Full of Life: Richard Quine’s Comedy, Starring Judy Holliday

In Richard Quine’s domestic comedy, “Full of Life,” Oscar-winning actress Judy Holliday (Born Yesterday) plays Emily Rocco, a very pregnant woman. With her baby’s birthdate a month away, Emily and her husband Nick (Richard Conte) prepare for first-time parenthood, just like any other ordinary couple—except they are not ordinary.

Unfortunately, Nick’s Italian-bricklayer father (Salvatore Baccaloni) descends upon their humble household and begins to give orders. Among other things, he wants Nick and Emily to go through a proper Catholic wedding, since he doesn’t consider their civil ceremony valid.

But at the center of this middling farce is the erratic behavior of expectant mother Emily, who at one point exclaims: “Ï am a lot of things, and much more than a wife…I want to be what I am, have my life, lots of babies when I want them.”

Adapted by John Fante from his own novel, “Full of Life” is too episodic and not funny enough to sustain a feature length family comedy that occasionally succumbs to slapstick. In a few years, American serial TV would appropriate this subject.

The movie was made right after Holliday’s better comedy, “It Should Happen to You,” directed by George Cukor, signaling the beginning of the end of her short-lived stardom.

Credits

Running time: 91 Minutes.
Directed by Richard Quine
Written by John Fante

Cast

Judy Holliday as Emily Rocco

Richard Conte as Nick Rocco
Salvatore Baccaloni as Papa Rocco
Esther Minciotti as Mama Rocco
Joe De Santis as Father Gondolfo
Silvio Minciotti as Joe Muto
Penny Santon as Carla
Arthur Lovejoy as Mr. Jameson
Eleanor Audley as Mrs. Jameson
Trudy Marshall as Nora Gregory