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That Darn Cat! (1965 film): Wikis

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That Darn Cat!
Directed by Robert Stevenson
Produced by Walt Disney
Bill Walsh
Written by Gordon Gordon
Mildred Gordon
Bill Walsh
Starring Hayley Mills
Dean Jones
Dorothy Provine
Roddy McDowall
Neville Brand
Frank Gorshin
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release date(s) December 2, 1965 (1965-12-02)
Running time 116 minutes
Country United States
Language English

That Darn Cat! is a 1965 American Walt Disney Productions feature film starring Hayley Mills and Dean Jones in a story about bank robbers, a kidnapping and a mischievous cat. The film was based on the book Undercover Cat by Gordon and Mildred Gordon and was directed by Robert Stevenson. The title song was written by the Sherman Brothers and sung by Bobby Darin. That Darn Cat! was the last of six films Hayley Mills made for the Disney Studios. The 1997 remake featured a cameo appearance by Dean Jones.

Contents

Plot and cast

"That Darn Cat" or "DC" is a wily, adventurous Siamese tomcat who lives with two young women, suburbanite sisters Ingrid (Dorothy Provine) and Patti Randall (Hayley Mills), whose parents are traveling abroad at the time of the story. One night, while making his rounds around town, DC follows Iggy (Frank Gorshin), a bank robber, to an apartment where he and his partner Dan (Neville Brand) are holding bank employee Margaret Miller (Grayson Hall) hostage, calling her "Moms" in the process. The robbers let the cat in and feed him. When Margaret is alone for a moment, she scratches "help" into the wristband of her watch, places it around the cat's neck, and releases him into the outdoors. At home, Patti discovers the watch and calls the FBI. Supervisor Newton (Richard Eastham) assigns Zeke Kelso (Dean Jones) to follow DC in hopes he will lead them back to the robbers' hideout.Kelso sets up a headquarters in the Randalls' house and assigns a team to keep the cat under surveillance, but DC manages to elude them. Eventually a bugging device is implanted in DC's collar and the cat leads Zeke into a comical chase at a drive-in movie and several backyards. Eventually, Patti and Zeke rescue Margaret and bring the robbers to justice. A subplot involves a romance between Patti's sister Ingrid and Gregory Benson (Roddy McDowall). Cast includes Elsa Lanchester and William Demarest as nosey neighbors, the MacDougalls; Ed Wynn as Mr. Hofstedder, Richard Deacon as a drive-in theater manager, Liam Sullivan as Graham, Iris Adrian as the landlady, and Tom Lowell as Patti's boyfriend Canoe.

Production

The exterior neighborhood scenes were filmed on The Walt Disney Studios backlot in Burbank, California.

Mills in That Darn Cat.

Each of the Seal Point Siamese cats who collectively play the role of DC are so-called "traditional" or "old style" Siamese, as opposed to the more dainty, long and tubular modern Siamese show cats. One of the cats used for the movie belonged to a longtime cat breeder Edith Williams, a member of the Stud Book Fanciers Association. One of the feline actors also starred, along with two dogs, in Disney's 1963 film The Incredible Journey.

Reception

Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote, "The feline that plays the informant, as the F.B.I. puts it, is superb. Clark Gable at the peak of his performing never played a tom cat more winningly. This elegant, blue-eyed creature is a paragon of suavity and grace", and concluded, "...it's an entertaining picture. Even a king might profitably look at That Darn Cat."[1]

Awards and nominations

The film's writers, Mildred Gordon, Gordon Gordon, and Bill Walsh, were nominated by the Writers Guild of America for Best Written American Comedy. The film was also nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture, and a Golden Leaf nomination for Best Supporting Actress (Elsa Lanchester). Mills won the 1966 second place Golden Leaf award for Comedy Performance, Actress. The Sherman Brothers won the third place Golden Leaf award for Best Song.

References

External links

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