Tammy and the Bachelor


1h 29m 1957
Tammy and the Bachelor

Brief Synopsis

A country girl saves a pilot after a plane crash.

Film Details

Also Known As
Tammy
Genre
Comedy
Adaptation
Release Date
Aug 1957
Premiere Information
24 Apr--early Jun 1956
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Mississippi, United States; Louisiana, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Tammy Out of Time by Cid Ricketts Sumner (Indianapolis, 1948).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 29m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Tammy, a seventeen-year-old tomboy who lives near a Louisiana swamp with her grandfather, lay preacher John Dinwitty, complains to her best friend, a goat named Nan, about their sheltered existence. When Grandpa announces that he is going to investigate the site of a plane crash, a bored Tammy insists on accompanying him, and they soon discover the pilot, Natchez landowner Peter Brent, floating unconscious on the river. They bring Peter home, where Tammy nurses him and prays for his life. When Peter finally recovers five days later, Tammy credits God and onion poultices, and instantly charms Peter with her straightforward, folksy approach to life. He recuperates for another five days, during which Tammy falls in love with him. Peter, however, has a girl friend, socialite Barbara Crain, and as soon as he discerns Tammy's feelings, he prepares to leave, promising never to forget her. Weeks later, when Grandpa is jailed for bootlegging corn liquor in an attempt to make enough money to send Tammy to school, he insists that she move in with Peter's family. Tammy and Nan walk all the way to Peter's home, where his friends are practicing dances for the upcoming Pilgrimage Week under the watchful eye of his mother, who views the festival as an opportunity to show off their estate. An exhausted Tammy falls asleep on the porch, and when Peter discovers her, he assumes that Grandpa has died. In the morning, after Tammy sees herself in a mirror for the first time, Peter brings her breakfast, and then explains that he is farming experimental tomatoes in the hopes of reviving the failing farm. He kisses her on the cheek, an innocent gesture that makes her swoon with pleasure. Downstairs, she discovers indoor plumbing and meets Peter's father, Professor Brent, and Aunt Renie, who dabbles in painting. At breakfast, Mrs. Brent, a leader in the temperance league, is horrified to learn that Grandpa is not dead but incarcerated, and although an embarrassed Tammy announces she will leave at once, Peter apologizes and urges her to stay, and Renie concurs. Later, Peter muses over Barbara's preference for city life, and is pleased by Tammy's enthusiasm for living off the land, wishing that everyone could share her desire for nothing more than food, shelter, family and love. When he hugs her, she puckers her lips, but he merely kisses her forehead. A month passes, during which Mrs. Brent, preparing feverishly for Pilgrimage Week, criticizes Tammy for her unrefined speech, and Renie complains that she has wasted her life by failing to live as a Bohemian in Paris. One day, Peter's rakish friend Ernie invites Tammy on a date. Peter follows them and interrupts Ernie's attempts to seduce the naïve girl. After a brief squabble with Ernie, Peter pulls Tammy into his car, where he inadvertently delights her with his demonstration of how a "wolf" behaves. They share a night in town, after which she asserts that everyone in his family is afraid¿Renie of doing what she loves, Mrs. Brent of dying, Prof. Brent of facing the world, and Peter of being a failure. A disturbed Peter agrees that he has been drifting since the war, then lightheartedly asks her to help him find himself. One day soon after, Barbara arrives with her uncle, wealthy advertising executive Alfred Bissle, who scorns Peter's inclination to revive the farm rather than work at the ad agency. After Tammy defends land ownership as the only true wealth, a jealous Barbara humiliates her, and Tammy spends the evening in the barn with Nan. Peter later assures her that he has not taken the job, and when Tammy sympathizes with his desire to please his mother and girl friend, Peter marvels at her wisdom, but continues to view her as a child. As Pilgrimage Week begins, Tammy encourages Al to eat a hearty breakfast, and he is thrilled to discover that his constant indigestion has been alleviated. Downstairs, Renie secretly outfits Tammy in her Grandmother Cratchett's antebellum gown, instantly transforming her into a lovely woman. Everyone is struck silent by her beauty, especially Peter, but Mrs. Brent breaks the spell by rhapsodizing over Barbara's dress. Mrs. Brent then asks Tammy to play the part of Grandmother Cratchett for the evening, hoping this will excuse her rough rural speech, and Tammy takes to the charade with gusto, spinning a charming tale of the pioneer Brents that soon draws all of the guests around her. Peter prompts her to recount how she met Grandfather Brent, and stands close to her as she narrates the romantic story. After Barbara quickly interrupts, Ernie asks Tammy out again, this time respectfully, but she rejects him. Late that night, a violent storm rages, and although Tammy runs out to the garden to help Peter cover the tomatoes, they are destroyed, and an inconsolable Peter decides to accepts Al's job offer. At breakfast, Renie announces that Tammy has inspired her to move to New Orleans to paint, and that she plans to sell the house, while Al declares that seeing Tammy revive the charm of the Old South has made him value the estate. The professor, grasping the hands of his delighted wife, adds that he has learned not to be afraid of life. Just then, Osia, the housekeeper, reveals that Tammy has gone, and Renie warns Peter that he should not go after her unless he loves her. Without speaking, he rushes out the front door, where Barbara has just arrived bearing a newspaper which exposes Tammy's grandfather's bootlegging charge. After Barbara gloats that Mrs. Brent will be furious, Peter tells her that their love, which does not allow for compromises, is not strong enough. Hours later, Peter finds Tammy by the river near her houseboat. He has secured Grandpa's release from jail, but before Tammy can greet her grandfather, she pauses to receive her first real kiss.

