Take Her, She's Mine


1h 38m 1963
Take Her, She's Mine

Brief Synopsis

A father attempts to protect his college-age daughter from trouble which leads to scandal.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1963
Premiere Information
New York opening: 13 Nov 1963
Production Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Take Her, She's Mine by Phoebe Ephron, Henry Ephron (New York, 21 Dec 1961).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 38m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

When lawyer Frank Michaelson and his wife, Anne, send their daughter, Mollie, to college, they soon discover that boys are not the only danger to her reputation. She soon becomes involved with beatnik folksingers and "Ban the Bomb" demonstrators, and Frank finds himself in several humiliating situations when attempting to help her. Matters are made worse when Mollie goes to Paris on an art scholarship. Seeing in Life magazine that Henri, a young artist, is painting her in the style of Picasso, Frank flies to France, but in Paris he only causes more confusion when he is accidentally arrested in a police raid on a shady bistro. Mollie finally confesses her love for Henri and introduces him to her harassed father at a costume ball; all goes well until Frank's Daniel Boone costume disintegrates, and he falls into the Seine. But true love triumphs over petty adversities, and the young couple are married. Frank returns home to begin worrying about his younger daughter, Liz.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1963
Premiere Information
New York opening: 13 Nov 1963
Production Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Take Her, She's Mine by Phoebe Ephron, Henry Ephron (New York, 21 Dec 1961).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 38m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

Take Her, She's Mine


When the late Nora Ephron went off to college in 1958, she probably didn't know that the letters she'd send home from Wellesley would become the basis for a hit Broadway play, later a movie. Or perhaps she did. As her mother, playwright and screenwriter Phoebe Ephron, had famously said: "Everything is copy."

Henry Koster's 1963 film Take Her, She's Mine, based on the play Phoebe and Henry Ephron wrote about the trials and tribulations of sending a spirited daughter off to college, probably rang true for lots of parents in early 1960s America. There were no hippies per se at that point, but under the shadowy threat of nuclear war, young people were becoming much more politically astute, and more vocal. And so in Take Her, She's Mine, James Stewart plays Frank Michaelson, a typical American dad who's driven to distraction - and who treks as far afield as Paris - while trying to keep his vivacious, irresistibly attractive college-age daughter Mollie (Sandra Dee) out of trouble.

It's a losing battle, but it takes Stewart's Frank - an upstanding California lawyer and school board president -- the whole movie to figure that out: The picture's comic structure hinges on his belief that his daughter can't take care of herself, though it's perfectly clear that she can, chiefly because he and the girl's mother (played by Audrey Meadows) have raised her wisely and well. When Mollie takes a gig singing folk songs in a campus coffee shop, Frank somehow gets the impression that she's doing a striptease act there. He boards a train, pronto - the college Mollie's attending is on the East Coast -- and barges into the establishment, only to be greeted (and entertained) by a ridiculous and completely harmless beatnik troubadour. (He's played by Bob Denver, in a role reminiscent of Maynard G. Krebs, the character he was playing on TV's The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis at the time.) Later, after Mollie transfers to an art school in Paris, Frank becomes certain that a French artist-lothario is leading her down the wrong path. He boards a plane for the City of Lights and eventually ends up - after a chance encounter with a wiggy visiting Englishman played by Robert Morley -- losing his pants at an elegant French costume soiree. (Those trousers are, incidentally, fringed buckskin.)

The gags in Take Her, She's Mine are ridiculous, but they're also goofily pleasing, not least because it's always fun to watch Stewart stammering his way out of awkward situations. (One of the movie's running jokes is that Frank keeps being mistaken for a tall, lanky actor - known as Jimmy Stewart.) At that point in his career, Stewart was still making westerns: The year before had seen the release of both How the West Was Won (directed by John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall and Richard Thorpe) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (directed by Ford), and in 1961 he'd made Two Rode Together, also with John Ford.

