‘The Tender Trap’ from Warner Archive Collection

Category: Blu-ray's and DVD's

Frank Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds, David Wayne, and Celeste Holm star in the delightful comedy The Tender Trap. This 1955 film has some great musical numbers but also a fun story.

Reynolds is Julie Gillis, a young actress who has no desire to have a big career. Acting is just a way to bide her time until she gets married. Marriage is her ultimate goal. Remember – this was filmed in the mid 1950s when women aspired to being a wife and mother. Well, most women. Or at least that is what they were told they should do with their lives.

Julie has her life all mapped out. She knows exactly where she will live and where her kids will go to school. To say she is kind of whacky is an understatement. But that is the way she is living her life.

Sinatra is Charlie Reader, a talent agent whose agency signs Julie. She has a lot of talent for singing and acting. But when he delivers a contract to her, she is not excited. Most women would be excited about getting a run-of-the-play contract for a Broadway show. But Julie only wants a limited time contract. Why, you may wonder? Well, she feels – no, she knows, she will be getting married and does not want to have a career once she says “I do.”

Charlie is a player in New York. He has all kinds of women in his life. And when his childhood friend Joe (Wayne) comes to town for a visit, Joe is understandably overwhelmed with Charlie’s life and his women. Holm is Sylvia, a member of the philharmonic who has charm, class, talent, and intelligence. Why she is hanging onto Charlie is a mystery to Joe.

Well, things go along and then get out of control. With parties, booze, women, and song, this movie is filled with a delightful story and cute characters. And when Julie sets her sights on Charlie Reader, well, you can only imagine what transpires.

The bonus features include a wonderful documentary about Frank Sinatra in the 1950s. In the 40s when he was rising to superstar fame as a singer, he had to have breakaway suits made for him because young girls would tear his sleeves and his clothes. He was the first big musical idol. The documentary also describes his ups and downs as both a singer and an actor, and how he made his big mark on Hollywood with his Academy Award-winning role in From Here to Eternity. The 1950s was the decade when he moved away from trite musicals and mostly into dramas.  This documentary is a good look at the man and his career.

Two other bonus features include chapters from the MGM Parade. First, Debbie Reynolds talks about making The Tender Trap, and the second looks at the film itself and the songs.

The Tender Trap is part of the Warner Archive Collection and can be ordered from their website or other online outlets. It is not rated however could be considered PG due to the alcoholic consumption.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 25 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Los Angeles Press Club and the Television Critics Association and is accredited by the MPAA.