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 Posted:   May 16, 2019 - 11:55 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

LOVER COME BACK marked a re-teaming of producer Martin Melcher, co-screenwriter Stanley Shapiro, and actors Rock Hudson, Doris Day, and Tony Randall, after 1959’s PILLOW TALK. Universal-International acquired the original screenplay, by Shapiro and Paul Henning, for the highest price that the studio had ever paid for an original story, in excess of $100,000. At the time, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, and Cary Grant were under consideration for the lead role of “Jerry Webster.”

In the film, a series of misunderstandings leaves an advertising executive (Hudson) with a campaign for a product which has not yet been invented, while he romances his rival (Day) in the guise of its inventor. Ross Hunter, who had produced PILLOW TALK (but was not involved with this film), was unhappy about the project, which he claimed was a carbon copy of his 1959 film.

Doris Day and Rock Hudson in LOVER COME BACK

A “pre-release” of the film took place on 22 December 1961 at the Warner Beverly Hills Theatre, to qualify the picture for the upcoming Academy Awards. A New York City release was set to follow on 8 February 1962 at Radio City Music Hall, with a general release scheduled for March 1962. The film was met with largely positive critical reception. Both the 25 December 1961 Los Angeles Times and 9 February 1962 New York Times reviews compared the film favorably to PILLOW TALK, and singled out Tony Randall’s performance as a standout. An Academy Award nomination went to Shapiro and Henning for Writing (Story and Screenplay – written directly for the screen), and a Golden Globe Award nomination went to Tony Randall for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.

Delbert Mann directed the film, which had an unreleased score by Frank DeVol. LOVER COME BACK was extremely popular, besting the box office of even PILLOW TALK, with a gross of $24.2 million.

 Posted:   May 16, 2019 - 12:38 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

The 9 May 1961 Daily Variety announced that the Universal-International (U-I) picture, THAT TOUCH OF MINK, would be the first onscreen teaming of Doris Day and Cary Grant. The film concerns a rich businessman (Grant) and a young woman (Day) who are attracted to each other, but he only wants an affair while she wants to save herself for marriage.

Rock Hudson had expected to be cast as “Philip,” but director Delbert Mann wanted Cary Grant. Both Grant and Day were much older than their characters. Doris Day was 39 when the film was made, although her character was supposed to be in her twenties.

In her autobiography, Day wrote: "Of all the people I performed with, I got to know Cary Grant least of all. He is a completely private person, totally reserved, and there is no way into him. Our relationship on THAT TOUCH OF MINK was amicable but devoid of give-and-take...Not that he wasn't friendly and polite - he certainly was. But distant. Very distant. But very professional - maybe the most professional, exacting actor I ever worked with. In the scenes we played, he concerned himself with every little detail: clothes, sets, production values, the works. Cary even got involved in helping to choose the kind of mink I was slated to wear in the film."

When Cary Grant noticed an ad for a raincoat that he thought would be appropriate for Doris Day to wear in the picture, he called the owner of the company that made it. After explaining who he was and what he wanted the coat for, he was given the brush-off by the manufacturer, Norman Zeiler, who later recalled that he didn't believe it was Cary Grant. "So I told him if he wanted to see our collection, he'd have to come up himself. And he did." The much-imitated Grant, who usually made all his own calls and answered his home phone himself, often had that problem. People just couldn't believe it was really Cary Grant they were talking to. Grant also telephoned the French automotive company, Citroën, to order a new car for use in the film. This time he was recognized, and the factory reportedly shipped “the display model” to the studio without hesitation.

For a scene that took place in his character's library, Grant arrived to work with boxes of items from the library in his own house and placed them about the set. According to Day, this served not only to make the set more attractive but also made him feel more relaxed and at home, giving his performance "that peculiarly natural, suave quality that is the hallmark of his pictures."

Doris Day and Cary Grant in THAT TOUCH OF MINK

In the only conflict that arose between Grant and Day during filming, both actors preferred their right profile for close-ups. Since it was impossible to accommodate both of them, Grant gave in on what Day later described as "our awkward impasse."

The 21 Jul 1961 Daily Variety reprinted the text of that day’s call sheet for the “automat sequence,” which advised cast members to forego breakfast, “as lunch scenes will be filmed all day.” Daily Variety later revealed that the automat food dispensers were altered for the second day of shooting to accept counterfeit coins, or “slugs,” rather than real U.S. currency.

In August 1961, the company moved to Burbank, CA, for exterior filming on the “New York City” set at Warner Bros. Studios. Stand-ins substituted for Day and Grant during location filming in Bermuda. Careful attention was paid to matching the stars’ wardrobes to that of their doubles, especially in the case of Doris Day, whose clothing determined the color scheme of the sets.

Director Delbert Mann and co-writer Stanley Shapiro had both worked on LOVER COME BACK. George Duning’s score for the film did not get a release.

