Doris Day (1922-2019)

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JSC
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 9:17 am

Doris Day (1922-2019)

#1 Post by JSC » Mon May 13, 2019 9:08 am


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bearcuborg
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Re: Passages

#2 Post by bearcuborg » Mon May 13, 2019 9:57 am

I can’t confess to ever watching the movies that made Doris Day famous all the way through, but even if the Man Who Knew Too Much isn’t top rate Hitchcock, she was pretty good in what seems to be one of her few dramatic roles.
Last edited by bearcuborg on Mon May 13, 2019 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: Passages

#3 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon May 13, 2019 10:26 am

Love Me or Leave Me with her and James Cagney was a pretty heavy drama for her.

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domino harvey
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Re: Passages

#4 Post by domino harvey » Mon May 13, 2019 10:31 am

Doris Day has probably the most incredible voice of any of the classic era musical stars. If you’re not familiar with Day in this fashion, you owe it to yourself to watch Calamity Jane at the very least. I like the sex comedies she helped pioneer as much as anyone, but it’s her strengths as a musical performer that justly made her legacy

Here’s one of my favorite Day numbers, the more topical than ever “Men” from Lucky Me

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ando
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Re: Passages

#5 Post by ando » Mon May 13, 2019 10:33 am

FrauBlucher wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 10:26 am
Love Me or Leave Me with her and James Cagney was a pretty heavy drama for her.
My favorite of her films. Never heard of Ruth Etting til I saw it. (You rarely hear her name today.) Though they tried to sell her as THE middle American girl Day was more intriguing to watch than that. R.I.P.
Last edited by ando on Mon May 13, 2019 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jonathan S
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Re: Passages

#6 Post by Jonathan S » Mon May 13, 2019 10:40 am

The Pajama Game is easily my favourite of her films (and my favourite musical after Singin' in the Rain).

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FrauBlucher
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Re: Doris Day (1922-2019)

#7 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon May 13, 2019 10:49 am

Domino yes, yes, yes. Those numbers in Calamity Jane are terrific. As good as it gets from the studio musical era.

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colinr0380
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Re: Doris Day (1922-2019)

#8 Post by colinr0380 » Mon May 13, 2019 10:58 am

And of course Secret Love from Calamity Jane became a bit of a touchstone for reading gay subtext into a film (or at least an audience finding a connection to the feelings being conveyed even if the specific situation might be quite different from that on screen), whether intended or not!

I would also put in a word for the psychological thriller Midnight Lace, which presumably came about through Doris Day's Hitchcock role a few years before. It is not as visceral as later Italian giallos but does feel a little like the missing link between Hitchcock and Bava!

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Feego
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Re: Doris Day (1922-2019)

#9 Post by Feego » Mon May 13, 2019 11:36 am

I love her rendition of "It's Magic" from Romance on the High Seas, her first movie. She proved to be a natural star with this film and completely overshadows higher-billed Janis Paige and Don DeFore. As Domino says, her voice was incredible, and I've never heard a song from her lips that didn't soar just due to her voice.

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senseabove
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Re: Doris Day (1922-2019)

#10 Post by senseabove » Mon May 13, 2019 2:40 pm

The Stanford in Palo Alto is running a Doris Day retro right now, and I'm sad I won't be able to make it to any others in the series, but of those I have made it to, even the ones that were distinctly unexceptional (like Curtiz' My Dream is Yours) were thoroughly enjoyable largely thanks to Day. She knew how to sell a scene, no matter how ridiculous, with an imitably perfect balance of mugging and earnestness, and yet could still cut through with sincerity when necessary, as with the aforementioned "Secret Love," which is just an absurd about-face for the character and yet still so captivating as a performance, or, what initially sold me, the stunning, much too succinct voice-and-piano performance of "It All Depends on You" in Love Me or Leave Me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yoHIxA ... tu.be&t=40

While there are higher peaks in other movies, The Pajama Game is my overall favorite by a good margin, and it just might be a weird and late enough choice to get a WAC release one of these days, at least. I was sad to miss Midnight Lace in the retrospective, but it at least has an upcoming release from Kino.

