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Marjorie Morningstar (1958)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 24 April 1958 (USA)
While working as a counselor at a summer camp, college-student Marjorie Morgenstern falls for 32-year-old Noel Airman, a would-be dramatist working at a nearby summer theater. Like Marjorie... See full summary »

Director:

Irving Rapper

Writers:

Everett Freeman (screenplay), Herman Wouk (novel)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gene Kelly ... Noel Airman
Natalie Wood ... Marjorie Morgenstern
Claire Trevor ... Rose Morgenstern
Everett Sloane ... Arnold Morgenstern
Martin Milner ... Wally Wronkin (as Marty Milner)
Carolyn Jones ... Marsha Zelenko
George Tobias ... Maxwell Greech
Martin Balsam ... Dr. David Harris
Jesse White ... Lou Michaelson
Edd Byrnes ... Sandy Lamm (as Edward Byrnes)
Paul Picerni ... Philip Berman
Alan Reed ... Puddles Podell
Ruta Lee ... Imogene Norman
Ed Wynn ... Uncle Samson
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Storyline

While working as a counselor at a summer camp, college-student Marjorie Morgenstern falls for 32-year-old Noel Airman, a would-be dramatist working at a nearby summer theater. Like Marjorie, he is an upper-middle-class New York Jew (born 'Ehrman'), but has fallen away from his roots, and Marjorie's parents object among other things to his lack of a suitable profession, such as medicine or law. Noel himself warns Marjorie repeatedly that she's much too naive and conventional for him, but they nonetheless fall in love. As they pursue an on-again-off-again relationship, Marjorie completes her studies at Hunter College, and works to establish an acting career, while Noel first leaves the theater for a job with an advertising agency, but later completes a musical he'd started writing before he and Marjorie had first met. Meanwhile, their relationship deepens (though, consistent with '50s Hollywood mores, the more full-fledged sexuality in their relationship is never explicitly communicated... Written by HelenLipson<lipson@mnstate.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love Story Of The Year ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 April 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Liebe der Marjorie Morningstar See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Beachwold Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For her performance in this film, Carolyn Jones won a Golden Globe in the now-defunct category "Most Promising Newcomer - Female". Along with her Oscar nomination for The Bachelor Party (1957), it was the only major recognition Jones received from her peers during her career. See more »

Goofs

At Marsha's wedding, Marjorie extinguishes her cigarette twice. See more »

Quotes

Marjorie Morgenstern: Were you in love with Papa when you married him?
Rose Morgenstern: When I met your father I was in love with Rudolph Valentino.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a credit for the perfume worn by the leading players. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Warner Bros. logo and the WarnerColor credit are cut from television and video prints. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stars of the Silver Screen: Natalie Wood (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

A Very Precious Love
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
See more »

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User Reviews

No Other Movie Like It
30 August 2004 | by rbrtptrckSee all my reviews

The movie suffers in two ways when compared to the magical novel about theater and love: (1) by losing the late-Depression setting, when show-business was very different than in the 1950's, and (2) by casting Gene Kelly (who himself felt he was wrong for the part) as the tall, blond Noel Airman (Warner Brothers must have lost its mind not to use its contract star Tab Hunter). But those two compunctions aside, there is no other movie like it. Natalie Wood, not yet a superstar, had to read fourteen times for the role, but all of us who loved the book knew there was no one else for it. Natalie's acting ability may have been limited to looking pretty and poignant, but there's not much else that ambitious, innocent Marjorie needs to do. This story is a loving tribute to a nice girl, and a tender acknowledgment of how hard life is for one. So far as I know, no other story captures those years when a pretty young American female has the world to choose from--or how confusing her multitude of choices are. As Marjorie slowly travels through the gauntlet of family and education (and the foggy fantasies of fame that tempt any attractive teen who draws attention and compliments) toward her inevitable, bittersweet fate, a whole world is revealed--the world of The Pretty Girl, a world of school and dates and dancing and romance--with no one really to guide her--because everyone either envies her or wants to take advantage of her. By taking her story seriously, novelist Herman Wouk created a highly individual and yet universal character, and Natalie simply WAS her. The scriptwriter did a marvelous job of condensing a long and elaborate book into an entertaining and moving photo-play--and kept enough of Wouk's dialog from the novel to give flashes of the book's insight and sophistication. All of the actors must have read the book, for they dig into their roles far deeper than the screenplay does. Not a great movie, but until someone makes a better one, it stands alone as Hollywood's most honest and endearing tribute to--The Nice Girl.


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