THAT TOUCH OF MINK opened 14 June 1962 in New York City. Reviews were generally positive, although the 9 May 1962 Daily Variety credited co-stars Audrey Meadows and Gig Young with providing much of the comedy. However, the reviewer took exception to Young’s portrayal of an unethical psychiatrist, believing it disparaged a “critical area of medicine. The Catholic Church’s Legion of Decency gave the film a “B” rating for “glamorizing illicit sex and treating perversion as humor.” Regardless, the picture earned a record-breaking $123,000 in its first four days at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, on its way to a $24.3 million gross, placing it in the number 4 position of all 1962 U.S. releases. Readers of Motion Picture Herald voted Doris Day “the top audience-attracting film star” in the U.S. and Canada.

The picture was nominated for three Academy Awards: Writing—Story and Screenplay, Written Directly for the Screen; Art Direction-Set Decoration—Color; and Sound. It won a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture—Comedy, Golden Laurel Awards for Day, Grant, and Young, along with an award for Top Comedy, and a Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award. In the 25 March 1962 Los Angeles Times, columnist Joe Hyams gave Day a mock “Award for Narcissism,” noting that she insisted on all of her 8,547 freckles (which she reportedly tallied) appearing in her close-ups. When Hyams repeated the story a year later in the 24 March1963 Los Angeles Times, he lowered the number of freckles to 584.

 Posted:   May 16, 2019 - 1:22 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

It took nearly 20 years to bring Billy Rose’s JUMBO to the screen. Back in 1943, MGM paid approximately $100,000 for the film rights to Billy Rose's 1935 Broadway hit “Jumbo.” The film version was to be produced by Arthur Freed, based on a script by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, that was to "modernize" the story. Wallace Beery, Frank Morgan and Mickey Rooney were named as probable stars, along with Jimmy Durante, who would revive his role from the Broadway show. Composers Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart were hired to write several new songs at $7,500 per song for the new production.

Roger Edens was named as the film's associate producer in May 1944, at which time it was announced that the film would be shot in Technicolor. Other news items in 1944 and 1945 indicated that Frank Sinatra was to star in the film, with Kathryn Grayson as the female lead. In late 1945, Rouben Mamoulian was mentioned in a news item as the film's director.

Production plans were halted at the end of 1945, but plans were, apparently, revived in 1952, when news items indicated that Edens' first assignment as a producer was to be JUMBO, with Red Skelton, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds mentioned as cast members, and Paul Groesse considered for art director.

When production finally began in 1961, Edens was associate producer, and of all the names previously mentioned for the cast, only Jimmy Durante appeared in the film. Durante appeared in the original New York stage production, but not as the owner of the circus. He is listed as "Claudius B. Bowers", a character name not in the film.

Charles Walters directed the 1962 film. One of Billy Rose's stipulations in negotiating the screen rights was that his name be featured in the title.

The film is set around 1910, when “Pop Wonder's” (Durante’s) circus performs throughout the Middle West. Its major asset is Jumbo, a versatile performing elephant, and its major liability is Pop's uncanny ability to lose the week's receipts at local crap games. One day Pop's daughter, “Kitty” (Doris Day), hires “Sam Rawlins” (Stephen Boyd), a jack-of-all-circus-trades, who proves to be both an excellent performer and an able tent hand.

According to an obituary for the trapeze artist Fay Alexander, he performed as a stunt double for Doris Day in JUMBO

This was Doris Day's last appearance in a full-on musical - and one of the last of the lavishly-budgeted MGM musicals as well. Day was nominated for a Golden Globe Award as Best Actress - Comedy or Musical. She lost to Rosalind Russell for GYPSY.

JUMBO marked the final musical arrangements and orchestrations from legendary composer Conrad Salinger, who passed away during the production. It was George Stoll who was nominated for an Oscar for Scoring of Music-Adaptation or Treatment on the film. Stoll lost to Ray Heindorf for THE MUSIC MAN.

The dubbing of Stephen Boyd's vocals is a lingering mystery in the annals of movie musicals. Various sources have credited the robust baritone to a studio singer named James Joyce, but Joyce's name is documented nowhere else in terms of film history, and his distinctive voice has been heard in no films before or since. Additionally, contract singers were extinct by 1962, so the mystery as to who dubbed Boyd's vocals remains a Holy Grail to film historians. Further, Columbia Records' original sound track album erroneously credited Boyd for the vocal performance, which only intensifies the mystery. Collectables Records re-issued the soundtrack LP on CD in 2001.

JUMBO broke the string of Doris Day’s box office smashes, grossing just $7.1 million, the lowest total for a Day film since 1959’s IT HAPPENED TO JANE.

 Posted:   May 16, 2019 - 2:43 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In August 1961, Hollywood film producer Ross Hunter decided to shift his activities to New York City. THE THRILL OF IT ALL would be one of his first East Coast projects, with production slated to begin January 1962 in Manhattan, as well as in suburban Connecticut. The project marked television writer Carl Reiner’s first produced feature screenplay. In the film, a housewife's sudden rise to fame as a soap spokesperson leads to chaos in her home life.

Doris Day had appeared in two films produced by Ross Hunter, PILLOW TALK (1959) and MIDNIGHT LACE (1960), as well as several other pictures produced by Martin Melcher, who planned to serve the same role, jointly with Hunter, on THE THRILL OF IT ALL.

