Sex and the Single Girl
Curtis and Wood may have been top-billed, but most critics agreed it was second leads Henry Fonda and Lauren Bacall who stole the show as Curtis' bickering neighbors. Fonda plays a pantyhose manufacturer who becomes entangled in Curtis' schemes, and Bacall is his shrewish, chinaware-throwing wife. Among other amusing things, the older couple is required to do the "twist" to the music of Count Basie during a dance-floor spat. "When these two get down to some good old-fashioned domestic brawling," wrote film historian Lawrence J. Quirk, "they practically jump off the screen into the audience like a couple of forces of nature." Critic Howard Thompson added that Bacall had "the wittiest lines and all but pierces the picture with her buzzsaw growl."
Although Warner Bros. acknowledged that Sex and the Single Girl was a "satire on a provocative subject" that was merely "suggested" by Brown's book, the public was sufficiently intrigued by the saucy title and subject matter to turn the film into the fifteenth top-grosser ($4 million) of its year.
Producer: William T. Orr
Director: Richard Quine
Screenplay: Joseph Heller, David R. Schwartz, Leslie H. Martinson (uncredited), Joseph Hoffman (story), suggested by book by Helen Gurley Brown
Production Design: Cary Odell
Cinematography: Charles Lang
Editing: David Wages
Original Music: Neal Hefti
Principal Cast: Tony Curtis (Bob Weston), Natalie Wood (Helen Gurley Brown), Henry Fonda (Frank Broderick), Lauren Bacall (Sylvia Broderick), Mel Ferrer (Bob Weston), Edward Everett Horton (The Chief), Fran Jeffries (Gretchen), Otto Kruger (Dr. Marshall H. Anderson).
by Roger Fristoe