Boys' Night Out (1962)

114 mins | Comedy | 21 June 1962

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HISTORY

The 25 Feb 1961 NYT announced the upcoming project as the first theatrical feature by Filmways, Inc., an established producer of television content. The 7 Apr 1961 DV noted that the film marked the first collaboration between producer Martin Ransohoff and Joseph E. Levine’s Embassy Pictures Corp. Joining the partnership was actress Kim Novak’s Kimco Pictures, as stated in the 28 Jul 1961 LAT. As reported in the 12 Apr 1961 DV Novak, who would also star in the film, was promised a “hefty salary” and a share of gross receipts.
       The 25 May 1962 LAT stated that the original story was conceived by writers Arne Sultan and Marvin Worth, who had partnered months earlier to form Sultan-Worth Productions, Ltd. According to the 8 Aug 1962 Var, Ransohoff paid them $65,000 for the property. Columnist Hedda Hopper credited herself in the 20 Jan 1962 LAT with helping to launch Sultan and Worth’s partnership.
       Director Michael Gordon told the 18 Dec 1961 NYT that the screenplay was based on a four-page outline by Sultan and Worth, most of which was discarded, except for the basic idea of four male commuters who keep an apartment in New York City, occupied by a young female housekeeper. Satirist Marion Hargrove spent more than two months writing the treatment, in which he “supplied the rationale and motivations of the characters and provided the comedy situations.” Phoebe and Henry Ephron were initially hired to adapt the treatment for the screen, but were later replaced by Ira Wallach. The task of properly ... More Less

