Walk Don’t Run (1966)

Walk Don’t Run (1966)

“This is the most ridiculous race!”

When a middle-aged British businessman (Cary Grant) arrives in Tokyo two days before the Olympics are due to start, he pushes his way into a roommate situation with a young secretary (Samantha Eggar) who eventually finds herself also sharing her flat with an Olympian competitor (Jim Hutton) — but how will Eggar’s fiance (John Standing) feel about her living in such tight quarters with two men?

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Cary Grant Films
  • Jim Hutton Films
  • Love Triangle
  • Olympics
  • Romantic Comedy
  • Samantha Eggar Films

Cary Grant’s final film before his definitive retirement was in this fluffy rom-com remake of The More the Merrier (1943), using the Tokyo Olympics as a setting wherein housing is nearly impossible to find. What one can’t help noticing right away is that unlike Charles Coburn in the original, Grant was far from beyond his prime:

… thus making his proclamation of romantic neutrality (he has a wife and kids back home who he talks to on the phone — though we never see them) less convincing all around. Indeed, pretty much everything about the storyline here feels contrived — and it’s nowhere near as humorous as the original.

With that said, DVD Savant’s generous assessment of the film is worth consideration:

Walk, Don’t Run seems to convey Grant’s satisfied attitude after a long and rewarding career. The film is like his last day in High School, walking the halls with no books to carry and no classes to attend, just feeling like everything’s going to be okay.”

Viewed from that perspective, I suppose one can spend this movie simply internally thanking Grant for his lengthy career, and for offering us so many opportunities to laugh alongside him — just not this time.

Note: Watch for George Takei in a small role as a desk clerk.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Harry Stradling, Sr.’s cinematography
  • Occasional effective use of location shooting in Tokyo (i.e., during the culminating walking race)

Must See?
Nope; you can skip this one.


One thought on “Walk Don’t Run (1966)

  1. First viewing (2/15/22). Not must-see.

    Harmless-enough rom-com with Grant playing matchmaker. It’s not all that amusing and poor Eggar suffers in a poorly written role. There’s some reprieve by way of Hutton’s effective downplaying.

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