Doris Day and James Garner in THE THRILL OF IT ALL

Regardless of Hunter’s original plan to keep production on the East Coast, production moved west sometime in November 1962, with a majority of filming taking place at Revue Studios, the television production facility located on the Universal Pictures back lot in Universal City, CA. Cast and crew reveled in a lighthearted onset atmosphere. Chief prop man Salvator Martino quipped that one of the biggest challenges for the design team was in creating “Happy,” the soap product for which “Beverly Boyer” (Day) becomes a television spokesperson. Because soap companies held copyrights on various soap shapes, colors, and thicknesses, all designs for the prop soap had to pass inspection with the Universal legal team. While filming in a local supermarket, the specially designed prop soap piqued the interest of shoppers, and Martino had to insist that it was not for sale.

The film opened 1 August 1963 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Critics praised the high production values and noted that Reiner’s witty observations and sharp dialogue elevated what was otherwise a fairly “sudsy” comedy.

Norman Jewison directed the film, which had an unreleased score by Frank DeVol. The film had healthy grosses totaling $15.7 million.

 Posted:   May 16, 2019 - 3:35 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

MOVE OVER, DARLING (1963) was a retitled version of “Something’s Got to Give,” begun the previous year. Actor Dean Martin quit the production in protest over the firing of co-star Marilyn Monroe, and her replacement by Lee Remick. The studio sued Martin, who responded with a $6 million countersuit, “charging defamation, conspiracy and breach of contract.” Monroe died shortly after her dismissal, and the project remained in limbo for several months. Both the parties ultimately abandoned their lawsuits.

James Garner had initially been offered the Dean Martin role of “Nick Arden” in “Something’s Got to Give,” but declined the earlier production to star in THE GREAT ESCAPE. He signed on to the new version. Like its predecessor, the film itself was a remake of the 1940 screwball comedy MY FAVORITE WIFE. The screenplay was revised to suit Doris Day’s wholesome image. Harry Kurnitz was the original screenwriter, but he was later replaced by Hal Kanter and Jack Sher. The comedy involves a missing wife (Day) thought long dead, who after five years lost at sea, returns just after her husband (Garner) remarries.

Day and her husband, producer Marty Melcher, intended to use their proceeds to compensate Columbia Pictures for an unfulfilled contract obligation. MOVE OVER, DARLING was the first picture produced on the Twentieth Century-Fox studio lot since the previous summer, when CLEOPATRA had concluded. Principal photography began 13 May 1963. Production was scheduled to begin several weeks earlier, but was delayed when James Garner contracted chicken pox. Filming took place in West Los Angeles in and around the studio lot.

James Garner and Doris Day in MOVE OVER, DARLING

Co-star Polly Bergen admitted she had misgivings about playing "second banana" to Doris Day. Day was the most popular actress in the world at the time, and Bergen expected her to behave like a diva. However, Bergen admitted to "falling in love" with Day, finding her to be extremely charming, funny and generous.

Director Michael Gordon completed a scene with child actresses Pami Lee and Leslie Farrell in only two takes. Gordon explained that he rehearsed the girls’ mothers, who passed the director’s instructions to their children. Doris Day revealed her secret for working with the child actors, saying that she claimed to be hearing impaired, so the girls would speak clearly.

The 26 May 1963 Los Angeles Times described a mishap on set, in which a “whistle blast” from an adjoining stage prematurely signaled a series of wind and rain effects that drenched Doris Day. Michael Gordon’s reaction to the costly error was reportedly unsuitable for print. More seriously, Day later suffered a cracked rib during a staged fight with Polly Bergen. The injury occurred when Garner grabbed Day by her torso to pull the women apart. Day completed the picture wearing an elastic brace. Garner wasn't even aware that Day was injured until the next day, when he felt the bandage while putting his arms around her. Day recalled that she was so mummified with tape and bandages under her costumes it was difficult to breathe and painful to laugh.

A replica automated car wash was constructed on Stage 9 for a scene in which Doris Day was to be trapped inside during operation. Following an unsuccessful search for a lathering agent that would appear authentic on screen while not harming the actress’s skin, the producers settled for standard car-wash detergent. The scene was filmed last as a precaution, but after eight takes, there was no apparent damage to Ms. Day’s complexion.

Principal photography was completed in late July 1963. In December 1963, it was reported that, over the next several months, actress Thelma Ritter had asked the producers to give her the glamorous wardrobe designed for her character. As a precedent for her request, Ritter noted that she was allowed to keep the blue jeans and torn short she wore in HOW THE WEST WAS WON.

MOVE OVER, DARLING opened Christmas Day 1963 in Los Angeles and New York City to somewhat positive reviews. Public response was enthusiastic, with reported earnings of nearly $494,000 during the first month of the film’s Chicago run. On 23 February 1964, the Los Angeles Times announced that a Royal Command Performance in London, England, would occur the following day. The film grossed $17.4 million in the U.S.

Doris Day was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Comedy or Musical. She lost to Shirley MacLaine for IRMA LA DOUCE. Day recorded two songs from the film, “Move Over, Darling” and “Twinkle Lullaby,” both produced by her son, Terry Melcher, for Columbia Records. Lionel Newman’s score did not get a release.

