skip navigation
The Catered Affair

The Catered Affair(1956)

  • Saturday, August 23 @ 09:45 AM (ET) - Reminder REMINDER

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)

DVDs from TCM Shop

The Catered Affair A working-class mother fights... MORE > $19.99 Regularly $19.99 Buy Now


user reviews

See Detailed Ratings
    Acting of Lead Performers
    Acting of Supporting Cast
    Music Score
    Title Sequence
  • No Ratings Available Add Yours Now
    Historical Importance
    Would You Recommend?
  • 0 Member Ratings

Add your ratings! Each of the detailed ratings you select will result in a cumulative score for this film.

You can also write a review by clicking here. Your review will then be posted for everyone to read.

Thank You!

We have received your ratings and calculated them into the overall user ratings for this title.

You can also write a review by clicking here. Your review will then be posted for everyone to read.

    Rate the acting of the Lead Performers
    Rate the acting of the Supporting Cast
    Rate the Director
    Rating of the Music Score
    Rating of the Title Sequence
    Creatively uses the camera to tell the story
    Importance in Cinema history
    Would you recommend for fans of this genre
Submit Ratings Cancel Write a Review Read Reviews

*By submitting your contribution, you agree to TCM's Terms of Use. TCM will use your personal information consistent with our Privacy Policy


The title has not been reviewed. Be the first to write a review by clicking here to start.

  • Bette Davis Shines in The Catered Affair

    • Lynn
    • 5/11/14

    I just watched The Catered Affair for the first time and became an avid Bette Davis fan. This movie is an outstanding ensemble film with a stellar cast and stunning script by Paddy Chayefsky, beautifully directed by Richard Brooks. I confess I've never been so impressed with Bette Davis as in this film, where she plays the blue collar, long-suffering wife and mother to perfection. As with "Marty," Chayefsky captures the heart and soul of ordinary people with humor and pathos. Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Fitzgerald and the rest of the cast are outstanding. I laughed so much at the 'momisms' watching Bette Davis "tie your shoes, marriage isn't all roses". Thank you TCM for showing this heart-warming film on Mother's Day!

  • "I'm your husband - what about something for me?"

    • Jeff Boston
    • 4/9/14

    This timeless treasure would not have been made if not for the success of Chayefsky's "Marty." Oscar winners Davis, Borgnine and Fitzgerald star (along with future Oscar nominee Reynolds) in a slice of wrenching, and ultimately uplifting, realism. The acting and writing are superb in what could easily be a well received play today. So many issues that never go away, like how family neglects the desires of their husband/father in America more than anywhere else in the world.

  • Guest pick

    • I_Fortuna
    • 4/8/14

    Pat, a viewer, from Texas introduced this film as a guest programmer. I had never seen this movie and I loved all the talent in it. What a great selection! I love seeing the viewers as programmers. We get to see films we have not seen before or have not seen often as their favorites. Thanks for this pick Pat, I enjoyed it so much.

  • Movies when they were movies

    • Thomas Villani
    • 1/24/13

    I cried at the end. It doesn't get any better then Borgnine and Davis. They came around full circle as a couple realizing that after all the years they were married life for them was just starting in a way that was new and better w a fresh realization that life was moving forward in a positive way. Especially w Borgnine realizing his dream of a new cab business w his friend. Just beautiful.

  • The Catered Affair

    • Elizabeth
    • 1/21/11

    I love this movie starring Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds and Rod Taylor. It is simple and wonderful. I hope it is on DVD in the "very"near future.

  • The Catered Affair

    • Margie
    • 5/10/10

    WOW....where has this one been hidden? It was a wonderful Mother's Day movie for me to enjoy. The storyline was simple, yet profoundly deep, as well. The characters invite you in to experience how each of them feel about this wedding and how it affects them. I was transfixed to see how it ended. I think this should be among the Classics, the Essentials, a Must See movie. Thank you TCM for showing it!

