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"That Touch of Mink"

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"That Touch of Mink"

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Character's Name: Philip Shayne
Release Date:  July 18, 1962
Director: Delbert Mann
Studio:  Universal-International
Running Time: 99 minutes

Cast: Cary Grant (Philip Shayne), Doris Day (Cathy Timberlake), Gig Young (Roger), Audrey Meadows (Connie), Dick Sargent (Young Man), Alan Hewitt (Dr. Gruber), John Astin (Beasley), John McKee (Collins), Jan Burrell (Miss Jones), Jane Ericson (Millie), Willard Sage (Hodges), Russ Bender (Williams), Sterling Holloway (uncredited)

- by ZoŽ Shaw
Cathy is an out-of-work single girl trying to make ends meet in New York City. She meets Philip as the result of a minor street accident. Philip is a charming millionaire businessman, and wines and dines her, jets her to exotic resorts and showers her with gifts. He is soon making a proposal, but it is not the kind of proposal the small-town girl has in mind.

- by Joy Huffman
Wealthy business tycoon Philip Shayne is a handsome and irresistible playboy. After his chauffeur inadvertently splashes Cathy Timberlake, he sends his employee and best friend, Roger to make amends.

When Roger meets the naive, indignant and unemployed Cathy, he thinks Philip will finally get what he deserves and arranges for Cathy to meet Philip face to face and tell him what she thinks of him. The plan backfires when Cathy falls under his spell (who wouldn't?) and ends up flying with him to Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York.

In New York, they attend a Yankees game, where Cathy, sitting in the dugout, is responsible for having Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Roger Maris (in cameos) thrown out of the game for arguing with the umpire.

When Philip asks Cathy to accompany him to Bermuda for a little romance, her wholesome upbringing prompts her to decline but somewhere along the way her good intentions go bad and she agrees to go.

Cathy's nervous rash puts an end to any fun and she returns home with innocence in tact but terribly humiliated. Resolved to regain her dignity, she returns to Bermuda and calls Philip to join her so she can prove she's a woman. ("Send him a birth certificate," is roommate Connie's advice.) When Philip arrives, he finds Cathy passed out with an empty bottle on her toe. Romance is once again foiled.

To make Philip realize how much he loves Cathy, Roger and Connie convince Cathy to go away with the repulsive Mr. Beasley from the unemployment office so Philip can rescue her. Cathy reluctantly agrees to the plan and what follows is the funniest chase scene. Of course, in the end, Philip and Cathy end up together -- on Cathy's terms! Favorite Lines:

Cathy: "She wouldn't say yes until he came to the house. They have eight children now."
Philip: "That couldn't have happened over the phone."

Cathy: "I would enjoy going out with you, Mr. Beasley, if I just didn't find you so personally distasteful. You're a sneaky, crude, offensive man. Of course that's just how I feel. I'm sure there are hundreds of girls in this city who admire those qualities."

This movie was the first movie to gross over a million dollars in a single theater. It made twice that in the 10 weeks it played at Radio City Music Hall. This was Cary's 25th movie to open there and he was presented with a plaque to commemorate the event. The movie was nominated for four Academy Awards.

VARIETY Film Review - May 9, 1962
- by "Pit"
- submitted by Barry Martin
The recipe is potent: Cary Grant and Doris Day in the old cat-and-mouse game.  Pure gag-propelled farce, in which the commercial values tote up in a way that should handily extend the recent continuity of comedic success at the boxoffice.  The gloss of "That Touch of Mink," however, doesn't obscure an essentially threadbare lining.  In seeming to throw off a sparkle, credit performance and pace as the key virtues of this Universal release.  The rest of it is commonplace.

The Stanley Sapiro - Nate Monaster screenplay maintains a generally good clip, all to the good, but too often there's a hampering second-hand air about situation and joke.  Throughout, it seems, the determination is too keep faith with American sex mythology at any cost.

In this particular arrangement of coy he-she-nanigans, the comedy is premised on the conflict of her inexperience and his old pro suavity.  He's a company-gobbling financier; she's a trim chick legging it through Manhattan canyons in search of a job.  It starts when his limousine splatters her with puddle water.  Fortuitous meeting and mating maneuvers follow, with the action shuttling between Gotham and Bermuda or Gotham and New Jersey suburbia.

Though short of the mark if you count sharp wit, there's still a fair amount of jollity churned out of all this for most audiences.  Yet the burden for laughs is on the subsidiary humor - the neurotic syndrome of Gig Young as Grant's sauce-addicted fiscal adviser, and most especially in some wacky sequences in an Automat.  Funniest of these is the no-cost method devised by payroller Audrey Meadows to keep roommate Day in groceries.

However one assesses the "innocent" fun, there's mention to be made of a regrettable lapse in the way psychiatry is kidded.  Young's head-shrinker is depicted in the unethical light of capitalizing on big business tips dropped by his patient, stealing out of the seance to phone his broker while Young rambles on unawares.  This isn't satire, just an offensive contribution to the mounting misinformation pertaining to an ambiguous but critical area of therapy.  

Although Grant gives his tycoon the advantage of long seasoning at this sort of gamey exercise, he's clearly shaded in the laughgetting allotment.  As written, Miss Day's clowning has the better of it; and she, by the way, certifies herself an adept farceur with this outing.  But not surprisingly, the featured bananas make the best comedic score.  Young, who may be getting typed as a wisecracking lush, affirms his claim to the characterization.  And Miss Meadows seems born to the dry, caustic comedienne, which is no surprise per her tv track record.  It pays her high compliment to say she reminds viewers of the Eve Arden heyday.  There's strong support down the line, with particularly effective contributions from Dick Sargent, Alan Hewitt and John Astin.

