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Need name of film featuring clothing shut in car door


naubinblue
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Hello TCM Fans, I'm new to the message board. As a child or a young person I saw a movie featuring a pretty woman whose trench coat, or the belt of her trench coat, or perhaps the hem of her dress, is repeatedly caught in her car door. She is filmed driving about town, going about the errands of life, oblivious to the visible tail she's dragging, or the flag she's flying. I remember her making sandwiches in a small 1950s-'60s kitchen. I think she was waiting for a man, or preparing for his arrival. I remember wanting to see the movie again and to understand it better. I knew the clothing caught in her car door stood for something more, because it happened over and over, but I didn't know what. Later, I thought It was a revolving tick of the character, that somehow advanced the story, too. Today, still not sure what it meant in the film, I think of the car-door imagery as a metaphor for having too many irons in the fire, trying to keep cool, while broadly but unknowingly signaling that I'm barely keeping a grip. It seems I saw the film in the late sixties or early seventies, but I can't picture where I was, so the date is indefinite. I see it in black-and-white in my mind, but it could have been a color film I saw on b&w TV. Years later, when I tried to describe the movie, someone said, "I think that's a Robert Altman film." Well, now that I've seen a few, that makes sense, but scouring Mr. Altman's fabulous filmography hasn't helped me name it. Can you?

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Hello, I feel I should know this film, and based on your description I'm intrigued. The zany aspect of the "sight gag" brings to mind Paula Prentiss. She was endearing as the ditzy and hapless woman who finds herself in one improbable situation after another. I haven't seen these films in a few years and I can't remember the scenes you describe from *Where the Boys Are* (1960); *The Honeymoon Machine* (1961); *What's New Pussycat* (1965). . . maybe *The World of Henry Orient* (1964)? I also can't recall if *Sex and the Single Girl* (1964) might have had Natalie Wood's character repeatedly catching her clothing in the car door: a great image for a character who is meant to help everyone around her solve their problems in love, but she can't seem to get free of her clothes (a bit of poetic license, I agree). I hope this helps "jog" a memory. If you do remember the film, will you share it here?

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Hello whistlingypsy, When I read Paula Prentiss' name in your post, my first thought was "It could be Paula Prentiss!" But thinking it over, I think she is a tall, dark-haired, slender, attractive actress, like Ms. Prentiss, but relatively reticent and unknown, and not Ms. Prentiss. I will check out her filmography, though, to be sure. It's not Sex and the Single Girl because I own that and have seen it several times. It could have been a great gag for Natalie Wood's psychiatrist, though, I agree, leading up to the madcap car chase. All the films you cite strike me as right in the era I'm trying to put my finger on. I'll look into them and, most definitely, will post here when it is found. Thanks for brainstorming, whistlingypsy.

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