Sunday, February 15, 2015

1957 - KISS THEM FOR ME, another film saved by Cary Grant

You would think a film about 3 Navy fliers on leave in San Francisco during World War II would be be a can't miss.  The film was directed by Stanley Donen, written by Julius Epstein a veteran screenwriter and starred Cary Grant.  This should at the very least be an entertaining comedy.  However Kiss Them For Me is a very disappointing film.  It's not a bad film or a good film just a mediocre one.  As usual only Cary Grant's charm and professionalism can hold this thing together.

Cary Grant's costar is that 50's idea of a female desire, Jayne Mansfield.  A woman with  a ridiculous hour glass figure and little girl personality.  She makes Marilyn Monroe look like Meryl Streep.   Mansfield does her dirty little girl thing throughout the film but mercifully she actually has a rather small part considering she has co-starring billing with Cary Grant in the credits.  Grant's real co-star is the legendary 50's model Suzy Parker.

Parker was a top magazine cover model, one of the first of the "super models."  She probably would have been at home in an Alfred Hitchcock film  if Hitchcock liked cool brunette's instead of cool blondes.  Parker can actually hold her own with Cary Grant even though his approach to seducing her seems mostly to ply her with some drink called a "stinger." A gross cocktail that is a mix of creme de mente and cognac.

Probably the most pathetic thing about this film are the occasional attempts to actually get serious about the plight of the returning war weary veteran.  I understand this is a comedy but the small parts of serious drama stuck in this film really seem out of place.  Cary Grant is always fun to watch in a film, but he really did his best work with good directors like Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, George Cukor and occasionally Stanley Donen.

105 minutes.

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