Marriage on the Rocks (1965)
On occasion I have been known to say that even Frank Sinatra wanted to be Dean Martin for a day. Who wouldn’t. The man was one of the supreme kings of cool. This non-rat pack film allowed Frank to do just that. On screen at least.
Frank is about to celebrate 19 years of marriage with Deborah Kerr and things are somewhat stale as far as Deborah’s concerned. Frank is blind to the situation and married to his job as the president of an ad agency. He’s heard to utter “She’s happy and contented as a cow” when talking of his dear wife.
His right hand man is of course Martin. While Frank is domesticated, Dino is far from it portraying a playboy with the ultimate bachelor pad to go with it. Just take a look at Dino’s secretary played by one of cinema’s unheralded blonde bombshell’s Joi Lansing. Hot stuff!
When Frank finally agrees to a Mexican vacation with Deborah, it quickly turns into a Mexican divorce. Before either leaves the country they realize it’s all been a hasty mistake and it’s time to right the wrong.
One thing leads to another and Frank can’t make the nuptials and sends Dean to explain. Between the loud Mexican music and a spanish speaking minister Dean finds himself married. To Deborah! No worries as divorce lawyer Cesar Romero can put the whole thing legally right.
That is if he can get Deborah’s signature on the latest set of divorce papers. If it all sounds a bit like an old Flintstone episode you may be right because just like Wilma, Deborah isn’t signing and expects Frank to fight for her.
This is sure to cramp Dean’s style. Now he’s the old married man living with Kerr and family while Frank takes up residence in Dean’s pad. Women and all.
Can Dean right the ship and put the divorced couple back together and once again take up with his rather busty secretary? Tune in to this screwball comedy that’s about 25 years too late to find out. Having said that if you enjoy the leading actors it’s diverting enough. It’s Dean who comes off best doing just what we expect of him. Drink in hand playing up to the ladies with one goal in mind.
Filling out the cast along with a quick talking Cesar Romero is Tony Bill, Kathleen Freeman, DeForest Kelley and stepping in on the musical front is Trini Lopez. It’s too bad we don’t get to hear our two legendary singers belt out a drunken tune or sing something soft and romantic to the ladies.
Also playing Frank’s daughter on screen is real life daughter Nancy Sinatra for the trivia fans.
Old fashioned fun at heart.