The 25 Feb 1961 NYT announced the upcoming project as the first theatrical feature by Filmways, Inc., an established producer of television content. The 7 Apr 1961 DV noted that the film marked the first collaboration between producer Martin Ransohoff and Joseph E. Levine’s Embassy Pictures Corp. Joining the partnership was actress Kim Novak’s Kimco Pictures, as stated in the 28 Jul 1961 LAT. As reported in the 12 Apr 1961 DV Novak, who would also star in the film, was promised a “hefty salary” and a share of gross receipts.
       The 25 May 1962 LAT stated that the original story was conceived by writers Arne Sultan and Marvin Worth, who had partnered months earlier to form Sultan-Worth Productions, Ltd. According to the 8 Aug 1962 Var, Ransohoff paid them $65,000 for the property. Columnist Hedda Hopper credited herself in the 20 Jan 1962 LAT with helping to launch Sultan and Worth’s partnership.
       Director Michael Gordon told the 18 Dec 1961 NYT that the screenplay was based on a four-page outline by Sultan and Worth, most of which was discarded, except for the basic idea of four male commuters who keep an apartment in New York City, occupied by a young female housekeeper. Satirist Marion Hargrove spent more than two months writing the treatment, in which he “supplied the rationale and motivations of the characters and provided the comedy situations.” Phoebe and Henry Ephron were initially hired to adapt the treatment for the screen, but were later replaced by Ira Wallach. The task of properly crediting the four contributors was undertaken by the Writers Guild of America (WGA), which sent the case to arbitration. The result was: “Screenplay by Ira Wallach, adaptation by Marion Hargrove, based on a story by Marvin Worth and Arne Sultan.”
       According to the 4 May 1961 DV, approximately half of the picture would be shot at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Studios in Culver City, CA, with the remainder filmed on location in New York City. The budget was estimated at $2.5 million. Principal photography began 23 Oct 1961, as stated in that day’s DV. Although the 22 May 1961 LAT announced Gig Young as a co-star, his role was assumed by Howard Duff before filming started.
       Two weeks into production, the 7 Nov 1961 DV reported that filming was halted the previous day to allow Gordon, Novak, and lead actor James Garner to return to their homes, which were threatened by a wildfire in the nearby Santa Monica Mountains.
       A news item in the 6 Nov 1961 DV noted that the publishers of Playboy disallowed a mention of their magazine in the screenplay, so Michael Gordon changed the title to Playgirl. Coincidentally, a women’s publication bearing that title was introduced in the 1970s.
       The 16 Jan 1962 LAT reported that actor Kirk Douglas visited the set, much to the discomfort of James Garner, whose dialogue included the lines, “Stop showing off your teeth. Who do you think you are, Kirk Douglas?” Following the scene, Douglas assured Garner that he had given formal permission for the use of his name.
       Actress Zsa-Zsa Gabor told the 17 Jun 1962 LAT that she hesitated to speak her one line of dialogue on camera because she believed it to be untrue. Reacting to the statement, “to understand a man takes a lifetime of study,” Gabor argued that men cannot be understood and should be taken as they are.
       According to the 25 May 1962 LAT, the film marked the first non-singing screen appearance by Patti Page. The singer told the 10 Jul 1962 edition that she refused to gain weight for her role, described in the screenplay as “plump,” and convinced Martin Ransohoff to give her character a dieting compulsion instead. Page performed the title song, which was released on Mercury Records. Also featured was actress Nora Hayden, who contributed the song, “Ugly,” to the film, as noted in the 8 Nov 1961 DV. Although she did not perform the song on screen, MGM reportedly had an option to release it as a single record. The 1 Nov 1961 LAT credited composer Frank DeVol with the role of a “henpecked husband.”
       Other cast members included Sandra Gould (3 Nov 1961 DV) ; Susan Hart (14 Nov 1961 DV) ; David Lanfield, Karen Manley, Sheila Rogers, and Mickey Maga (12 Dec 1961 DV) ; and Billy Halop (10 Apr 1963 LAT). The 6 Sep 1961 DV identified Harry Mines as head of picture’s “special production publicity unit.”
       In the 17 Nov 1961 DV, Michael Gordon compared the film to The Apartment (1960, see entry), although the philandering husbands are never given the opportunity to act on their impulses. An unnamed source described the picture to the 24 Nov 1961 LAT as The Chapman Report (1962, see entry) reimagined as a comedy. The production was reportedly nicknamed “The Kimsey Report,” a pun referencing two published studies on sexual behavior, known collectively as the “Kinsey Reports.”
       The 22 Nov 1961 DV stated that Gordon was cooperating with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to assure a “Code Seal” of approval for the film. He and the organization agreed to remove a scene involving Novak and co-star Oscar Homolka, and compromised on several others.
       The 24 Jan 1962 Var reported the completion of principal photography. DeVol was in the process of recording the musical score.
       Following a series of “sneak” previews in the San Francisco, CA, area, Martin Ransohoff told the 27 Feb 1962 DV that he expected the picture to earn $1 million for Novak. A screening was scheduled to be held on 9 Jun 1962 for the Directors Guild of America (DGA), as noted in the previous day’s DV.
       An advertisement in the 2 May 1962 NYT stated that co-star Tony Randall was scheduled to make a 7 May 1962 promotional appearance at Stern’s department store in New York City. The event was a fashion show of “intimate apparel for Mother’s Day giving”; only men were invited to attend.
