6.5/10
3,151
38 user 14 critic

Sex and the Single Girl (1964)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | 25 December 1964 (USA)
A womanizing reporter for a sleazy tabloid magazine impersonates his hen-pecked neighbor in order to get an expose on renowned psychologist Helen Gurley Brown.

Director:

Richard Quine

Writers:

Helen Gurley Brown (book), Joseph Heller (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Curtis ... Bob Weston
Natalie Wood ... Helen Brown
Henry Fonda ... Frank
Lauren Bacall ... Sylvia
Mel Ferrer ... Rudy
Fran Jeffries ... Gretchen
Leslie Parrish ... Susan
Edward Everett Horton ... The Chief
Larry Storch ... Motorcycle Cop
Stubby Kaye ... Helen's Cabbie
Howard St. John ... Randall
Otto Kruger ... Dr. Anderson
Max Showalter ... Holmes
William Lanteau William Lanteau ... Sylvester
Helen Kleeb ... Hilda
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Storyline

Using Helen Gurley Brown's book as a jump off point, we follow the adventures of a supermarket tabloid editor as he tries to parlay an interview with the author of the book into headlines and sales. Of course, a romantic entanglement ensues. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She wrote the book on love! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

...und ledige Mädchen See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In her contract for this film, Warner Bros. promised Natalie Wood a portable trailer, white cigarette holders from London, oil gardenia from Cairo, days off when she was on her menstrual cycle, and a $160,000 salary. See more »

Goofs

Immediately after Rudy asks Gretchen if she likes to dance, the shot changes to Frank's car going the wrong way up an on ramp, narrowly passing between a light blue Corvair and a black car. Then as Frank reaches the top of the ramp, he again narrowly misses a collision with another light blue Corvair. See more »

Quotes

Sylvia Broderick: I began calling you this afternoon!
Frank Luther Broderick: I was with my manager! I'm coming out with a new line.
Sylvia Broderick: Well it's about time! I'm getting sick of listening to your old one.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in House Calls: Sex and the Single Surgeon (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

What Is This Thing Called Love?
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Sung by Fran Jeffries, with Count Basie and His Orchestra
Briefly reprised by Lauren Bacall
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Game Cast Keeps This Screwball Sex Comedy Afloat and Then Some
19 April 2009 | by EUyeshimaSee all my reviews

I actually find this scatterbrained 1964 comedy a surprisingly amusing screwball farce all these years later despite its titillating title. So apparently does director Peyton Reed since he based most of his 2004 comic pastiche, "Down with Love", on the storyline of this movie and less so on any of the Doris Day/Rock Hudson romps of the same era. Regardless, they all have the same brew of conjugal misunderstandings, mistaken identities and leering though never explicit sexuality because those were the days when a woman's virtue would never be compromised for anyone but the right man. Directed by the heavy-handed Richard Quine ("Paris When It Sizzles") and written by Joseph Heller (later the author of "Catch-22") and David R. Schwartz, this ridiculous comedy benefits from a game cast headed by Tony Curtis still riding high from "Some Like It Hot" (which is referred to for easy laughs in the story) and Natalie Wood who shows her comedy chops with dexterity here.

Curtis plays Bob Weston, a sleazy magazine writer for a men's magazine whose editors are intent on exposing Dr. Helen Gurley Brown as a fraud as a sex expert. Author of the best-selling "Sex and the Single Girl", Brown is not at all the clench-jawed celebrity author who wrote the real book and appeared on "The Tonight Show" constantly. Instead, she is a gorgeous, intellectually prodigious 23-year-old who extols female empowerment in the bedroom. Showing off his moral depravity, Weston steals the marital woes of her next-door neighbors, pantyhose magnate Frank Broderick and his acerbic wife Sylvia, and comes to see Dr. Brown as a patient. The rest is predictable but still a good amount of fun. Curtis was still at the top of his game here showing how he can easily elicit laughs from such a vile manipulator, but it's Wood who surprises as Brown. Displaying a nervous but infectious energy that feeds nicely into the two sides of the doctor, she is funny and sexy in a way that she could never quite balance as well again in her career. Witness the hilariously conflicted drunken scene in her apartment for evidence of her talent.

Quine was smart to cast three sharp stars in the key supporting roles - Henry Fonda as the put-upon Frank browbeaten into a sad man by Lauren Bacall pulling all the stops as the shrewish basket case Sylvia is, and Mel Ferrer as Brown's somewhat ambiguous colleague. Add a sultry Fran Jeffries who performs two numbers (including the title tune) for no apparent reason except to sell records, an even sexier Leslie Parrish ("The Manchurian Candidate") as Weston's secretary, and a genuinely funny extended car chase scene, and you have the makings of an under-appreciated sex comedy. The 2009 DVD, part of the six-disc "The Natalie Wood Collection", includes a Warner Brothers cartoon ("Nelly's Folly") and the original theatrical trailer.


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