  • Outstanding

    • L.Sommers
    • 5/9/10

    I saw this movie on sun 5/9/2010. It depicts events in the lives of ordinary people.Ive always been an admirer of both Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine, and they've never been better. At least Ive yet to see either of them top the performances in this movie.The entire cast is very good. A special mention goes to the actor who played the role of the "uncle"(I think his last name is fitzgerald),outstanding. His Irish accent is tops. What a character.Don't forget Debbie Reynolds, also very good.No glitz. No glitter. Just plain, understated acting. Magnificent!Wow!

  • Debbie Reynolds missed Oscar nomination'

    • Dan
    • 2/11/10

    As fine as both Bette Davis & Ernest Borgnine are, Debbie Reynolds is the revelation here. Completely subduing her Hollywood persona, she seems in both her speech, manner & appearance this young lower class woman from the Bronx. She is deglamourized yet still looks prettier than in her Technicolored musicals, & all the cute little mannerims are completly gone. This is the emergence of a good yound actress, & it's a pity all her hard work wasn't rewarded by an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress if not an actual win.

  • Borgnine and Bette at their Best

    • GeorgiaR
    • 7/11/09

    Who'd have thought that Bette Davis could have made herself into the perfect wife for New York cabbie, Ernest Borgnine? Davis consistently shape-shifts from role to role, keeping me guessing who she's going to become next. I like that in an actor. This time the issue's their daughter's (Debbie Reynolds) up coming marriage. Mom (Davis wants it to be a grand send off of a wedding. Dad's concerned about the money. The happy couple's grows unhappy over the controversy and want to get it over with at city hall! The sentiment's the thing. It's layered in various relationships. Ultimately, that's what the film's about: the meaning and value of real love and how it behaves. Davis is ideal for playing this character in a deep and dear complexly dramatic role. She makes something and someone so ordinary become extraordinary. Borgnine is the perfect partner for her to do that with because he's such an everyday man.

  • A Review for Collectors

    • DrMD
    • 6/25/09

    Both Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine deliver stellar performances playing everyday New Yorkers who are part of a working class family. Debbie Reynolds is their daughter who's become engaged to be married. Her mother (Davis) longs for her to have a fancy wedding; the wedding she didn't have when she married her father. Her father's much more concerned about the cost of such an event since he's been saving for a new cab. All of the family members become stressed out over the prospect of this wedding. Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine and Debbie Reynolds make an awesome acting trio of leads, with a terrific low key dramatic script and a plot that audiences can relate to. If you can find this on the original VHS in mint condition, it is collectible. Own it, it's worth it.

  • Davis, Borgnine, Reynolds & Chayefsky

    • Joannah
    • 6/20/09

    Credit is due to Paddy Chayefsky for writing a keen teleplay. Bette Davis, once again, takes this typical NYC familydrama, makes it much more sincere and sensitive by her capacity for character development, and steals away with the show. Ernest Borgnine also makes a impact as an NYC cabbie everyday husband and father. Debbie Reynolds is the daughter who's getting married. But it's Davis, her mother, who wants her to have a whopper of a wedding that they really can't afford. The script, cast, and acting are right on the mark. That's what makes this film about an everyday event standout so well.

  • Great Story and Acting

    • Millford
    • 6/12/09

    Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine plays the working class parents of a young Debbie Reynolds. Voila'. There's the lead cast that's going to make this film work. Davis and Borgnine really share the leading roles quite well as a married couple of very modest means. She's a housewife and he's a cabbie. They're both plain people. The family goes into a tail spin when Reynold's announces her intent to be married. her mother wants her to have "a catered affair," the type of wedding she and her husband didn't have. The plot's very moving because Davis takes us along through her inner emotions as she works through her feelings about her daughter's wedding and her husband's wishes. This is a terrific acheivement in character development.

  • Ordinary made Extraordinary

    • Krystal74
    • 5/27/09

    Bette Davis has a unique acting technique of taking an ordinary character, like Aggie Hurley, and turningher into an extraordinary one. It seemed unlikely that Davis being paired with Ernest Borgnine (Tom Hurley) would turn out to be anything close to what the on screen chemistry between them became. After all he's a NYC cabbie, she's a housewife, parents of young adults and living modestly. Aggie has a dream for her daughter's wedding that's related to her own. Tom has a dream for his family related to business. Their dreams collide. What makes Davis' Aggie extraordinary is how she depicts her love prevailing to the most unlikely romantic conclusion between everyday people.