       Boys’ Night Out opened in New York City on 21 Jun 1962, and in Los Angeles, CA, on 3 Jul 1962. The 20 Jun 1962 Var reported a 26 Jun 1962 benefit screening in Kansas City, MO, to raise funds for the construction of a research hospital. Reviews were unenthusiastic, with the 22 Jun 1962 NYT describing the picture as “contrived and thin-brained nonsense,” and the 5 Jul 1962 LAT claiming that “the comedy dies from exhaustion.” Michael Gordon took particular offense to the 12 Jun 1962 DV review and responded with a letter expressing his disdain for critic Larry Tubelle, who impugned the film’s negative portrayal of contemporary American manhood. Despite the lackluster critical response, the film was listed as the fifth highest-grossing contemporary release in 11 Jul 1962 Var. The 9 Jan 1963 issue reported total rentals of $2.4 million, to date.
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
7 Apr 1961
p. 1.
Daily Variety
12 Apr 1961
p. 2.
Daily Variety
4 May 1961
p. 4.
Daily Variety
18 Aug 1961
p. 14.
Daily Variety
6 Sep 1961
p. 6.
Daily Variety
23 Oct 1961
p. 4.
Daily Variety
27 Oct 1961
p. 3.
Daily Variety
3 Nov 1961
p. 7.
Daily Variety
6 Nov 1961
p. 2.
Daily Variety
7 Nov 1961
p. 1, 4.
Daily Variety
8 Nov 1961
p. 6.
Daily Variety
14 Nov 1961
p. 4.
Daily Variety
17 Nov 1961
p. 2.
Daily Variety
22 Nov 1961
p. 3.
Daily Variety
12 Dec 1961
p. 4.
Daily Variety
27 Feb 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
7 Jun 1962
p. 9.
Daily Variety
8 Jun 1962
p. 7.
Daily Variety
12 Jun 1962
p. 3.
Daily Variety
27 Jun 1962
p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
28 Jul 1961
Section A, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
22 May 1961
Section B, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
13 Oct 1961
p. 29.
Los Angeles Times
1 Nov 1961
Section A, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
24 Nov 1961
Section C, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
16 Jan 1962
p. 29.
Los Angeles Times
20 Jan 1962
Section B, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
28 Mar 1962
Section C, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
25 May 1962
Section C, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
17 Jun 1962
Section N, p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
3 Jul 1962
Section C, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
10 Jul 1962
Section C, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
5 Jul 1962
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
10 Apr 1963
Section C, p. 15.
New York Times
25 Feb 1961
p. 12.
New York Times
18 Dec 1961
p. 43.
New York Times
2 May 1962
p. 18.
New York Times
21 Jun 1962
p. 26.
New York Times
22 Jun 1962
p. 15.
Variety
24 Jan 1962
p. 20.
Variety
20 Jun 1962
p. 11.
Variety
11 Jul 1962
p. 15.
Variety
8 Aug 1962
p. 12.
Variety
9 Jan 1963
p. 13.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Martin Ransohoff Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Story
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Miss Novak's cost
Executed by
MUSIC
MAKEUP
Hairstyles
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to the dir
Dial coach
Stills
Gaffer
Main title des
SOURCES
SONGS
"Boys' Night Out" and "Cathy," words and music by Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen, sung by Patti Page.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
21 June 1962
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 21 June 1962
Los Angeles opening: 3 July 1962
Production Date:
began 23 October 1961
Copyright Claimant:
Filmways, Inc.
Copyright Date:
20 April 1962
Copyright Number:
LP22235
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Metrocolor
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
114
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Bachelor Fred Williams and his three married friends, George, Doug, and Howard, are Manhattan commuters from Connecticut who decide to rent an apartment in New York City and furnish it with a beautiful blonde to be available to each of them on different nights of the week. In answer to a New York Times advertisement, Cathy, an attractive young woman, accepts the position. Unknown to the "boys," she is actually a sociology student preparing a thesis on the sexual patterns of the suburban male. By clever maneuvering, she manages to subdue their amorous intentions. Although their evenings with Cathy are completely innocent, the three married men lie to Fred about their torrid experiences at the apartment. Wildly jealous, he proposes to Cathy, and she accepts. Meanwhile, the three wives have learned of the situation through a private investigator, and they arrive at the apartment in a rage. All misunderstandings are cleared up, however, when Cathy reveals her true motive for accepting the housekeeper job. Furious at having been duped, Fred walks out, but the wives, aided by Fred's mother, promptly drag him back. He decides to become the fourth member of a quartet of husbands who spend a weekly night on the town--with their ... +


Bachelor Fred Williams and his three married friends, George, Doug, and Howard, are Manhattan commuters from Connecticut who decide to rent an apartment in New York City and furnish it with a beautiful blonde to be available to each of them on different nights of the week. In answer to a New York Times advertisement, Cathy, an attractive young woman, accepts the position. Unknown to the "boys," she is actually a sociology student preparing a thesis on the sexual patterns of the suburban male. By clever maneuvering, she manages to subdue their amorous intentions. Although their evenings with Cathy are completely innocent, the three married men lie to Fred about their torrid experiences at the apartment. Wildly jealous, he proposes to Cathy, and she accepts. Meanwhile, the three wives have learned of the situation through a private investigator, and they arrive at the apartment in a rage. All misunderstandings are cleared up, however, when Cathy reveals her true motive for accepting the housekeeper job. Furious at having been duped, Fred walks out, but the wives, aided by Fred's mother, promptly drag him back. He decides to become the fourth member of a quartet of husbands who spend a weekly night on the town--with their wives. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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