Wherefore "big girls don't cry"?
September 9, 2007 4:52 PM   Subscribe

Which movie really inspired Bob Gaudio (of the Four Seasons) to write the song "Big Girls Don't Cry"? It's not Tennessee's Partner.

I recently saw "The Four Seasons" on Broadway. In the play, the Gaudio character tells the story of his inspiration for the song: he was watching a movie in which a girl gets slapped and then says "big girls don't cry." I didn't catch the name of the movie.

According to wikipedia, it was Tennessee's Partner. But I own that movie on DVD, and it's not in there.
posted by bingo to Media & Arts (2 answers total)
Best answer: Clues:

Four Seasons Biography:
The success of "Sherry" was quickly followed by another number one hit, "Big Girls Don't Cry," another Gaudio composition. The title phrase was taken from an old movie in which the leading man (sometimes identified as Clark Gable, sometimes as John Payne), slaps the leading lady, then taunts her by saying "Big girls don't cry."
Frankie Valli interview:
SB: What about the title "Big Girls Don't Cry?"

Valli: It was taken from a Clark Gable movie when he tells a girl he's leaving that big girls don't cry.

“Jersey Boys” a vibrant memoir of the sixties:
In flashy pink or glittery gold jackets, guitar and drums thumping, the four reprise their hits. “Sherry” sold a million records in three weeks. Others, all memorable, include “Pretty Baby,” “Cant Take My Eyes Off You,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” The latter was inspired by seeing John Payne slap Rhonda Flemming [sic] in a film. “What do you think of that!” The answer was, “Big girls don’t cry, they break up.”
And Tennessee's Partner wasn't the only movie John Payne and Rhonda Fleming were in together: Slightly Scarlet looks like the sort of film in which a guy might slap a dame and a dame might have a good comeback for it. I would check it and see. It looks like a good laugh even if it's not the right film. And if that's not it, maybe try some Clark Gable films of the period, though the whole thing could be wrong.
posted by pracowity at 5:57 AM on September 25, 2007

Response by poster: Wow...thanks for giving me a lot more to work with than I had before.
posted by bingo at 8:01 AM on May 7, 2008

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