Ada (film)

Ada is a 1961 American political drama film made by Avon Productions, and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was directed by Daniel Mann, and produced by Lawrence Weingarten, with a screenplay by Arthur Sheekman and William Driskill based on the novel Ada Dallas by Wirt Williams.

Original film poster
Directed byDaniel Mann
Produced byLawrence Weingarten
Screenplay byArthur Sheekman
William Driskill
Based onAda Dallas
1959 novel
by Wirt Williams
StarringSusan Hayward
Dean Martin
Wilfrid Hyde-White
Ralph Meeker
Martin Balsam
Music byBronislau Kaper
CinematographyJoseph Ruttenberg
Edited byRalph E. Winters
Avon Productions
Chalmar Inc.
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
August 25, 1961 (US)
Running time
109 min.
CountryUnited States

The musical score was by Bronislau Kaper, and the cinematography by Joseph Ruttenberg. The art direction was by Edward Carfagno and George W. Davis, and the costume design by Helen Rose.

The film stars Susan Hayward and Dean Martin, with Wilfrid Hyde-White, Ralph Meeker, and Martin Balsam.


Bo Gillis (Dean Martin) is a guitar-playing, young man from a Southern state who becomes a candidate for governor. He is elected after his opponent's wife is revealed to have a dark secret, a fact that Bo's campaign mastermind, Sylvester Marin (Wilfrid Hyde-White), makes sure becomes known to all.

Shortly before the election, Bo goes to a nightclub where he is introduced to Ada Dallas (Susan Hayward), a working girl. They share a similar upbringing, and Bo feels an immediate bond. They elope, much to the chagrin of the candidate's speechwriter Steve (Martin Balsam) and the cynical Sylvester, who wants the marriage annulled.

The Gillises resist and begin life as the state's first couple. Soon the governor finds that he is little more than a stooge, blindly signing whatever document Sylvester puts before him. His childhood friend Ronnie (Frank Maxwell) is dismissed as lieutenant governor for speaking out. Sylvester requests help from Ada in controlling her husband, but the state's ambitious first lady demands something quite outrageous in return: to be named the new lieutenant governor.

Bo is furious. He wanted Ada to be his refuge from dirty politics, not a part of it. He continues to oppose Sylvester's methods, which leads to a bomb's being placed in the governor's car. In the hospital, Bo tells Ada that he believes her to be a conspirator in his attack and insults her, causing her to angrily leave him.

Ada is sworn in as acting governor. Quickly, though, she goes to work against Sylvester, promoting her husband's ideas for honest government. On the day of a decisive vote at the state capitol, as Bo views from the gallery, Sylvester and his henchman Yancey (Ralph Meeker) try to sabotage Ada's plans by revealing evidence of her past as a prostitute. Bo speaks up on his wife's behalf. Sylvester is ruined, and Bo and Ada walk away from the capitol side by side.



Box office

According to MGM records, the film lost $2,372,000.[1]

See also


  1. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.

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