6.9/10
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Good Neighbor Sam (1964)

Approved | | Comedy | 22 July 1964 (USA)
To help his divorced neighbor claim a substantial inheritance, a family man poses as her husband. The ruse spills over into his career in advertising, and his recent promotion relies on his wholesome and moral appearance.

Director:

David Swift

Writers:

James Fritzell (screenplay), Everett Greenbaum (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Lemmon ... Sam Bissell
Romy Schneider ... Janet Lagerlof
Dorothy Provine ... Minerva Bissell
Mike Connors ... Howard Ebbets (as Michael Connors)
Edward Andrews ... Mr. Burke
Louis Nye ... Reinhold Shiffner
Robert Q. Lewis ... Earl
Joyce Jameson ... Hotel Prostitute
Anne Seymour ... Irene
Charles Lane ... Jack Bailey
Linda Watkins ... Edna Bailey
Peter Hobbs ... Phil Reisner
Tristram Coffin ... Sonny Blatchford (as Tris Coffin)
Neil Hamilton ... Larry Boling
Riza Royce ... Miss Halverson
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Storyline

Sam Bissel is a wholesome family man with a loving wife, Min, and two loving daughters. They lead a happy suburban life. The only part of Sam's life that he is not happy about is his job as a lowly cog in the art department of the advertising firm of Burke & Hare. Sam's professional life takes a major turn when he is made executive of the Nurdlinger Dairy account. Simon Nurdlinger is a wholesome family man who wants a wholesome family man with wholesome family ideals heading his account, Sam the only one in Burke & Hare that fits the bill. Sam's home life also takes a major turn when Min's college friend, Janet Lagerlof, moves in next door. Janet stands to inherit $15 million from her grandfather's estate, but the will has a clause that she must be happily married to inherit the money. Janet is technically divorced from Howard Ebbets, and states that getting back with Howard is not worth $15 million. But when Jack Bailey and Irene Krump - two of Janet's relatives who would like to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Slam! Bam! Here comes Sam!...Caught in the Middle of a Two-Woman Jam!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 July 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Leih mir deinen Mann See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$9,072,726
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Aired recently as part of TCM "Adventures In Advertising" block of movies, obvious product placement in the film includes, portraying the fictitious Burke and Hare Advertising Agency as the producer's of the television commercial "Let Hertz put you in the driver's seat" theme song, as well as logo placement for Delta Air Lines, Northwest Air Lines, BOAC Airway (British Overseas Airway Corporation), TWA, and Allied {#1} Van Lines. See more »

Goofs

When Jen is unpacking her moving van box, she is surprised by her greedy cousins, and drops a large ashtray on the coffee table. A split second later, the ashtray has disappeared and has been replaced by a huge wad of packing paper. See more »

Quotes

Sam Bissell: I think we should eat here a lot more often.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cut Ups (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Let Hertz Put You in the Driver's Seat
(uncredited)
Lyrics and Music by Richard Adler
Performed by The Hi-Los
See more »

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User Reviews

 
'60s comedy - a different look from what "Mad Men" shows us
25 August 2012 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"Good Neighbor Sam" is a 1964 film starring Jack Lemmon, Dorothy Provine, Romy Schneider, Edward G. Robinson, and Mike Connors. Lemmon plays ad man Sam Bissell, married to the lovely Min (Provine). Min's best friend Janet (Schneider) comes to live in the area after her divorce, but she soon finds out she has a problem. Her grandfather has left her his estate, but on meeting with the lawyer, she finds out that she's supposed to be in a good marriage to Howard (Connors), her ex-husband. When her cousins, who want the $15 million she inherited, come to visit, Sam happens to be in her house, which is next door. Janet introduces him as her husband.

At work, Sam gets a big promotion when the product's president wants a wholesome individual with good values to head up his account. Between that and a detective in a truck spying on both houses, Sam and Janet have to continue to pretend they're married, to Min's aggravation. Then Howard appears.

Cute comedy that is overly long and a little frantic. The premise is simple but on the flimsy side and doesn't quite come off as intended - a Rock Hudson/Doris Day type comedy. It lacks the gloss and snap of the Hudson/Day films.

Nevertheless, the performances are good. Provine, with her good figure and quirky voice, is lovely as the sometimes frustrated Min, and Romy Schneider, a huge star in Europe, is beautiful and vivacious as Janet. Sam is the type of role Lemmon could play with one hand tied behind his back. I don't imagine it was much of a challenge.

The good supporting cast includes Edward Andrews, Louis Nye, Robert Q. Lewis, Anne Seymour, and Charles Lane (who died in 2007 at the age of 102 and worked to the end).

Given the presence of "Mad Men," "Good Neighbor Sam" begs comparison between the way the advertising world is presented in both vehicles. Guess what - it's about the same! The Robinson character quotes the Bible and considers most of the people he deals with as cheating husbands with no moral values.

It was fun for me to see Provine, whom I interviewed, Nye, and Robert Q. Lewis (whom I saw on stage in The Odd Couple), none of whom I'd seen in a film for a while. Nice memories and a mildly entertaining film.


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