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A married couple endures endless red tape when they try to adopt a child.
In Westport, Connecticut, Augie and Isolde Poole celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary by turning in an application to the Rock-a-Bye adoption agency. Encouraged by their friends and next-door neighbors, Dick and Alice Pepper, who have three children and another due, Isolde, who has been unsuccessful in her attempts to become pregnant, is determined that she and Augie will eventually be parents. While awaiting news of the application to the agency, Isolde decides that she and Augie should continue to try to have a baby on their own, and she enthusiastically follows all the latest advice by pregnancy experts. Although exhausted by Isolde's resolve, Augie worries about having a child while they are living off Isolde's family money as he struggles to make a success as a serious cartoonist. Dick, editor of The Townsman magazine, assures Augie that his publication would gladly hire Augie to write gags, but Isolde insists that Augie hold out for a more important offer. Dick criticizes Augie for being too serious, compared to his own lighthearted manner, which, to Augie's dismay, includes perpetual infidelity. One afternoon some weeks after their application, Estelle Novick, a striking young representative from Rock-a-Bye, visits the Pooles' neighborhood. Having learned of Estelle's presence from other neighbors, Alice takes Isolde home to dress her properly for the interview. When Estelle comes to the Pooles' house, Augie is unaware of her identity and, believing she works for a local charity, drinks two cocktails and behaves casually. When Dick comes over and makes a pass at Estelle, however, she is outraged and reveals her identity. Reminding the men that Dick is the Pooles' reference, Estelle waves aside their abject apologies and insists that she must report her findings to the agency. When Estelle departs as soon as Isolde returns, Isolde is hurt and angry at Augie and goes home with Alice. Dick tries to comfort Augie by suggesting that Augie might relax if he had an affair, but when Augie scoffs, Dick offers him tranquilizers and leaves. Moments later, Estelle returns to the Pooles', apologizes for her severe behavior and accepts the cocktail Augie offered her earlier. Considering Dick's advice and dispirited by Isolde's anger, Augie is emboldened to ask Estelle to dinner. While driving into town, however, Augie panics and takes one of Dick's tranquilizers. Later, when Augie becomes drowsy, Estelle drives him to a motel and checks him into a room to let him sleep off the pill's effect. The next morning, Augie is mortified to find himself in the motel and, finding a note from Estelle thanking him for his kindness, believes he has been unfaithful to Isolde. Three months later, Isolde is disheartened to have heard nothing from Rock-a-Bye or any of the other adoption agencies. Augie visits Dick and confesses the incident with Estelle, from whom he has just received a call informing him that she is pregnant and leaving the area for her confinement. Fearful that she will demand money, Augie pleads with Dick to hire him at the magazine, then give him a thousand dollar advance. Later that day, Estelle drops by to visit the Pooles to advise them that she believes in a few months they may at last get their baby. Isolde is delighted by the news and Augie weakly announces his new job with Dick's magazine. Alone with Estelle later, Augie presses the money on her, then demands an explanation. Estelle promises to repay the loan, then explains that she owes the Pooles for all of Augie's assistance to her. A few months later, Dick and Alice throw Augie and Isolde a party in anticipation of the arrival of the new baby. While dancing with Dick, Isolde confides that she has found a mysterious thousand dollar imbalance in the Pooles' finances. Realizing this must be the money Augie has given Estelle, Dick invents a story of losing an investment on the stock market and Augie giving him a loan. Surprised but pleased, Isolde asks for the money to be repaid for preparations for the baby. That night, Isolde tells Augie about the bank imbalance and, panicked, Augie hastily admits that he borrowed money from Dick several times and paid it back in full once he was employed. Certain that Augie is covering for Dick, the next day Isolde tells Alice, who promises to repay the money. Some weeks later, Miss MacCracken from Rock-a-Bye telephones to schedule a visit. Unnerved, Augie wonders if he should confess everything to Isolde. Miss MacCracken arrives and informs Isolde and Augie that a baby has just been born and they have been moved to the top of the agency's list. Thrilled, Augie and Isolde welcome the infant baby boy to their home days later, and soon everyone notices the baby's similarity to Augie. Weeks afterward, as the physical similarity grows, Isolde becomes suspicious. When Isolde has Augie's baby picture blown up and Alice mistakes it for the baby, Isolde furiously accuses Augie of infidelity and declares she is leaving him. As Isolde is packing, Miss MacCracken returns to make an inspection of the couples' first month with the baby. Realizing that the couple is breaking up, she declares she must make a report to the agency, but Augie pleads for a week and Miss MacCracken agrees. Desperate to stop Isolde from leaving, Augie then confesses the incident with Estelle. Just then, however, Estelle arrives to congratulate the Pooles and repay Augie the loan. She explains the money made it possible for her husband to continue his research in Australia while she had her baby girl. With her husband's success at publishing a book on his work, she and the baby will join him in Australia. After showing the Pooles a picture of her baby girl and admiring how well the agency did placing the Pooles with their baby, Estelle departs. Isolde apologizes to Augie for her suspicions, then admits to feeling unusual. The Pooles then realize that Isolde is pregnant and retire to the house to celebrate.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||World premiere in Chicago: 7 Nov 1958|
|Release Date:||1958||Production Date:||
A Joseph Fields Production
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.|
|Sound:||Stereo||Production Co:||Arwin Productions, Inc., Fields Productions, Inc.|
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User Ratings & Review
Everybody loves Richard (Widmark)
Jack Jacoby 2010-10-27
A scant year after being directed by lifelong actor buddy, Karl Malden, Widmark is cast in a rare comedy and is directed by the great Gene Kelly, more...
Annell Gibson 2008-08-11
This was a very funny movie that is worth watching. It keep us laughing through the whole movie.