If a Man Answers (1962)

  • USA, Comedy, color, 1962, running time: 102 minutes
  • Released October 10, 1962
  • Produced By Ross Hunter
  • Directed by Henry Levin
  • Screenplay by Richard Morris
  • From the novel by Winifred Wolfe
  • Studio: Universal International
  • Music by Hans Salter
  • Musical Supervision by Joseph Gershenson
  • Songs : If a Man Answers and True True Love By Bobby Darin


Black and white pictures from the pressbook.

Posters from the pressbook.

Bobby discussing this film. (Audio)

The Story:
Chantal Stacy is the beautiful product of her sophisticated French Mother, Maman Stacy and her staid Bostonian father, John Stacey. Chantal sometimes has as many as three engagement rings at the same time. However, her wise mother always extricates her daughter from the quicksands of romance.

Sandra Dee Bobby Darin

One day, while shopping, Chantal is approached by Gene Wright, a bright independant young New Yorker with a talent for photography and a way with the ladies. They engage in some romantic repartee and Gene offers Chantal a job as a photographic model. Her first assignment is posing in a bikini for some calendar art. The sitting is interrupted by John Stacy, who arrives to check his daughter's new set up. When he sees her skimpy attire he plants a whistling right hook to Genes eye and drags his protesting daughter home to safety.

Bobby Darin Sandra DeeBobby Darin

But Chantal, even after such a short association, has fallen in love with Gene and is determined to marry him. However, Gene isn't interested in marriage. But Maman takes a hand and with her expert coaching on "how to hook a man", Chantal and Gene are married.

John Lund and Sandra Dee Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee

Then, Tina, a girlfriend of Chantals from Boston, visits . She flirts with Gene quite outlandishly, and to Chantals horror, also becomes his favorite new model.

Stephanie Powers and Bobby DarinStephanie Powers and Bobby Darin Sandra Dee

In fact, Gene has taken Chantal for granted for some time. She runs home to mother and complains about Gene's transition since the marriage. Maman has a strange solution. She tells Chantal to treat her husband like a dog, literally. She gives Chantal a book,"How To Train A Man's Best Friend", and instructs her to follow the book to the letter in "housebreaking" Gene. And it works. Gene begins paying as much attention to Chantal as in the pre-marital days.

Dee and PresleChantals imagination runs wild Dee and Darin

Presle and Dee Chantal arranges her flowers Dee and Darin


Early on a Saturday morning, Chantel (Charlie) unsuccessfully tries to rouse her husband Eugene from bed to go shopping with her to Bloomingdales to purchase fabric for drapes for his photography studio. Eugene refuses, so Charlie gets up to secretly look at the book her mother gave her about raising her "pet." Charlie reads the instructions to herself about "letting her pet lead the way". Chantel then brings a surprised Gene breakfast in bed and tells him sweetly that she will "go wherever he wants to go." The couple walk through the NY city streets, looking at a construction site and shopping in a camera store, where Gene is wanting to go. As they are out on the streets again, Chantel looks behind her as Gene lags behind. She laughs as she sees him tying his shoe on a fire hydrant. (Gene only smiles unknowingly.)

The Wrights wind up at Gene's favorite tobacco store where Gene is engrossed in buying pipe tobacco for himself. Chantel tells him she is wanting to go to Bloomingdales but he seems disinterested, saying he will meet her at home. Worried, Charlie calls her mother from a pay phone, since she does not have the book handy. After she tells her tale of woe, her mother tells her to "jerk and then slacken up the leash immediately, and praise her pet lavishly." Charlie follows her mothers advice as she insists Gene accompanies her to Bloomingdales to shop. She tells Gene she need his good judgement and praises Gene about his good taste. Gene smiles, "I picked you didn't I?" and follows her happily out the door of the tobacco store by the hand.

the dog bookTina and the book Powers, Darin and Dee

Bobby Darin

Then Tina upsets the apple cart again. Chantal is foolish enough to tell her about the "dog theory" with husbands.Tina "tips" the setup to Gene as Chantal is forced to stand by helplessly. Gene storms out of the apartment and Chantal pays another tearful visit to mother and spills her sad story. The indomitable Maman comes up with another "gimmick" for Chantal to get out of the dog house. She tells Chantal to concoct a phantom lover bit with phone calls and roses from a "Robert Swan".Her mother used the same trick and same name on Chantals father in the past and it worked out beautifully. A confused Gene begins paying attention again as he is back to the suitor days.

Presle and Dee Chantal arranges her flowers Dee and Darin

Gene pays attention alright and he is getting very disturbed by all the flowers arriving at the apartment. He also has figured out why the person who keeps calling hangs up when he answers. "If a man answers, hang up", he says. He tells Chantal he went to the florist and found out about "Robert Swan" who Chantal told the florist the roses were from. Gene tells Chantal he can't stand in her way, if she wants to be with Robert Swan. Chantal tells him there is no such man, that she has been buying the flowers and her mother has been making the phone calls and then the phone rings. It is "Robert Swan" who tells Eugene he is on his way over to see Chantal! She is speechless and calls her mother.

Darin and DeeDarin,Romero and Dee

When Chantal's parents arrive, Swan makes over Mama too, and tells her he remembers her. Both woman are puzzled and retreat to the bedroom. Then Chantal realizes "Robert Swan " is actually Adam Wright, Eugene's father. She packs her bags and leaves. It seems Eugene's trick has backfired.

Chantal receives a telegram from Gene asking her to come home for something very urgent. When she arrives she walks upstairs and sees dozens of dogs of all sizes and breeds and Eugene in a doghouse. They both laugh and embrace.

Later that night, in their bedroom, Eugene tells Chantal he thinks she is pregnant. She confirms this, then the phone rings. Then the screen splits to show Chantal's parents in their bedroom and their phones rings at the same time. And again, someone hangs up. Both couples end up kissing.

The screen then shows "Finis?... We hardly think so"

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