Film Details

Also Known As
Tammy
Genre
Comedy
Adaptation
Release Date
Aug 1957
Premiere Information
24 Apr--early Jun 1956
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Mississippi, United States; Louisiana, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Tammy Out of Time by Cid Ricketts Sumner (Indianapolis, 1948).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 29m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Award Nominations

Best Song

1957

Articles

Tammy and the Bachelor


In a perhaps ironic twist of fate, Debbie Reynolds was 25, married to singer Eddie Fisher, and pregnant with her daughter Carrie when she played the innocent, backwoods 17-year-old Tambley "Tammy" Tyree in Tammy and the Bachelor (1957). It was a Cinderella story with a dash of hokum and more than a dash of the "bright as a new copper penny" personality of Debbie Reynolds. The combination added up to a gold record for Reynolds, a box office hit, and a franchise for Universal.

Shot in only a few weeks between April 24th and early June 1956, the film told the story of a southern, backwoods teenager Tammy (Reynolds), who rescues handsome pilot Peter Brent (Leslie Nielsen) when his plane crashes into a swamp. Later, after her moonshine-making grandpa gets arrested, she is sent to live with Peter's family and her spunky, upbeat manner wins his heart. Directed by Joseph Pevney and produced by Ross Hunter (the former actor-turned-producer who specialized in glossy Technicolor women's films in the 1950s), Tammy and the Bachelor was based on the 1948 novel Tammy Out of Time by Cid Ricketts Sumner.

When Tammy and the Bachelor was released on June 14, 1957, it was not, as Reynolds herself wrote, a big hit. " Tammy and the Bachelor had opened to lukewarm reviews. It was not a spectacular success at the box office. The title song had been sung over the credits of the movie by the Ames Brothers, and I also sang it in the picture. My recording wasn't released until after the movie had come out, but unlike the picture, it took off right away. Seeing a big promotional possibility, Universal immediately pulled the picture for a few weeks until the record built momentum. A few days after we [she and husband Eddie Fisher] arrived in England, I got a wire from the United States informing me that Tammy was one of the Top Ten on the Billboard charts. Everyone was amazed because it was a sweet, simple little ballad in contrast to the hits from Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Paul Anka, and Buddy Holly. [...] The record had such an impact that when Universal re-released Tammy and the Bachelor it grossed millions." The song, written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston earned Reynolds a gold record. It spent five weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts and was also nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Song (with Reynolds singing at the Oscar®ceremony in 1958). Tammy also gave Reynolds the distinction of being the only woman to have a #1 hit record between July 28, 1956 and December 1, 1958.

The Tammy character continued in two later incarnations in three films over ten years, including Tammy Tell Me True (1961) and Tammy and the Doctor (1963) starring Sandra Dee, and the final Tammy movie, Tammy and the Millionaire (1967) with Debbie Watson (who also starred in the 1965-66 TV series).

Producer: Ross Hunter
Director: Joseph Pevney
Screenplay: Oscar Brodney (writer); Cid Ricketts Sumner (novel)
Cinematography: Arthur E. Arling
Art Direction: Bill Newberry, Richard H. Riedel
Music: Frank Skinner
Film Editing: Ted J. Kent
Cast: Debbie Reynolds (Tambey 'Tammy' Tyree), Leslie Nielsen (Peter Brent), Walter Brennan (John Dinwitty), Mala Powers (Barbara Bissle), Sidney Blackmer (Professor Brent), Mildred Natwick (Aunt Renie), Fay Wray (Mrs. Brent), Philip Ober (Alfred Bissle), Louise Beavers (Osia).
C-89m.

by Lorraine LoBianco

SOURCES:

The AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Bronson, Fred The Billboard Book of Number One Hits
http://www.imdb.com
Reynolds, Debbie, with Columbia, David Patrick Debbie: My Life
Tammy And The Bachelor

