Sunday, January 21, 2007

Revisit: That Touch of Mink

A Universal Pictures release 1962
Directed by Delbert Mann
Writing credits:
Stanley Shapiro
Nate Monaster

A rich businessman (Cary Grant) and a young woman (Doris Day) are attracted to each other, but he only wants an affair while she wants to save her virginity for marriage.

Cary Grant is in so many movies. In this one, he plays a crusty millionaire whose lofty bribes can't seem to get him access to Doris Day's pants. Director Mann has taken a couple of cues from Tashlin here: a palate of bright solid colors, with strong purple and yellow backgrounds, slapstick-style gags, the use of double entendre. The film also has a uniquely American aesthetic. Cathy's desire for the stability of marriage and her fear of sex are a reflection of rural christian attitudes. It's interesting to see how sex is visualized in this film - they never outright say the word, but use double entendres and visual metaphors (the bed, for example) to represent it. Far different from today's physically oriented depictions. Cary Grant in the 60's is so much funnier than Grant in the 30's - he's got that whole likeable prickness thing going, it's great. Check Father Goose for a better example. As a romantic comedy, it's highly watchable and entertaining.

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