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Good Neighbor Sam

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Director  David Swift
Initial DVD release  January 4, 2011
Country  United States
6.9/10 IMDb

Genre  Comedy
Music director  Frank De Vol
Language  English
Good Neighbor Sam movie poster
Writer  Everett Greenbaum, David Swift
Release date  July 22, 1964 (1964-07-22)
Based on  Good Neighbor Sam 1963 novel  by Jack Finney
Cast  Jack Lemmon (Sam Bissel), Romy Schneider (Janet Lagerlof), Dorothy Provine (Minerva Bissel), Mike Connors (Howard Ebbets), Edward Andrews (Mr. Burke), Charles Lane (Jack Bailey)
Similar movies  Il Trovatore, Il Trovatore, Il Trovatore, Brooklyn, Amélie, There's Something About Mary
Tagline  Slam! Bam! Here comes Sam!...Caught in the Middle of a Two-Woman Jam!

Good neighbor sam 1964 shower scene

Good Neighbor Sam is a 1964 American Eastman Color comedy film co-written and directed by David Swift and starring Jack Lemmon, Romy Schneider, Dorothy Provine and Michael Connors.


Good Neighbor Sam movie scenes

It was based on the novel by Jack Finney. The screenplay was the motion picture debut of James Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum, who had written many American television situation comedies including Mister Peepers (created by David Swift). Greenbaum also created the mobile sculpture featured in the film.

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Good neighbor sam 1964 jack lemmon edward g robinson


Lemmon plays Sam Bissel, a hard-working San Francisco advertising executive, with two young daughters and a loving wife, Min (Dorothy Provine).

An extremely important client, Simon Nurdlinger (Edward G. Robinson), is considering taking his business elsewhere when he believes there are no "family men" working at Sam's company. Sam's boss, Mr. Burke (Edward Andrews), introduces the client to Sam. The client is delighted by Sam and agrees to do business with him and the company. Sam feels his career is now on the way up and he goes home to celebrate with his wife. There, he meets his wife's longtime friend and their new next-door neighbor, Janet (Romy Schneider), and they all have dinner together to celebrate his promotion and Janet's new home. Sam gets drunk and tumbles down the grand carpeted staircase of the Fairmont Hotel, knocking down a waiter carrying trays of meals.

Janet, a beautiful woman, is recently divorced from her husband Howard (Michael Connors) and is happier than ever. She has also come into a large inheritance from her grandfather, which carries the stipulation that she must still be married to Howard in order to receive the inheritance. State law dictates that a divorce is not final until a year from final settlement. Since only six months have passed, Janet decides to hide the divorce from her cousins Irene (Anne Seymour) and Jack (Charles Lane) who stand to inherit if Janet is disqualified.

With Howard unavailable, Sam is pressed to impersonate him when Irene and Jack arrive for a visit. Having never met Howard, Irene and Jack seem convinced but begin watching the couple with a telescopic surveillance camera hidden in a phony workmens truck nearby. Janet and Sam (with Min's complicity) are thereby forced to continue the charade for several days, with Sam cohabiting and being driven to work by Janet, and sneaking in to occasionally visit Min through the backyard, or hidden in a laundry basket. When caught pretending by Mr. Burke and Mr. Nurdlinger, Sam and Janet are then forced into a double charade in which Janet pretends to be Min. The situation begins to unravel when Irene and Jack hire a private investigator to keep watch on Sam and Janet, and Howard re-enters the picture.


  • Bess Flowers "Queen of the movies" in over 700 films over 41 years. This was her last film.
  • Production

    The film, set in San Francisco, makes use of obligatory exterior shots, including a long montage of scenes of Sam driving his car all over the city, up and down hills, as well as the curvy block of Lombard Street, as so many directors love to portray. The remainder of the film was shot in the Los Angeles area, both on location and at the studio.


    The film grossed $9,072,726 at the box office, earning $5.3 million in rentals.


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