 Posted:   May 16, 2019 - 4:11 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Norman Barasch and Carroll Moore’s stage play SEND ME NO FLOWERS debuted 5 December 1960 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Broadway, where it ran for 40 performances until 7 January 1961. Despite its short time on Broadway, the show enjoyed success at local playhouses around the country, and on 6 May 1963 producer Harry Keller acquired rights for a screen adaptation. The project was the third and final collaboration of Rock Hudson, Doris Day, and Tony Randall for Universal Pictures following the popularity of PILLOW TALK (1959) and LOVER COME BACK (1961).

Keller and screenwriter Julius J. Epstein prepared for the production by viewing a performance of the play at the Drury Lane Theatre in Chicago. Gene Kelly was originally signed to direct, but exited when he failed to get Warren Beatty and then Bobby Darin to star. In October 1963, Norman Jewison stepped down from his position as executive producer of “The Judy Garland Show” (CBS) to direct the picture.

One month later, a week of rehearsals was underway with the three principal cast members. Jewison was discussing a possible “cameo” appearance by actor James Arness, but the role eventually went to Clint Walker. In the film, a hypochondriac (Hudson) believes he is dying and makes plans for his wife (Day), which she discovers and misunderstands.

Although principal photography was scheduled to begin on 19 December 1963, filming was stalled when Doris Day fell ill with the flu. A new start date of 23 December was announced, but Day was admitted to the Glendale Hospital and was unable to work until after the New Year. Production was completed in early March 1964.

Tony Randall, Rock Hudson, Doris Day, and Clint Walker in SEND ME NO FLOWERS

This film's title tune "Send Me No Flowers" was sung under the opening and end credits by Doris Day and was written by the newly formed songwriting team of lyricist Hal David and composer Burt Bacharach. Frank DeVol’s score has not had a release.

SEND ME NO FLOWERS opened on 14 October 1964 in theaters and drive-ins across Los Angeles, and 12 November 1964 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The film’s grosses were muted, coming in at $12.9 million.

Rock Hudson later said he had disliked the film and thought it was distasteful to make a comedy about death. He recalled, "Right from the start, I hated the script. I just didn't believe in that man for one minute. Making fun of death is difficult and dangerous. That scene where I went out and bought a plot for myself in the cemetery - to me it was completely distasteful."

 Posted:   May 16, 2019 - 4:37 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Since the story of 1965’s DO NOT DISTURB was set in London, England, early news items indicated plans to film location work abroad. The film focuses on American couple “Janet” (Doris Day) and “Mike” (Rod Taylor), who move to England for his business. She soon becomes paranoid that he is having an affair with his attractive secretary (Maura McGiveney), and decides to get back at him by pretending she herself has been unfaithful.

An August 1964 start date was repeatedly delayed as location plans moved stateside, and casting continued for nearly a year. DO NOT DISTURB was one of several pictures affected by the Screen Actors Guild’s recent enforcement of labor laws heavily limiting the number of foreign actors filling supporting roles that could otherwise be played by Americans. Consequently, producer Aaron Rosenberg revealed that Day’s intended French love interest had to be rewritten for an available actor when their initial choice was rejected by U.S. immigration. Italian Sergio Fantoni eventually filled the role as “Paul Bellari.”

Rod Taylor and Doris Day in DO NOT DISTURB

On 4 December 1964, Daily Variety announced that filming had been pushed back again until after the holiday season to allow Twentieth Century-Fox to use their full studio space for the production of eleven television pilots. Principal photography officially began 11 January 1965. Most work was done at Fox studio facilities in West Los Angeles, CA, with a few days spent at the Western Avenue backlot in Hollywood.

Just over a month into the production schedule, director Ralph Levy was hospitalized with a virus, and George Marshall was brought on as a temporary replacement. Although Levy briefly returned to the set, Marshall completed the remainder of filming on his behalf, and he did not ask for credit.

The film opened 24 December 1965 in several New York City and Los Angeles theaters, with general release in January 1966. DO NOT DISTURB continued the recent downward trend in Day’s grosses, pulling in $10.4 million. The film still made it into the top 25 for the year, however. Lionel Newman’s score has not had a release.

 Posted:   May 16, 2019 - 6:00 PM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

One of the last star singers of the golden age of the Hollywood musical, if not THE last.

 Posted:   May 16, 2019 - 11:45 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

The 1966 MGM comedy THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT reteamed Doris Day and Rod Taylor in a then-trendy spy spoof in which, after a series of misunderstandings, the head of an aerospace research laboratory (Taylor) begins to suspect that his new girlfriend (Day) is a Russian spy. The picture marked the feature film debuts of comedian Dom De Luise and broadcast personality Arthur Godfrey, and the final film for character actress Alice Pearce, who died of cancer on 4 March 1966. Pearce and actor George Tobias played a married couple modeled on their characters, “Mr. and Mrs. Kravitz,” from the television series, “Bewitched” (ABC, 1964 – 1972). Actor Robert Vaughn made a brief appearance as secret agent “Napoleon Solo,” from his MGM television series, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (NBC, 1964 – 1968). And on the sound effects front, the 24 December 1965 Daily Variety noted that the belch uttered in the film by “a futuristic floor-cleaner” was recorded years earlier by the late actor, Wallace Beery.

