One of Disney’s family comedies from the sixties, featuring two of its most popular stars. Patti’s (Mills) cat, DC, comes home with a wristwatch around his neck that she thinks belongs to a bank worker (Grayson Hall) who has been taken hostage by two robbers. So Patti alerts the FBI, who arrive in the form of dishy Agent Kelso (Jones). His plan is to monitor DC’s nightly roamings, in the hope the cat will return to the kidnappers’ lair, but it won’t be easy, since Kelso is allergic to cats.
It’s an old-fashioned, cute comedy that has heaps of slapstick, wit and fun, as well as a pacy plot. There’s nice support from Neville Brand and Frank Gorshin (who went on to play the Riddler in the Batman TV series) as the robbers, Roddy McDowall, and Elsa Lanchester and William Demarest as the bickering couple next door.
Trivia fans should note that, because the film was based on a book written by former FBI agent Gordon Gordon and his wife, the FBI kept a close eye on proceedings during the movie’s production, presumably to make sure no FBI secrets were revealed and the Bureau was portrayed in a good light.
A 1997 remake, with Christina Ricci, Doug E Doug and Dean Jones, is a faster-paced but dumber alternative to the original.
Is That Darn Cat! suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...