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That Touch of Mink (1962)

This popular sex farce could have been the next entry in the Doris Day-Rock Hudson-Tony Randall series had not the producer, Day’s husband Marty Melcher, decided the role of the amorous tycoon was better suited to Cary Grant, to whom Hudson had been favorably compared in films like Pillow Talk (1959) and Lover Come Back (1961). Throw in Gig Young as Grant’s neurotic friend and you have a new wrinkle on the formula that transformed Doris Day from musical star to romantic comedienne.

Here, Day plays an unemployed woman who attracts Grant’s attention. He proposes an affair, and though the spirit is willing, her psyche keeps getting in the way. A date to watch the Yankees play—with guest appearances by Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, and Roger Maris—and two trips to Bermuda repeatedly raise the question of whether Day will give into her attraction to Grant or hold out for a wedding ring.

Quips about the 38-year-old Day’s being the world’s oldest virgin tend to overlook that in Pillow Talk and most of its successors she’s perfectly willing to enjoy sex, if she can find a man that meets her standards. The films have a progressive side in both depicting Day as an independent career woman and suggesting that people routinely consummated relationships without benefit of marriage. The films also demonstrate how strong Day’s comic technique was. Here she more than holds her own opposite Grant, one of the screen’s most adept, sophisticated comics.

d. Delbert Mann, 100 minutes, DCP

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures