Cast & Crew
In the Pacific arena in 1944, fighter pilot Andy Crewson circumvents regulations to finagle a four-day leave to San Francisco for himself and fellow Navy flying aces Mississip Hardy and Howard "Mac" McCann. Together with Naval public relations officer Commander Walter Wallace, who has been assigned to shepherd the three war heroes through the press, they hop onto a San Francisco-bound plane piloted by their friend, Chuck Roundtree. On the flight, Mac, who is running for Congress, confides that he joined the Navy as a ticket to a political career, while Wallace discloses that he plans to use his position to win a public relations job with shipping tycoon Eddie Turnbill. At the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, Wallace wrangles a suite for the flyers while Crewson prowls the lobby for attractive women. Once in their suite, the three discard their uniforms for black kimonos, and soon after, the flashy, flirtatious Alice Cratchner appears in response to a card that Crewson has distributed promising nylons. After Crewson invites a group of partygoers to the suite, Mac calls to confer with his wife about his campaign. Hoping to win an extended leave for the threesome, Wallace brings Turnbill to meet the pilots. When Turnbill's stylish fiancée, Gwenneth Livingston, arrives, Crewson becomes intrigued. Soon after, Ensign Lewis appears to collect a copy of the pilots' orders, and Crewson, who has no orders, entices him with Alice and alcohol. Turnbill, a self-important war profiteer, proposes that the pilots deliver a series of anecdotal speeches to his shipyard workers, but Crewson, angered at being asked to trivialize his war experiences, insults Turnbill and abruptly adjourns the party. When, in revenge, Turnbill arranges for the three to be ordered to the hospital for an exam, Gwenneth intervenes on their behalf and promises her fiancé that the pilots have agreed to speak at his shipyard. Unable to hail a taxi to take them to the shipyard, Crewson hops on a streetcar with Gwenneth, who finds herself attracted to the darkly handsome pilot. Instead of proceeding to the shipyard, they stop at a nightclub, and there Gwenneth confesses that she agreed to marry Turnbill because she knows that he will never be killed in combat. After exchanging a meaningful kiss, they return to the hotel bar, where Crewson meets an old pilot friend who is now confined to a wheelchair, awaiting certain death from his war injuries. When the dying pilot voices his last wish of flying into combat, Crewson is shaken. Consequently, when Turnbill finds Crewson at the bar and reproaches him for failing to keep his speaking engagement, Crewson slugs Turnbill, and Gwenneth throws her engagement ring in Turnbill's face. After a passionate embrace, Crewson and Gwenneth spend the night together at her apartment. The next morning at the hotel, Alice is disappointed because Mac spent the night telling her how much he loves his wife. When Crewson appears, Wallace blames him for ruining his chance for a job with Turnbill. The shore police, sent by Turnbill, then arrive to take the pilots to the Alameda hospital. There, Mac learns that he has won the election and is thus eligible for a discharge. Soon after, Alice phones Gwenneth with the news that Wallace has found another tycoon to keep the pilots out of combat and that a party has been planned that night at the hotel to celebrate. Later, at their hotel suite, Gwenneth starts to plan her future with Crewson, but when he balks at the idea of marriage, she angrily storms out of the room. Wallace then introduces Crewson to their new benefactor, paper tycoon Bill Hotchkiss. As Hotchkiss drones on about the importance of paper to the war effort, Chuck stumbles into the room, drunk, and declares that he is flying back to the Pacific. The celebratory air quickly evaporates when Chuck announces that their carrier has been sunk and the captain and most of the crew have gone down with their ship. The news triggers an attack of Crewson's malaria, and when Gwenneth embraces him to quell his shivering, he admits that he loves her. The grim news forces Mississip and Crewson to realize that their place is in combat, and they hurry to the airport to catch Chuck's plane. There, Crewson informs Mac that they are returning to war, and after Crewson kisses the tearful Gwenneth goodbye and promises to return one day, he and Mississip jump onto Chuck's plane, followed by Mac.
Harry Carey Jr.
