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Three decorated Navy pilots finagle a four day leave in San Francisco. They procure a posh suite at the hotel and Commander Crewson, a master of procurement, arranges to populate it with party people. Lieutenant Wallace is trying to get the pilots to make speeches to rally the homefront at shipyard magnate Eddie Turnbill's plants, but they're tired of the war and just want to have fun. While Crewson begins falling in love with Turnbill's fiancée Gwinneth Livingston, he tries to ignore the distant call of war. Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It's 1944 when the fliers board the Catalina flying boat in Hawaii, but it has 1942-43 national insignia on the wings. Plain white stars on blue circles, missing the horizontal white stripes with blue border. See more »
Three Pacific war heroes Cary Grant, Larry Blyden, and Ray Walston, are flown to San Francisco for a furlough with the implicit understanding that they will do some public appearances for the war effort. Implicit to us the viewer, but our three naval fliers have something else in mind.
Despite being terribly miscast, Cary Grant does the best he can with the material given. This is the kind of role that Kirk Douglas should have had, he'd have played the role effortlessly. When the dapper Mr. Grant finally has had enough of blowhard industrialist Leif Erickson and hauls off and belts him, you just don't quite believe it.
I like very much what another reviewer wrote in saying we can see the beginning of the military industrial complex. Werner Klemperer as the Navy publicity ensign is trying first to curry favor with Erickson and later with the less obnoxious, but still annoying Richard Deacon. It's a world that Grant and Blyden don't feel a part of.
Though he's with them in spirit, Ray Walston's carving his own career out by running for Congress. Some did that in World War II and in previous USA wars, most prominently in the Civil War. Two American presidents, Rutherford B. Hayes and James A. Garfield won seats in Congress while both were on active duty. Garfield left the army, but Hayes stayed and didn't take his seat until Appomatox.
When this film was out Larry Blyden was appearing on Broadway in Flower Drum Song. No doubt that helped the film's popularity for Blyden got excellent reviews.
And of course the pulchritudinous presence of Jayne Mansfield also helped a great deal.
Even with a miscast Cary Grant, Kiss Them For Me is still enjoyable.
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