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Sex and the Single Girl

4.4 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A sex farce very loosely based on "Sex and the Single Girl" by Helen Gurley Brown

Amazon.com

Once upon a time there was a publishing phenomenon called Sex and the Single Girl, a book that opened the door to the sexual revolution in the 1960s. Sure enough, Hollywood noticed, and Helen Gurley Brown's advice volume was turned into a 1964 sex comedy with a newly invented plot. Natalie Wood plays Brown herself (well, a completely fictionalized person named Helen Brown), whose success as an author infuriates Tony Curtis, a writer for a Playboy-esque men's magazine. He pretends to need her help as a psychologist, a masquerade that leads to sparks. It's all vintage stuff, from Tony's swinging bachelor pad to the barrel-sized highballs slugged down by unhappy marrieds Henry Fonda and Lauren Bacall, who live next door to Curtis. Director Richard Quine (Bell Book and Candle) made some sharp comedies around this time, and there are some good sight gags along the way (check the scene, with Count Basie and his orchestra, of Fonda and Bacall doing the twist). Alas, the movie leans a little too easily on the bedroom-farce leer, which Curtis had perfected at this point, and it's clear that Gurley Brown's ideas about female independence are not taken terribly seriously here. The movie's got a nice performance by screwball-comedy stalwart Edward Everett Horton, and smokin' hot '60s songstress Fran Jeffries contributes a few songs (this was about the time she sashayed into The Pink Panther, too--she must have impressed Richard Quine, because they were married shortly thereafter). One intriguing credit: this is one of the few films partly scripted by Catch-22 author Joseph Heller. Try to find his voice, if you can. --Robert Horton

Special Features

  • Oscar-nominated cartoon Nelly's Folly
  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Lauren Bacall, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Henry Fonda, Mel Ferrer
  • Directors: Richard Quine
  • Writers: David R. Schwartz, Helen Gurley Brown, Joseph Heller, Joseph Hoffman, Leslie H. Martinson
  • Producers: William T. Orr
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001LPWGH8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,526 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sex and the Single Girl" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Natalie Wood reached the zenith of her career in the early 1960's and this is a perfect showcase for her at her absolute best in acting and beauty. _Sex and the Single Girl_ doesn't, of course, have much to do with the actual book, but it's pretty damned funny, reaching its peak of cheerful absurdity during the last 20 minutes with a chaotic chase up and down L.A.'s freeways. Tony Curtis, as also in _The Great Race_, provides a droll comic partner/romantic interest for Natalie, and Henry Fonda and Lauren Bacall are delicious as the battling couple who can't live with or without each other. Sparkling example of the early-'60's sex-comedy genre.
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Format: VHS Tape
As a youth living in the Windsor,Ontario, Canada area I enjoyed watching the selection of 60's and 70's movies that the old independent WDIV Detroit channel 50 used to broadcast. One of my fondest recollections was watching this perky, happy, comedy. A decade and a half later I decided to purchase the movie to see if it lived up to my memories...
There is excellent on-screen chemistry between Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood. Bacall and Fonda were also well cast in supporting roles. (Fonda, as a panyhouse salesman, must look at women's legs to keep on eye on the competition. Bacall, his wife and former panyhouse model is jealous because she thinks its for pleasure and not business)
Mel Ferrer is also cast in the movie. I remember seeing him portray King Arthur in the 50's(?) movie, "Knights of the Round Table".
What I really enjoyed about the movie (besides the character interactions) was the use of detail to poke fun at the burgeoning consumer/automated society of the time. The scene where the Stop Magazine CEO must insert coins to drink from the machine only to get a bare mouthful of water sets the stage for later humourous scenes. At lunch time, Tony Curtis and a co-worker insert coins into vending machines to get their coffee, food and dessert. Tony concludes the scene by saying "This one's on me" by placing the tip into another slot. In the bathrooms coins are also needed to use the facilities. They must rush to make full use of water and to make haste to comb their hair because the mirrors are on a timer.
The movie was an excellent 1960's piece in that it gives the viewer a glimpse into the values and style of that period. The scene with Fonda and Bacall dancing at their wedding anniversary was a real eye opener.
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By B. Cipolla on December 26, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've waited years for this movie in DVD format and am thrilled to see that it will finally be released on February 3. This is a fun, lighthearted movie that is perfect for a rainy Sunday afternoon. If you enjoy 60's comedies, this is a great movie to add to your collection.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Sex and the Single Girl" succeeds almost 50 years later as both a wacky "adult comedy" of its time and as a sociological time capsule of the prevailing attitudes and styles of the mid-60's. IF you're properly tolerant of the now-quaint comedy style of a bygone era paraded here, "SATSG" proves to be an enduring nugget of classic movie "pixie dust" that will continue to charm through multiple viewings.

Of course it helps if (like me, born 1957) you're a boomer who lived through "those days" and remembers vividly those crazy go-go '60's, with all of its kaleidoscopic turbulence and tumult. "SATSG" zooms in to re-examine a topic we'll never exhaust--the tug-of-war of courtship and romance as women and men struggle to "hook up" and sustain relationships over time.

I never learned what Helen Gurley Brown thought of this flippant trashing of her book, which definitely WAS intended to be a call to action for modern girls of the early sixties to live their dreams and joust as equals with men in careers AND in "scoring" romantically. Another author once made the trenchant comment that when you sell a property to Hollywood, you're really giving it up for "mining rights" and what eventually emerges will have only a slight resemblance to the original work. NEVER truer than with "SATSG"! I suspect Helen (like most authors) simply rolled her eyes and cashed the check.

Here the book's themes are just used as the set-up for a 60's sex farce, with pioneering liberated psychologist (and author of the current best seller non-fiction work "Sex and the Single Girl") Helen Gurley Brown (Natalie Wood) being manipulated for an expose by the underhanded, "anything for a scoop" ace reporter of "Stop" magazine, Bob Weston (Tony Curtis, in full, leering hound-dog mode).
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This is an example of a delightful comedy that hearkens back to a time when the world seemed much more innocent than it is today. The book takes its title from the Helen Gurley Brown opus of the same name. In typical sixties fashion, there is nothing sexually lurid suggested in the movie. The movie teases rather than gratuitously depicts, suggests but does not lay bare, beckons its viewers but does not slam the door behind them.
The stars shine equally brightly in this one. Tony Curtis, ever suave and sophisticated, tempers his delivery with all the coyness of the office boy's slap. Natalie Wood, breathtakingly beautiful and all so sincere, acts as the perfect foil to Curtis. She is so innocent you cannot help but want to believe everything that she says.When she bats her eyes and pleads for forgiveness you know that both Curtis and the viewer cannot help but cave in to her.
The other principles are universally charming. Edward Everett Horton, Lauren Bacall, along with Mel Ferrer are all three the epitome of sixties cosmopolitan. The major surprise, though, is Henry Fonda. His deadpan delivery is right on, and he steals every scene he's in.
Sure, it's mostly a light confection, but this tasty treat goes down easily. There are even a few (dare I say it?)brilliantly staged scenes. For example, when Curtis is in the process of being interviewed by Wood, he needs to fabricate a description of his sex life as he goes along during the questioning. He does so quite skillfully, incorporating the various psychological states depicted by the artful renderings framed on the office walls, enabling him to finally state the nature of his problem and the reason for his visit. He's ashamed that he's "sexually inadequate".
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