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Bundle of Joy

Bundle of Joy(1956)


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Bundle of Joy was a remake of the 1939 RKO film Bachelor Mother, directed by Garson Kanin and starring Ginger Rogers and David Niven (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40). Norman Krasna, who wrote the screenplay for Bachelor Mother, and Felix Jackson, who wrote the story, are credited on Bundle of Joy along with screenwriters Robert Carson and Arthur Sheekman. According to a May 1954 Daily Variety news item, George Jessel planned to remake Bachelor Mother at RKO that year with Betty Hutton as the star. Although a February 21, 1956 Hollywood Reporter article states that the film would be an "Edmund Grainger independent production in conjunction with RKO," Grainger's production company is not listed in the onscreen credits.
       RKO borrowed Debbie Reynolds from M-G-M for Bundle of Joy, which marked her only onscreen teaming with then-husband Eddie Fisher. Although Fisher had acted in a small role in the 1950 film All About Eve (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50), his role was cut from that film, making Bundle of Joy his motion picture debut. Reynolds was pregnant during production and gave birth to daughter Carrie in October 1956, two months before the film's premiere. Despite the studio's attempt to link the Fishers to the happy family in the film, Reynolds noted in her autobiography that the marriage was already failing. The sequence in the film in which "Dan Merlin" outfits "Polly Parrish" in finery is rendered in silence, with only a background score.
       According to a March 7, 1961 Daily Variety article, RKO was sued by Ramrod Productions, Inc., which held a ten-year contract with Fisher. Ramrod sought a restraining order against any further television screenings of Bundle of Joy, in addition to damages of $1,400,000. The disposition of the suit has not been determined. Reynolds received a 1956 Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress, Musical or Comedy for her role in the film.