I love films at any time, but the approaching Oscar Awards make me think about them constantly. Recently I watched the 1962 movie, Boys’ Night Out and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a playful film, with witty dialogue, a fun, albeit ridiculous, plot and clever actors who keep the audience on their toes. The settings are iconic ‘60s New York, especially the commuter trains and the sweet swingers’ suite absolutely soaked with modern furniture and art.
Perhaps you’re catching on to where I’m going with this because even though the casting was spot on, I couldn’t help but envision the Rat Pack adding that extra layer of cool only they could have been able to provide.
For the attractive divorcé either Dean or Frank could pull it off wonderfully, but I’d have to choose Frank because he’d really be able to provide a hidden, darker side to the character that no one else could. James Garner was fantastic, but I do believe Sinatra could add an extra dimension.
Now we have the three married friends. The ingenious Tony Randall’s character would really shine with Sammy Davis, Jr. Sammy’s wit would give a bit of a new spin, but still keep the character true. Dean Martin would sit in for Howard Duff, with those strong, rugged good looks and commanding personality, the role would be the perfect fit. And, for Howard Morris’ Howie, Joey Bishop is a shoe in with his comedic skills.
For the kept woman/sociology grad student that was so perfectly played by the incomparable Kim Novak, the obvious choice would be Marilyn Monroe, keeping in mind that Novak had great chemistry with Sinatra in Pal Joey and The Man with the Golden Arm and with Martin in Kiss Me, Stupid. Both blonde, gorgeous, sexy and brilliant, they are practically interchangeable and since Sinatra is older than Garner, the fact that Monroe is older than Novak would matter none.
Now, guess what? Frank was supposed to sing the title song for this film, even recording the song, but for reasons unknown to me, they went with Patti Page and Sinatra’s version wasn’t released until 1995.
With the spectacular supporting characters, the film reminds me of some of those marvellous Carry On movies from Britain, only a little more subdued, if you can believe that. If you haven’t seen Boys’ Night Out, watch it, or if you haven’t seen it in a long time, revisit it and see if you see what I saw!