Kiss Them for Me

Kiss Them for Me

2.0 2
Director: Stanley Donen, Cary Grant, Suzy Parker, Jayne Mansfield

Cast: Stanley Donen, Cary Grant, Suzy Parker, Jayne Mansfield

     
 
Stanley Donen's Kiss Them for Me (1957), starring Cary Grant, Suzy Parker, Jayne Mansfield, Leif Erickson, Werner Klemperer, Ray Walston, and Larry Blyden, never made it to laserdisc. It comes to DVD in an edition filled with handy little extras -- but, alas, no interview with or commentary track by Donen, though the man was very much with us in 2003 -- and in

Overview

Stanley Donen's Kiss Them for Me (1957), starring Cary Grant, Suzy Parker, Jayne Mansfield, Leif Erickson, Werner Klemperer, Ray Walston, and Larry Blyden, never made it to laserdisc. It comes to DVD in an edition filled with handy little extras -- but, alas, no interview with or commentary track by Donen, though the man was very much with us in 2003 -- and in a fine letterboxed transfer, capturing the movie's 2.35:1 CinemaScope aspect ratio. The transfer is a beauty and captures the San Franscisco and Pacific vistas utilized in the film magnificently; between those shots and the presence of Jayne Mansfield, this is a demonstration-quality disc. Sometimes Donen seems a little awkward trying to fill the CinemaScope frame, but that problem is solved as soon Mansfield shows up; once the extended party scene gets going with Suzy Parker on hand as well, it seems as if Donen could use triple-lens Cinerama. There's all kinds of good to be found in here, not least of which are the entertaining performances by Grant, Walston, Klemperer (playing an American -- this was before he was typecast as a comical German), and Blyden, and the stunning appearances of Suzy Parker and Jayne Mansfield. Even though it's set during World War II and involves Navy combat officers on leave, from the moment one hears the McGuire Sisters' rendition of the title tune over the opening credits, one knows that Kiss Them for Me has about as much to do with the real Navy as Abbott & Costello's Buck Privates had to do with the Army. Still, there are some moments that are serious and entertaining, such as Ray Walston's explanation of his attempts to become a wounded war hero (including happily cracking up his plane on a carrier deck), in order to forward his intended political career; and Blyden's otherwise cool, laconic Southern pilot having screaming nightmares about being in a burning plane. Most of the movie comes off as an attempt at recapturing the magic of Donen's On the Town (1949) in San Francisco -- the Julius Epstein screenplay is too serious for that, but the result is a strangely compelling and honest nostalgia piece, something that On the Town never really was. The 102-minute movie has been given a very generous 20 chapters that are well selected, and comes with the original theatrical teaser and trailer, plus a still-frame array and a selection of trailers from other Cary Grant films in the Fox DVD library. The audio is mastered a little low, but the nearly half-century-old Deluxe color has been restored to richness and a fine luster. And the disc opens automatically to a simple four-selection, two-layer menu that's very easy to maneuver around.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
"Three sailors on leave" has been the basis of far too many movies to count, but Kiss Them for Me manages to take this well-worn situation and make it more than reasonably entertaining. While absolutely nothing more than a trifle -- despite some ill-conceived and equally ill-executed attempts to inject a "serious" message into the proceedings at times -- Kiss is smoothly directed by Stanley Donen, who keeps the film's pace going and skillfully diverts attention from the sometimes-sizeable gaps in the screenplay. He's aided enormously by Cary Grant (as would be any director in the same situation). Grant could easily have done this part with his eyes closed, relying solely on his considerable charm. But Grant doesn't simply coast; he treats the material with more respect than it deserves, thereby making it seem much fresher than it actually is. He gets solid support from the always lively Ray Walston, a very youthful Larry Blyden, and a tremendously amusing Werner Klemperer, as well as a large cast of familiar character actors of bit parts. Where Grant doesn't get such support is on the distaff side. Jayne Mansfield is always an acquired taste, so her fans will probably like her here and her detractors will probably find her ineffective. More damaging is Suzy Parker, whose beauty does not make up for her inadequate dramatic talents; even worse, she lacks the power to perform opposite Grant, whose star power simply overwhelms her. Fortunately, the film survives this miscasting to end up as a pleasant, often very amusing diversion.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/06/2004
UPC:
0024543102663
Original Release:
1957
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
1:42:00
Sales rank:
27,762

