Divorce American Style (1967): Bud Yorkin’s Comedy Starring Dick Van Dyke and Debbie Reynolds

In Bud Yorkin’s Divorce American Style, an Oscar-nominated satirical comedy, an unhappy couple discovers that breaking up is hard to do.

Richard Harmon (Dick Van Dyke) and his wife, Barbara (Debbie Reynolds), are a typical married couple living in suburbia. After 15 years together, they think they’ve already reached the end of their bliss. Going through some marriage counseling, they file for divorce.

There are many chores: They have to negotiate child custody, discuss alimony terms, find a new place to live.

Richard befriends Nelson Downes (Jason Robards), a fellow divorcé who would love nothing more than for Richard to marry his former wife, Nancy (Jean Simmons), and take care of the alimony.

The cast also includes Van Johnson, Lee Grant, Shelley Berman, and Eileen Brennan (in her debut).

Divorce American Style earned an Oscar nomination for Norman Lear and Robert Kaufman’s original screenplay.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Story and Screenplay (Original): Robert Kaufman, Norman Lear

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The winner of the original Screenplay Oscar was William Rose for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Running time: 109 minutes.

Directed by Bud Yorkin

DVD: January 6, 2004