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 fiancée 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.

Charade (1963)

A viewer’s delight. This movie had two of the great movie stars seen on screen, which marked the first time they starred together. This is Stanley Donen’s romantic-suspense drama ‘Charade.’ A movie that could have been a Hitchcock thriller or a James Bond movie.

The first time when I heard about this movie was in a local quiz competition. Our team didn’t get the answer to the introduction scene of this movie. The movie title always fascinated me. That was just one of many reasons to watch this movie. Little did I know then, it would star Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn?

Cary Grant was 59 and hence wasn’t convinced about romancing Audrey Hepburn, who was just 33 at that time. He did refuse the offers made to him because of the age difference.

Finally, Cary Grant did agree because of Peter Stone’s script’s specific change, the writer. It was decided that Audrey Hepburn would be pursuing him, and promptly the romantically aggressive lines were shifted to Audrey Hepburn’s character.

This film also reiterated the fact of Cary Grant playing action roles with ease. He refused James Bond owing to age. Apart from these legendary actors, Walter Matthau plays a pivotal character.

Audrey Hepburn plays the character of Regina Lampert, who would lose her husband through murder. Many of his friends would come to take the money, which was stolen in gold from US Government during WW II. She is ignorant about his past, and the plot continues when three of her husband’s ex-partners in crime, the US Government, all chase her in search of money. The screen name of Cary Grant changes every 20-minutes in the movie, who has a protective and selfish motive in the film. The film is shot mainly in Paris and Switzerland.

This movie, made in 1963, was a box office hit, and this movie happened to be the only time Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn appeared together on screen. Cary Grant had refused ‘Roman Holiday’ earlier, which ended up being listed in Time’s 100 Greatest Movies.

Apart from Audrey Hepburn’s lines, I love the last scene where Cary Grant chases Audrey Hepburn. Why does he pursue? Watch the movie and find it out yourself.