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|Index||30 reviews in total|
This is one of those movies I saw in the theater as a kid. Simply put, it
was hilarious. Maybe it was mob mentality, but virtually EVERYONE in the
entire place was laughing uncontrollably throughout the entire film. We're
talking a real side-splitter here, folks. I have never laughed so hard at a
movie before or since, with the possible exception of another Disney film,
"The Absent-Minded Professor" (1961) which I also saw in a
So what makes a good film, anyhow? Fantastic acting? Great plot? Beautiful cinematography? Superb directing? Babes? Well, you can't say it had any of those things. But it DID set out to do what it attempted to do, which was: make people laugh. A lot. And that makes it, in my opinion, a pretty darn good movie.
Sleuthing in suburbia--Disney style--after a small town teller is kidnapped by two bank robbers. Not only does this comedy feature the least-objectionable performance by Dean Jones ever, it also has Hayley Mills and Dorothy Provine as a wonderfully kooky pair of sisters and a fantastic feline hero. This Siamese cat is just gorgeous, and it's a lot of fun watching the bumbling humans trying to tail him down alleys and city streets. The bad guys of the piece (Neville Brand and Frank Gorshin) are also perfect, threatening but not overbearing, with just enough menace to make the kidnapped woman's predicament a little scary. I also loved the wacky next-door neighbors (Elsa Lanchester and William Demarest), Hayley's surfer-boyfriend named Canoe (Tom Lowell), and befuddled Ed Wynn as a jewelry salesman. Simply put, a wonderful modern-day caper for parents and kids which puts the remake with Christina Ricci to shame. ***1/2 from ****
I hadn't seen this movie in 30 years when my kids decided to rent it the
other night! The cast is classic, from The Riddler(Batman), to Roddy
McDowell, to Uncle Charlie(My Three Sons). And of course, Dean Jones and
Haley Mills. It's one of those timeless, goofy Disney comedy classics that
stands in a kitsch class of it's own! Ya gotta see it again!
YMMV if you're a tweener at this point (too mature for it's cornball silliness, and too young to be nostalgic!)
This movie is well worth watching for the entire family (some might take offense at the title). The cast is wonderful with Dean Jones as always bringing the house down with his suberb acting and dialouge. It is pure slapstick all the way through and you don't get tired of it either. Haley Mills also does a good job although her acting here would probably not get her any rewards. Most animal movies I don't care for because they all do ridiculous things and can get away with it only because they are an animal. Not here. The producers used the cat in a way that made it very enjoyable to watch. All in all, this movie is well worth watching because of its suberb acting and its storyline.
Saw this about '74 or so, it was great. Loved the garage door gags, the
cats, Elsa and William, the two gals are fine, Hayley Mills especially. Dean
Jones had to have been in about 100 Disney things back then, this was def.
one of his better roles.
You also have to like what they did w/ the baddies, Neville Brand and The Riddler. They work well together and do a fine job w. the mix of comedy and real malice towards their captive.
The cat was a funny part, i remember them trying to 'paw print' him and them winding up plastering poor Dean Jones head to foot w/ the cat's inky paw prints.
Say what you will, Disney doesn't make things like this anymore and that is our loss.
*** outta **** it's fun.
I have fond memories of watching this as a child, but I thought my memories might be too rosy, so my expectations were not high as I got ready to re-watch this film. However, it was surprisingly entertaining throughout, except near the end, where I agree that the scene showing everybody trailing everybody else went on a little too long. You can tell the plot was taken from a novel - there are several funny lines, there is more telling detail, the bad guys are convincingly threatening (as others have said), and the characters are more three-dimensional than usual for a 1960s "family" movie. The teenage heroine (played by Hayley Mills) is resourceful and actually has a steady boyfriend(!), though of course she never kisses him, even at the drive-in! I also like the actress who plays the hostage - she *looks* like an older woman who might actually work at a bank - not like a Hollywood glamour girl! I haven't seen the 1997(?) remake, but I suspect it isn't as good as the original. All in all, an enjoyable movie for a Saturday night at home!
"That Darn Cat!" can be considered the first in the series of human/animal
buddy caper films (see "K9", "Turner and Hooch", "Oh Heavenly Dog" to name
few). And it's also one of the funniest.
D.C. is a clever and precocious Siamese who is forever getting into mischief, but who forever remains one of filmdom's coolest cats. But when D.C. (for "Darn Cat" - though D.C. is also an acronym for something unspeakable in a Disney Film!) becomes an unsuspecting witness to a bank robbery/kidnapping, he finds himself the FBI's most valued informant.
