Good Neighbor Sam
Action / Comedy
Good Neighbor Sam
Action / Comedy
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Sam Bissel is a wholesome family man with a loving wife, Min, and two loving daughters. They lead a happy suburban life. The only part of Sam's life that he is not happy about is his job as a lowly cog in the art department of the advertising firm of Burke & Hare. Sam's professional life takes a major turn when he is made executive of the Nurdlinger Dairy account. Simon Nurdlinger is a wholesome family man who wants a wholesome family man with wholesome family ideals heading his account, Sam the only one in Burke & Hare that fits the bill. Sam's home life also takes a major turn when Min's college friend, Janet Lagerlof, moves in next door. Janet stands to inherit $15 million from her grandfather's estate, but the will has a clause that she must be happily married to inherit the money. Janet is technically divorced from Howard Ebbets, and states that getting back with Howard is not worth $15 million. But when Jack Bailey and Irene Krump - two of Janet's relatives who would like to find any excuse to contest the will - come by for an unexpected visit, Janet impetuously introduces Sam as her husband, Howard. Things get more complicated for Sam when he is later forced to introduce Janet as Mrs. Bissel to both Burke and Nurdlinger. Sam and by association Min go along with the ruse, and for their troubles Janet offers to give them $1 million of her inheritance. After that, further complications occur: Janet notices a private investigator snooping around the neighborhood, the P.I. hired by Janet's relatives; Howard, Janet's ex-husband comes back wanting to reconcile with her; and without Sam's knowledge, the Nurdlinger creative includes billboards featuring a wholesome couple espousing the goodness of Nurdlinger milk, that wholesome couple being Sam and Janet as Mr. & Mrs. Sam Bissel. They just have to continue dealing with these complications until the legal hearing. But Min may just have had enough of this plan before they get the money. —Huggo.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Aug 15, 2021 at 05:43 PM
- Anne Seymour as Irene
- Bess Flowers as Mrs. Burke
- Louis Nye as Reinhold Shiffner
- Richard Hale as Mr. Vernier
grade Movie Reviews
As Mr. Nurdlinger might say, good clean fun!
I also saw this movie as a child, and fell in love with it. I particularly liked the wacky gadgets Sam would build, and the theme song (by Frank De Vol) is very catchy. One time when it was on TV, I was able to make an audio tape of it on this crummy little portable real-to-real tape recorder my dad gave me. I played it so much that I was able to memorize whole lines of dialog - "you can't alter a man's death-bed request with a lot of childish spying and gossip. Now obviously this man and woman are husband and wife, Mr and Mrs Howard Ebbets, and as such, I set the distribution of the Lagerlof will for 9am tomorrow morning. Now good day..."It's nice to see Mike Connors in a pre-Mannix role, and you can never get enough of Louis Nye. Edward G Robinson does a good job of playing the wealthy dairyman, Mr Nurdlinger. Plus his participation gives the whole production a needed bit of weight. This is the kind of movie they're talking about when they say - "they don't make 'em like that anymore." And I say, it's our loss.
A Funny Movie It's Star Never Liked
GOOD NEIGHBOR SAM was one of three films from the middle 1960s that Jack Lemmon detested. After making THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES and THE APARTMENT Lemmon felt he was finally being recognized as a fine dramatic actor, and suddenly he was in this film, UNDER THE YUM YUM TREE, and HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE. He felt that these were minor films, and always disliked making them.In the case of UNDER THE YUM YUM TREE, one can sympathize with Lemmon's feelings. He never played a more detestable character in any of his films than in YUM YUM TREE where he was a total letch. But he was in top comic form, supported by good casts and good scripts in SAM and WIFE. They were not great movies, but both were entertaining.The plot of GOOD NEIGHBOR SAM is an old one: a family friend is in a tight spot and needs to borrow the spouse of his/her closest friend to get out of it. Another example of this is GUEST WIFE, where Don Ameche borrows Dick Foran's wife (Claudette Colbert). There the complication is that Ameche's boss (Charles Dingle) believes Ameche's wife is an amazing, supporting woman in her "husband's" remarkable career as a correspondent in Asia. Here Romy Schneider borrows Dorothy Provine's husband (Lemmon) to pretend that she is happily together with her husband to claim a $15,000,000.00 estate. But her husband (Mike Connors) shows up, and to save the situation pretends he is Provine's husband. This leads to complications of mutual jealousies between Connors and Lemmon, as well as problems concerning a multi-million dollar ad campaign Lemmon is handling on behalf of dairy farm millionaire (and total prude) Edward G. Robinson. The film has many nice spots in it, especially for Robert Q. Lewis, as a friend and fellow employee of Lemmon who is nearly driven nuts by watching the odd goings on between Lemmon - Provine - Schneider - Connors. Also the ultimate private detective, Louis Nye, who has some great (and for 1964 really advanced) devices for his business. My favorite bits are now a trifle dated - the running gag about the old Hertz Rent-A-Car ads ("Let Hertz Put You In The Driver Seat"). A wonderful chase, involving painting and billboards, raps the film up very nicely. Lemmon was wrong - not in the same category as SAVE THE TIGER, GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, or THE APARTMENT, but a worthy, entertaining film.
Jack Lemmon in top form:
Jack Lemmon stands at the top of his profession when it comes to comedy. No other actor has his sense of timing or expressive manners to offer competition to the master. "Good Neighbor Sam" is Lemmon at his best. Playing the average guy next door who gets into all kinds of problems through mostly no fault of his own. Everyone will enjoy this movie and the other Lemmon films similar to it. I rated this a 7.
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