Kiss Them for Me (1957)

In my opinion, there was a void among war heroes as they battled day and night in places away from home. It was the call of duty more than a willingness to battle it out in a certain way.

While some of them took pride in fighting it out, many wanted the war to finish and return home. If the craving indeed gets worse, few men did take a chance to get back home while on duty. Kiss them For Me is a comical version of how three navy men, tired of war, want to when the war was on.

Cmdr Andy Crewson, played by Cary Grant, convinces his two colleagues to go away from a navy base. Homesickness coupled with being away from loved ones made them rusty to have such a runaway plot. They all land up in San Francisco, and with Lieutenant Wallace’s help, they manage to get a posh luxury suite in a famous hotel.

Andy manages to gather the party crowd, and all look like a great party time. Girls, alcohol, no war, life outside of being a navy pilot were better.

To maintain relations with top businessman, Wallace arranges for a meeting with Andy and the shipyard owner Eddie Turnbill. Turnbill wants to promote his warships and to increase and motivate his fellow workers, requested Andy and his two decorated pilots to give a small talk at his factory.

Andy refused and even embarrassed Eddie, but considering Eddie had good relations with the Admiral, he reversed his stand upon the insistence of his friends who convince him. Helping Eddie would allow their leaves extended without spending the ‘vacation’ in a navy hospital for check-ups.

While Turnbill is happy making plans for the talk, Andy sets his eyes on Eddie’s fiancĂ©e Gwinneth Livingston, played by the stunning Suzy Parker. Gwinneth, as evident from the first scene, is an epitome of an unhappy woman who requires a stable life.

Yet, in search of love, she isn’t entirely on good terms with Eddie’s relationship. It was as though love could blow away the relationship with Eddie. She ensures this point of hers is well expressed to Andy.

Instead of turning up and talk to labours, Andy decides to spend the night with Gwinneth and takes her out to a music bar and a restaurant. He was here to enjoy his vacation, not talk about the war.

Andy meets his old friends from the war, one handicapped, and gets to know he has few days left. He is in a strange mood, wondering he did the right thing running away from the action while many of his countrymen are fighting it out.

His two friends talk to labours on his behalf, and this didn’t go well with Eddie, fumingly tries to create a scene. Andy confronts Eddie and gives a blow instead of talking. Gwinneth breaks up with Eddie and joins Andy. Love is it.

Party time is over, guys, as Eddie turns up the heat and ensures the holiday is cancelled. In the meantime, Lt Mc Cann gets the ticket to join Congress, and he takes his two friends on board for this mission. The two friends get the call of war from inside; decide to join the navy instead. Mc Cann was not to be left behind; he gives up the ticket and joins his two friends.

In her role as Gwinneth, Suzy Parker makes her movie debut in an acting performance in a grand style. Previous was a cameo in the movie ‘Funny Face.’ Her beauty is the main strength in this movie, as her voice was given by another stunning actress of that era, Deborah Kerr.

A special mention of Jayne Mansfield makes a good impression and, in a significant way, imitates Monroe with her looks and talks. She is often mentioned as the poor man’s ‘Marilyn Monroe’ in reel and real life. Jayne’s character Alice Kratzner defines the title of the movie very aptly. In memory of her war husband in the film, he tells her, “Look me in all the war heroes and Kiss them for me.”

Famous for the song of the same name by The McGuire Sisters, this 1957 Stanley Donen directed movie is a good watch about war pilots’ back-stage lives.

The Grass is Greener (1960)

Victor Rhyall, played by Cary Grant and his beautiful wife Lady Hilary Rhyall, played by Deborah Kerr, lead a quiet and steady life in a big estate inside a mansion.

Guided tours to the mansion were allowed to overcome their financial trouble. One such visit day, an oil tycoon Charles Delacro played by Robert Mitchum, visits the place and accidentally enters a private room of the Rhyalls.

Although Hilary tries to make him understand about the place being non-public, one can sense an attraction developing between the two by the conversations they indulge in. After some time, it is inevitable, Hilary is attracted to Charles, and both wonder how they go about it next.

Victor meets Charles, and they both familiarise themselves over a cup of tea. A few days later, Hilary makes up a reason to meet Charles. Aware of what’s happening, Victor remains an optimist about his love for his wife coming to his rescue.

After spending few days with Charles, Hilary is surprised to see Victor acting normal despite knowing everything about her. He invites Charles to his place for a night out and settle scores with him and win back his wife. Victor and Charles carry out a lot of funny tests with guns and at the pool table. It’s funny.

Hilary feels embarrassed over the entire situation, and her behaviour being the main reason for all the unwanted drama. The movie ends when she realises and apologises to Victor, thus ending the short-timed ‘Love Triangle.’

The Grass is Greener, released in 1960, was directed by Stanley Donen. This romantic comedy fared poorly at the box office despite having big stars on board.

This also was the third association of Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr pair, the previous two being An Affair to Remember and Dream Wife.

Jean Simmons plays Hilary’s friend and keeps the movie moving to believe it’s a quadrangular love story.

An Affair To Remember (1957)

What happens when a handsome playboy meets the gorgeous night club singer on a cruise. The first part of this Leo McCarey’s classic ‘An Affair to Remember’ showcases the above scenario. Cary Grant as Nickie Ferrante plays the playboy, and Deborah Kerr plays the dashing Terry Mckay.

Despite both being engaged, they couldn’t help themselves falling in love with each other on the ship and make a promise to meet after six months at The Empire State Building.

With engagements being on hold, both wait for six months to see each other on the building’s 102nd floor. A perfect story in progress until Debroah Kerr meets with an accident right on the day of the visit. Cary Grant striding to and fro on the 102nd floor, can only console himself. He waits the entire day and wonders why till the end of the movie.

Whether they would get married would remain unanswered, and accident becomes the reason that prevents the reunion of the couple.

The story was quite a drama back then, not the same as when it was made in Hindi in 1999. One can copy the theme, not the entire storyline and scene settings. ‘Mann’ starring Aamir Khan and Manisha Koirala, failed because it couldn’t connect to the so-called “modern-time” and not compelling content. Times change, hence individual perceptions on love change. Unfortunately, Mann wasn’t able to accommodate this change.

The highlights are the scenes shot in a garden mansion where Cary Grant takes Deborah Kerr to meet her grandmother. Their love blossomed at the very place. The last scene is a memorable one when Cary Grants holds Deborah Kerr.

This movie is a remake of the 1939 film ‘Love Affair’ starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer. Leo McCarey directed both.

An Affair to Remember was nominated for four Oscars in the Best Music, Best Costume, Best Song, and Best Cinematography categories.