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Make Mine Mink on tonight at midnight


Swithin
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Make Mine Mink, an 1960 English comedy about a middle-aged band of fur thieves, who steal for charity, is one of the funniest movies ever. It was on TCM last year and returns tonight at midnight. Brilliant actors -- Athene Seyler, whom you might know as the mother in Curse of the Demon; Terry Thomas; Elspeth Duxbury; and, from the Carry On films, the formidable Matron herself, the great Hattie Jacques. Plus Billie Whitelaw, Irene Handl, and a sort of cameo by the always hilarious Kenneth Williams.

cfd0432-makemink-s008a.jpg

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What a delightful movie!  Such a perfect cast.  I hope TCM will air this gem more often.

 

Edited to add, many thanks, Swithin, for mentioning it!

So glad you enjoyed it! Btw, if you know musical theater and have heard of the Kander & Ebb musical 70, Girls, 70, you might know that it's based on the same play as Make Mine Mink (Breath of Spring). I saw Encores semi-staged revival of 70, Girls, 70 a few years ago, but by then they had changed the furs to jewelry, presumably for political correctness!

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The enthusiastic post here really tempted me to record this movie but I was torn because I hate fur as fashion (something one must frequently deal with in classic movies). I just couldn't decide but at the last minute switched on the dvd recorder. And then, at the exact moment of fade-in to Robert Osborne's intro, my satellite signal was lost due to a rainstorm I hadn't even realized was approaching (Kiwi hadn't even whined that she had heard it coming).

 

I was sure it was a sign from Mother Nature and pushed 'stop'. And then, a few minutes later, the signal was back, still slightly broken up, but I could see a cartoon...what was it? a mink?...over the credits. Animation is catnip to me and the mink looked sprightly so I thought, "maybe the mink wins somehow" (alas, no) so I hit record again. I meant to watch only a little, to see if the signal was again lost because by then it was showering heavily, but the picture and sound stayed, and the movie was so funny and sweet that I stayed up and watched the whole thing, despite the furs.

 

Thank you for the recommendation & info about Kander & Ebb!

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The enthusiastic post here really tempted me to record this movie but I was torn because I hate fur as fashion

 

There's a lot of things in older movies that I do not approve of and are not PC today, but that doesn't stop me from watching them. I see those films as "snapshots" of how society was back when they were made and can often be a learning experience as to why we find certain things unacceptable today. Just because I might watch BIRTH OF A NATION doesn't mean approve of those guys in the white sheets. (auto-censor wouldn't let me use their name)

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The enthusiastic post here really tempted me to record this movie but I was torn because I hate fur as fashion (something one must frequently deal with in classic movies). I just couldn't decide but at the last minute switched on the dvd recorder. And then, at the exact moment of fade-in to Robert Osborne's intro, my satellite signal was lost due to a rainstorm I hadn't even realized was approaching (Kiwi hadn't even whined that she had heard it coming).

 

I was sure it was a sign from Mother Nature and pushed 'stop'. And then, a few minutes later, the signal was back, still slightly broken up, but I could see a cartoon...what was it? a mink?...over the credits. Animation is catnip to me and the mink looked sprightly so I thought, "maybe the mink wins somehow" (alas, no) so I hit record again. I meant to watch only a little, to see if the signal was again lost because by then it was showering heavily, but the picture and sound stayed, and the movie was so funny and sweet that I stayed up and watched the whole thing, despite the furs.

 

Thank you for the recommendation & info about Kander & Ebb!

I share your views on fur, completely, Calamity.  And I love how you thought the "sprightly" mink might somehow win.  It did appear that way from the opening animation!  It's just good to know things (well, mostly) have changed since those days.

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I have no greater tolerance for fur than anyone else here, but I tried to watch this film and ended up bailing on it because of the music soundtrack. I hate to let a thing like that chase me off the boat, but I thought it actually managed to diminish the humor. :(

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There's a lot of things in older movies that I do not approve of and are not PC today, but that doesn't stop me from watching them. I see those films as "snapshots" of how society was back when they were made and can often be a learning experience as to why we find certain things unacceptable today.