Though Stewart's mid-late career was largely defined by his roles in westerns (as well as by his work with Alfred Hitchcock), he hadn't lost his knack for comedy, and he made three of them with Henry Koster in the early-to-mid 1960s: The other two were Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962) and Dear Brigitte (1965). (Koster had also directed the star in the 1950 Harvey.) If the jokes in Take Her, She's Mine are at times a little broad, Stewart still manages to keep them down-to-earth and reasonably believable; as overprotective parents go, he comes off as reasonably hip, particularly in a scene where he ends up defending the right of his daughter and her friends to protest, peacefully, the banning of a "dirty" book. (It's Henry Miller's "Tropic of Cancer.")

The script is by veteran screenwriter Nunnally Johnson, who used the Ephrons' play as a starting point and fleshed out the story with additional monkeyshines. Some of those scenes - many of them featuring only the subtlest of off-color suggestions - caused the Catholic Church's Legion of Decency to slap the movie with an adults-only rating, for its "tasteless sexual innuendo,'' which, as New York Post critic Lou Lumenick pointed out in a 2012 assessment of the film, probably only enhanced its performance at the box office. (The picture was a hit.)

The notoriously stuffy New York Times critic Bosley Crowther didn't care much for Take Her, She's Mine, either. "Let's all be thankful that society is generally, if not entirely, free of such farcical types as the doting father played by James Stewart in 'Take Her, She's Mine,'" he wrote with characteristic condescension. "And let's hope the screen will not be burdened for too much longer with such drivel as is in this old-hat Hollywood picture."

He didn't care much, even, for Stewart's co-star Sandra Dee, who was still riding high as America's teenage sweetheart after winkling and twinkling her way through pictures like Gidget (1959), Tammy Tell Me True (1961) and Tammy and the Doctor (1963). Crowther denounced Dee's performance, asserting that the actress "treats the whole thing as though she were modeling bikinis." Dee could, at times, be a little saccharine; she's sunny, cheerful and winning in Take Her, She's Mine. And she does, in fact, wear a bikini or two in the picture. But only the most churlish sort would complain about that.

Producer: Henry Koster
Director: Henry Koster
Screenplay: Nunnally Johnson (screenplay); Phoebe Ephron and Henry Ephron (play)
Cinematography: Lucien Ballard
Music: Jerry Goldsmith
Film Editing: Marjorie Fowler
Cast: James Stewart (Frank Michaelson/Narrator), Sandra Dee (Mollie Michaelson), Audrey Meadows (Anne Michaelson), Robert Morley (Mr. Pope-Jones), John McGiver (Hector G. Iver).
C-98m.

