Thursday, July 28, 2011

That Touch of Mink (1962)

It's been awhile since I've watched a classic movie so I decided to dive into a Doris Day/ Carey Grant movie. Both are one of my favorite classic actors to watch. They're both so off and yet charming that pretty much every movie they're in (whether it's starring together or alone) that it's a real treat. " Plus, I saw an ad in the LA times about Cary Grant's daughter writing a book about her relationship with her iconic father.

"That touch of Mink" is a comedy starring an unemployed small town girl in, Cathy Timberlake (played by Doris Day) and an older rich, subtly arrogant, businessman, Philip Shayne (played by Cary Grant). Shayne's limo accidently sprays street water upon Cathy as she's waiting on a curb. Feeling guilty but unable to stop, he drives off. Cathy is pretty miffed off as she storms off to an automat (which was a place where people could buy cooked food through coin slotted windows. Kinda like an expanded vending machine of cooked meals). Philip (somehow) sees Cathy walking into the automat and sends off his (weird) underling to give her money for a new coat. Cathy spouts off her indignation to (weird) underling who is (weirdly) delighted and decides to take her to Philip himself to complain.

Instead of yelling obscenities and stuff, one look at Philip and she sputters into senseless, deep-breathylove words (oh, COME ON!!!). So begins a story of extravagent gifts, trips, and the possiblity of sex without marriage. The sex is vaguely hinted at of course.

I was a bit surprised by a how disappointing the movie was for the first part. This movie was made in the sixties. Was this not the beginning of the sexual revolution? I know that the transition was still taking place in film and television but this movie just felt like a stretched out 1950's plot. After reading through some online forums, some people mentioned that this was the same filmmaker who made "Lover Come Back"(That movie wasn't my favorite but it had some great moments). Everyone made a mention that these movies were the filmmakers way of poking satire at the morality of the times. I don't what the morality was for "Lover Come Back" but in "That Touch of Mink" it was about women and losing their virginity before marriage. Cathy had a personal moral dilemma. She was really attracted to Philip (and damn who wouldn't-yowza!) but she was reluctant to let go of her virginity (yeah! ah-ha! Doris who was 40 playing a 30 year old virgin. Doris is flipping pretty as hell playing a virgin- yeah ok I'm gonna let that go). She worries that she would be considered loose and yet she loves him. She worries that he doesn't love her even she loves him . Off all the worries that she had about Philip, this last one is still pretty relevant to todays standards. Every modern girl out there who has slept with someone before marriage will juggle the emotions of self worth, importance, and love, all while trying to maintain a balance of physical self and needs. Us girls are horny creatures but we deserve some respect dontcha know?

The beginning of the movie was boooooooooring to me. I found it really hard to believe that Cathy was so hell bent on that marriage thing. It just seemed like a coy device to tug on Philips britches. There was also this weird plot point with a psychiatrist that I believe was just a filler for the movie. The (weird) underling was annoying. It felt like he was trying to be like Tony Randall or something. Plus, my biggest heartbreak for me was the meager displays of romance or development of romance between the Philip and Cathy. I love Cary Grant but he just seemed to have the same facial expressions throughout. I was cheering every time I saw him break a smile. Yes! Your human! Your alive!!!

The parts I did like about the movie came towards the end. The chase scene pretty much redeemed the movie from turning it off before the end. It is the moment where Philip, unconsciously nudged by (weird) underling, chases after Cathy to prevent her from sleeping with a sleazy man. The chase is pretty absurd but when Grant is folded into the back of the meat trunk, and you can see his head peeking up through the back window, it was GLORIOUS. I loved that scene.

The other scene I loved was when Philip and Cathy are sitting on the sofa during their first night in Bermuda. It's a very small scene but it is so powerful. Cathy is nervous with the looming potential of sex as Philip gently kisses her back (OH. MY. GOSH. SQUEEE!!!) . In order to calm her nerves, they have a cute dialogue that I will not repeat. It is something that is simple yet timeless. Every girl who has been nervous about sex has always wished that the guy could ever be this considerate!

There was also this awkward scene where Philip takes her to a yankees game and they're sitting in a dugout. I can tell that these were famous baseball players at the time, but I plead sport-ignorance. Those players are either really embarrassed to be in this movie, or they're shy, or horrible actors. Plus, I just can't believe that Cathy is a sports fanatic.
All in all, not a great classic movie in terms of fun entertainment. It does have wonderful dialogue and amazing images (I believe it won Best Comedy or some big award). As a sex-comedy, it's a meh. But it's Doris Day and Cary Grant so it's still a good movie to watch if your fan of either.

1 comment:

The Inspired Cook said...

The early 1960's were still pretty conservative, from my understanding. Still definitely in the 1950's age. It wasn't until the mid-60's or so that the sexual revolution really took off.
Cary Grant is super hot! I'm telling you, you should watch Arsenic and Old Lace (if you haven't already). Funny creepy movie.