyone's way, they take shelter in a church. Ad and Evie fall asleep and seem to have the same dream, that they are in the original Garden of Eden, facing temptations from the Devil that could affect the future of all mankind.

When they wake up, the storm has passed. The travelers pair off, Ad with Evie, and Lil with Nick, and Vangie with Pinkie, to see where the road takes them next.



In July 1957, Albert Zugsmith announced he would make a film about Adam and Eve as part of a multi-picture deal he had at MGM. George Peck was reported as working on the script.[1] It was then reported that Richard Matheson would write a script based on a treatment by Robert Smith.[2] Its working title was Flesh and the Devil.[3]

The movie wound up not being made at MGM. It was a co-production between Famous Artists, the company of Albert Zugsmith, and Fryman, the company of Mickey Rooney and Red Doff; Universal distributed. Filming started on 7 July 1959.[4]

Shooting was temporarily suspended when Mickey Rooney came down with German measles.[5] Shooting finished in August.[6]

"I pick my titles to get 'em into theatres", said Zugsmith. "Thousands of exhibitors say amen to that."[7]

Paul Anka released the title song as a single.[8]


Universal planned to premiere the film simultaneously in all towns in the United States called "Paradise". However this was abandoned when it was discovered that there were only nine such towns; eight had a population of less than 500 and only two had movie theatres.[9]

The National Legion of Decency gave the film a "Class C" or "condemned" rating, saying it was "blasphemous and sacrilegious" and resorts to "indecencies and pornography" that are "blatant violations of Judeo-Christian standards of modesty and decency."[10]

The film was released nationally on 11 January 1961.[11]

The Los Angeles Times said the cast was "professional" but that the script wasn't "too bright ... an unpleasant combination of scraps of professional piety and masses of suggestive buffoonery."[12]


  1. ^ "Adam and Eve Will Get Film Attention; Cram Option Deal Reported" Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 25 June 1957: 25.
  2. ^ "U.-I. WILL REMAKE 'IMITATION OF LIFE': Plan Film Based on Fannie Hurst Book—Gladys Cooper in Separate Tables Virginia Mayo in Western" Special to The New York Times. The New York Times 11 July 1957: 20.
  3. ^ "PASSING PICTURE SCENE: Robert Ruark's Well at Ras Daga – Two for Miss Gellhorn – Addenda" by A. H. Weiler. The New York Times 1 June 1958: X5.
  4. ^ "Rooney to Rejoin Albert Zugsmith: 'Platinum High School' Vehicle; Trade Paper Raps High Prices" Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 5 June 1959: A9.
  5. ^ "Hit by Measles" Chicago Daily Tribune 12 July 1959: 8.
  6. ^ "MASS VS. CLASS: Sordid Films Mar Art's New Freedom Fast-Buck Boys Hurting Industry" Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 30 Aug 1959: E1.
  7. ^ Entertainment: "Zugsmith Success Story Is Unusual" Los Angeles Times 28 Nov 1959: 12.
  8. ^ "HAM ON RYON: Around Town on the Tellertype" Ryon, Art. Los Angeles Times 4 Mar 1960: B5.
  9. ^ "Paradise Lost" The Washington Post, Times Herald [Washington, D.C] 10 Jan 1960: H9.
  10. ^ "U-I FILM 'CONDEMNED': ' Private Lives of Adam and Eve' Hit by Catholic Unit" New York Times 3 Mar 1960: 26.
  11. ^ "'Adam, Eve' Will Arrive" Los Angeles Times 7 Jan 1961: B2.
  12. ^ "Genesis Burlesqued in 'Adam and Eve'" Stinson, Charles. Los Angeles Times 14 Jan 1961: B7.

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