by Stephanie Zacharek

Take Her, She's Mine

Take Her, She's Mine

When the late Nora Ephron went off to college in 1958, she probably didn't know that the letters she'd send home from Wellesley would become the basis for a hit Broadway play, later a movie. Or perhaps she did. As her mother, playwright and screenwriter Phoebe Ephron, had famously said: "Everything is copy." Henry Koster's 1963 film Take Her, She's Mine, based on the play Phoebe and Henry Ephron wrote about the trials and tribulations of sending a spirited daughter off to college, probably rang true for lots of parents in early 1960s America. There were no hippies per se at that point, but under the shadowy threat of nuclear war, young people were becoming much more politically astute, and more vocal. And so in Take Her, She's Mine, James Stewart plays Frank Michaelson, a typical American dad who's driven to distraction - and who treks as far afield as Paris - while trying to keep his vivacious, irresistibly attractive college-age daughter Mollie (Sandra Dee) out of trouble. It's a losing battle, but it takes Stewart's Frank - an upstanding California lawyer and school board president -- the whole movie to figure that out: The picture's comic structure hinges on his belief that his daughter can't take care of herself, though it's perfectly clear that she can, chiefly because he and the girl's mother (played by Audrey Meadows) have raised her wisely and well. When Mollie takes a gig singing folk songs in a campus coffee shop, Frank somehow gets the impression that she's doing a striptease act there. He boards a train, pronto - the college Mollie's attending is on the East Coast -- and barges into the establishment, only to be greeted (and entertained) by a ridiculous and completely harmless beatnik troubadour. (He's played by Bob Denver, in a role reminiscent of Maynard G. Krebs, the character he was playing on TV's The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis at the time.) Later, after Mollie transfers to an art school in Paris, Frank becomes certain that a French artist-lothario is leading her down the wrong path. He boards a plane for the City of Lights and eventually ends up - after a chance encounter with a wiggy visiting Englishman played by Robert Morley -- losing his pants at an elegant French costume soiree. (Those trousers are, incidentally, fringed buckskin.) The gags in Take Her, She's Mine are ridiculous, but they're also goofily pleasing, not least because it's always fun to watch Stewart stammering his way out of awkward situations. (One of the movie's running jokes is that Frank keeps being mistaken for a tall, lanky actor - known as Jimmy Stewart.) At that point in his career, Stewart was still making westerns: The year before had seen the release of both How the West Was Won (directed by John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall and Richard Thorpe) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (directed by Ford), and in 1961 he'd made Two Rode Together, also with John Ford. Though Stewart's mid-late career was largely defined by his roles in westerns (as well as by his work with Alfred Hitchcock), he hadn't lost his knack for comedy, and he made three of them with Henry Koster in the early-to-mid 1960s: The other two were Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962) and Dear Brigitte (1965). (Koster had also directed the star in the 1950 Harvey.) If the jokes in Take Her, She's Mine are at times a little broad, Stewart still manages to keep them down-to-earth and reasonably believable; as overprotective parents go, he comes off as reasonably hip, particularly in a scene where he ends up defending the right of his daughter and her friends to protest, peacefully, the banning of a "dirty" book. (It's Henry Miller's "Tropic of Cancer.") The script is by veteran screenwriter Nunnally Johnson, who used the Ephrons' play as a starting point and fleshed out the story with additional monkeyshines. Some of those scenes - many of them featuring only the subtlest of off-color suggestions - caused the Catholic Church's Legion of Decency to slap the movie with an adults-only rating, for its "tasteless sexual innuendo,'' which, as New York Post critic Lou Lumenick pointed out in a 2012 assessment of the film, probably only enhanced its performance at the box office. (The picture was a hit.) The notoriously stuffy New York Times critic Bosley Crowther didn't care much for Take Her, She's Mine, either. "Let's all be thankful that society is generally, if not entirely, free of such farcical types as the doting father played by James Stewart in 'Take Her, She's Mine,'" he wrote with characteristic condescension. "And let's hope the screen will not be burdened for too much longer with such drivel as is in this old-hat Hollywood picture." He didn't care much, even, for Stewart's co-star Sandra Dee, who was still riding high as America's teenage sweetheart after winkling and twinkling her way through pictures like Gidget (1959), Tammy Tell Me True (1961) and Tammy and the Doctor (1963). Crowther denounced Dee's performance, asserting that the actress "treats the whole thing as though she were modeling bikinis." Dee could, at times, be a little saccharine; she's sunny, cheerful and winning in Take Her, She's Mine. And she does, in fact, wear a bikini or two in the picture. But only the most churlish sort would complain about that. Producer: Henry Koster Director: Henry Koster Screenplay: Nunnally Johnson (screenplay); Phoebe Ephron and Henry Ephron (play) Cinematography: Lucien Ballard Music: Jerry Goldsmith Film Editing: Marjorie Fowler Cast: James Stewart (Frank Michaelson/Narrator), Sandra Dee (Mollie Michaelson), Audrey Meadows (Anne Michaelson), Robert Morley (Mr. Pope-Jones), John McGiver (Hector G. Iver). C-98m. by Stephanie Zacharek

Sandra Dee, 1944-2005


For a brief, quicksilver period of the early '60s, Sandra Dee was the quintessential sweet, perky, All-American girl, and films such as Gidget and Tammy Tell Me True only reinforced the image that young audiences identified with on the screen. Tragically, Ms. Dee died on February 20 at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. She had been hospitalized for the last two weeks for treatment of kidney disease, and had developed pneumonia. She was 60.

