Victor and Hillary are down on their luck to the point that they allow tourists to take guided tours of their castle. But Charles Delacro, a millionaire oil tycoon, visits, and takes a ... See full summary »
After marrying an American lieutenant with whom he was assigned to work in post-war Germany, a French captain attempts to find a way to accompany her back to the States under the terms of the War Bride Act.
A business tycoon decides to wed a Middle Eastern princess whose customs dictate the pair must live apart for several months before marrying; even more complications settle in when the tycoon's ex-fiancée is assigned to chaperone the pair.
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>
When Mississip offers a toast in the hotel room, he lists a string of places the Japanese could have ("as far as he is concerned"). Guadalcanal, the second place on the list, is poorly dubbed in to change the line, which originally listed Australia instead. See more »
Overall a silly mess, but with some terrific little parts, and a terrific Cary Grant
Kiss Them for Me (1957)
"Funny how everybody picks him out first." Ah, they are talking about Cary Grant, still charming and handsome and far outclassing this funny, slightly simple comedy about G.I.s on leave in San Francisco.
Not that this is exactly dumb--the screenplay is even by one of the Epstein brothers (of "Casablanca" fame), and it has a few real dingers of jokes. I was laughing in stitches--sometimes. It's silly stuff but the acting is decent. The photography is by Milton Krasner, who had a long career in the black and white years and then took to widescreen color with classic taste, just finishing "An Affair to Remember" (with Grant) the same year. The credits go on, from makeup (Ben Nye) to music (Lionel Newman) to of course the director, Stanley Donen, who had a whole string of brightly colored 1950s hits, little things like "Singin' in the Rain" and "Charade."
What I mean by all this is that there is no reason this movie isn't terrific, except maybe a weak as licorice story idea. Maybe, just maybe, this had resonance in 1957 with the millions of ex-soldiers still going to the movies, but I have a feeling even they were wanting something more, over a decade after it had all ended. It also doesn't help that one leading female star is Jayne Mansfield playing an embarrassing Marilyn wannabe. "It's natural," says Mansfield in one moment. "Except for the color."
The other leading woman is quite the opposite in nature, a stately, restrained woman played by Suzy Parker. Parker has a short resume, mostly known as a model (with Avedon as her partner in crime), and her acting reveals more knowledge of photography than movie-making. That is, she looks good. (She was actually an accomplished photographer for awhile, too.)
So, why watch this movie? For a glimpse of the times, perhaps (a kind of 1957 version of 1944, I think), including lots of great sets and some shots of San Francisco. But mostly it's Cary Grant's show, even if you aren't a fan. He's actually really good as an actor, not just as a handsome fellow. He plays his part with surprising bite, too.
So what rescues this movie from its fault lines? For one, there's a steady, subtle anti-war thread that must have been relatively new to this kind of movie. There's no disrespect to soldiers or the country, but there's disdain for wallpapering over the truths of war, the use of slogans, the aggrandizing. It's refreshing still, and coming from Grant it has special bite. For another, there is a steady peppering of witty lines from all kinds of characters (not just Grant, though he leads). I'm guessing this is where Epstein shows. And then there is the love story, which isn't so convincing, but it's still a nice addition to the bright color and busy scenes that dominate the movie. In fact, as much as Parker is a weak actress, she and Grant alone together make for some of the best parts of the film.
Grant says, "True love almost always fades, but money stays green forever." And it's his sarcasm, his not believing the slogan, that is the theme of the movie.
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