Delbert Mann's direction suggests that he enjoys presiding over comedy.  Giving his principals their head, he has also kept the action as lively as the script permits.  The technical credits are all stalwart, from Russell Metty's camera to Ted Kent's editing.

Of some trade interest, incidentally, is the wholesale fragmenting of production covet in what's become a now-familiar maze of profit and tax maneuvering.  The percentage pie carves up three ways, among Granley (Grant), Nob Hill (Shapiro), and Arwin (Doris Day - Martin Melcher), per screen credits for each.  Further, Robert Arthur gets executive producer billing, with Shapiro and Melcher listed as producers, separate and additional to their corporate identities.  Everybody figures to have a juicy melon to slice.  

NEW YORK TIMES Film Review - June 15, 1962
- by Bosley Crowther
- submitted by Barry Martin
It may be tough for some people to sit by and watch Doris Day being blandly unfaithful to Rock Hudson, as she is by appearing with Cary Grant in Stanley Shapiro's, Martin Melcher's and Delbert Mann's latest comedy-romance, "That Touch of Mink."  But it is, we feel sure, a transgression that the purists should be able to tolerate, considering the larger gratifications to be had from this new film at the Music Hall.

For again the adroit Mr. Shapiro has written a lively, lilting script, this one with Nate Monaster, that has as much glittering verbal wit and almost as much comic business as "Pillow Talk" and "Lover Come Back," in which Miss Day and Mr. Hudson were apparently inalterably joined.  And Mr. Mann has directed it with that briskly propulsive pace that pinpoint precision in timing sight-gags that are the distinction of his bright new comic style.

And what's more, for all her coy flirtations and her ultimate surrender to Mr. Grant, Miss Day does hold out against his manpower and his frank seductions almost to the end.  Indeed, it is her stubborn prudence - or the stubborn prudence of the little character she plays - and her pious determination to stay substantially as nature made her until she is well circled by a wedding band, that support the entire dramatic obstacle to Mr. Grant's importunities throughout the film.

So we man, at least, say she is faithful to Mr. Hudson - in her fashion.  And that's okay.

Okay, too, is the obvious repetition of the patient, prolonged seduction theme that Mr. Shapiro appears to find congenial for his brand of comedy.

Sure, we've seen the inviolable maiden, reluctant but eager, cautious but curious, shy but bold, in any number of movies.  She's still good for kidding and suspense, so long as she's pursued by a nice fellow - with a snappy script in hand.

And that's what we have here - a cautious but curious young shop-girl in New York, suddenly exposed to and attracted by a worldly and charming millionaire who wishes to make her his mistress, plies her with presents and mink, gets her as far as Bermuda and - well, you can take it from there.

No, you'd better not.  You'd better leave it in Mr. Shapiro's and Mr. Monaster's hands, for it is their gift of gab and gay invention that keeps the comedy spinning to the end.  It is their skill at twining the involvement of the couple, Miss Day and Mr. Grant, into a neatly unravelable tangle, their ability to work into the scene a socially conscious, psychotic adviser and aide to Mr. Grant and their way of arriving at solutions that make the whole thing an unremitting joke.

Especially nimble is the sub-plot they have worked out with the psychotic aide and his stiff-faced psychiatrist, which could be nasty, if it weren't so ingenuous and droll.  Gig Young as the aide and Alan Hewitt as the psychiatrist have at their roles with such glee and such humorous affectation that they add a great deal to the whole.

Audrey Meadows, too, as a roommate and skeptical counselor to Miss Day and John Austin as a tin-horn suitor do their jobs trippingly.

But Miss Day and Mr. Grant are finally the ones who carry the whole thing to success.  Mr. Hudson will  certainly be broad-minded.  He will surely forgive this happy lapse.

- by Kathy Fox
THAT TOUCH OF MINK is Cary Grant's 69th film and his only film with Doris Day and the only time he will be directed by Delbert Mann.  Day was paid $750,000 for her role as Kathy Timberlake and Grant received $600,000 for his role as Philip Shane, plus he received a percentage.  Also this is the first film to break over $1,000,000.00 in a single theatre, in this case Radio City Music Hall in New York.  To honor this achievement, Radio City presented Grant with a sterling silver trophy as the "all-time box office champion."  Shane a wealthy businessman is a bachelor and accidentally splashes water on Kathy Timberlake on his way to work.  He sees her walking into the automat and sends his business partner, Roger (Gig Young) out to apologize for him.  Kathy comes up to his office and naturally is very attracted to Shane, and vice versa for him.  He pursues her and they finally end up going to Bermuda, with the idea of taking a trip around the world.  Instead Kathy, being the perpetual virgin, breaks out in hives and they return to New York.  Kathy cannot stand the fact that Philip did not see her as a woman and returns to Bermuda and calls him in New York and he flies down to be with  her.  However, she is drunk by the time he gets there and falls off the balcony of the hotel onto the canopy, only her pride being hurt.  Finally, Roger convinces Kathy that Shane is in love with her and they set a trap to get him.  Girl gets boy in the end, and this time Philip breaks out in hives on their honeymoon.  This is a cute little show, and of course, Cary is most attractive and has developed his on-screen presence to the nines.  He is only three pictures away from his retirement when he finishes this film. 

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