Today is our last day of #30daysoftravelthroughcinema! I hope wherever you are and whatever you are doing during this pandemic and our time of self-isolation that this series has brought you some hope and joy. The hope that one day you can travel to see all of the places we have explored over the last month and joy that there is still beauty in this world. I have saved one of my favorite movies for last.
We are traveling back to Tokyo on our last day together as armchair travelers and experiencing Cary Grant’s visit to Japan during the 1964 Summer Olympic Games. “Walk Don’t Run” is Grant’s last film and the only movie in which he did not get the girl (he already had one: his wife of over two decades). He plays Sir William Rutland, a British businessman who does a considerable amount of business with Japan. When he has a meeting there, he decides to come two days early, and two days before the start of the Olympic games, so he can go home in time for his and his wife’s anniversary.
When he fails to find a place to spend the night, because of the current housing shortage during the Olympics, he responds to an ad at the embassy offering to sublet an apartment. Christine Easton (Samantha Eggar) had no idea a man would respond to the ad. But because she felt as though it is her “patriotic duty” to provide housing to her fellow British citizens, she sublets her apartment to Mr. Rutland.
Later, Mr. Rutland meets an American, Steve Davis (Jim Hutton), who is an architect and a member of the United States Olympic Walking team. Yes. You read that correctly – walking team. He arrived two days early as well, and he, along with Mr. Rutland, convinced her it was her “patriotic duty” to help her fellow man and sublet her apartment again for Steve.
Steve: Can’t you stop being nosy for one minute?
William: I don’t think so.
We soon discover Ms. Easton has a fiance, and it just happened to be the British Diplomat, Julius D. Haversack (John Standing), who was unable to help Mr. Rutland at the embassy upon his arrival. It may seem purely comedic; however, the story is loving and memorable. The on-screen chemistry between Eggar and Davis and the gentle, grandfatherly type relationship between them and Mr. Rutland makes this one of my top favorite movies of all time.
The story is based on the 1943 comedy about the housing shortage in Washington D.C. during World World II called “The More the Merrier.” Rotten Tomatoes gives “Walk Don’t Run,” a critics score of 83% and an audience score of 70% but ignore this. They obviously have not seen the film in its entirety. Regardless of your favorite film genre, I believe everyone will find this classic to be endearing. Charming Cary Grant in an exciting country and during the 1964 Summer Olympics. It was filmed entirely in Tokyo including Shimbashi and Hotel Okura. This comedic and heartwarming film always leaves me with a smile, and this is rare considering how many movies and shows I have seen and books I have read.
We have now come to the end of our film series. Stay tuned for many future adventures. If you have been following along, please comment and share. I would love to hear how your armchair travels are going.
Until next time, stay safe and don’t forget, I will still be practicing the six feet apart rule after the pandemic is over.