  • Moving drama's another Davis classic

    • Amy_Gay
    • 5/17/09

    During her so called 1950's career slump, Bette Davis plays the everyday wife of cabbie, Ernest Borgnine and the loving mother of near adult daughter, Debbie Reynolds. All three of their performances are fabulous as the Hurley family. The plot centers around the marriage of the elder Hurleys (Davis & Borgnine) as they contend with giving their daughter a wedding on a working class income. The plot brings Bette Davis' role to the forefront as the family matriarch who ulimately decides what their family will do. The end is a classic two hanky one.

  • Davis Plays A Typical Wife

    • Tonix
    • 4/28/09

    Aggie (Davis) is a New York cabbie's (Tom, Ernest Borgnine) wife who lives on a dime. They've been scrimping & saving for Tom's own cab. When their daughter announces she's getting married Aggie wants to give her a wedding & reception that's regal. Once again, Bette Davis plays a typical US working class wife & mother. Not a glamour-gal. Davis & Borgnine work extra well as a pair. The drama's about how a wife strives to influence her whole family to give agree to the kind of wedding Aggie & Tom never had, so that it will last in their memories when life becomes mundane.

  • Anything with Bette Davis is gold

    • Mary
    • 9/28/08

    Smashingly wonderful

  • Where's the DVD?

    • Wally Bray
    • 7/1/08

    I saw this film years ago and loved it. I recently saw the musical version on Broadway and loved it. I refuse to die until the DVD of this film and Debbie Reynolds and Harvey Fierstein doing the commentary is in my collection.

  • Slice of true life

    • Aldo
    • 5/2/08

    An exceptional piece of cinematic art, with nearly flawless performances. Ensemble pieces like this one, as its true with many of Chayevsky's works, show without doubt, that many current films are nothing more than shallow, meaningless attempts at cinematic storytelling. Thank you for this & the many others i look forward to seeing on TCM. We will likely never again see the such fine performers. They are irreplaceable.

  • This is timeless! I love it!

    • Nancy
    • 4/27/08

    Where has this movie been all my life?It's timeless theme of the delicate balance between parents providing for their children and their own dreams. The cast is outstanding! I love it and want to give it as a gift. This film should be on DVD!

  • Great Movie!

    • Jean
    • 3/11/08

    It is a wonderful human interest story. Bette Davis was of course great, but Debbie Reynolds showed her talent for acting. It was beautifully written and directed. I want it for my library.

  • I love this film.

    • Jim
    • 1/24/08

    What a wonderful film about family, human frailty, and dysfunction before it was popular. Debbie Reynolds has never been better, nor has anyone else. Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine, and the lovable Barry Fitzgerald are flawless. A beautiful script. A richly rewarding experience. Please bring this to DVD SOON!!!!!!!!!!


    • chery miller
    • 11/26/07

    the acting and character choice in the 50's couldn't have been better selected..for such an old movie i saw yrs ago...i laughed loved and saw it all different from a woman of 18 and as a woman of 63..wonderful...every bride & groom of today should see.I loved it then and now

  • What Can One Say?

    • Debbie Crawford
    • 3/15/06

    Awesome acting!What are you all waiting on, this needs to be on DVD. I am so surprised these movies are not on DVD, what about the Corn Is Green?

  • Your Name
  • Your Email (optional)
  • Your Location (optional)
      Rate the acting of the Lead Performers
      Rate the acting of the Supporting Cast
      Rate the Director
      Rating of the Music Score
      Rating of the Title Sequence
      Creatively uses the camera to tell the story
      Importance in Cinema history
      Would you recommend for fans of this genre

  • Title of your Review
  • Your Review

    Character Limit! You have reached the 2,000 word character limit for this review.

  • Preview & Submit Cancel Submit Review Go Back
Thank You!

We have received your ratings and calculated them into the overall user ratings for this title.

Click the button below to read reviews and see your posting:

Close Detailed Ratings (optional)

*We protect your personal infortmation and will not provide it to anyone without your consent. For a complete explanation, please refer to TCM's Privacy Policy. By submitting your contribution, you agree to TCM's Terms of Use.