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Bundle of Joy

bundle of joy, bundle of joy meaning
Bundle of Joy 1956 is a Technicolor musical remake of the comedy film Bachelor Mother 1939, which starred Ginger Rogers It stars Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds who were married in real-life at the time, and Adolphe Menjou An unmarried salesgirl at a department store finds and takes care of an abandoned baby Much confusion results when her co-workers assume the child is hers and that the father is the son of the store owner


  • 1 Plot
  • 2 Cast
  • 3 Soundtrack
  • 4 Production
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


The film opens at JB Merlin & Son's department store on the Upper East Side of Manhattan Polly Parish Reynolds works in the Millinery Department, and she is summoned to the office of the store manager where she is fired The manager informs her that she is overselling hats, which creates too many returns and too much work for the accounting department After work, Polly walks home and wonders what she will do to make ends meet

On a step, she encounters an abandoned baby in a blanket and instinctively picks it up to comfort it As she bends over, the door behind the step opens and a woman ushers Polly and the baby inside Polly has not noticed the sign that indicates the door belongs to an orphanage When she denies the baby is hers inside, the staff disbelieve her, having experienced countless women ashamed to admit that they bore a child out of wedlock Polly explains that she has just lost her job at JB Merlin & Son's and insists there is no way that she will care for a baby that is not hers

After she leaves, the head of the orphanage decides to intervene on her behalf, knowing the Merlins to be charitable He convinces the firm to hire Polly back, and she is summoned to a meeting with Dan Merlin Fisher the son of the titular owner Dan informs her that she will be hired back at $10 more per week and that a gift will be delivered to her apartment later that night When the baby arrives, Polly is flabbergasted She convinces a friend to help her deliver the baby back to Dan at his home on East 63rd Street

They leave the baby in the care of Dan's butler, whom Dan enlists to help him return the baby to Polly They track her down to a dance hall where she is hoping to win a prize Eddie gets into a scuffle and gets thrown out So he goes to Polly's apartment and waits for her there with the baby Forced to care for the baby, Polly makes do and grows fond of him She names the child John, and Dan checks in on her from time to time

On New Year's Eve, Dan is stood up by his date, because he had forgotten to call her earlier He arranges for Polly's landlady to watch John while they go out together He takes her to the department store to get an outfit for a night out on the town When he drops her off back at home, he jokes that she is fired so that he can kiss her

Meanwhile, JB Merlin has been misinformed that he is a grandfather, mistaking John to be Dan's son He begins to make arrangements for Dan to have full custody of the child Polly panics at the thought of losing John So she pretends that her landlady's son is John's real father The ensuing confusion leads to a full confession of love from Dan and a happy union for the new family


  • Eddie Fisher as Dan Merlin
  • Debbie Reynolds as Polly Parish
  • Adolphe Menjou as J B Merlin, Dan's father and Polly's ultimate boss
  • Tommy Noonan as Freddie Miller
  • Nita Talbot as Mary
  • Una Merkel as Mrs Dugan
  • Melville Cooper as Adams
  • Gil Stratton as Mike Clancy
  • Bill Goodwin as Mr Creely
  • Howard McNear as Mr Appleby
  • Robert H Harris as Mr Hargraves
  • Mary Treen as Matron
  • Edward Brophy as Dance Contest Judge as Edward S Brophy
  • Scott Douglas as Bill Rand


Music by Josef Myrow and lyrics by Mack Gordon;

  • Bundle of Joy
  • All About Love
  • Some Day Soon
  • I Never Felt This Way Before
  • Worry About Tomorrow
  • Lullaby in Blue


The original narrative of Bundle of Joy was produced by Joe Pasternak who had developed a winning formula in Universal Picture's Berlin division His second picture with Henry Koster director, Felix Jackson writer, and Franciska Gaal actress was Kleine Mutti Little Mother, 1935 about the orphan Marie who raises a foundling and ends up marrying a banker The German-language film was remade in English as Bachelor Mother three years later Bundle of Joy is a musical adaptation of Bachelor Mother, and Jackson retains story credit on both pictures3

The movie's premiere was given at the Capitol Theatre in New York on December 19, 1956 The event doubled as a fundraiser for refugees of the Hungarian Revolution, which had ended only a month earlier George Jessel was the master of ceremonies4 Archduke Leopold of Hapsburg and his sister were notable guests along with other celebrities and executives of RKO pictures The event raised $21,000 for CARE and First Aid for Hungary, which was formed on October 29, 1956 in order to "bring aid to the hundreds of Hungarian Freedom Fighters who had been forced to seek refuge in neighboring Austria and had thus cast an enormous burden upon that country"56

Carrie Fisher tells the story in her memoir and subsequent documentary film Wishful Drinking 2010 that Reynolds was pregnant with her during production of this film as well as Tammy and the Bachelor7

During production, director Norman Taurog was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease Very little was known about the illness at the time, so Debbie Reynolds and the rest of the cast and crew "just coped with" his unexplained memory losses and constant repeated instructions8

See alsoedit

  • List of American films of 1956


  1. ^ http://wwwaficom/members/catalog/DetailViewaspxs=&Movie=51773
  2. ^ "Bundle of Joy: Detail View" American Film Institute Retrieved June 2, 2014 
  3. ^ Dassonowsky, Robert von Austrian Cinema: A History McFarland, 2007 p 67
  4. ^ Pryor, Thomas M "REPORTS DENIED OF END TO R K O; Production Executive Says Studio Will Not Be Used for Industrial Purposes Four Pictures Planned Of Local Origin, The New York Times December 19, 1956
  5. ^ Register of the First Aid For Hungary, 1956-1958 Online Archive of California Collection No 57014
  6. ^ "Movie Aids Refugees 'Bundle of Joy' Raises $21,000 for Hungarian Cause" The New York Times December 20, 1956
  7. ^ Fisher, Carrie Wishful Drinking Simon & Schuster, 2012 p 28
  8. ^ Reynolds, Debbie 2013 Unsinkable: A Memoir HarperCollins Publishers p 230 ISBN 978-0-06-221365-5 

External linksedit

  • Bundle of Joy at the TCM Movie Database
  • Bundle of Joy on Internet Movie Database
  • Bundle of Joy at AllMovie
  • Bundle of Joy at the American Film Institute Catalog

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