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Artisan Home Entertainment presents
That Touch Of Mink (1962)

"Boy, men really have this game beat. For two thousand years, we've had their children, washed their clothes, cooked their meals, cleaned their houses. And what did they give us in return? The right to smoke in public. We sold out for cigarettes."
- Connie (Audrey Meadows)

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: March 14, 2002

Stars: Cary Grant, Doris Day
Other Stars: Audrey Meadows, Gig Young, John Astin, Dick Sargent, Richard Deacon, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra
Director: Delbert Mann

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 01h:38m:52s
Release Date: January 23, 2001
UPC: 017153100822
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- CCB- C

DVD Review

Now, without getting too vulgar — this is a trite little comedy, after all — That Touch Of Mink is essentially a story about Doris Day's maidenhead. Will she or won't she sleep with Cary Grant? It's from the early 1960s, so the movie cannot say as much, but any audience member out of preschool will know that this is a movie basically about Doris Day's virginity, and about how everyone is after it. Things get underway immediately, when poor Cathy (Doris), on a rainy New York morning, is splashed and muddied by a passing limousine, mussing up her dress on the way to a job interview. (It took nearly another forty years for so much fuss to be made again about a stained dress: Monica Lewinsky's.) In that limo was corporate titan Philip Shayne, played by an older but still dashing Cary Grant; he knows he should have stopped to apologize, but has to scurry off to Very Important Business instead. When he catches sight of the young woman from his office — she's on her way into the Horn & Hardart Automat — he dispatches his lieutenant, played by Gig Young, to apologize for him. Young's character is a professor of economics at Princeton lured away by Shayne's money to the corporate corridors, but he's wracked with guilt about it; an unusually large percentage of his ample salary goes to his therapist, whom he sees daily. (The shrink, in turn, pumps his patient for stock tips.) Doris thinks that Cary should apologize himself, not send an emissary, and she intends to tell him so. But when they meet, since she's a big movie star and he's a big movie star, they instantaneously fall in love. They paint the town, zip around on his corporate jet, and then he asks the big question: Will she accompany him on a trip to Bermuda? No, it's decidedly not a marriage proposal; she wants to go, but does a nice girl do something like that? The playing out of that moral dilemma is more or less the rest of the movie. It's tough when the two leads fall in love in the first ten minutes and stay that way, and the only thing keeping them apart is her chastity. So this is a rather smutty bit of business, all obvious innuendo, everyone wondering whether or not she'll sleep with him. Imagine Pretty Woman if Julia Roberts wasn't a hooker, or Indecent Proposal if Demi Moore wasn't married and no money changed hands — there wouldn't be much just left in those stories if you yanked out those central premises. Maybe there was some mileage to be had out of the fact that he's impossibly wealthy, and she cashes her unemployment check every week? Nah. The filmmakers would rather get right to the nookie. Or speculation about the nookie, anyway. There's a decidedly May-December aspect to the Day-Grant pairing; it's hard to imagine Hollywood producing a love story with their respective frequent costars, Rock Hudson and Katherine Hepburn. (Hollywood still hasn't gotten over this idea — witness a movie like Nothing But Trouble, in which Nick Nolte would be more convincing as Julia Roberts's father, not her love interest.) But the lechery is sort of the point. At one point Grant's character makes a sizable donation to a charity for unwed mothers, and the representatives of the charity are under the mistaken impression that Grant has gotten Doris "in trouble." They're reasonably nonchalant, as long as the check clears: "When a man donates $200,000, he's entitled to use the facilities." Was that racy in 1962? My guess is that even then, it was racy only to the dirty old men out there, elbowing one another in the gut. Not incidentally, the cast is chock full of actors familiar from sitcoms, and it's fun seeing them turn up here. Audrey Meadows plays Connie, Cathy's best pal, though it's hard to see her as anyone but Alice Kramden from The Honeymooners; her boss at the Automat is Richard Deacon, Mel Cooley from The Dick Van Dyke Show. Regularly putting the moves on old Doris at the unemployment office is John Astin, more familiar as Gomez Addams. (I sort of hoped that Doris would start speaking French, sending Gomez into paroxysms of passion.) And commiserating with Cary Grant one night poolside in Bermuda is Dick Sargent, one of the Darrens from Bewitched. Also showing up in a brief but unnecessary scene at Yankee Stadium are baseball greats Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, fresh from the 1961 home run derby, and Yogi Berra. Let's just say that they don't give Cary Grant too much to worry about in the leading man department.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: C

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: There seem to be some resolution problems, either with the source material or the transfer; on more than one occasion, a fabric with intricate patterning will read as shiny, and be terribly distracting. More generally, there's a lot of debris and many scratches on the source print. Color levels are reasonably steady and consistent. There's an extended fashion show sequence at Bergdorf Goodman; framed for the widescreen format, the models look rather miniscule even on a good-sized television.

Image Transfer Grade: C

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: The mono track, the only one here, is respectable enough and sufficiently clear to make out the dialogue.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 34 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The trailer is presented in widescreen; the bios are brief and the filmographies are incomplete, but there are entries here for the four lead actors (Grant, Day, Meadows, Young), as well as the director, the producers and the writers.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

That Touch Of Mink could have used a touch or two more of story, or at least have provided some bigger laughs. Day and Grant aren't bad, though they're not hardly at the top of their form. If you've worn out your copies of Pillow Talk and The Philadelphia Story and want to see what else is out there, here you go. Otherwise, keep the animal rights activists happy and leave this mink on the shelf.

 


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