Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Doris in December

From Delphine (below) to Doris: The British Film Institute gets around to Doris Day in December, with a mini-retrospective on her - just a dozen titles ... ITS MAGIC, TEA FOR TWO, YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN, ON MOONLIGHT BAY, CALAMITY JANE, YOUNG AT HEART, LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, THE PAJAMA GAME, PILLOW TALK, MIDNIGHT LACE and MOVE OVER DARLING

Doris's greatest hits then, with a focus on her earlier successes .... she may have been one of the biggest box-office attractions from 1959 to 1966, but its that later early '60s Doris that I like when she was the brightest, shiniest star around, until the arrival of Julie Andrews ... by the mid-'60s Doris though was starting to look old fashioned as she wisely went into television... (even Julie's star did not shine too long with her late '60s films like STAR! (review at Musicals label)  failing to set the box office alight. By then new girls like Faye (she is coming up next ...) and Julie (the other one: Christie) were all the rage.

As with the BFI's previous seasons on Deborah Kerr, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman etc I feel it should be the rarities they should be focusing on. A lot of people are not going to give up an evening to see a popular movie they already have on dvd .... here we have MIDNIGHT LACE but not JULIE (where air stewardess Doris lands the plane...); MOVE OVER DARLING (which I somehow never wanted to see - it being the 3rd re-heated version of Cary and Irene's MY FAVOURITE WIFE after Fox abandoning it as Marilyn's SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE in 1962) but not that terrific satire on advertising THE THRILL OF IT ALL, if only for the scene where James Garner blithely drives his car into the swimming pool that was not there when he left in the morning .... and of course PILLOW TALK but not the other two with Rock (I may just have to buy SEND ME NO FLOWERS, as not seen that since its release and I thought LOVER COME BACK even funnier than PILLOW TALK (from that odd time when people had to share telephone lines) at the time ... nor her valiant effort at keeping 1962's JUMBO afloat. 
Doris is a great dramatic actress too, but MIDNIGHT LACE with its back-lot London is as screamingly funny and unreal as Ross Hunter's other one that year, Lana's PORTRAIT IN BLACK (Trash label).
If I am going to see any of these on the big screen it will be THE PAJAMA GAME, which is sheer bliss now, so perfectly '50s with Fosse's "Steam Heat" and those other terrific numbers.
But no screenings of her starring roles opposite Gable, Niven, Widmark, Grant, Lemmon or even Rod Taylor or Richard Harris - CAPRICE is a Tashlin it would be nice to see again if only for that mad mid-'60s style, Doris and Harris seem just as incongrous a team as Harris with Monica Vitti!

Update: I have just ordered 5 Doris's not being shown by the BFI, so will be having my own Doris festival for christmas: a pack comprising THE THRILL OF IT ALL, LOVER COME BACK, IT HAPPENED TO JANE, plus SEND ME NO FLOWERS and CAPRICE.  I shall add in my disks of PILLOW TALK and JUMBO as well - I shall be Day-ed out !

No comments:

Post a Comment