The Tender Trap When the eyes are Debbie Reynolds and the viewer is Frank Sinatra, you can expect a lot of fun and The Tender Trap delivers that fun.
Frank Sinatra stars in the movie version of a play which had a modest run on Broadway concerning an actor’s agent who’s got the life we only dream about. Since this was the kind of life Sinatra really had, it sure isn’t an acting stretch for him. Still Sinatra plays this thing very well. Of course everyone has beauties like Celeste Holm, Lola Albright, Jarma Lewis, and Carolyn Jones around. They all got a piece of old Blue Eyes.
In steps new client Debbie Reynolds, the 1950s all time good girl and she’s not tolerating Frank’s wolfish ways. She’s got marriage on the mind.
It’s an interesting commentary on the times that back in the 1950s, the ultimate goal for a woman was the house with the white picket fence, husband, and three kids. Even for one as obviously talented as Debbie Reynolds.
Sinatra’s also got a male guest in the house, childhood friend David Wayne who blew in from Indiana and has announced his intention of getting in on Sinatra’s action. He’s left his wife, home, and three kids and is having an early midlife crisis. I think you can figure the rest of the plot from here.
One thing the play on Broadway didn’t have was that wonderful title tune that James Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn wrote. Sinatra opens the film with that song before the title credits and Reynolds later sings it in the film. I remember what a mega-hit it was for Frank back in the day. So perfectly suited for him and his style. All I can say is Ring-a-ding ding ding.
Frank and Debbie do well together, too bad they never made another film together. The following year she made one with her husband Eddie Fisher and the demand for the team was underwhelming.
Everyone, but especially Sinatra aficionados should love this one.