A Guide for the Married Man (1967)


A Guide for the Married Man (1967)

Ed convinces his best friend Paul that he should fool around with other women in order to preserve his happy marriage. Ed illustrates his point with a series of vignettes acted out by a lot of famous celebrities. The joke of it all is that Paul is married to lovely Ruth.
IMDb   6.7 /10
TheMovieDb    6.8 /10
TV.com  10.0 /10
FilmAffinity   6.0 /10
Director Gene Kelly
Writer Frank Tarloff
Release Date1967-05-24
Runtime1h 29min
GenreComedy, Romance
Content RatingApproved (Approved)
AwardsAwards2 nominations
CompanyTwentieth Century Fox
Paul Manningas Paul Manning
Ruth Manningas Ruth Manning
Mrs. Johnsonas Mrs. Johnson
Miss Harrisas Miss Harris
Ed Standeras Ed Stander
Mousey Man's Wifeas Mousey Man's Wife
Harriet Standeras Harriet Stander
Joe X's Blowsy Blondeas Joe X's Blowsy Blonde
Taxi Driveras Taxi Driver
Mrs. Fred V.as Mrs. Fred V.
Marian Mason
Marian Mason
Mrs. Rance G.as Mrs. Rance G.
Rance G.'s Hanger Onas Rance G.'s Hanger On
Miss Stardustas Miss Stardust
Mr. Johnsonas Mr. Johnson
Party Guestas Party Guest
Party Guestas Party Guest
Party Guestas Party Guest
Party Guestas Party Guest

A Guide for the Married Man

A Guide for the Married Man is a 1967 American bedroom-farce comedy film starring Walter Matthau, Robert Morse, and Inger Stevens. It was directed by Gene Kelly. It features many cameos, including Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Terry-Thomas, Jayne Mansfield, Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, Joey Bishop, Art Carney, and Wally Cox. The title song, performed by The Turtles, was composed by John Williams with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse.


Paul Manning discovers one day that his dear friend and neighbor Ed Stander has been cheating on his wife. Curious, he asks Ed about it, and is given the history and tactics of men who have successfully committed adultery. With each new story, Paul cannot help noticing the attractive blonde, Irma Johnson, who lives nearby.

Paul gets close to cheating on his wife, Ruth, but he never quite goes through with it. In a scene near the end when he is in a motel room with another woman, Jocelyn, a wealthy divorcee, Paul hears sirens approaching. He looks out the window to see the police, and they are going to the room next door, where his friend Ed is in bed with Mrs. Johnson. Paul takes this opportunity to flee the scene and run home to his beloved wife.


  • Walter Matthau as Paul Manning
  • Inger Stevens as Ruth Manning
  • Sue Ane Langdon as Irma Johnson
  • Robert Morse as Ed Stander
  • Elaine Devry as Jocelyn
  • Jackie Joseph as Janet Brophy
  • Aline Towne as Mousey Man's Wife
  • Claire Kelly as Harriet Stander
  • Eve Brent as Joe X's Blowsy Blonde
  • Marvin Brody as Taxi Driver
  • Jackie Russell as Miss Harris, Manning's Secretary
  • Majel Barrett as Mrs. Fred V.
  • Linda Harrison as Miss Stardust

Cameo appearances

  • Lucille Ball as Mrs. Joe X
  • Jack Benny as Ollie 'Sweet Lips'
  • Polly Bergen as Clara Brown
  • Joey Bishop as Charlie
  • Ben Blue as Shoeless
  • Sid Caesar as Man at Romanoff's
  • Art Carney as Joe X
  • Wally Cox as Man Married 14 Years
  • Ann Morgan Guilbert as Charlie's Wife
  • Jeffrey Hunter as Mountain Climber
  • Marty Ingels as Meat Eater
  • Sam Jaffe as Shrink
  • Jayne Mansfield as Girl with Harold
  • Hal March as Man Who Loses Coat
  • Louis Nye as Irving, House Buyer
  • Carl Reiner as Rance G.
  • Michael Romanoff as Romanoff's Maitre'd
  • Phil Silvers as Realtor
  • Terry-Thomas as Harold 'Tiger'
  • Heather Young as Girl with Megaphone


Critical response

A Guide for the Married Man is simply "a series of dumb skits" in Pauline Kael's estimation, and the famous names in the cast are all wasted: "what they do is no more memorable than the plugs for brand-name products that are scattered throughout". Film critic Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote in his review: "And who would imagine that a film pretending to be a how-to on infidelity would be funny or even in good taste?". The staff at Variety wrote in their review: "Walter Matthau plays a married innocent, eager to stray under the tutelage of friend and neighbor Robert Morse. But this long-married hubby is so retarded in his Immorality (it takes him 12 years to get the seven-year-itch) that, between his natural reluctance and mentor Morse's suggestions (interlarded with warnings against hastiness), he needs the entire film to have his mind made up." Film critic Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun-Times wrote in his review: "There are a lot of funny people in this movie, but they are not very funny people in this movie, Gertrude Stein might have said. The Casino Royale syndrome has struck again in A Guide for the Married Man, and we are forced to sit and watch as dozens of big-name stars jostle each other for their moment before the cameras."


According to Fox records, A Guide for the Married Man needed to earn $5,900,000 in rentals to break even, and made $7,355,000, meaning it made a profit.

Home media

The film was released on DVD on September 6, 2005, by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.