Fred, George, Doug and Howie are quickly reaching middle-age. Three of them are married, only Fred is still a bachelor. They want something different than their ordinary marriages, children...
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Fred, George, Doug and Howie are quickly reaching middle-age. Three of them are married, only Fred is still a bachelor. They want something different than their ordinary marriages, children and TV-dinners. In secret, they get themselves an apartment with a beautiful young woman, Kathy, for romantic rendezvous. But Kathy does not tell them that she is a sociology student researching the sexual life of the white middle-class male.Written by
Originally, the movie's title song was to have been sung by Frank Sinatra. His version was recorded on March 6, 1962, almost three months before the film's premiere. At last wind, Patti Page recorded her version which was initially optioned for use while Sinatra's original languished in the MGM vaults until 1995 when his Reprise box-set was issued. See more »
On the train ride home discussing the apartment find, Fred's cigarette changes length from shot to shot. See more »
[when remarking that Cathy sees the four men on different nights doing research for her master's thesis, with Fred being the Thursday night man, whom Cathy is falling in love with and thus remembering the best]
Wednesday was there Wednesday, Thursday was there last Sunday, yet you remember last Sunday's Thursday better than yesterday's Wednesday. Interesting, no?
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This delightful comedy has some great bits, especially from the four commuter buddies (particularly Tony Randall, later one-half of TV's "Odd Couple"). James Garner is excellent as usual as the one buddy who's not married and thus the default romantic lead. The gang consists of Garner, Randall, Howard Duff, and Howard Morris. The great supporting cast includes old favorites William Bendix, Oskar Homolka, Jim Backus, and Fred Clark.
The movie is silly, but there are some great lines and lots of fun along the way. The story deals with married men who feel stifled by their wives. They dream up a scheme to share a "love nest" apartment in the city, complete with a blonde. Kim Novak shows up and the plan is put into place, but the boys don't know that Kim is interested only in her secret sociological research. Nothing "happens", but the boys are too embarrassed to admit it to each other and the wives eventually draw their own conclusions. Jessie Royce Landis (NORTH BY NORTHWEST) gets special mention for her performance as Garner's mother, who rallies the three wives against their "cheating" husbands. The movie is a little racy, but only to the point of innuendo, and it's all in good fun.
There's a great running gag where the boys will be riding the train to/from work and Tony Randall will start telling this presumably raunchy story when a passing train roars by, leaving the audience to imagine what could have been said under all that noise. James Garner (THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE NOTEBOOK) has some great drunk bits, jumbling the syllables of his speech ("ti many martoonis").
Jim Backus ("Gilligan's Island", "Mr. Magoo") has a wonderful scene as an apartment owner willing to haggle his own asking price down as low as it takes to rent out a swanky flat (complete with wine rack and mirrored bedroom ceiling). Fred Clark (AUNTIE MAME) plays a private detective, a master of disguise. His character really shines in the chaotic climax, amid a cyclone of arguing spouses and flying pottery.
I've personally never been a big Kim Novak fan. Her performance here is standard, I'd say. Patti Page sings the title song and gets a rare opportunity to act, playing one of the wives.
Some among the cast are a real treat to watch. Others, not so much. There are some great witty lines, but the story is pretty flimsy and among the gags that are hits there is the occasional miss. As a film overall BOYS' NIGHT OUT falls a little short, but it is very entertaining light fare. A hidden treasure, well worth checking out if you get the chance.
(The movie airs occasionally on TCM and is available for purchase on a burn-on-demand DVD-R from the Warner Archive Collection.)
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