Arthur Godfrey credited Warner Bros. president Jack L. Warner with convincing him to accept the role. Godfrey claimed to be uncomfortable playing Doris Day’s father, as his attraction to her would be apparent to audiences. Principal photography began 3 August 1965. Godfrey took a brief hiatus to attend a horse show in Dayton, OH.
Comedian Dick Martin was commuting between Los Angeles, and Lake Tahoe, NV, to fulfill his obligations to both the picture and to Harveys hotel, where he was currently performing with his stage partner, Dan Rowan.

Director Frank Tashlin had earlier been a gag writer and supervisor for Warner Bros. animation, which explains the heavy emphasis on slapstick humor in the film. His other live-action credits include several Jerry Lewis movies.

Among the unique aspects of the production:

  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration loaned its Apollo spacecraft to the production. The craft’s two-hour visit required a $200,000 insurance policy from MGM.

  • Doris Day performed her “Mata Hari” dance routine on a closed set with minimal crewmembers and three studio guards. Dancer Frank “Killer Joe” Piro was her instructor.

  • Day made a “mermaid-like plunge” into MGM’s “Saucer Tank,” which was last used by actress Esther Williams in JUPITER’S DARLING (1955).

  • Actor Paul Lynde was required to wear an evening gown for his role as security guard “Homer Cripps.” When Lynde assumed the gown was intended for Doris Day, she insisted she would never wear anything “that feminine.” There is a snatch of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." theme heard on the soundtrack when Paul Lynde goes undercover in drag.

  • The film was the third production in which Doris Day sang her signature song, “Que Sera, Sera.”

    Reflecting the changing morals of the 1960s, this was the first Doris Day romantic comedy in which Day’s character agrees to spend the night with a man to whom she is not married (though comic complications prevent Day and Rod Taylor from consummating their planned tryst).

    Doris Day and Dom De Luise in THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT

    The end of principal photography was followed by a party for the cast and crew, held 28 October 1965. Although he was unable to attend, Arthur Godfrey sent a six-foot-long “hero” sandwich from New York City at a cost of $168.00. Also in the package were orchids for the women, and a poem, which Doris Day read to the partygoers.

    On 13 January 1966, MGM president Robert O’Brien ordered a big exploitation campaign after screening the film. Two weeks later, composer Frank DeVol began recording the score with a forty-seven piece orchestra. One track from DeVol’s score (“Bossa Nova Bessie”) was released on the 2000 Rhino compilation CD “Bachelor In Paradise: Cocktail Classics from M-G-M Films”.

    THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT opened 9 June 1966 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, 17 August 1966 in Los Angeles, and in nearly 300 other cities throughout the summer. Reviews were mixed, although several critics agreed that comedians Paul Lynde, Dom De Luise, John McGiver, and Edward Andrews were among the film’s greatest assets. Audience response was generally positive, earning the picture nearly $250,000 in nine cities during its opening weeks. Ultimately, the film grossed $11.5 million at the box office. In February 1967, the picture was the first to be screened by American Airlines, using the Bell & Howell Astrocolor system

     Posted:   May 17, 2019 - 6:27 AM   
     By:   Joe Caps   (Member)

    james joyce was a vocal/choral director who had done some of Days albums at that time.

     Posted:   May 17, 2019 - 7:45 AM   
     By:   eriknelson   (Member)

    It took nearly 20 years to bring Billy Rose’s JUMBO to the screen. This was Doris Day's last appearance in a full-on musical - and one of the last of the lavishly-budgeted MGM musicals as well.

    I remember seeing JUMBO as a little kid during it's theatrical run. I loved it. TCM recently ran it and I thought it still held up. Doris was amazing singing those wonderful Salinger arrangements.

     Posted:   May 17, 2019 - 2:11 PM   
     By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

    In February 1966, director Frank Tashlin decided to unite with DO NOT DISTURB producers Aaron Rosenberg and Martin Melcher (husband and manager of actress Doris Day) for CAPRICE, an industrial espionage/spy comedy. The picture was modeled as a vehicle for Day, and would replace another defunct project titled “Fifth Avenue Follies” on Rosenberg and Melcher’s Twentieth Century-Fox production schedule. John Kohn was also signed to produce the film, which he would write from an original story he developed with Martin Hale. However, a few weeks later, Kohn amicably left the project following disagreements over script revisions. Final screenplay credit went to Tashlin and Jay Jayson, who also developed the story.

    In March 1966, Richard Harris was cast as Day’s co-star. Before the official start of production, a thirty-nine person crew completed a special ski chase and helicopter rescue sequence at the Mammoth Mountain ski slopes in Mammoth Lakes, CA. Additional scenes featuring nine models were shot around the pool of Tashlin’s Southern California home. Photography with the principal actors began on 3 June 1966. The Carthay Circle Theatre, Century House restaurant, the Gaylord Hotel, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Los Angeles Times headquarters, and the Bradbury Building were among the many Los Angeles-area locations. The studio art department installed a large mobile in the lobby of the Bradbury Building, which doubled as the interior of a Parisian cosmetics firm.