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domino harvey
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Re: Doris Day (1922-2019)

#11 Post by domino harvey » Mon May 13, 2019 2:51 pm

My Dream is Yours is the one with her and Jack Carson in bunny rabbit costumes, right? That’s literally all I remember about it, assuming I am remembering it! I think she’s less infallible than you— the two Booth Tarkington musicals are torture— but she was usually good at worst and often great and most importantly, as we’ve all said and I’ll reiterate, she sure could belt out a song. Are there any definitive compilations of her singles from the 40s and 50s? One of the highlights from listening to 50s internet radio is how stacked programming is with seemingly endless Day singles and b-sides from her heyday, many of which were not movie tie-ins

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senseabove
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Re: Doris Day (1922-2019)

#12 Post by senseabove » Mon May 13, 2019 3:34 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 2:51 pm
My Dream is Yours is the one with her and Jack Carson in bunny rabbit costumes, right? That’s literally all I remember about it, assuming I am remembering it! I think she’s less infallible than you— the two Booth Tarkington musicals are torture— but she was usually good at worst and usually great and most importantly, as we’ve all said and I’ll reiterate, she sure could belt out a song. Are there any definitive compilations of her singles from the 40s and 50s? One of the highlights from listening to 50s internet radio is how stacked programming is with seemingly endless Day singles and b-sides from her heyday, many of which were not movie tie-ins
That's the one. I saw it on a double-feature with It's a Great Feeling last week, and that double feature might be the ne plus ultra of the "shake the bag and see who falls out" studio machine format... I just didn't expect Bugs Bunny to be in the bag! Both of them were perfectly enjoyable, and not much else, but if Day weren't so unceasingly charming, they'd probably be unbearable. The double this weekend included Calamity Jane, and I just can't imagine anyone else coming halfway close to pulling that role off. The whole premise would fall so flat without her... She's not the least bit convincing as "butch," but somehow you don't care. So it's less a sense of her being infallible than surprise that she often basically carries her movies, saddled with the scripts they are. But I've only seen 8 of her movies, so yes, I'm sure there I have undiscovered lapses in her charm.

I've yet to explore her recorded output much, but I've been keeping an eye out when I'm perusing the easy listening bin.

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knives
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Re: Doris Day (1922-2019)

#13 Post by knives » Mon May 13, 2019 4:41 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 2:51 pm
My Dream is Yours is the one with her and Jack Carson in bunny rabbit costumes, right? That’s literally all I remember about it, assuming I am remembering it! I think she’s less infallible than you— the two Booth Tarkington musicals are torture— but she was usually good at worst and often great and most importantly, as we’ve all said and I’ll reiterate, she sure could belt out a song. Are there any definitive compilations of her singles from the 40s and 50s? One of the highlights from listening to 50s internet radio is how stacked programming is with seemingly endless Day singles and b-sides from her heyday, many of which were not movie tie-ins
Can't speak to that one, but certainly she made more enjoyable then they should have been a lot of that '60s sitcom junk she was in. So while I don't think she could make a great movie on her own she certainly could greatly improve one.

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Black Hat
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Re: Passages

#14 Post by Black Hat » Mon May 13, 2019 9:15 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 10:26 am
Love Me or Leave Me with her and James Cagney was a pretty heavy drama for her.
Extremely underrated movie, she's great in it and really does smoky sexy while standing up to Cagney's wylin quite well.

I never thought highly of The Man Who Knew Too Much, but I rewatched it again recently and it's much, much better than I thought it was.

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senseabove
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Re: Doris Day (1922-2019)

#15 Post by senseabove » Tue May 14, 2019 12:35 am

Does anyone have opinions on Julie?

