Kiss Them for Me (film)

Kiss Them for Me is a 1957 American romantic comedy film directed by Stanley Donen in CinemaScope,[4] starring Cary Grant, Jayne Mansfield and model-turned-actress Suzy Parker in her first film role. The film is an adaptation of the 1945 Broadway play of the same name, itself based on Frederic Wakeman Sr.'s 1944 novel Shore Leave.[5] The supporting cast features Ray Walston, Werner Klemperer, Leif Erickson, and Larry Blyden.[4]

Kiss Them for Me
Theatrical release poster
Directed byStanley Donen
Screenplay byJulius Epstein
Based onKiss Them for Me
1945 play
by Luther Davis
Shore Leave
1944 novel
by Frederic Wakeman Sr.
Produced byJerry Wald
CinematographyMilton R. Krasner
Edited byRobert L. Simpson
Music by
Jerry Wald Productions
Distributed byTwentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Release date
  • December 10, 1957 (1957-12-10) (United States)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$1.94 million[1]
Box office$1.8 million (US rentals)[2] or $1.3 million[3]



Three decorated Navy pilots returned from the Pacific to Honolulu. They finagle a four-day leave in San Francisco flying there and back in a friend's PBY Catalina. They land a posh suite at the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel where Commander Andy Crewson, a master of procurement, arranges to populate it with wine, women and song.[6]

Blonde bombshell Alice Kratzner is one of these women, lured to the suite under the false pretense that Crewson has a stash of nylon stockings. Once there, she is naturally attracted to Crewson, but later turns her attention to Lieutenant McCann, a married man who also is in the process of running for a Congressional seat back home in Massachusetts. If he is elected, McCann can leave the Navy immediately and return to civilian life.

Lieutenant Wallace tries to get the three pilots, including "Mississip'", to make morale-raising speeches at the plants of shipyard magnate Eddie Turnbill, so that Turnbill will vouch for the men with the Navy and also to grease a lucrative job for himself upon leaving the service. Crewson and his cohorts, however, are physically and mentally exhausted from the war and simply want to enjoy a few days away from it.

Suffering from combat stress and confronted with a number of reminders of the horrors of war, Crewson tries to amuse himself by making a play for Turnbill's attractive fiancée, Gwinneth Livingston. She resists his advances at first, but ultimately throws her engagement ring in Turnbill's face.

The three pilots are called to report back to duty, but McCann wins his election and becomes a congressman whereby he grants his two friends a peace posting away from the battlefront. At a celebratory party, the three pilots encounter a drunk crewman who tells them the ship he was supposed to be on was sunk at Pearl Harbor.

Crewson is overcome with guilt and declares his love for Gwinneth shortly before he and his mates cancel their peace posting and board a plane leaving San Francisco to return to duty.





Frederic Wakeman Sr. (1909–1998) worked in the advertising industry until leaving Lord & Thomas to serve in the United States Navy in the Pacific from 1942–1943.[7] Recovering in a naval hospital, he wrote his first novel, Shore Leave, basing the character of Andy Crewson on an actual decorated naval aviator,[8] which was published in 1944.[9]

In 1945 the recently discharged Luther Davis acquired the rights to Wakeman's novel and adapted it into a play called Kiss Them for Me[10] which ran for 110 performances from March 20, 1945 to June 23, 1945 and featured Richard Widmark as Crewson and Judy Holliday as Alice.[11] The success of the novel and play led Wakeman to a seven-year writing contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer where he wrote his second novel The Hucksters that was filmed by MGM with a screenplay by Davis. Producer Jerry Wald acquired the rights to both the novel and play in September 1956.

When Wald acquired the property Richard Widmark was approached to reprise his Crewson role but was quickly passed over once Cary Grant expressed interest in the project. The film was the first of four collaborations between Stanley Donen and Grant.[12]

The screenplay toned down many cynical anti-war profiteer dialogues of the play and made the Alice character a war worker rather than a "Victory Girl".[13] The film was the feature film debut of both Ray Walston and Nathanial Frey, who had appeared together in Damn Yankees on stage, as well as Suzy Parker.

The film was shot on various locations in San Francisco. At the end of the film, USS Boxer, an Essex-class aircraft carrier, can be seen launching a Douglas A-1 Skyraider type aircraft, though the Skyraider type was not actually used in World War II.


The English band Siouxsie and the Banshees used the movie's name in the title and lyrics of their 1991 release "Kiss Them for Me" which became a top twenty hit in the US Billboard Hot 100. The song was an ode to Mansfield, her lifestyle with catchphrases like "It's divoon" or "I may be delayed" and her death while driving from Biloxi to New Orleans in 1967.

See also



  1. ^ Solomon 1989, p. 250
  2. ^ Solomon 1989, p. 227
  3. ^ "Top Grossers of 1958". Variety. 7 January 1959. p. 48. Please note figures are for US and Canada only and are domestic rentals accruing to distributors as opposed to theatre gross
  4. ^ a b "Kiss Them for Me". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  5. ^ "Kiss Them for Me". Life. Vol. 18, no. 17. April 23, 1945. p. 62. ISSN 0024-3019. Retrieved September 26, 2019 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "Kiss Them for Me".
  7. ^ p.170 Newman, Kathleen M. Radio Active: Advertising and Consumer Activism, 1935-1947 University of California Press, 17 May 2004
  8. ^ Jensen Lieutenant Oliver, USNR Admiral Mitscher’s Task Force 58 in the 1st Battle of the Philippine Sea, June 1944
  9. ^ p.68 Kiss Them for Me LIFE 23 Apr 1945
  10. ^ "Obituary: Luther Davis". 22 October 2008.
  11. ^ "Kiss Them for Me – Broadway Play – Original | IBDB". Archived from the original on 2019-07-02.
  12. ^ p. 292 Erickson, Hal Military Comedy Films: A Critical Survey and Filmography of Hollywood Releases Since 1918 McFarland, 7 Aug 2012
  13. ^ "Victory Girls |".


  • Solomon, Aubrey (1989). Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1.