That Darn Cat!

That Darn Cat!

Synopsis of Movie

Disney golden girl Hayley Mills headlined an ensemble cast of comic character actors in this screwball comedy. Walt Disney hired Gordon and Mildred Gordon to adapt their book Undercover Cat to the big screen, with the help of producer/screenwriter Bill Walsh. The resulting film tried to maintain a sense of danger while playing up the slapstick comedy. The formula worked wonderfully, as That Darn Cat! proved a worthy successor to Mills’ earlier Disney works like Pollyanna and The Parent Trap.

The young actress plays Patti Randall, co-owner with her sister Ingrid of a Siamese cat named D.C. (“Darn Cat”). One night, the cat comes home with a watch attached around his neck in place of a collar. On the back, someone has scratched the partial plea, “HEL.” Suspecting the message may have come from kidnapped bank teller Margaret Miller, Patti takes the watch to the FBI.

The agency takes the lead, assigning agent Zeke Kelso to follow the feline on its nightly prowls. Naturally, Zeke is allergic to cats. The wily kitty leads the feds through a series of comic false leads—including some inspired mayhem at the drive-in—and Zeke is ready to give up. But when Patti plants a false lead, the allergic agent is back on D.C.’s trail, straight to the kidnappers’ hideout for a climactic showdown.

Veteran Disney director Robert Stevenson (Mary Poppins, Darby O’Gill and the Little People and several others) again did the honors on That Darn Cat!. The film was Hayley Mills’ last for Disney as a child actress, though she did return to her The Parent Trap roles for a handful of made-for-TV sequels in the 1980’s.

That Darn Cat! was a smashing success in its holiday release, and its popularity continued over years of television airings. In 1997, Disney updated the characters and dropped the exclamation point for That Darn Cat, a remake starring Christina Ricci and Doug E. Doug as the pet owner and FBI agent, respectively.

Movie Release History

1965 - That Darn Cat!

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Patti Randall Hayley Mills
Zeke Kelso Dean Jones
Ingrid Randall Dorothy Provine
Gregory Benson Roddy McDowall
Dan Neville Brand
Mrs. MacDougall Elsa Lanchester
Mr. MacDougall William Demarest
Iggy Frank Gorshin
Supervisor Newton Richard Eastham
Margaret Miller Grayson Hall
Mr. Hofstedder Ed Wynn
Canoe Tom Lowell
Drive-in Manager Richard Deacon
Landlady Iris Adrian
Graham Liam Sullivan

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