The cast of this of this cool Disney caper is sophisticated, intelligent and frequently hilarious. Hayley Mills, as D.C.'s overly-zealous owner, has finally graduated to womanhood, while still maintaining the girlish charm that captured the hearts of Pollyan-ites and Parent Trappers everywhere. Her lines of dialog are extensive, and though her voice begins to grate after a while, she is both smart and quite ballsy for a teen of the early 70s. Dean Jones as unflappable FBI Agent Kelso manages to display a dignity, wit and charm not usually present in the straight man of a Disney Comedy (Who else would remain calm as the little beast nearly tears him to shreds, covers him with ink, and leads him on three separate chases in pursuit of the elusive wild goose?).
Bad guys Neville Brand and Frank "The Riddler" Gorshin simply ooze evil when they are coolly discussing the potential fate of hostage Grayson Hall. Even now as I watch this movie, I really BELIEVE they would do serious bodily harm to this poor woman, in much the same manner that Roddy McDowell (as a hot-headed and stuffy neighbor) would be willing to de-gut our hero, the cat.
And therein lies our focus - the cat. This brave little feline is the true (and UNBILLED!) hero of the piece. And D.C. clearly is capable of holding his own against overwhelming odds. Even with star talent surrounding at every turn, the writers were smart enough to keep the focus on D.C. and his antics. The assorted chases, the jealous boyfriend, the vengeful neighbor (with his duck dinner clutched firmly in hand), the bickering couple next-door; all revolve around or are in some fashion related to, the actions of the furry little sleuth.
The writing is fun; speaking on a heretofore unseen level of intelligence to its young audience. The result is that children are entertained and clearly understand what's going on, while grownups marvel at the complex doings in a small town that are precipitated by one mischievous kitty and the screwball humans that surround him.
This film is a whopping credit to Disney's talented live-animal handlers and art direction teams. The sets and scenery in this delightful little any-town are realistic enough to make you believe they are a real community, yet spritely and colorful enough to make you want to move there... The drive-in movie theater scene still gives me a good laugh.
In all, "That Darn Cat!" is a delight to view on multiple levels, whether you're all alone, or in a room full of pre-schoolers. For an extra treat, pick up any CD by Disney that has the film's title track by Bobby Darin. The cool loungey tune rings vaguely of Harry Connick Jr. and would probably be right at home coming out of the pipes of Ol' Blue Eyes, Mr. Sinatra, himself.
My main problem with Disney now is their live-action films. Although their animated features are miles ahead of every other company's (yes, they are), they seem to have forgotten to add the same quality to their live-action movies. Disney, give us more movies like "That Darn Cat!" (the remake never happened for me) "The Princess Diaries" was very good, in my opinion, but it's nowhere on the level of this movie. Like someone else said, this film doesn't talk down to children; it spurts big, clever words like "conspicuous" and doesn't care whether the kids will get it or not. This film is clever, fast and amazingly funny. In fact, I'm shocked it only got a measly 6 out of 10 here. It deserves much, much more.
This is probably about as good as the Disney comedies of the 50's and 60's get. I think one reason it works is that it doesn't exist in that goody-two-shoes world where many Disney films of the past took place. The crooks in this film are nasty guys, they steal, kidnap, and nearly beat and kill their female hostage. Not that that's a good thing, but it's certainly uncharacteristic for a Disney film. The script is also well written, the dialogue is, for the most part, believable. It does get a little too long toward the end though.
The Siamese cat not only has the title role, he steals the film! The
silly plot involves a couple of bumbling bank robbers (FRANK GORSHIN is
one of them), who kidnap a woman from the bank who's able to signal for
help by putting her wrist watch around the cat's neck. The cat belongs
to HAYLEY MILLS, who picks up on the signal and then must convince the
FBI to help her (and her cat) find the robbers in time to save the
woman. DEAN JONES is the earnest but bumbling FBI man who decides to
All of the incidents surrounding the cat are deftly handled with a great deal of humor. ELSA LANCHESTER and WILLIAM DEMAREST are funny as snooping neighbors and RODDY McDOWALL and ED WYNN have some good moments too. But it's HAYLEY MILLS at her most appealing and "that darn cat" that really steal the show. The cat "DC" is simply amazingly natural and perhaps the most convincing member of the cast.
Summing up: One of the better Disney comedies during the '60s.
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