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Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Actors: Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Boris Karloff, Fay Bainter, Ann Rutherford
Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
NR     1998     1hr 50min

If there's one movie Danny Kaye fans fondly remember, it's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The versatile comedian--also an unsurpassed song-and-dance man--plays a henpecked, thriller-genre book writer suddenly enmeshed...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Boris Karloff, Fay Bainter, Ann Rutherford
Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Creators: Lee Garmes, Monica Collingwood, Samuel Goldwyn, Everett Freeman, James Thurber, Ken Englund, Philip Rapp
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Romantic Comedies, Classic Comedies, Love & Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Hbo Home Video
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 08/25/1998
Original Release Date: 09/01/1947
Theatrical Release Date: 09/01/1947
Release Year: 1998
Run Time: 1hr 50min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 21
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, French, Italian
Subtitles: English, French, Italian
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Movie Reviews

Danny Kaye Shines as Thurber Gets The Goldwyn Treatment
Dorian Tenore-Bartilucci | Whitehall, PA USA | 11/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"While WONDER MAN and THE COURT JESTER might be more consistently wacky, I thought THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (TSLoWM) brought out the vulnerable side of Danny Kaye, one of my faves since childhood (I never missed any of Kaye's movies on WPIX when I was growing up). It usually gets on my nerves when I see movie characters allowing themselves to be as put-upon and henpecked as Kaye's Walter is here, but there was a sweetness about him that made me root for him instead of merely growling, "Oh, tell 'em all to go to hell already" -- and as a result, it's that much more satisfying when Walter finally does tell off his obnoxious so-called friends and loved ones (unlike such "comedies of cruelty" as MADHOUSE, where the last 10 minutes of Revenge Against The Oppressors are the only entertaining parts of the movie)! Although James Thurber, another of my faves, reportedly tried to buy off producer Samuel Goldwyn to keep the film from being made and hated the finished product, I think perhaps Thurber wasn't being quite fair. First off, books and film have different storytelling requirements, and second, the first 10 minutes are almost straight from Thurber's story (except it's Walter and his nagging mom instead of a nagging wife), and it seemed to me that the characters and performances had very Thurberesque qualities about them. Boris Karloff and Konstantin Shayne are delightfully unctuous villains (Fun Fact: their henchman, Henry Corden, later became the voice of Fred Flintstone!). As Walter's literal and figurative dream girl Rosalind van Hoorn, frequent Kaye co-star Virginia Mayo was thoroughly beguiling and never looked lovelier (and hey, the radiant Mayo was a size 12 and nobody considered *her* a "plus size," thank you very much! :-). TSLoWM also contains two of my favorite Kaye/Sylvia Fine musical numbers: "Symphony for Unstrung Tongue" (am I the only one who finds the line "He gets so excited that he has a solo passage" to be subtly salacious? :-) and "Anatole of Paris." To top it all off, it takes place primarily in my hometown and favorite city, New York City, and is set in one of my favorite milieus, pulp magazine publishing! My hubby and I like to think that Uncle Peter's grand home must be located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, where we used to live, since it looks like the kind of houses we used to see while walking around in the Fieldston area and it didn't seem to take horrifically long for Walter and Rosalind to drive there from the Flatiron district of Manhattan! :-) (Interestingly, the interior of the van Hoorn home looks a lot like the interior of evil Bruno Anthony's home in STRANGERS ON A TRAIN; anybody know if these scenes might have been shot in the same house/set?) I wish the DVD extras had included deleted scenes (there's a bit in the trailer with Karloff and Corden in a pub that I definitely don't recall seeing in the finished film), but it was nice to see Virginia Mayo still alive and well (and bigger than "size 12," but on her it's pleasant plumpness, in my opinion! :-) in the intro and outro, even though she only had time to say one line about most of her co-stars ("Ann Rutherford was delightful...Fay Bainter was a consummate actress...")."
A fun movie!
Kurt A. Johnson | North-Central Illinois, USA | 03/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Walter Mitty (played by Danny Kaye) is an inveterate daydreamer - henpecked by his mother, unregarded by his fiancé, and abused by his boss. But, when a man is murdered in his presence, Walter soon finds himself protecting a beautiful woman and running from a group of ruthless hoodlums, and nobody believes that this isn't just another daydream. Now, all that Walter has to do is hold onto his sanity and save that girl! [Color, released in 1947, with a running time of 1 hour, 50 minutes.]This is a fun movie! Any Danny Kaye (1913-87) movie is worth seeing, and this one is doubly so. It has Danny's great hijinks and his wonderful off kilter singing. I liked the storyline and all of the antics, and the fact that the whole family could sit down and laugh along to this great comedy. If you like good comedy, and want something family-friendly, then you can't do better than this movie - buy it!"
The Predecessor to Whose Line actor Ryan Stiles!
Stephanie | Florida | 12/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When I first read the story of "Walter Mitty" in my Honors English class, I wasn't all that interested in it. However, when my teacher brought in the movie, Danny Kaye quickly became one of my favorite actors of all time! The movie got my cynical, freshman class (that usually doesn't laugh at anything except the local "court jester", if you understand) laughing as well! I absolutely enjoyed the number when Mr. Kaye is recalling his old music teacher. I feel as though he was, no IS, a predecessor to another of my favorite actors, Ryan Stiles. I just turned 15 and I love this very talented actor and this very hillarious movie. I strongly suggest that you get your own children to watch the works of Mr. Kaye ASAP. His acting talent needs to be shared with everyone! (By the way, the Thurber story is very good as well.)"
The Best of Danny Kaye's work!
Stephanie | 04/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have seen The Secret Life of Walter Mitty once, but that was all it took for me to love it. The girl he played opposite was fantastic, and had worked with him before in various other movies. Kaye's character in this movie had some pretty wild day-dreams, and sometimes those day dreams got him into trouble. When the girl of those dreams came into his real world, it was funny to watch how he dealt with it. Kaye's talent for singing, and the bar scene in which he played the pilot and pretended to be his old high school teacher, I thought it was the best part of the movie. Any one can love the way that Kaye loves and sometimes loses, and the way he handles it. He was the best actor/singer Hollywood ever had (and needs more like him!!!!), and this is certainly his best movie."