After nineteen years of marriage, Dan Edwards' wife Val is exasperated with his lack of attention to her and the amount of attention he pays to a Los Angeles advertising agency that he runs with his friend, Ernie Brewer, a laid-back second-in-command.
Once an exciting man, Dan has become a bore to Valerie, as well as to their two children and to her feisty mother who lives with them. By contrast, they all look up to the exciting, swinging bachelor "Uncle Ernie", who is always there to give advice to Val and the kids.
Ernie enjoys telling Dan that he's envious of his friend's family life and often reminds Dan that he was the one who was keen on Valerie first. Valerie likes it that Ernie does things her husband won't – dances with her, compliments her, even picks out the gifts Dan gets for her. Val is so frustrated, she seeks a lawyer's advice about wanting a divorce.
Ernie can see what his best friend is blind to, so he urges Dan to take his wife on a second honeymoon to Mexico. Once there, in a land of quickie marriages and divorces, Dan and Val get into an argument in front of proprietor Miguel Santos, and, before they know it, they're divorced.
An apologetic Dan makes it up to her, then arranges for them to be remarried right away. But an urgent business matter requires his presence back in L.A., then on to Detroit, to save his company's biggest account.
Ernie travels to Mexico to explain everything to Val, unaware that she's expecting Dan and has already put the wedding ceremony in motion. By mistake, she ends up married to Ernie.
Once he gets over his shock, Ernie anticipates a quickie divorce, but Val thinks she might enjoy this new arrangement. Dan, fed up with both of them, decides he's not exactly broken-hearted, either.
Dan immediately discovers the joys of a swinging bachelor life, cavorting with Ernie's sexy playmates and even with a young friend of daughter Tracy's. As for poor Ernie, it's up to him to run the business, which turns him into the same dull, inattentive husband to Val that her first one had been.Frank Sinatra as Dan Edwards
Deborah Kerr as Valerie Edwards
Dean Martin as Ernie Brewer
Nancy Sinatra as Tracy Edwards
Tony Bill as Jim Blake
Joi Lansing as Lola
Cesar Romero as Miguel Santos
John McGiver as Shad Nathan
Hermione Baddeley as Mrs. MacPherson
Trini Lopez as Himself
DeForest Kelley as Mr. Turner
Kathleen Freeman as Miss Blight
Parley Baer as Dr. Newman (uncredited)
Reta Shaw as Saleslady at Saks (uncredited)
The film originally began under the title of Divorce American Style with Frank Sinatra personally selecting Deborah Kerr for the role of his wife. Cy Howard's original screenplay was deemed offensive and rewritten under the title Community Property over a period of four months, then given its final title. After a preview, Warner Bros cut out 14 minutes before its release to underwhelming reviews in September 1965. Nancy Sinatra was a last minute replacement for Mia Farrow. The new title proved apt as during the filming Nancy Sinatra broke up with her husband Tommy Sands.
The Mexican Government was offended by the film's depiction of Mexico and banned the film and other Sinatra films for what they regarded as a derogatory depiction of the nation.
Shots of Dean Martin's actual house appeared in the film as did a Ford Mustang and a Ford Thunderbird customised by George Barris.