If anyone else but Williams had written this stage play, it might have been hailed by everyone. As it was, audiences and critics were so used to the author's delvings into deep, dark recesses that they were taken aback by Williams' first comedy. The title refers to that period of time that every young couple must face when first married. Hutton is a Korean...read more
If anyone else but Williams had written this stage play, it might have been hailed by everyone. As it was, audiences and critics were so used to the author's delvings into deep, dark recesses that they were taken aback by Williams' first comedy. The title refers to that period of time that
every young couple must face when first married. Hutton is a Korean War veteran who has just come out of a hospital where he was being treated for a nervous disorder brought about by his service. He falls for his nurse, Fonda, a sweet and loving southern girl who wants nothing more than to make
him happy. Their marriage is rocky from the start as Hutton quits his job and the two of them spend their wedding night in a tacky motel, after having driven there in what Hutton advertised as a station wagon but was, in reality, an old hearse. Hutton gets drunk and passes out before he can
consummate the marriage (which is a deliberate move on his part because he questions his own sexual ability). The following day they visit Franciosa in Tennessee. Franciosa had married his wife, Nettleton, for money but eventually grew to love her. The marriage is being threatened by his
relationship with Nettleton's parents, McGiver and Albertson, a domineering set of in-laws that would cause a lesser man to search for the rat poison. Franciosa quits McGiver's business, and Nettleton leaves Franciosa when her strongly persuasive parents convince her that he won't stay long with
her now that he's out of the company. McGiver and Albertson arrive together to gather Nettleton's things from the Franciosa house, and the ensuing brouhaha ends when they are all hauled into the police station to face Jack Albertson, the desk sergeant. (The two Albertsons were brother and sister,
not husband and wife.) At seeing all this happen, Fonda and Hutton realize they don't have it so bad, and they do their best to help Nettleton and Franciosa get back together. Franciosa buys Nettleton a fur coat, triggering the reconciliation. The Hutton-Fonda marriage is still sexless, meanwhile;
Hutton finally admits that he's frightened of being inadequate. Fonda allays his fears and says that they have a whole lifetime to learn about each other and work things out. Fonda is the weakest link in the marital quartet, and Franciosa emerges as the strongest. Given the right material, he can
steal scenes from anyone. The film was nominated by the Academy for Best Art Direction.
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