Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cinema Tuesdays {Boys' Night Out}

This is my favourite Sex Comedy. It's just an absolutely brilliant satire. And if you thought the title sequence from Down With Love was awesome, then this one will blow your mind, especially since this is 1962 and done by hand!
These are the Boys. Their night out is sitting in their favourite bar every Thursday, deciding whether to go bowling or not until it's time to catch the 11:35 train.
Isn't Tony Randall the best? He plays George and tells the dirtiest stories you've ever heard.
George loves to talk, the only problem is that his wife hasn't let him finish a sentence since they moved to the suburbs.
Then there's Howie and Doug.
Doug's wife is very concerned about appearances, she even has her hair and make-up done before breakfast. Doug likes fixing things around the house, but she hires various repairmen instead, because she's worried about what the neighbours might think if they saw that they were living within their means.
Howie's wife likes spoiling the children and is on a diet, so naturally Howie is on a diet too and has fainting spells in the middle of the afternoon.
And then there's Fred. Fred is divorced and lives in the suburbs with his mother, who wants grandchildren.
One morning, Howie finds this in his son's lunch box. It has an article (the boys are just reading it for the articles) detailing the ten essential items in a love nest.
That love nest thing isn't such a bad idea, especially if they split it four ways. So, why not make Fred go and find a place for $200 a month.
Fred finds a little two bedroom on the Upper East Side, very nicely furnished too, complete with a hidden wine rack and mirrors on the ceiling.
And the agent gives it to him for $200! Crazy, right? Normally you have to kill for a place like this. But with that rent? Someone would have to be murdered for that. And they were, but the carpet was cleaned.
While waiting for the boys to show up, Fred has "ti many martoonis" and mistakenly believes that Cathy has come about the ad for the "companion" and not for the apartment. James Garner is great at underplaying drunk.
Meanwhile, the boys are so proud of Fred for finding the place. They're like kids in a candy store.
Now, if only they had a blonde housekeeper.
So, why would Cathy suddenly agree to the deal if she isn't a companion? She'd a post-grad sociologist doing field work on her thesis "Adolescent Sexual Fantasies in the Adult Suburban Male". Her professor isn't too sure about what she's using as her laboratory.
Meanwhile, Fred stops by to convince Cathy not to ruin her life, but then he changes the subject. I love Kim Novak's wardrobe in this movie. Her dresses are glamourous, but comfortable and her casual clothing of leggings and a man's shirt or sweater looks so much better than sweatpants or even jeans.

You'll love the nosy Mrs. Next Door, especially when she faints or breaks out the tambourine.

Because Cathy is a nice girl and a student and not a doxy, she keeps the boys out of her bedroom by giving them what they lack at home. Like listening to George's life story.
I love this dress, it's simple, red and has deep pockets. It's hard to find a dress or a skirt with hidden, deep pockets.

Cathy also breaks her record player so that Doug can fix it with his pocket spanner.
It's easy to know what Howie wants. The apron might be plain, but it does look cute and Kim Novak doesn't really suit prints.
I find it interesting to show that when Cathy is being all serious and academic, they put her in dark colours with high necklines, disguise her small waist and put glasses on her. As a girl who wears glasses, I resent movies that have librarian-like figures in glasses who become beautiful and less intelligent as soon as they take them off, but I do like this outfit and will try it out in the fall if I can find a plaid shirt.
This is the best dress in the movie! Since Fred doesn't have a wife, Cathy gives him what he's missing at home -a fight complete with door slamming.

Meanwhile, the girls have started to notice that they are getting flowers in the middle of the week. Has anyone else seen that infomercial for the vibrating weight-loss band-thing? Doesn't look an awful lot like that machine there?
So the girls decide to share the cost of a private detective.
Meanwhile, Cathy decides to interview the girls on their attitudes towards sex in order to get both sides to her study.
And then, Fred apologizes for their fight. He doesn't care what kind of a girl she is, he's going to date her anyway.
He invites her up to the country for the weekend. But first, he has to coach the Little League game. Do they still have Little League in America?

What's great about the fashions in this movie is that you get to see how suburban housewives (and husbands on the weekend) dress down, which you don't see in many movies or in a lot of episodes of Mad Men.
The boys are naturally shocked to see Cathy at the game. Is Fred planning on ruining the whole set-up? Yup, he may have only known her two weeks, but he still wants to marry Cathy.
Meanwhile, the girls have heard from their private detective, who's given them a discount.
Meanwhile, the boys find out that Cathy isn't that type of a girl and naturally assume that she's going to blackmail them. She matches the apartment in this outfit, which is hard to do since orange dresses are hard to find.
And then Fred finds out that Cathy isn't a doxy, which he had accepted. She's a no-good sociologist! He just can't ignore that, it's worse than being a doxy.
And then the girls and Fred's mother show up after a very long liquid lunch.

Availability: This wonderful film hasn't been shown on TCM for a few years and Mr. Turner has not released it on DVD. It was only available on a pan-and-scan VHS in the early '90's (as you can see, my copy is well worn) which you can still find a few copies of over at Mr. Amazon. Or if you would like to save on shipping costs, I know that you can find the file over at your friendly neighbourhood Pirate Bay.
Edit: As of December 2010 Boys' Night Out is remastered as available as part of the Warner Archives collection.


MC said...

I'm enjoying this series on your favorite sex comedies. I love that genre of movies -- so silly, stylish and naughty in that innocent late '50s/early '60s way. :)

I hope TCM shows Boys Night Out again soon. That's one I've never seen and really want to -- especially after your review!

Millie Motts said...

This is one of my favorites, too! You have excellent taste. ;)