Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Silly Cinema: That Darn Cat! (1965)

I can't collect records.  My collections are so varied and too numerous, that adding one more "collection" would qualify me for a very special, cross-promotional episode of "Intervention meets Hoarders."  It isn't that I don't buy records, of course I do.  I just refuse to admit to myself that it is a collection.  My motivation for buying records is limited, however, to nostalgia and an unbridled love of "Music to Strip By."


A recent thrifting trip found me face to face with the soundtrack to one of my favorite movies, Walt Disney's That Darn Cat! (1965).  An ardent Hayley Mills fan, I just had to have this album.  I was a little disheartened, however, to only have the vinyl itself.  Fortunately, Mary, an inveterate digger, kept flipping through the remaining bins of records, and found the errant sleeve.

My favorite song/theme title might be "Take This and This and This"

As soon as I got home, I put the record on and was pleased to hear that every bit of the film score was included, even the music from the drive-in surf movie that the characters watch in a climactic scene.  The one confusing part of the record was the two renditions of the theme song, neither one of which was performed by Bobby Darin, the vocal talent which graces the opening credits of the film.  

"That Darn Cat!" - performed by Bobby Darin

The renditions on the record of the title song, penned by the inimitable Sherman Brothers, are sung by no musical slouches, namely Louis Prima and Bobby Troup.  I couldn't find a video of either version and I couldn't be bothered to make one of my own, so here is a totally unrelated clip of Louis Prima - except for the title, "Swing Cats Jamboree."

"Swing Cats Jamboree" - Louis Prima

The inspiration for this post was obviously the record.  Clearly, I got so distracted by the album, that I forgot this was a movie review.  Record review, movie review...what's the difference?  Anyhow, if you grew up on some remote, desert island where Disney movies could not be received by your primitive, coconut-shell, television antenna or you lived under an anti-American, fascist regime, then you won't be familiar with That Darn Cat!, the single-greatest masterpiece of American cinema.  Okay, the single-greatest masterpiece of American cinema released on December 2, 1965 starring Hayley Mills and Dean Jones as a precocious, teenage, amateur sleuth and a starched-shirt FBI agent, respectively.

That Darn Cat! (1965) Movie Trailer

If you didn't gather it from the trailer, That Darn Cat! tells the tale of D.C. (Darn Cat), a Siamese cat of superior intellect, who begrudgingly plays a major role in capturing villainous, bank robbing kidnappers.  I will admit, this film is much less "Fellini" than feline, feel good romp.  But if you're bored on a Sunday afternoon, I promise you nothing will get you in a better mood.

That Darn Cat! (1965)
For such a mid-60's cornball movie, the cast in this film is really top notch.  We've mentioned in a previous post that wacky tacky icon, Elsa Lanchester, plays a supporting role along with William DeMarest.  A whole slew of 60's favorites round out the cast including an grown-up Roddy McDowall, Dorothy Provine, Neville Brand, Richard Deacon, and Frank Gorshin.

It seems like old Frank was always playing a baddy.
Here a bank-robbing kidnapper...

...and here as The Riddler from Batman

Did we mention that one of our favorite comedians/character actors, Ed Wynn, has a cameo as a German jeweler?  We didn't??!?!  Well, shame on us.


If you're a lover of the Beach Party movies, or Gidget, or Hayley Mills, or wacky tacky, then you're sure love That Darn Cat!  Please feel free to share your reviews on here if you do decide to watch it, or if like us, you've watched it over and over and over again!

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Mr. Tiny


  1. I also have "Music to Strip By"! I have not seen That Darn Cat. I'm going to have to see it now.

    1. I have a few stripping albums but am always on the hunt for more. I don't know why, they all have the same songs on them..."Night Train," "The Stripper," etc. I just think they're hilarious and I actually do love the songs!

  2. I wish I had a record player, yesterday at the resale shop they had The King and I!

    1. You need to get one just so you can hear "Hello Young Lovers" over and over again!!

  3. I LOVE this movie. What a great album find. I finally got rid of my vinyl collection when I bought my house. I had far too much unnecessary stuff. Now I just have odds and ends. I mostly collect mid century dishes and serving plates. My favorite are my corn on the cob plates, that look like corn on the cob. Not very functional, but very pretty.

    1. I'm telling you, anytime Hayley Mills is in a movie, I am instantly in a better mood! I have started to downsize because I was going nuts buying EVERYTHING and then the EVERYTHING was making me cuckoo crazy! I think it is better to have a focused collection of just things you really love...I'm working on it.