    Nearly two months after beginning work, Day suffered a shoulder injury. The 2 August 1966 Daily Variety announced that filming had been stalled, and the production remained shut down until 16 August 1966, when the actress returned to set. Harris, however, had been sent to the hospital for a “series of tests,” causing filmmakers to shoot around his character. Harris completed work on the morning of 17 September 1966 on location at Van Nuys Airport in northern Los Angeles. Second unit filming concluded around mid-Nov 1966.

    Doris Day in CAPRICE

    Although many critics have commented on the lack of chemistry between Doris Day and Richard Harris in the film, the two were said to have got on very well, and enjoyed working together. Harris claimed that he "learned more about comedy from Doris Day, than four years at the Royal Academy". (Actually, Harris attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, not the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.) Nevertheless, Harris was disappointed with the final version of the movie, publicly disowned it, and reportedly never saw it.

    CAPRICE premiered in Los Angeles on 23 May 1967. In his review of the film, The New York Times’ Bosley Crowther cattily remarked: "[Day] appears to have reached that stage where massive wigs and nutty clothes and acrobatics cannot conceal the fact that she is no longer a boy." Spy spoofs were already becoming passé, and the film limped to a $5.0 million gross.

    Reportedly, to do this film, Day’s husband-manager Martin Melcher had turned down Mike Nichols' offer for Day to play one of the pivotal roles of the era, that of “Mrs. Robinson” in THE GRADUATE, a film that grossed more than $100 million. (One wonders whether Day would have wanted to do the suggestive role, however.)

    Frank Devol’s score for the film was released by Intrada in 2008.

     Posted:   May 17, 2019 - 3:33 PM   
     By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

    THE BALLAD OF JOSIE was initially slated to be a made-for-television picture titled “The Epic of Josie,” as announced in a 28 September 1966 Daily Variety item, which stated that Universal Television might also produce a series based on the picture. However, by November 1966, the project changed to a theatrical release for Universal Pictures when it announced the casting of Doris Day. Director Andrew V. McLaglen sought Robert Mitchum, with whom he had just completed THE WAY WEST, for a co-starring role. Instead, Peter Graves was brought on to co-star with Day, and received a salary of $50,000.

    In the film, a widow (Day) stirs things up in a western town by raising sheep instead of cattle, and organizing the local women to demonstrate for women's suffrage. Principal photography began on 10 January 1967. The bulk of filming took place on the Universal studio lot in Studio City, CA. One sheep-herding sequence was filmed on a hillside just outside the Universal lot, bordered by the 101 Freeway. Other ranch scenes were shot at the Albertson Ranch in Conejo Valley, CA.

    Peter Graves, Doris Day, and director Andrew V. McLaglen on the set of THE BALLAD OF JOSIE

    The title of the comedy western was changed to “Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch,” and finally to THE BALLAD OF JOSIE. A U.S. premiere took place in New Orleans on 12 January 1968. Theatrical openings followed in Los Angeles, on 21 February 1968, and in New York City on 13 March 1968. After nearly a year in release, the movie, which received tepid reviews, was described in the 8 January 1969 Variety as a commercial “flop,” earning an anemic $1.3 million at the box office.

    Day called this film a "second-rate television western" that required her to get up at 4:30 every morning. However, she did enjoy the camaraderie of the cast members. THE BALLAD OF JOSIE marked the film debut of David Hartman and the final feature film appearance of actor William Talman (D.A. Hamilton Burger on “Perry Mason”), who died on 30 August 1968. Frank DeVol's score has not had a release.

     Posted:   May 17, 2019 - 10:26 PM   
     By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

    The Northeast blackout of 1965 was a significant disruption in the supply of electricity on Tuesday, November 9, 1965, affecting parts of Ontario in Canada and Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Vermont in the United States. Over 30 million people and 80,000 square miles were left without electricity for up to 13 hours.

    This event was the genesis for the 1968 film WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT?. For the film’s screenplay, however, producers Everett Freeman and Martin Melcher turned to a 1956 French play called “Monsieur Masure.” As adapted to film, the comedy deals with how the blackout affects executive “Waldo Zane” (Robert Morse), who is planning to abscond with $2.4 million in company funds following a stockholders' meeting; Broadway star “Margaret Garrison” (Doris Day); her architect husband, “Peter” (Patrick O'Neal); and Margaret's Hungarian director, “Ladislau Walichek” (Terry-Thomas).

    Doris Day and Terry-Thomas in WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT?

    Day's character in this film is an actress constantly being typecast as a virginal heroine (the title of her current Broadway show is “The Constant Virgin”), and was meant to be a parody of Day's own squeaky-clean screen image. Day called the film "an alleged comedy", of which she didn't remember very much, because she was in severe pain, on medication, and spent all of her off-camera time in traction.

    Hy Averback directed the film, which had an unreleased score by Dave Grusin. The film opened on 19 June 1968, and compared to Day’s two prior films, this one had a decent run at the box office, with a $10 million gross.

