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Papa's Delicate Condition
Papa's Delicate Condition
Actors: Jackie Gleason, Glynis Johns, Charlie Ruggles
Director: George Marshall
Genres: Comedy, Drama
NR     2008     1hr 38min

Jackie Gleason stars in this warm-hearted look back at one family's larger than life father. Set at the start of the 20th century, Gleason plays Jack Griffith, a gregarious railroad man whose love for his family is rivaled...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jackie Gleason, Glynis Johns, Charlie Ruggles
Director: George Marshall
Creators: Loyal Griggs, Joseph Lilley, Jimmy Van Heusen, Frank Keller
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Classic Comedies, Family Life
Studio: Legend Films
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 07/01/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/1963
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1963
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 38min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

What a treat!!!
Marils | Los Angeles | 12/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"For years I had been vaguely aware of the existence of this film, but wrote it off as being a product of it's time such as "Cheaper by the Dozen", which by todays standard is SO DATED. Boy, was I wrong. Papa's Delicate Condition was funny, witty, and refreshing. Jackie Gleason's sly sarcasm is as hilarious as it is timeless. For those of you who only know Jackie Gleason from "The Honeymooners", you will be delighted to see Gleason's artistry go way beyond his character as Ralph Cramden. Though the movie is filled with great character actors, Gleason definitely carries the picture.

I found the relationship between the father and his youngest daughter to be particularly endearing. In one scene, he tells the older sister and the mother to stop ganging up on the little girl. It is at moments like that which cause the picture to break away from the mold and stereotypes of it's era.

This is a great family picture. The storyline is simple enough for children to follow along, while the adults will enjoy the great writing, snappy comebacks, and saltiness of the dialogue.

I agree with the previous reviewer that said that the story was a little weak. It is for this reason that I am not giving the movie 5 stars. Do not confuse a weak storyline, however, with great dialogue and acting. Not only is it entertaining, the color and cinematography make this a visual stunner.

I am surprised that this movie has not made the crossover from VHS to DVD when so many less satisfying movies have. Perhaps, like myself, they judged the movie by it's cover..and are only now just discovering what a gem it really is."
Good Vehicle for the Great One
David Baldwin | Philadelphia,PA USA | 07/14/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"When Jackie Gleason passed some years ago I remember a couple of tidbits from his obituary. One relates a doctor telling him that he had lung cancer and suggesting that he cut back on his smoking. Heeding his doctor's advice Gleason cut back from six packs a day to four packs. Gleason had his own little Algonquin Round Circle that consisted of Salvador Dali and Mickey Mantle among others. What did these seeming unlike public figures have in common? A love of the bottle. Gleason made something of a mark in films after his "Honeymooners" heyday. He was absolutely mesmerizing as Minnesota Fats in "The Hustler". I'm still waiting for a DVD release of "Soldier in the Rain" with Steve McQueen. "Papa's Delicate Condition" is an interesting film in that it was probably promoted as a comedy but dig a little deeper it's a sober look at the scourge of alcoholism. Gleason's Jack Griffiths is one of those larger-than-life gregarious personalities whose impulsive behaviour, usually when soused, that wins over some people particularly his impressionable six year old daughter. Not so his wife and older daughter. Why I don't rate this film five stars is it's not written explicitly that Griffiths is a self-destructive personality. Gleason, probably through personal experience, reads between the lines like he implicitly knows Jack Griffiths. This is not a slurring, stumbling, stereotypical drunk. Griffiths on the surface appears rather sober but underneath is destroying himself with liquor. This is an average film raised to the next level by a great performance. If your a fan of Gleason's this film is essential."
Still fresh comedy after 38 years
David Baldwin | 03/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Jackie Gleason is great in this movie. He play a troubled man who has no idea how to be a good father. But when he finally trys to do it, he goes to far. The result must be seen to be believed!"
A Sweet and Endearing Family Movie!
Robert Badgley | London,Ontario,Canada | 10/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I have always considered 1963's movie "Papa's Delicate Condition" to be a sweet,sentimental and very endearing piece of film.The movie is based on silent screen actress Corinne Griffiths' 1952 novel of the same name about her childhood in Texas.It is directed by George Marshall,famous for his working with Laurel and Hardy in the 1930s at Hal Roach studios.It certainly rates high on my list of all time favourite movies.
The film stars Jackie Gleason as railroad supervisor Jack Griffith and his wife Ambolyn played by Glynnis Johns(soon to become a household name from "Mary Poppins").He has two daughters teenage Augusta and the apple of his eye Corrie.Seems "Papa" has a more than little penchant for imbibing on occasion,much to his flustered wifes' chagrin.In these times it's teenage Augusta and Amobolyn who "team" up against Jack and his only ally little Corrie who adores her doting father.And who can blame little Corrie for her love of a Dad who when trying to buy a small pony and cart for his daughter,ends up buying the entire circus in which they belong? But Jack is really a misunderstood man who will go to any lengths to please his family and others.For example there was a house in the familie's neighbourhood that had an awful shade of purple painted on its' front.Ambolyn comments that she would be eternally grateful to anyone that would remove that blight from her sight.Jack immediately concocts a scheme to trick the owner into believing he has won a contest to have his house repainted(white is the only colour "available"!).Jack and Corrie are the painters,much to Ambolyns' startling discovery,but it's the thought that earns Jack a respectful peck on the cheek from his wife.In another example to help out a young,poorly paid and mistreated employee of a local drugstore Jack buys the store lock,stock and barrel.He then makes the youngster the manager who is now boss over his former skin-flint employer! Revenge is sweet indeed.When Ambolyn finds out about this financial transaction she hits the roof.Even though Jack has obtained financial backing and part ownership from other friends which will make the store a steady income earner(no dummy is Jack!),his wife is still not assuaged.She mistakenly thinks it's another sign of his "condition" and takes the family back to her fathers' house in Texas,one Mayor Ghio,played well by veteran stage and screen actor Charles Ruggles.Many will recall Ruggles voice overs in the cartoons of Rocky and Bullwinkle's "Aesop Fables" segments.
Well if the mountain won't come to Mohammed,Jack takes his circus down to Texarkana,Texas just in time to help out his father in laws' re-election campaign.During the parade Ambolyn falls after chasing Jack and Corrie in the pony and cart,hurting her hand.She is a piano player and the doctor says she may never play again.Ambolyn and family return home and Jack returns to the railroad and buries himself in his work,refusing to touch alcohol.A tearful Corrie beseeches her Grandfather to find her Dad which he promises he will and does.Jack returns home only to have second thoughts at the front gate.Ambolyn finally lets go her stubborness and the strains of Jacks' favourite song "Bill Bailey" are soon emanating from the household piano,which draws Jack inside and a happily ever after reunion.
Rarely does this film falter and only then to try and further the plot.The relationship of father and daughter here is the keystone of this film and it works beautifully.Even though we never forget who is playing the dad,as there are alot of in-references to the real Gleason in the film,they couldn't have made a better choice for the part.The chemistry between him and little Linda Bruhl(Corrie) was magical.Johns plays the hurt and frustrated wife to a tee and Laurel Goodwin(Augusta) plays her part with just the right amount of teenage angst.
To top everything this movie garnered an Oscar for best song that year;"Call Me Irrresponsible".Sung by Gleason,in that "condition", to a tailors' headless dummy! It has to be seen to be appreciated.One of the Great Ones' finest on screen moments!
All in all "Papa's Delicate Condition" is a film I recommend highly.It is presented here in a very good print and transfer in its' original widescreen aspect ratio of 1:78.It's a good and wholesome film for the entire family and,unless you're made of wood,it will tug mightily at your heart strings throughout."