"Three sailors on leave" has been the basis of far too many movies to count, but Kiss Them for Me manages to take this well-worn situation and make it more than reasonably entertaining. While absolutely nothing more than a trifle -- despite some ill-conceived and equally ill-executed attempts to inject a "serious" message into the proceedings at times -- Kiss is smoothly directed by Stanley Donen, who keeps the film's pace going and skillfully diverts attention from the sometimes-sizeable gaps in the screenplay. He's aided enormously by Cary Grant (as would be any director in the same situation). Grant could easily have done this part with his eyes closed, relying solely on his considerable charm. But Grant doesn't simply coast; he treats the material with more respect than it deserves, thereby making it seem much fresher than it actually is. He gets solid support from the always lively Ray Walston, a very youthful Larry Blyden, and a tremendously amusing Werner Klemperer, as well as a large cast of familiar character actors of bit parts. Where Grant doesn't get such support is on the distaff side. Jayne Mansfield is always an acquired taste, so her fans will probably like her here and her detractors will probably find her ineffective. More damaging is Suzy Parker, whose beauty does not make up for her inadequate dramatic talents; even worse, she lacks the power to perform opposite Grant, whose star power simply overwhelms her. Fortunately, the film survives this miscasting to end up as a pleasant, often very amusing diversion.
by Craig Butler review