That Darn Cat! stars Hayley Mills as Patti Randall, the owner of a cat called DC (Darn Cat, as named by her irritated father). DC comes home wearing a watch instead of a collar and Patti immediately thinks that it has something to do with the kidnap victim still missing after a robbery. Her sister Ingrid (Dorothy Provine) is sceptical but Patti takes it straight to the FBI where Agent Kelso (Dean Jones) is assigned to investigate. They decide to put DC under surveillance but Patti and Ingrid's prospective boyfriends (Tom Lowell and Roddy McDowall respectively) keep getting in the way. So does nosy neighbour Mrs MacDougall (Elsa Lanchester), who drives her husband (William Demarest) to distraction with her theories.
This is an hilarious Disney film. Mills has a good rapport with both Provine and Jones and, most especially, with the cats playing the role of DC. As the central character, he's quite fun to watch. None of this CGI rubbish, just some nice normal cats playing an extraordinary one.
There are some really funny scenes, mostly including the MacDougalls. Equally, Roddy McDowall storming the house with a shotgun and searching for the 'prowler' is very good. It pokes fun at FBI shadowing techniques which even a cat can see through and there's an excellent selection of scenes at the drive-in movie with Richard Deacon as the manager. There's also a small appearance by the wonderful Ed Wynn as a jeweller.
In a film so amusingly improbable, it was a surprise to find the kidnappers as realistic characters but Neville Brand and Frank Gorshin do very well on that score, adding a real sense of danger to proceedings. The conclusion, fittingly, involved DC as much as the chase did, wrapping things up nicely.
I really enjoyed this one. Quite a good comedy to while away an afternoon and enough eccentric characters to make anybody laugh.