Tammy and the Bachelor

Tammy and the Bachelor is a 1957 romantic comedy film directed by Joseph Pevney and starring Debbie Reynolds as Tambrey "Tammy" Tyree, Walter Brennan as Grandpa Dinwitty and Leslie Nielsen as Peter Brent. It is the first of the four Tammy films. It was adapted from the 1948 novel Tammy Out of Time by Cid Ricketts Sumner.

Tammy and The Bachelor
VHS cover
Directed byJoseph Pevney
Produced byRoss Hunter
Written byOscar Brodney
Based onTammy Out of Time
by Cid Ricketts Sumner
StarringDebbie Reynolds
Walter Brennan
Leslie Nielsen
Mala Powers
Music byRay Evans
Jay Livingston
Frank Skinner
CinematographyArthur E. Arling
Edited byTed Kent
Distributed byUniversal-International
Release date
  • June 14, 1957 (1957-06-14)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$3 million (US rentals)[1]


Tambrey "Tammy" Tyree (Debbie Reynolds) is a seventeen-year-old girl living in a houseboat on the Mississippi River (within sight of Louisiana) with her Grandpa, John Dinwitty (Walter Brennan). She runs around barefoot, dreaming of life outside of the swamp, and talking to her best friend, Nan, a goat.

One day a small airplane crashes in the swamp. Tammy and her grandfather go to see what they can salvage from the wreck, and find the unconscious pilot, Peter Brent (Leslie Nielsen). Tammy and her grandfather help Peter recover at their home, during which time Tammy falls in love with Peter. However, he must return to his own home, but tells the grandfather that, if anything happened to the grandfather, Tammy would be welcome to come and stay with Peter at his spacious house.

Several weeks later, Tammy's grandfather is arrested for making moonshine. With no one else to stay with, Tammy sets off for Brentwood Hall, Peter's home. She arrives during a dance rehearsal and sees Peter with his friends. When Peter's friend Ernie discovers Tammy outside of the party, Tammy tries to explain her grandfather's imprisonment; however, Peter misunderstands, and tells Mrs. Brent (Fay Wray) that Tammy's grandfather has died, leading the Brents to take her in. Tammy learns that Peter is busy with "Brentwood #6", an experimental tomato he is growing in hopes of making Brentwood Hall self-sustaining once again. After Tammy finally tells everyone that her grandfather isn't actually dead, Mrs. Brent is upset over Tammy announcing to everyone that she has a relative in jail. However, Peter and his Aunt Renie convince Tammy to stay, leading her to sing of her love for Peter ("Tammy").

Peter's love interest drops by Brentwood Hall. Her uncle wants Peter to stop experimenting with tomatoes and offers him a deal to come to work with him in the advertising business. Peter turns down the offer. That week is also Pilgrimage Week, which includes a ball and tours of Brentwood Hall, all while in costume. Renie gives Tammy the dress Peter's great-grandmother wore. Mrs. Brent and Renie suggest that Tammy pretend to be Great-Grandmother Cratchett for the evening. At the Ball that night, Tammy tells a story for the guests, and enchants everyone, even Mrs. Brent.

That night, a hail storm hits Brentwood Hall and destroys all of the Brentwood #6s. The next morning, Peter announces that he is going to accept the advertising offer, leading Tammy to run away. Peter realizes he loves Tammy, finds Tammy's grandfather, and returns to the houseboat, where he kisses her.



Leslie Nielsen was borrowed from MGM to play the male lead. Joseph Pevney directed under the first of a new five picture contract with Universal. Filming began in April 1956.[2]


Jay Livingston and Ray Evans were nominated for an Oscar for their song "Tammy", sung over the film's main titles by The Ames Brothers. Its naive sentimentality has proved an irresistible target for parody, most notably in Stan Freberg's "Madison Ave. Werewolf": "When I hold your sweet, hairy hands tight in mine... Clammy! Clammy!".

Reynolds placed second for a Golden Laurel for Top Female Comedy Performance. The film itself was awarded third place for a Golden Laurel for Top Comedy.

Additionally, Reynolds's single version of the film's title song (as heard later in the movie) became an across-the-music-charts #1 hit 45 release, on Coral Records.

See also


  1. "Top Grosses of 1957", Variety, 8 January 1958: 30
  2. UNIVERSAL CASTS FILM NEWCOMER: Studio Borrows Leslie Nielsen for Co-Starring Role With Miss Reynolds in 'Tammy' New Role for Henry Jones Of Local Origin By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times. 21 Apr 1956: 11.
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