 

I feel much the same as you do about understanding & accepting that older films often contain elements that do not line up with modern sensibilities, and that watching & enjoying these films doesn’t necessarily constitute approval of such ideas. What I was talking about is…there are some things that take me out of the make-believe world of a movie and back into the sometimes extremely distressing real world. So, as in this case, I can’t help but think, “that really is the fur of some poor little minks and some really do consider it fashion (even today)”.  I know that’s not the point of the movie but those thoughts still spontaneously pop into my mind.

 

Same thing with, say, horses falling in battle and race scenes – while they may be dramatically realistic depictions of what happened in those situations, as well as serve as records of the attitudes towards animal welfare when they were filmed, all I end up thinking is, “was that horse really hurt?” and “some people are okay with that (even today)”.  This is why I just refuse to watch certain movies (or the Triple Crown, for that matter). Sometimes I’m not able to have that it’s-just-a-movie detachment, however overly sensitive that may strike some. I’ll admit it makes for some soul-searching, a “why do I flinch at this but not that” sort of thing, but that doesn’t change that it’s my natural, honest reaction. And so, while I was quite charmed by Make Mine Mink, there was a part of me that couldn’t help feeling upset about what happens to the animals.

 

I hope this sort of explains my previous comment. Oh, btw I did like the music, but I understand if someone didn't .

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The GayDivorcee: Thank you for the kind words :) .

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I started this thread because of my love for Make Mine Mink. I know there are those who may not be comfortable with the subject, but sorry to say perhaps, the use of fur has not yet become really non-PC on the level of many other contemporary taboos!  How do you feel about Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol, going into the butcher to buy a big fat goose? Or someone actually wearing a mink in a movie, as I believe Joan Crawford has done pretty often. (And as Natalie Wood and Rosalind Russell do in Gypsy -- which just came to mind.)

 

Make Mine Mink is make believe; at least if you're concerned about the fur, the sale of the stolen goods is going to charity -- that's part of the plot. Did they use real furs in the movie? Who knows? The murders we see in many movies are simulated. Should those of us (meaning I presume all of us) who eschew murder not watch movies with killings?

 

I think if you are uncomfortable with the use of fur as a prop, you shouldn't watch the film, nor perhaps should you watch any film in which a family sits down to a good old fashioned Christmas dinner!

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I started this thread because of my love for Make Mine Mink. I know there are those who may not be comfortable with the subject, but sorry to say perhaps, the use of fur has not yet become really non-PC on the level of many other contemporary taboos!  How do you feel about Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol, going into the butcher to buy a big fat goose? Or someone actually wearing a mink in a movie, as I believe Joan Crawford has done pretty often. (And as Natalie Wood and Rosalind Russell do in Gypsy -- which just came to mind.)

 

Make Mine Mink is make believe; at least if you're concerned about the fur, the sale of the stolen goods is going to charity -- that's part of the plot. Did they use real furs in the movie? Who knows? The murders we see in many movies are simulated. Should those of us (meaning I presume all of us) who eschew murder not watch movies with killings?

 

I think if you are uncomfortable with the use of fur as a prop, you shouldn't watch the film, nor perhaps should you watch any film in which a family sits down to a good old fashioned Christmas dinner!

I'm partial to British movies of that era and genre and just loved Make Mine Mink.

 

Furs were ubiquitous in older movies, and I watch them understanding it was just a different time. (My mother owned a fur coat in the 1940s.)  I like to think that many of the actresses of that era would wear faux fur today.  (Doris Day, Brigitte Bardot, and other actresses have made a point of saying they've gotten rid of their furs.)  As for the Christmas goose, that doesn't trouble me.  I'm happy the Cratchits, and especially Tiny Tim, had a wonderful Christmas dinner.  In real life, however, I can't be around meat at Christmas and the other food oriented holidays.  Perhaps that's why God created Italian restaurants!

 

I do think food and fur are a little different, with food being necessary for survival, and fur an unnecessary luxury, with other warm, attractive fabrics available.  Though if the Cratchits enjoyed tofurkey in a modern re-make, I'd be delighted!  Anyway, an interesting topic.  You never know what issues might spring from the movies!

 

Thank you again for mentioning the airing of the movie.  I hope it will be shown more regularly on TCM.

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