     Posted:   May 17, 2019 - 11:31 PM   
     By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

    WITH SIX YOU GET EGGROLL began as a proposal for a television series by veteran husband-and-wife teleplay writers Gwen Bagni and Paul Dubov. The couple based the idea on their own marriage and their kids’ approval of the merger between previously widowed Gwen and Paul.

    CBS Theatrical Films, a new feature film-producing subsidiary of the Columbia Broadcasting System, announced that it planned to make twenty-two movies at a combined estimated budget of $60 million. The company’s first production would be WITH SIX YOU GET EGGROLL, starring Doris Day in the first of her multi-film deal with CBS Theatrical Films, to be produced by her husband, Martin Melcher.

    The comedy-drama concerned two widowed people who fall in love and marry, unprepared for the hostile reactions of their children. Director Howard Morris told a reporter, “The kids are actually the heavies in the film. They’ve been behaving like adults, and now, with the re-marriage, they’ve got a full set of parents so they’re kids again and they hate it.”

    On 3 January 1968, Doris Day and Brian Keith reported to the CBS Studio Center, the former Republic Studios in Studio City, CA, for the start of principal photography. For the movie’s “Iverson-McClure” house, Martin Melcher built on Stage 12 a $75,000 replica of a Toluca Lake, CA, “dream house” that his wife often gazed at early in their marriage. He presented the finished set as a surprise to her. WITH SIX YOU GET EGGROLL marked the feature film debuts of comedian George Carlin and television actress Barbara Hershey.

    Doris Day and Brian Keith in WITH SIX YOU GET EGGROLL

    The 1 March 1968 Los Angeles Times recounted a scene, filmed a few days earlier, with 300 “squawking chickens” loose on Ventura Boulevard in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley. Director Morris pointed out that along with the chickens, there were stunt men falling off motorcycles and flying over their handlebars, but the only safety monitor was a man from the American Humane Society. Nobody was “on hand to keep an eye on the stunt men, not even an insurance guy,” Morris said.

    Robert Mersey, the film’s musical composer and conductor, was a record producer for several Columbia Records artists, including Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis. WITH SIX YOU GET EGGROLL was his first film. The film’s main theme, “Stick Your Neck Out,” was taken from a defunct musical he wrote with Robert Hilliard. The film’s score has not had a release.

    WITH SIX YOU GET EGGROLL was given a “sneak preview” in Salt Lake City, UT, on 28 June 1968. It had its world premiere at three Boston cinemas on 7 August 1968. The film grossed $165,000 in Boston over the first three weeks. It opened on 21 August 1968 in nineteen theaters and nine drive-ins in Los Angeles, where the first week’s box-office take was $220,000. After four weeks in general release, the film had grossed $1.2 million. It did not open in New York City until 9 October 1968, reportedly because another Doris Day movie, MGM’s New York-themed WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT?, was playing at the Radio City Music Hall there.

    Doris Day wrote in her 1975 autobiography, that this was one of the films she did not want to do, but was forced into it, because her husband and manager Martin Melcher, had power of attorney, and signed her up for it, without her knowledge or consent. She stated that she had disliked all the recent films she had made, beginning with 1965’s DO NOT DISTURB. Ironically, WITH SIX YOU GET EGGROLL was Day’s biggest hit in five years (since MOVE OVER, DARLING) and grossed $14.3 million at the box office. It was the 39th and final feature film for Doris Day.

    It was also the final film for Day’s husband and producer Martin Melcher, who died on 20 April 1968, at age 52, shortly after filming ended. The final scenes of this film feature Doris Day teary-eyed, wearing a housecoat and slippers. When her husband of 17 years died suddenly, gossip magazines at the time used stills of Day from this movie, looking distraught and out-of-sorts, to accompany their articles about Melcher's death.

     Posted:   May 18, 2019 - 10:01 AM   
     By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

    It was only after her husband Martin Melcher died of heart disease on April 20, 1968 that Doris Day discovered that, in addition to the deal for her most recent film with CBS’s Cinema Center Films, Melcher had negotiated a multi-million-dollar contract with CBS for Day to do a television series for the network. Day also found out that not only was she contracted to work, she had to work, because Melcher had squandered most of the money she had earned during their 17-year marriage, on poor investments.

    Day began work on the series almost immediately, and CBS premiered “The Doris Day Show”, a half-hour situation comedy, on Tuesday, 24 September 1968 at 9:30 PM. In the show, Day was cast as a widow (“Doris Martin”) with two young sons who had decided to move back to the family ranch after spending most of her life in big cities. The ranch was run by her father “Buck Webb” (Denver Pyle), their hired hand “Leroy” (James Hampton), and the housekeeper “Aggie” (Fran Ryan). (At mid-season, Aggie was replaced by a new housekeeper, “Juanita” (Naomi Stevens).)

    “The Doris Day Show” was immediately popular, besting its timeslot competition of “N.Y.P.D.” on ABC and NBC’s “Tuesday Night at the Movies,” and coming in as the #30 rated show for the year. The show was nominated for a Golden Globe Award as Best TV Show, but lost to “Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.” Day herself was nominated for a Golden Globe Award as Best TV Star – Female. She lost to Diahann Carroll for “Julia.”