Bob St. Angelo
Larry Lo Verde
L. B. Abbott
Stuart A. Reiss
Walter M. Scott
Lyle R. Wheeler
Kiss Them for Me
Based on a 1944 Broadway comedy (itself adapted from the novel Shore Leave by Frederic Wakeman), it concerns three naval fliers recuperating from injuries in a Pearl Harbor hospital who finagle a last-minute shore leave (their first since entering combat) for four days of escape from all things military. Grant is the ringleader of the trio, the wheeler-dealer who secures the leave with nothing more than a verbal okay, arranges transport to San Francisco on a cargo plane, and whips up a party out of nowhere in a lavish hotel suite. "I came here to get drunk and chase girls and that's what I intend to do," he proclaims and he studiously keeps to his goal even while he's pressured to make public appearances as the "war hero" to rouse the patriotism of homefront workers. Ray Walston and Larry Blyden play Grant's fellow fliers and partners in shore leave and Werner Klemperer (who went on to play Colonel Klink in the TV sitcom Hogan's Heroes) is the Navy public relations man who tries to extend their leave and secure himself a comfy corporate position after the war in the process. Written during the war, the novel and the subsequent play satirized the civilian industry that made its fortune on the war and used the soldiers as promotional tools, but after the war ended the theme lost its topicality.
The property had been bouncing around Hollywood for a decade when producer Jerry Wald convinced 20th Century Fox to take a chance on it. He landed Grant by promising that Audrey Hepburn would play opposite him but she was already committed elsewhere. Hepburn recommended a close friend, Suzy Parker, to Wald for the part of the beautiful but practical fiancée of a blustery ship building tycoon who captures Grant's attention. Parker was no actress but she was one of the most successful models in America. A favorite of photographer Richard Avedon, the striking, elegant young beauty graced hundreds of magazine covers, from Life to Vogue to Paris Match, and was the unofficial face of Chanel, among her many corporate accounts, and she became the first model to earn $100,000 per year. She made her big screen debut opposite Cary Grant with the billing "introducing Suzy Parker" and carried the role largely by virtue of poise and confidence, which director Stanley Donen emphasized by making her a solid, still, observant presence in the midst of chaotic action.
Jayne Mansfield took co-star billing in the supporting role of Alice Kratzner, a part created on Broadway by Judy Holliday. The voluptuous Mansfield was a cartoonish answer to Marilyn Monroe, all curves and squeaky squeals, and she plays comic relief as a silly but savvy party girl whose affections slip easily from one companion to another. According to Grant biographer Warren Harris, Mansfield was star-struck by Grant and acted like a teenage girl around him on the set. Off the set she was a favorite subject of the paparazzi and created a sensation when she accidentally revealed her ample charms while leaning over in a low-cut gown to greet a seated Sophia Loren in the Italian actress's first visit to Hollywood. The "wardrobe malfunction," captured by a swarm of photographers, upstaged Loren and was plastered across scandal sheets around the world. Grant reportedly warned Mansfield that such tactics were not doing her career any favors. Sure enough, Kiss Them for Me was her last film for a major Hollywood studio.
Stanley Donen came on board as director at the request of Grant, taking the project even though he was unimpressed with the script and had no involvement in the casting. "My first reaction was to say no," the director later recalled. "Cary appealed to me to do it and I found it impossible to refuse." The film was a flop but it paved the way for a winning partnership between Grant and Donen. They got along well on the set ("Cary was easy and friendly, and he loved English music hall humor," Donen said of Grant; "I found him extremely simple to work with, very cooperative with others") and went on to make three subsequent films together: Indiscreet (1958), a sophisticated romantic comedy with Ingrid Bergman; The Grass Is Greener (1960) with Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum; and Charade (1963), a sparkling romantic thriller with Audrey Hepburn and Walter Matthau.
By Sean Axmaker
Cary Grant, Marc Eliot. Harmony Books, 2004.
Cary Grant: A Touch of Elegance, Warren G. Harris. Doubleday, 1987.
Cary Grant: Dark Angel, Geoffrey Wansell. Arcade, 1996.
Dancing on the Ceiling: Stanley Donen and his Movies, Stephen M. Silverman. Alfred A. Knopf, 1996.
Kiss Them for Me
Hollywood Reporter news items yield the following information about this film: In October 1955, Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. bought the rights to Frederic Wakeman's novel and Luther Davis' play. By September 1956, Jerry Wald had acquired the rights to both the novel and play. In April 1957, a news item announced that Dan Dailey was to star with Cary Grant and Jayne Mansfield. Los Angeles Times news items add that in October 1956, Wald was considering George Montgomery for one of the leads. By December 1956, it was announced that Wald wanted Richard Widmark, who also starred in the Broadway version of Davis' play, to appear.
Although a May 1957 Hollywood Reporter news item states that King Donovan was added to the cast, but he was not in the released film. A May 1957 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that location filming took place in San Francisco. Although onscreen credits read "introducing Suzy Parker," Kiss Them for Me did not mark noted fashion model Parker's screen debut, but rather her first major role. Parker's first film was the 1957 release Funny Face.
Released in United States Winter December 1957
Released in United States Winter December 1957