She was born Alexandra Cymboliak Zuck on April 23, 1944 (conflicting sources give 1942, but the actual birth year has been verified by the family) in Bayonne, New Jersey. She was abandoned by her father by age five, and her mother, Mary Douvan, lied about Sandra's age so that she could put her in school and get a job. She was only five when she entered the 2nd grade. Mature for her age, Sandra's mother kept the lie going when she began her modeling career. With her fetching blonde curls and pretty face, Dee found herself moving up quickly on the modeling ladder. By the time she was 10, she was one of the top child models in the country, and by age 13, she met producer Ross Hunter, who signed her to a seven-year contract for Universal. She had her named changed to Sandra Dee (a stage name combining her shortened first name and using her stepfather's surname initial D to sign vouchers) and made her film debut in Until They Sail (1957), starring Joan Fontaine, John Gavin.

Her next film, The Reluctant Debutante, a bubbly romantic comedy with Rex Harrison, Kay Kendall and John Saxon, proved Dee to be adept in light comedy. Yet she would prove her versatility as a performer the following year - 1959, when she scored in the three biggest films of the year:A Summer Place, a brooding melodrama with fellow teen-heartthrob, Troy Donohue; Imitation of Life, a glossy, Ross Hunter sudser; and of course Gidget, the archetypical, sand and surf movie. By the dawn of the '60s, Sandra Dee mania ruled the movie fanzines worldwide.

Her personal life took a surprising turn when she hooked up with singer Bobby Darin. She met Darin in 1960 in Portofino, Italy, where they were both cast in Come September with Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida as the older romantic couple. They eventually married and she gave birth to a son, Dodd Mitchell Darin in 1961. All the while, Dee still plugged away with a series of hit films over the next few years: Romanoff and Juliet a charming satirical comedy directed by Peter Ustinoff; Tammy Tell Me True with John Gavin (both 1961; If a Man Answers (1962) a surprisingly sharp comedy of manners with husband Bobby Darin; Tammy and the Doctor, another corn-fed entry that was her leading man's Peter Fonda's big break; and Take Her, She's Mine (1963), a rather strained generation-gap comedy with James Stewart.

Her success was not to last. By the late `60s, as "youth culture" movies became more confrontational and less frivolous with references to open sexuality and drugs in the American landscape, Dee's career began to peter out. Her few films of that period : Rosie, and Doctor, You've Got To Be Kidding (both 1967) were pretty dreadful and were disasters at the box-office; and her divorce from Bobby Darin that same year, put a dent in her personal life, so Dee wisely took a sabbatical from the limelight for a few years.

The '70s actually saw Dee improve as an actress. Although by no means a classic, her role as woman falling pray to a warlock (Dean Stockwell) who sexually and psychologically dominates her in the The Dunwich Horror (1970), was nothing short of startling. Yet despite her competency as actress, her career never regained its footing, and she appeared in only a few television movies later on: The Daughters of Joshua Cabe (1972), Fantasy Island (1977).

Dee resurfaced in 1991, when she gave an interview with People magazine about her personal demons: molestation by her stepfather, anorexia, drug use and alcoholism, that had haunted her her entire life. That same year, much to the delight of her fans, she resurfaced briefly when she starred in a stage production of Love Letters at the Beverly Hill's Canon Theatre with her friend and former co-star, John Saxon. Since she was diagnosed with throat cancer and kidney failure in 2000, Dee had been in and out of hospitals for her failing health. She is survived by her son Dodd; and two granddaughters -Alexa and Olivia.