    For its second season (1969-70), CBS moved the show to the 9:30 PM spot in its powerful Monday night lineup, where each of the series was a top-15 show. The format of “The Doris Day Show” changed. Doris was now in the workforce. She got a job as a secretary at Today’s World magazine in San Francisco and commuted daily from the farm. “Mr. Nicholson” (McLean Stevenson) was her boss, and “Myrna Gibbons” (Rose Marie) was a secretary with whom Doris became friendly. The show benefited by being slotted between “Mayberry R.F.D.” (#4 for the year) and “The Carol Burnett Show” (#13 for the year). “The Doris Day Show” helped CBS trounce its competition of “Harold Robbins' ‘The Survivors’" on ABC and NBC’s Monday Night at the Movies, and improved its own rating to become the tenth most watched show on television.

    Doris Day and Rose Marie in “The Doris Day Show”

    In its third season (1970-71), Doris, her two boys, and their huge dog “Lord Nelson” left the farm and moved into a San Francisco apartment owned by “Angie and Louie Palucci” (Kaye Ballard and Bernie Kopell), who ran an Italian restaurant on the ground floor. Doris’ activities expanded from merely being Mr. Nicholson’s secretary to include some writing for the magazine on assignments from the assistant editor, “Ron Harvey” (Paul Smith). Although the CBS lineup remained the same, it faced some new competition on ABC: the debut of “Monday Night Football.” NBC also programmed a more popular slate of movies, so that series came in as the #25 rated show of the year. “The Doris Day Show” dropped to the #20 spot for the season.

    The format of “The Doris Day Show” changed yet again for season 4 (1971-72). The show edged closer to the urban-career-girl format epitomized by the debut of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” the year before. Doris continued to work for Today’s World, but she suddenly became a carefree, single staff writer. The children, the dog, and the entire cast from previous seasons disappeared. Her new boss was editor “Cy Bennett” (John Dehner) and the only other regular was his secretary “Jackie” (Jackie Joseph).

    The drastic premise change for season 4 may be attributed to the overall change in CBS's programming philosophy, with the network cancelling many rural-based and family programs, and replacing them with more urban, sophisticated, adult oriented programs. In the ratings, CBS’s “Here’s Lucy”, “The Doris Day Show”, and the new “Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour” battled “Monday Night Football” to a draw, with “Doris Day” ranking #23 and “Football” at #25.

    Season 5 of the show (1972-73) saw no more format changes. “Monday Night Football” improved its position to #18 for the year, the NBC Movie broke back into the top 30 shows at #28, and “The Doris Day Show” slipped to #37. The show was cancelled after 128 episodes.

     Posted:   May 19, 2019 - 1:36 AM   
     By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

    Following the end of her television series, Doris Day retired. She was one of the original choices to play "Jessica Fletcher" when “Murder, She Wrote” (1984) was being cast. However, she turned down the role due to the fact that she had been retired from acting for over a decade.

    In 1960, Doris Day received two Stars on the Walk of Fame: for Motion Pictures at 6735 Hollywood Blvd. and for Recording at 6278 Hollywood Blvd. In June 2004, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush. She did not attend the White House award ceremony because of her intense fear of flying. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association gave Day its Career Achievement Award in 2011. Over her career, she received an Oscar nomination and six Golden Globe nominations for acting.

    When Quigley Publications ranked the top box office draws of the 20th century, Doris Day was the highest-rated actress, having been among the Top Ten Stars list 10 times between 1951 and 1966, placing #1 four times. Other high-ranking females included Shirley Temple, Betty Grable and Elizabeth Taylor.

    Day survived a number of setbacks in her life: An automobile accident that cost her a dancing career at age 14. Three failed marriages. The deaths of a husband and her son. The loss of her fortune. At least on the latter, she successfully sued Martin Melcher's partner Jerome B. Rosenthal and, after years of litigation, was awarded a record $22.8 million settlement from him.

    Day once said “I like joy; I want to be joyous; I want to have fun on the set; I want to wear beautiful clothes and look pretty. I want to smile and I want to make people laugh. And that's all I want. I like it. I like being happy. I want to make others happy.” And through 39 films, five years of television, and hundreds of recordings, that’s just what she did.

     Posted:   May 21, 2019 - 6:27 AM   
     By:   Joe Caps   (Member)

    Some side info on dubbers.
    Doris worked three times with dubber Hal Derwin.
    He sang for Lee Bowman in My Dream is Yours.
    He sang for Robert Cummings in Lucky Me
    He sang for Gene Nelson in Lullaby of Broadway.
    Gene could sing for himself but he was sometimes dubbed at Warners.
    In one film Gene has four songs, two sung by the dubber but the other songs are him.
    Dubbing doesn't always make sense.
    June Allyson dis allof her own singing except one song. When you dind a Perfect love in the film the opposite Sex.

     Posted:   May 21, 2019 - 6:59 AM   
     By:   solium   (Member)

    Don't know how I missed this. She had a lovely voice. RIP.

     Posted:   May 21, 2019 - 11:34 PM   
     By:   jfox   (Member)

    Thanks Bob for the write-ups on each of her movies

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