A Guide for the Married Man
Directed byGene Kelly
Screenplay byFrank Tarloff
Based onA Guide for the Married Man, as Told to Frank Tarloff
1967 novel
by Frank Tarloff
Produced byFrank McCarthy
StarringWalter Matthau
Robert Morse
Inger Stevens
Sue Ane Langdon
Claire Kelly
Elaine Devry
CinematographyJoseph MacDonald
Edited byDorothy Spencer
Music byJohn Williams
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • May 25, 1967 (1967-05-25)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$3.3 million[1]
Box office$5 million (US/ Canada)[2]
Linda Harrison and Carl Reiner

A Guide for the Married Man is a 1967 American bedroom-farce comedy film starring Walter Matthau, Robert Morse, and Inger Stevens.[3] It was directed by Gene Kelly.[4][5] It features many cameos, including Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Terry-Thomas, Jayne Mansfield, Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, Joey Bishop, Art Carney, and Wally Cox.[3] The title song, performed by The Turtles, was composed by John Williams with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse.


Paul Manning discovers one day that his dear friend and neighbor Ed Stander has been cheating on his wife. Curious, he asks Ed about it, and is given the history and tactics of men who have successfully committed adultery. With each new story, Paul cannot help noticing the attractive blonde, Irma Johnson, who lives nearby.

Paul gets close to cheating on his wife, Ruth, but he never quite goes through with it. In a scene near the end of the movie, he is finally in a motel room with another woman, a wealthy divorced client. Paul hears shouting outside, and when he looks out the window, he sees photographers taking pictures of his friend Ed in bed with Mrs. Johnson. Paul takes this opportunity to flee the scene and run home to his beloved wife.


Cameo appearances


Critical response

A Guide for the Married Man is simply "a series of dumb skits" in Pauline Kael's estimation, and the famous names in the cast are all wasted: "what they do is no more memorable than the plugs for brand-name products that are scattered throughout".[7] Film critic Bosley Crowther of The New York Times greatly enjoyed the movie, calling it "The broadest and funniest farce to come out of Hollywood since the Russians came last year...who would imagine that a film pretending to be a how-to on infidelity would be funny or even in good taste?" and adding "what is thoroughly and delightfully disarming about this mischievous film is the impudent candor of it and its freedom from the leer."[8] The staff at Variety wrote in their review: "Walter Matthau plays a married innocent, eager to stray under the tutelage of friend and neighbor Robert Morse. But this long-married hubby is so retarded in his Immorality (it takes him 12 years to get the seven-year-itch) that, between his natural reluctance and mentor Morse's suggestions (interlarded with warnings against hastiness), he needs the entire film to have his mind made up."[9] Film critic Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun-Times wrote in his review: "There are a lot of funny people in this movie, but they are not very funny people in this movie, Gertrude Stein might have said. The Casino Royale syndrome has struck again in A Guide for the Married Man, and we are forced to sit and watch as dozens of big-name stars jostle each other for their moment before the cameras."[10]


According to Fox records, A Guide for the Married Man needed to earn $5,900,000 in rentals to break even, and made $7,355,000, meaning it made a profit.[11]

Home media

The film was released on DVD on September 6, 2005, by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.[12]

See also


  1. ^ Solomon 1989, p. 255.
  2. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1967", Variety, 3 January 1968 p 25. Please note these figures refer to rentals accruing to the distributors.
  3. ^ a b Faris 1994, p. 105.
  4. ^ Willis 1968, p. 43.
  5. ^ Parish & Pitts 1990, p. 451.
  6. ^ Lisanti 2003, p. 84.
  7. ^ Kael, Pauline (2011) [1991]. 5001 Nights at the Movies. New York City: Henry Holt and Company. p. 310. ISBN 978-1250033574.
  8. ^ Crowther, Bosley (May 27, 1957). "Screen: 'Guide for the Married Man':Matthau and Morse in Farce on Infidelity". The New York Times. New York City. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  9. ^ Variety Staff (December 31, 1966). "A Guide for the Married Man". Variety. United States: Variety Media, LLC. (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  10. ^ Ebert, Roger (July 14, 1967). "A Guide for the Married Man". RogerEbert.com. United States: Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  11. ^ Silverman, Stephen M (1988). The Fox that got away : the last days of the Zanuck dynasty at Twentieth Century-Fox. L. Stuart. p. 326. ISBN 9780818404856.
  12. ^ A Guide for the Married Man. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (DVD). Beverly Hills, California: 20th Century Fox. September 6, 2005. Retrieved May 6, 2020.

Further reading