Thursday, October 23, 2014

Must-See Movie: Boys' Night Out

Boys' Night Out (1962)
As far as classics go, this movie is not at the top of the list, but it does have James Garner in it. Garner is adorable as Fred Williams, a single guy who lives with his mother, and pools his money together with three of his other friends (all married) to share an apartment in the city. What's the point?  Not only can they each have their evening at the apartment away from their wives, but the lovely Kathy (Kim Novak) is staying in the apartment to be at the mens' beck and call. Now that's the ugh stupid part of the plot.  But what redeems the film is a few factors.  First of all, there's James Garner in the film.  'Nuff said there.
Hi, Lover...

But secondly, Kathy is not a real "beck and call" girl.  She's a sociology student researching the sexual life of the white middle-class male, and the four men are prime subjects for her thesis.  So no, she's not a slut -- it's all for sociological reasons!  Thirdly, the three married men (including Tony Randall -- always funny) realize that they are actually happily married but maybe just missing a few things from their life.
And lastly, the wives of the three married men (including Patti Page, who sings the title song) come out swinging after their own drunken night out, and hilarity ensues when they reveal that marriage is not all hearts and roses for them either.

The downside?
Kim Novak is not her strongest in this film.  Her performance is pretty stale and lacks the spark and sex appeal that she possessed in her earlier role in "Bell Book and Candle."  "Boys' Night Out" was intended to resurrect her career, which had taken a dip when she turned 29, mostly due to the death of Columbia Pictures' production head Harry Cohn.  Unfortunately the film was not a financial or critical success and her career didn't recover.

But as far as light, fluffy, 60's sex romps go, this one is fun and still squeaky clean.

See the original trailer at the TCM website.

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