That Touch of Mink

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Two very different views of "That Touch of Mink" below.

 

Sinks far below the best of the Day comedies...

 

Ralph McKnight

 

Out of respect for Cary Grant's long and distinguished film career, Doris Day, the number one box office star in the world, allowed his name to precede hers as they shared equal billing in "That Touch of Mink". She had been similarly generous with only two other male stars, James Stewart ("The Man Who Knew Too Much") and Clark Gable ("Teacher's Pet") at a time when she was clearly more popular.

"That Touch of Mink" rejuvenated Grant's career and gave him something he had not enjoyed in many years, a box-office smash. The picture opened in New York at Radio City Music Hall to enthusiastic reviews and solidified Miss Day's number-one standing at the box-office. Day portrays Cathy Timberlake, an out-of-work computer operator who, after being water-splashed by Grant's limo, meets and falls in love with him but wants to get to the alter with her self-respect intact. Grant, on the other hand, is a millionaire playboy who is attracted to Doris but doesn't have marriage in mind.

This picture is similar to the Day/Hudson, Day/Garner and Day/Rod Taylor pictures. By this point, Doris had developed some familiar comedy traits, which had gotten many laughs in her previous films, but were wearing thin with this outing. This was the film that puzzled many viewers and made Doris Day the butt of jokes on the comedy club circuit.

 

 

 

The fierce protection of her virginity and nervousness about amour, even in 1962, didn't seem normal for a woman of her age. The script kept emphasizing the fact that Miss Day was frightened to death of sex, even to the point of breaking out in hives at one point.

Of all of her comedies, this one is the most offensive. One wonders why Miss Meadows and Miss Day had such low opinions about men, while at the same time, plotted and schemed on how to snag them. Also, Hollywood has got to start explaining how an unemployed young woman and her roommate, who works in an automat, can live in such a beautiful apartment and wear such expensive clothes!

Gig Young played the same role he played in 'Teacher's Pet' and was fun to watch here. Audrey Meadows reminded me of Eve Arden and delivered her lines with sharp sarcasm. John Astin was appropriately sleazy and Dick Sargent was okay in a brief, but effective bit.

This film was a hit because every picture in which Doris Day appeared, during this period, was a guaranteed goldmine. Personally, I would have preferred another, more mature script for Day and Grant, perhaps a dramatic love story. The picture does have it's funny moments, but sinks far below the best of the Day comedies like 'The Thrill of it All' and 'Lover Come Back'.  


Ralph McKnight, New York, July 2000

 

 

Doris Day knitting on the set of "That Touch of Mink".

 

 

"They don't come much flimsier than this: playboy Cary Grant pursues cute Doris Day back in the time when, apparently, good girls didn't; and Doris certainly won't. Quite silly, but with two of the screen's greatest charmers in tandem, it's irresistible." - The Guardian

 

 

Day and Grant have "That Touch"...

 

Paul Brogan

 

"That Touch of Mink" may not be quite as good as "Pillow Talk" and "Lover Come Back", the Stanley Shapiro scripted comedies that preceeded it, but it's still a delightful comedy romp. "That Touch of Mink" was the second biggest moneymaking film of 1962 and the first film to gross more than a million dollars at NYC's Radio City Music Hall. (Eventually it grossed nearly 2 million dollars during it's record breaking run there).

It's glossy and slightly improbable, but the dream pairing of Cary Grant and Doris Day, both masters of sophisticated comedy, smooth over many of the rough edges. They are assisted by a wonderful supporting cast including Gig Young, Audrey Meadows, and John Astin, among others. Doris is splashed by Cary's limo, which sets up a merry "battle of the sexes" as Cary vigorously pursues Doris, who receives dry advice from roomie Meadows, who works in a New York City automat. The premise is simple but the writing is sharp and often hilarious and the settings are lush and picturesque, as the pair twice go to Bermuda, as well as visit the United Nations, a Yankees game, and a place called Al's Motel!!

The film won a Golden Globe as Best Comedy of the year and that was due, in large part, to the stylish manner in which the cast made the situations come alive. At 58, Grant is still the master of the suave and sophisticated line. Nobody before or since can inhabit a role like Grant. Day more than holds her own against Grant showing brilliant comic timing, especially in a scene where she becomes inebriated and falls out of a hotel window. Her double takes are classic. Sure it can be dismissed as "fluff" but it's of such a high quality that it can be enjoyed for what it is. Every film doesn't need to challenge the viewer or be analyzed for some hidden message. "That Touch of Mink" provides a cargo of laughs and that's all it sets out to do. On that level it succeeds admirably!


Paul Brogan, October 2000

 

 

 

Doris Day wrote:

"Of all the people I performed with, I got to know Cary Grant least of all. He is a completely private person, totally reserved, and there is no way into him. Our relationship on "A Touch of Mink" was amicable but devoid of give-and-take…Not that he wasn't friendly and polite - he certainly was. But distant. Very distant. But very professional - maybe the most professional, exacting actor I ever worked with. In the scenes we played, he concerned himself with every little detail: clothes, sets, production values, the works. Cary even got involved in helping to choose the kind of mink I was slated to wear in the film." - Doris Day, Her Own Story

 

 

 

Radio Times 
"A very popular Doris Day vehicle from her post-"Pillow Talk" second coming, in which she co-stars with Cary Grant. The movie only works if you accept that Day won't sleep with Grant, which might have made sense back in 1962 but hardly at all now: after all, these are two of the best-looking and most sophisticated people in the world. But that's the plot — will she or won't she, and we know she won't.

This is quintessential Day fluff, complete with quite unnecessary heavily-gauzed close-ups, and Grant can barely disguise the fact that he's getting a little too long in the tooth for such foolishness. Still, there's much charm, and if you accept the premise, this is a lot of fun. "

 

with director Delbert Mann
Director Delbert Mann with Doris Day.

 

"That Touch of Mink was one of Doris' top grossing film and it was an enormous financial success, through the inspired teaming of Cary Grant and Doris Day. However, the reviews were mixed over this "one-joke" comedy film. Gig Young and Audrey Meadows add some sparkle to this Universal outing.

Doris plays an unemployed computer operator who is initially insulted, but later swept off her feet by a rich business tycoon. He proposes a trip to Bermuda. She thinks he offers marriage, but he offers only the trip. Even though Doris is discouraged from tagging along by her roommate, she travels to the Caribbean against her own better judgement and upbringing, which triggers a "nervous rash." Their relationship cannot be consummated so she tries liquor instead and even tries to make Grant jealous by seeking another partner. He finally agrees to marry her to "save" her honour, only to develop a "nervous rash" of his own. 'The adroit Stanley Shapiro has written a lively, lilting script that has as much glittering verbal wit and almost as much comic wit as (his) Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back." - The New York Times

 

 

 

"That Touch of mink" was Cary Grant's 69th film and his only film with Doris Day and the only time he will be directed by Delbert Mann. Day was paid $750,000 for her role as Kathy Timberlake and Grant received $600,000 for his role as Philip Shane, plus he received a percentage. Also this is the first film to break over $1,000,000.00 in a single theatre, in this case Radio City Music Hall in New York.
From www.carygrant.net