Saturday, February 25, 2006

Today's Movie: If a Man Answers (1962)

IF A MAN ANSWERS is a great example of the late '50s and '60s romantic comedy genre, what with assumed identities, candybox-colored sets, and gorgeous dresses, including gowns by Jean Louis. The producers of the delightful DOWN WITH LOVE, which pays tribute to this film genre, surely must have studied this one along with all of Doris Day and Rock Hudson's films.

Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin, who were married at the time this was filmed, aren't quite Doris and Rock, but they're very entertaining, particularly Dee, with her charming, bubbly naivete. (The scene where she's recently arrived in New York City and goes window-shopping rather reminded me of Renee Zellweger's entrance in DOWN WITH LOVE.) French actress Micheline Presle is impressive as Dee's elegant, clever mother. The solid cast is rounded out by Stefanie Powers, John Lund, and Cesar Romero.

As with most films of this type, it sometimes skirts up to the edge of raciness without ever quite crossing the line. The ending sequence is a bit strange, but not enough to mar enjoyment of the film as a whole.

IF A MAN ANSWERS is available on widescreen DVD. No extras are on the disc other than the trailer.

I also highly recommend the aforementioned DOWN WITH LOVE, which is great fun, especially for movie fans familiar with the films which inspired it.


Blogger Michael said...

I run a website devoted to the life, legend and legacy of Bobby Darin, and I just wanted to add that Bobby made a number of great films. In addition to the aforementioned "If A Man Answers," he also made "Come September" and "That Funny Feeling" (all fun romantic comedies with Sandra Dee), and "Pressure Point" (an amazing social drama with Sidney Poitier), "Hell is for Heroes" (a very powerful WWII story with Steve McQueen)--and he was in the 1962 remake of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical "State Fair."

There's a detailed article on Bobby's film career on my website ("Beyond Cool: The Acting Career of Bobby Darin") that fans might find interesting. To read it, just go to and click "Articles & Features" in the "Important Links" menu.

Many of Bobby's films are also available for purchase at the site, along with most of his albums.


6:52 AM  

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