by Michael T. Toole

Sandra Dee, 1944-2005

For a brief, quicksilver period of the early '60s, Sandra Dee was the quintessential sweet, perky, All-American girl, and films such as Gidget and Tammy Tell Me True only reinforced the image that young audiences identified with on the screen. Tragically, Ms. Dee died on February 20 at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. She had been hospitalized for the last two weeks for treatment of kidney disease, and had developed pneumonia. She was 60. She was born Alexandra Cymboliak Zuck on April 23, 1944 (conflicting sources give 1942, but the actual birth year has been verified by the family) in Bayonne, New Jersey. She was abandoned by her father by age five, and her mother, Mary Douvan, lied about Sandra's age so that she could put her in school and get a job. She was only five when she entered the 2nd grade. Mature for her age, Sandra's mother kept the lie going when she began her modeling career. With her fetching blonde curls and pretty face, Dee found herself moving up quickly on the modeling ladder. By the time she was 10, she was one of the top child models in the country, and by age 13, she met producer Ross Hunter, who signed her to a seven-year contract for Universal. She had her named changed to Sandra Dee (a stage name combining her shortened first name and using her stepfather's surname initial D to sign vouchers) and made her film debut in Until They Sail (1957), starring Joan Fontaine, John Gavin. Her next film, The Reluctant Debutante, a bubbly romantic comedy with Rex Harrison, Kay Kendall and John Saxon, proved Dee to be adept in light comedy. Yet she would prove her versatility as a performer the following year - 1959, when she scored in the three biggest films of the year:A Summer Place, a brooding melodrama with fellow teen-heartthrob, Troy Donohue; Imitation of Life, a glossy, Ross Hunter sudser; and of course Gidget, the archetypical, sand and surf movie. By the dawn of the '60s, Sandra Dee mania ruled the movie fanzines worldwide. Her personal life took a surprising turn when she hooked up with singer Bobby Darin. She met Darin in 1960 in Portofino, Italy, where they were both cast in Come September with Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida as the older romantic couple. They eventually married and she gave birth to a son, Dodd Mitchell Darin in 1961. All the while, Dee still plugged away with a series of hit films over the next few years: Romanoff and Juliet a charming satirical comedy directed by Peter Ustinoff; Tammy Tell Me True with John Gavin (both 1961; If a Man Answers (1962) a surprisingly sharp comedy of manners with husband Bobby Darin; Tammy and the Doctor, another corn-fed entry that was her leading man's Peter Fonda's big break; and Take Her, She's Mine (1963), a rather strained generation-gap comedy with James Stewart. Her success was not to last. By the late `60s, as "youth culture" movies became more confrontational and less frivolous with references to open sexuality and drugs in the American landscape, Dee's career began to peter out. Her few films of that period : Rosie, and Doctor, You've Got To Be Kidding (both 1967) were pretty dreadful and were disasters at the box-office; and her divorce from Bobby Darin that same year, put a dent in her personal life, so Dee wisely took a sabbatical from the limelight for a few years. The '70s actually saw Dee improve as an actress. Although by no means a classic, her role as woman falling pray to a warlock (Dean Stockwell) who sexually and psychologically dominates her in the The Dunwich Horror (1970), was nothing short of startling. Yet despite her competency as actress, her career never regained its footing, and she appeared in only a few television movies later on: The Daughters of Joshua Cabe (1972), Fantasy Island (1977). Dee resurfaced in 1991, when she gave an interview with People magazine about her personal demons: molestation by her stepfather, anorexia, drug use and alcoholism, that had haunted her her entire life. That same year, much to the delight of her fans, she resurfaced briefly when she starred in a stage production of Love Letters at the Beverly Hill's Canon Theatre with her friend and former co-star, John Saxon. Since she was diagnosed with throat cancer and kidney failure in 2000, Dee had been in and out of hospitals for her failing health. She is survived by her son Dodd; and two granddaughters -Alexa and Olivia. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States November 1963

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1963

CinemaScope

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1963

Released in United States November 1963