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domino harvey
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Re: Doris Day (1922-2019)

#16 Post by domino harvey » Tue May 14, 2019 12:48 am

Yes
domino harvey wrote:
Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:51 pm
Julie (Andrew L Stone 1956) Despite opening with the unforgettable image of Louis Jordan flying off into a jealous rage and pushing Doris Day's foot down on the gas pedal, this is a film that doesn't understand pacing. Or functional narration. Doris Day has to be the chattiest film noir protagonist ever, and about the flightiest, dumbest, year one creative writing shit too. The film seems to be a vehicle, if you'll pardon the pun, for a ridiculous finale that inhumanly plays out in real time, in which by a confluence of improbabilities, Day must pilot a plane to safe landing. The film spends so much time and effort and time and time on giving all the "facts" about the process of landing that it forgets that the idea itself is too absurd to ever take seriously and a more Hollywood, tossed-off fantasy on the same scene would have lasted two minutes and likely been three times as suspenseful. This in fact might, MIGHT, have made a decent seventy minute quickie. At two hours, Christ, who's really getting the abuse here?

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Aunt Peg
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Re: Doris Day (1922-2019)

#17 Post by Aunt Peg » Tue May 14, 2019 3:42 am

I've only ever seen Julie once and thoroughly enjoyed it for all the wrong reasons - its so bad, it's kinda good.

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Mr Sheldrake
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Re: Doris Day (1922-2019)

#18 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Tue May 14, 2019 8:21 am

I re-watched It Happened to Jane last night, released just before Pillow Talk and somewhat overlooked, available free on Prime. It demonstrates Day's remarkable gift in portraying strength and vulnerability, she was great in outraged feisty mode while always staying recognizably human, her smile could light up the screen. The movie has lots of small town 1950s US atmosphere when trains, soon on their way out, were still part of the texture of life. It features Jack Lemmon whose next film The Apartment made him a superstar.

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domino harvey
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Re: Doris Day (1922-2019)

#19 Post by domino harvey » Tue May 14, 2019 9:30 am

Aunt Peg wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 3:42 am
I've only ever seen Julie once and thoroughly enjoyed it for all the wrong reasons - its so bad, it's kinda good.
Andrew L Stone is a long-overlooked candidate for worst director of the studio era. He and his wife had a remarkable knack for independently producing garbage movies that nevertheless found distribution due to the stars within (kind of a Goofus to Preminger’s Gallant for this model)

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knives
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Re: Doris Day (1922-2019)

#20 Post by knives » Tue May 14, 2019 10:39 am

That's because no watches Stone's movies anymore.

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senseabove
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Re: Doris Day (1922-2019)

#21 Post by senseabove » Tue May 14, 2019 12:15 pm

I'm not typically the type to enjoy a bad movie for being bad, but this almost makes me curious just how bad Julie is... Doubly so since it was apparently nominated for Best Original Screenplay. Alas, I was asking in case it might be a good one to talk a visiting friend into checking out with me, but that seems to definitely not be the case.

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Matt
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Re: Doris Day (1922-2019)

#22 Post by Matt » Tue May 14, 2019 12:42 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 2:51 pm
the two Booth Tarkington musicals are torture
Counterpoint: On Moonlight Bay and By the Light of the Silvery Moon are among the best of the strain of sweet, gentle, nostalgic musicals that the studios cranked out after the success of Meet Me in St. Louis (though the first is better than the second). And I can't stand the wall-to-wall mania of Calamity Jane (though it does have a couple of toe-tapping, solidly-staged musical numbers). Seeing it once was more than enough, though.

I don't know that anyone here would argue that she is not the breakout star of her first big film, Romance on the High Seas. She's an absolute knockout: physically, musically, and comedically. I'm also a big fan of Please Don't Eat the Daisies, which re-teams her with her on-screen rival in this film, Janis Paige. She's very affecting in Young Man with a Horn, too, which was her first straight dramatic role.

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domino harvey
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Re: Doris Day (1922-2019)

#23 Post by domino harvey » Tue May 14, 2019 1:33 pm

Considering I think Please Don’t Eat the Daisies is her worst film and Calamity Jane her best, I think we obviously get something different out of movies, or at least Day movies— though I agree Young Man With a Horn is indeed great, so we can at least break bread on that

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