WriterCornelia Otis Skinner, Samuel A. Taylor Release dateJune 1, 1961 CastFred Astaire (Biddeford 'Pogo' Poole), Debbie Reynolds (Jessica Anne Poole), Lilli Palmer (Katharine 'Kate' Dougherty), Tab Hunter (Roger Berk Henderson), Gary Merrill (James 'Jim' Dougherty), Charles Ruggles (Mackenzie Savage) Similar moviesGeorge Seaton directed The Pleasure of His Company and Chicken Every Sunday
TaglineHe came 8000 miles to attend his daughter's wedding-and then tried 8000 ways to break it up
The Pleasure of His Company is a 1961 comedy film starring Fred Astaire and Debbie Reynolds, directed by George Seaton and released by Paramount Pictures. It is based on the 1958 play of the same name by Samuel A. Taylor and Cornelia Otis Skinner.
Astaire won a Golden Globe award for his performance.
San Francisco debutante Jessica Poole hasn't seen her father "Pogo" Poole since the divorce between him and her mother Katharine, many years before. Pogo went off to travel the world and enjoy himself, while Katharine remarried to stodgy banker Jim Dougherty.
Now Jessica is about to marry Roger Henderson, a cattle rancher from the Valley of the Moon in Sonoma County, and Pogo has been invited to the wedding.
Pogo arrives, as charming as he ever was. He is delighted by Jessica, and captivates her in return. He makes peace with Katharine, and even wins over Toy, the Doughertys' prized cook, though not Jim and Roger.
But Pogo is still as irresponsible as before. He invites Jessica to come away with him and "see the world". He even tries to break up her engagement, to Katharine's dismay. He also seems to be coming between Jim and Katharine, who has never quite got over her love for him.
Despite Pogo's maneuvers, the wedding goes through. But Pogo has reserved two airline tickets: who's going with him? Katharine, fearing that Pogo has won over Jessica after all, rushes to the airport. Jim, seeing Katharine leave the reception, fears she is leaving him for Pogo, and goes after her. They meet at the airport, and see Pogo boarding a plane - with Toy.
At the time this film was released, Fred Astaire had given up dancing on screen. He had recently completed a dramatic performance in On the Beach in 1959 and retired from dancing in films because he was getting old. He wouldn't do another Hollywood musical until Finian's Rainbow was released in 1968. However, he did dance a little in this film during the party sequence, and even sang briefly as he teased Lilli Palmer. Famed costume designer Edith Head, who designed dresses for the film, appeared early in the film, showing dresses to Debbie Reynolds.
Fred Astaire as Biddeford "Pogo" Poole
Debbie Reynolds as Jessica Anne Poole
Lilli Palmer as Katharine "Kate" Dougherty
Tab Hunter as Roger Berk Henderson
Gary Merrill as James "Jim" Dougherty
Charles Ruggles as Mackenzie Savage
Harold Fong as Toy
Elvia Allman as Mrs. Mooney
Awards and nominations
Best Motion Picture Actor, Musical or Comedy (Astaire, winner)