Tammy and the Bachelor

In a perhaps ironic twist of fate, Debbie Reynolds was 25, married to singer Eddie Fisher, and pregnant with her daughter Carrie when she played the innocent, backwoods 17-year-old Tambley "Tammy" Tyree in Tammy and the Bachelor (1957). It was a Cinderella story with a dash of hokum and more than a dash of the "bright as a new copper penny" personality of Debbie Reynolds. The combination added up to a gold record for Reynolds, a box office hit, and a franchise for Universal. Shot in only a few weeks between April 24th and early June 1956, the film told the story of a southern, backwoods teenager Tammy (Reynolds), who rescues handsome pilot Peter Brent (Leslie Nielsen) when his plane crashes into a swamp. Later, after her moonshine-making grandpa gets arrested, she is sent to live with Peter's family and her spunky, upbeat manner wins his heart. Directed by Joseph Pevney and produced by Ross Hunter (the former actor-turned-producer who specialized in glossy Technicolor women's films in the 1950s), Tammy and the Bachelor was based on the 1948 novel Tammy Out of Time by Cid Ricketts Sumner. When Tammy and the Bachelor was released on June 14, 1957, it was not, as Reynolds herself wrote, a big hit. " Tammy and the Bachelor had opened to lukewarm reviews. It was not a spectacular success at the box office. The title song had been sung over the credits of the movie by the Ames Brothers, and I also sang it in the picture. My recording wasn't released until after the movie had come out, but unlike the picture, it took off right away. Seeing a big promotional possibility, Universal immediately pulled the picture for a few weeks until the record built momentum. A few days after we [she and husband Eddie Fisher] arrived in England, I got a wire from the United States informing me that Tammy was one of the Top Ten on the Billboard charts. Everyone was amazed because it was a sweet, simple little ballad in contrast to the hits from Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Paul Anka, and Buddy Holly. [...] The record had such an impact that when Universal re-released Tammy and the Bachelor it grossed millions." The song, written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston earned Reynolds a gold record. It spent five weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts and was also nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Song (with Reynolds singing at the Oscar®ceremony in 1958). Tammy also gave Reynolds the distinction of being the only woman to have a #1 hit record between July 28, 1956 and December 1, 1958. The Tammy character continued in two later incarnations in three films over ten years, including Tammy Tell Me True (1961) and Tammy and the Doctor (1963) starring Sandra Dee, and the final Tammy movie, Tammy and the Millionaire (1967) with Debbie Watson (who also starred in the 1965-66 TV series). Producer: Ross Hunter Director: Joseph Pevney Screenplay: Oscar Brodney (writer); Cid Ricketts Sumner (novel) Cinematography: Arthur E. Arling Art Direction: Bill Newberry, Richard H. Riedel Music: Frank Skinner Film Editing: Ted J. Kent Cast: Debbie Reynolds (Tambey 'Tammy' Tyree), Leslie Nielsen (Peter Brent), Walter Brennan (John Dinwitty), Mala Powers (Barbara Bissle), Sidney Blackmer (Professor Brent), Mildred Natwick (Aunt Renie), Fay Wray (Mrs. Brent), Philip Ober (Alfred Bissle), Louise Beavers (Osia). C-89m. by Lorraine LoBianco SOURCES: The AFI Catalog of Feature Films Bronson, Fred The Billboard Book of Number One Hits http://www.imdb.com Reynolds, Debbie, with Columbia, David Patrick Debbie: My Life

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Tammy. An April 1956 "Rambling Reporter" item in Hollywood Reporter stated that Universal was considering Steve Forrest to star in the film, and an April 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item announced that Ann Harding was cast in a starring role, but she was not in the film. The studio borrowed Debbie Reynolds and director of photography Arthur E. Arling from M-G-M. According to a April 9, 1956 Hollywood Reporter item, portions of the film were shot on location in Louisiana, and studio press materials add that backgrounds were shot in Mississippi.
       Modern sources, including Reynolds' autobiography, note that after the film opened to mediocre reviews and ticket sales, Universal, noting the growing popularity of the picture's opening song, "Tammy," pulled the film out of theaters. When the studio re-released the film months later, the song's hit status renewed interest in the picture, which went on to become a box-office success. The song was later nominated for an Academy Award. The film spurred three sequels: Tammy Tell Me True in 1961 and Tammy and the Doctor in 1963, both directed by Harry Keller and starring Sandra Dee, and Tammy and the Millionaire in 1967, directed by Leslie Goodwins and starring Debbie Watson. It also inspired the television series Tammy, which ran on the ABC network from September 17, 1965 to March 4, 1966 and starred Debbie Watson.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer July 1957

Film spawned two sequels "Tammy and the Doctor" and "Tammy Tell Me True", as well as the TV series "Tammy."

CinemaScope

Released in United States Summer July 1957