I fell in love with Doris Day’s films the first time I saw the Romance Collection with Rock Hudson. Who can resist that duo: cute and charming Doris Day with dreamy Rock Hudson? Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back, and Send Me No Flowers are full of laughter, love and fun…without being dirty like many movies today are. I’ve seen them numerous times and they never get old. Whenever you want to escape the reality of the world and just feel good, all you have to do is watch a Doris Day movie. That said, it’s somewhat ironic that Day’s life offscreen was not at all the glitz and glamour it was onscreen.
Doris Day, born Doris Mary Anne von Kappeloff in 1922, lacked the luck she had snagging handsome gentlemen in her movies in her real life. She was married four times, her third marriage with Marty Melcher lasting the longest but in the end she found out he had squandered her money. Her other three marriages ended unhappily in divorce as well. Day once said: “All I ever wanted to do was to get married, have a nice husband, have two or three children..and live happily ever after.” Day portrayed her role with her on-stage loves so vibrantly it’s hard to imagine her real life as anything other. Perhaps the absense of a real “romeo” allowed her to put all her heart and soul into that life she so desired onscreen instead.
Besides loving Day’s movies because of her fabulous acting skills, I adore her outfits. Classy, sexy and oh-so chic with her matching acessories and heels. Even when Day was “scantily clad,” like in a couple scenes in Pilow Talk where she has on a nightgown, it was never vulgar. She was the perfect example of what it meant to be sexy without being trashy.
Another reason I feel she’s so wonderful is her tireless activism for animal rights. Day adores animals and devoted time both during her movie career and afterwards towards helping promote animal rights and protection. Being a lover of all animals myself, I definitely feel a connection with Day and am happy that she got the word out to the public about animal rights. For example, although she had to wear a mink coat in That Touch of Mink she spoke out against furs: “it just breaks my heart that these films are playing and I want everybody to know that I do not wear furs…killing an animal to make a coat is a sin….” (Considering Doris Day biography). One of the most memorable moments of her activism onscreen was in Do Not Disturb when she rescues a fox near her house from the fox hunters. Holding the little fox in her arms, away from the dogs, she scolds not only the dogs themselves, but the hunters as well, telling them they should be ashamed of themselves. Go Doris Day!
Regardless of the unhappiness she faced in her personal life, Day’s charm and humor lit up the screen and the lives of those sitting in the theatre or their living room watching her. My best friend and I love to make cocoa or popcorn and escape into Doris Day’s world for an hour or two!
Need to escape too? Here are some wonderful Doris Day goodies that OWL owns:
Rock Hudson and Doris Day Romance Collection (DVD ROM): Curl up and fall in love with these three classic movies. Day is at her best, and Hudson of course is…Hudson. The movies are so funny, witty and full of romance. In Pillow Talk, Jan (Day) and Brad (Hudson) share a telephone party line, and Day becomes fed up with Brad dominating the phone lines to woo his women. When one of Jan’s clients (Tony Randall), who happens to be friends with Brad, proclaims his love for her, Brad invents a guise as a Texan rancher and tries to win the heart of Jan himself! Lover Come Back finds Day and Hudson, both advertising agents, fighting over a non-existant product named Vip that Hudson creates as a coy to get back at Day. Tony Randall appears again as Jerry’s boss. The trio is hilarious! The last in the series Send Me No Flowers unites Day and Hudson as a married couple. When Hudson overhears the doctor talking about a patient who is going to die, he believes it is him and sets up a whole scheme to try and find his wife a new husband before he is gone.
Move Over, Darling (DVD MOV): Another one of my favorites featuring Day with James Garner. The plot is so comical; five years after assuming his wife Ellen (Day), lost at sea, is dead,Nick (Garner) re-marries only to find out a few hours later that Ellen is in fact alive and at the hotel that Nick and his new wife are. The back and forth between wives that ensues is hysterical, and my favorite part is when Day poses as a Swiss housekeeper at Nick’s house and gives his new wife a “little” massage! Don’t miss it!
Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (DVD PLE): In this movie, Day plays Kate Mackay who tries to juggle four kids, a new home in the country, and a husband. Her husband’s job keeps him away in the city most of the time and thus causes friction between him and Kate, especially when an actress he is working with enters the scene.
The Thrill of It All (DVD THR): Another classic Day movie staring James Garner. Simply hysterical as Beverly (Day)becomes a spokesperson for the product Happy Soap and becomes a big name in the advertising business. Meanwhile, her husband has to deal with her making more money and all the other mayhem!
That Touch of Mink (DVD THA): Day and Cary Grant unite in this luscious tale of love. Day and Grant fall in love, but when it comes down to getting married Grant apparently has cold feet–leave it to Day to try and convince him otherwise.
Do Not Disturb (DVD DO): Almost the same plotline of Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, but a little crazier in the turn of events. After Day and her husband move to the French countryside, tensions arise as her husband is away at work all the time and then hires a very beautiful personal assistant. Day tries to make him jealous with a fake admirer, but in the end a real suave frenchman comes along and takes her off to Paris. Lot’s of french champagne make for a very funny Doris Day.
Teacher’s Pet (DVD TEA): Gable plays a top newspaper man convinced journalism is a trade not a profession. Professor Day believes otherwise. When Grant goes to class to prove her wrong and falsley represents himself, he hadn’t planned on falling in love.
Glass Bottom Boat (DVD GLA): Day plays a widowed writer who is hired to write a biography on research scientist Rod Taylor and she is accidently mistaken for a spy.
Considering Doris Day by Tom Santopietro (B DAY): For those who want to learn more about the dazzling blonde on-screen! Publisher’s Weekly review writes: “Santopietro turns to Doris Day and delivers a sharp-eyed, carefully researched career evaluation that also convincingly rebukes many modern misconceptions about her pristine screen persona and status as a singer.” He examines her early abusive marriages and delves into her exceptional film and music career.
Doris Day Romance Music Collection (CD Vocal Day): Love the songs that Doris Day performed in her movies with Hudson? Now you can sing along to “Pillow Talk” and “Que Sera, Sera” amongst others.
Sarai is the Publicity Coordinator/Library Assistant and is currently humming “Strangers in the Night…”