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How to Commit Marriage


Synopsis of How to Commit Marriage (1969) starring Bob Hope, Jackie Gleason, Jane Wyman

In How to Commit Marriage, seemingly happily married couple Frank and Elaine Benson (played by Bob Hope and Jane Wyman) are on the verge of divorce.  But they plan to wait until after their daughter’€™s marriage. The groom’€™s father, Oliver Poe (Jackie Gleason) is opposed to marriage in general — €” and dislikes Bob Hope’s character in particular.

After seeing how marriage hasn’t worked for their parents, the couple decides not to get married, and lives together instead.  After the birth of their first child, they decide to put the baby up for adoption.  And the child is adopted by Bob Hope and Jane Wyman, who have reconciled to adopt their own grandchild.

Editorial review of How to Commit Marriage | Bob Hope, Jane Wyman, Jackie Gleason, courtesy of Amazon.com

Bob Hope and Oscar-winner Jane Wyman star as the perfect married couple with one minor exception: They are about to announce their divorce. However their daughter is getting married. And that’s just the beginning. The young couple must deal with the trials and tribulations of the groom’€™s father (Jackie Gleason) as he tries to stop the wedding. The film was quite fitting as Bob saw his own daughter Nora get married that same year.

Taking the helm as director was longtime collaborator Norman Panama. Panama directed Hope in Road to Hong Kong (the final ‘Road’ picture) wrote That Certain Feeling, Monsieur Beaucaire Road to Utopia and supplied the story for My Favorite Blonde. He also directed Danny Kaye in The Court Jester and penned the classics White Christmas and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. The film also stars Tina Louise (Ginger of Gilligan’s Island) Tim Matthieson (National Lampoon’s Animal House) and Leslie Nielsen (The Naked Gun).

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