If you haven’t watched the classic The Darn Cat (1965) lately, it’s about time you did that. It’s summery, fun and has lines that will make you miss the well written movies of old.
In my search for all things beachy, I remembered that this flick had some lovely surfer references thanks to our clueless boy next door Canoe (Tom Lowell) and conniving spy girl Patti ( Hayley Mills) and just had to watch it again. Feeling obligated to share the wealth, I made my 9 year old niece watch it with me. Now, given that I’ve been making this poor child watch old movies with me since her birth, it will be no surprise that she loved it. Though the first thing she said was “it’s in color?” Always a good sign. In fact she watched it 3 more times, and then made my 12 year old cousin watch it with her again. Her favorite line:
“Oh that’s my sister. Ingrid always has a real deep voice when she first gets out of the shower.” Tweet
Patti explains this as an excuse for the FBI men talking in the background when Canoe calls up to see why won’t she won’t go to the drive-in with him. And the fact she says it in a goofy “old guy voice” is the clincher.
And that’s just one of many! Combining slapstick humor, a pretty serious potential crime involving a body and a trash can, the dashing Dean Jones, a peeping tom neighbor, and an older sister in need of a husband(and a carpool), Hayley Mills (Patti) is determined to take down the bad guys while Tom Lowell (Canoe) is determined to find out what’s going on! Add that Darn Cat ( D.C.) and you have a fun, edge of your seat flick that even the kids may like.
“Be extremely careful about what you say! I haven’t had my coffee yet, and I’m in no mood for stupid, irresponsible remarks.” Tweet
The other things I adore about this film? The nuances that really build characters. Canoe can’t be more than 18 or 19 in this film and he carries around his old-man pipe like its his job. The stuffy Gregory has a very snooty mother whom you never see, but who he talks about constantly when making backward stabs at Ingrid. The peeping-tom Mrs. McDougal actually uses a fishing line and hearing aid at one point to try to get a better listen of what’s being said in Ingrid’s bedroom. Lots of psychos here, and yet incredibly understandable. We all have our quirks. Enjoy!