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How to Commit Marriage (1969)

Young couple decide to live together and they wind up having a baby. They decide they should give the baby up for adoption. The baby's Mother's parents wind up adopting the baby using a fake name.

Director:

Norman Panama
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Cast

Credited cast:
Bob Hope ... Frank Benson
Jackie Gleason ... Oliver Poe
Jane Wyman ... Elaine Benson
Leslie Nielsen ... Phil Fletcher
Maureen Arthur ... Lois Grey
Tina Louise ... Laverne Baker
Tim Matheson ... David Poe (as Tim Matthieson)
Paul Stewart ... Willoughby
Irwin Corey ... The Baba Ziba (as Professor Irwin Corey)
JoAnna Cameron ... Nancy Benson
The Comfortable Chair The Comfortable Chair ... Musical Group
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David Burns
Glenn Corbett ... Detective Sgt. Charlie Bancroft (archive footage)
Victoria Shaw ... Christine Downs (archive footage)
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Storyline

When a young couple is about to marry, the bride's parents decide to divorce. Losing faith in marriage, the young couple live together instead. After the birth of a child, they put it up for adoption. The bride's parents reconcile so that they can secretly adopt their grandchild. Written by laird-3

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Bob Hope and Jackie Gleason, the two giants of comedy, show you... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Music | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 June 1970 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Avioliittokaruselli See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Naho Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Jane Wyman. See more »

Goofs

During a golf scene Hope is first holding a golf club immediately after getting out of his cart, then is empty handed and removes a club from his bag before getting advice from Mildred to use a different iron. See more »

Quotes

David Poe: Oliver, Nancy and I are going to get married.
Nancy Benson: We love each other, Mr. Poe.
Oliver Poe: That's Victorian bourgeois. I'll prove it you.
[calls mistress on speaker phone]
Oliver Poe: Laverne, are we sleeping together?
Laverne Baker: Yes, Oliver.
Oliver Poe: Do we love each other? Are we married?
Laverne Baker: Yes, dear. No, dear.
Oliver Poe: [disconnects speaker phone] Case closed.
David Poe: Nancy's parents are married.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Features The Crimson Kimono (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Be Me
(uncredited)
Written by Barbara A. Baczek, Tad Baczek, Gary Davis, Warner Davis, Eugene A. Garfin, Gregory B. LeRoy and Bernie Schwartz
Performed by The Comfortable Chair
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Starring Bob "How D'Ya Like My Nehru Jacket?" Hope & Jackie "To the moon in the 7th house, Alice!" Gleason
6 November 2005 | by ajm-8See all my reviews

In the intended generation gap comedy, Bob Hope and Jackie Gleason play bickering not-quite-in-laws. I say "not-quite" because Gleason's son and Hope's daughter are cohabiting without benefit of matrimony.

Living in sin.

Shacking up, don't you know.

The kids have a baby out of wedlock and put it up for adoption so they can concentrate on performing in their Top Ten psychedelic rock group, The Comfortable Chair (Cue Cardinal Fang: "The COMFY CHAIR!?!") Hope and estranged wife Jane Wyman (whose real-life ex-husband was governor of California when this film was made) adopt the tot using fake identities and, after a round of 3 a.m. feedings, grudgingly reconcile.

Jackie discovers that Hope & Wyman have the grandchild, revealing the info during a golf match between Hope and a chimp. (You're ahead of me. Bob loses.) But Ol' Ski Nose solves everything by impersonating the youngsters' guru, a Maharishi-like religious leader, at a huge concert. In disguise, Bob tells the kids to forget nirvana and perfect happiness and get married instead. By the time everyone figures out who's who, the rock stars have their baby AND wedding rings, Bob and Jane are back together and the new house Bob just sold Jackie gets destroyed in a mudslide.

Even for a wacky 1960s comedy, the events in this movie defy logic: What adoption agency would instantly hand over a newborn to a decidedly over-the-hill couple? Wouldn't Hope and Wyman face prison sentences for using phony names to get the baby? And how could Jackie Gleason attract Tina "I Trained at the Actors Studio, But They're Going to Put 'She was Ginger on Gilligan's Island' On My Tombstone" Louise?

Hope's probably the LAST guy in Hollywood to have been defending monogamy, given his notorious unfaithfulness to wife Dolores over a seven-decade marriage, and it's doubly offensive that he spoofed an Eastern religious figure to do so. Imagine the justifiable outcry had he impersonated a priest or a rabbi.

Gleason's in decent form but is given little to do. HOW TO COMMIT MARRIAGE isn't as utterly bizarre as another Gleason '60s vehicle, SKIDOO (1968), but simply one of Hope's worst starring films -- a pity, because for around 25 years Hope WAS a legitimately great movie comedian. At least it's interesting to see Leslie Nielsen play the straight man in this film, and the young lovers are JoAnna Cameron (who set the hearts of seven-year-old boys aflutter as ISIS in the 1970s) and Tim Matheson (who, FIFTEEN years after this movie, would still be playing a collegian in UP THE CREEK).


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