Special Features

Closed Caption; Theatrical trailers; Still gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cary Grant Comm. Andy Crewson
Suzy Parker Gwinneth Livingston
Jayne Mansfield Alice Kratzner
Leif Erickson Eddie Turnbill
Ray Walston Lieutenant J.G. McCann
Larry Blyden Mississip
Nathaniel Frey C.P.O. Ruddle
Werner Klemperer Lieutenant Walter Wallace
Jack Mullaney Ensign Lewis
Ben Wright RAF Pilot
Michael Ross Gunner
Harry Carey Roundtree
Frank Nelson Nielson, hotel manager
Ann McCrea Lucille
Hal Baylor Big Marine
Harry Carter Actor
John Doucette Shore Patrol Lieutenant
Michael Fox Actor
Kathleen Freeman Nurse Wilinski
Jonathan Hale Nightclub Manager
Kip King Marine
Peter Leeds Reporter
Mike Mahoney Marine
Jack Mather Man
Ray Montgomery Lt. j.g.
William Phipps Lt. Hendricks
Maudie Prickett Chief Nurse
Robert St. Angelo Hotel Porter
Richard Shannon War Correspondent
Robert Sherman Actor
Rachel Stephens Wave
James F. Stone Bellhop
Deborah Kerr Gwinneth Livingston
Nancy Kulp Telephone Operator
Richard Deacon Bill Hotchkiss

Technical Credits
Stanley Donen Director
L.B. Abbott Special Effects
Carroll Coates Songwriter
Julius J. Epstein Screenwriter
David Hall Asst. Director
Milton Krasner Cinematographer
Charles LeMaire Costumes/Costume Designer
Lionel Newman Score Composer,Songwriter
Ben Nye Makeup
Charles Peck Sound/Sound Designer
Maurice Ransford Art Director
Stuart A. Reiss Set Decoration/Design
Walter Scott Set Decoration/Design
Robert L. Simpson Editor
Jerry Wald Producer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles [1:45]
2. Healthy American Attitudes [2:32]
3. Big Home Town Heroes [3:40]
4. A Drunken Promise [:11]
5. Bivouac'd in San Francisco [5:14]
6. The Navy, Nylons and Room 607 [2:03]
7. The Right Girl [5:36]
8. Ordering Up Orders [1:37]
9. It's Just Malaria [3:55]
10. To Kiss or Not to Kiss [3:44]
11. Out of Tune And Out of Uniform [4:01]
12. Those Things You Miss [3:30]
13. My Love Has Come Along [3:41]
14. Kiss Them All [3:06]
15. Hospital Duty [2:13]
16. The Unwounded Congressman [8:09]
17. Planning Their Futures [1:40]
18. Platinum Blondes, Paper and Pilots [3:25]
19. We're Pilots! [2:50]
20. Kiss Them for Me [6:07]

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Kiss Them for Me 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A dreary, stillborn wartime comedy that even Cary Grant can't save. The plot, three Navy fliers who manuever shore leave in San Francisco, offers nothing original. The supporting cast is no help, either. Ray Walston is wasted, while Larry Blyden is loud and amateurish. The female leads don't fare much better. Jayne Mansfield wiggles and jiggles embarrassingly, while beauteous model Suzy Parker's attempt at acting is pitiful to behold. Best Performance: Nathaniel Frey (from Broadway's 'Damn Yankees') as CPO Ruddle. Stanley Donen, no less, directed this mess with an all too heavy hand. You've been warned: skip this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I only saw this on AMC, as the disc is not out yet. Suzy Parker's performance was awful. One problem with being a bad actress, is that you look all the worse if you are paired with an excellent actor. While she was the real leading lady in the movie, it is the slinky Mansfield who gets top-billing. (No great actress either, but what she does, she does well). The script is largely drudgery. While Cary Grant is commonly in roles as the loveable rogue who tells whoppers to get what he needs, the script makes him sound more childish than clever. In the end, it is Suzy Parker, who seems as out of place as Katherine Houghton in 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?' and a weak script that make this the kind of movie best suited to elderly women doing the ironing.