A year after Lover Come Back, Delbert Mann and Doris Day returned with another mediocre comedy featuring high-powered executives, mistaken identity, psychiatry, and lots of running around making vague sexual references. This time it’s Cary Grant instead of Tony Randall, which you’d think would be a step up, but Tony was my favorite part of the last movie. Cary’s a business owner who tries to make hot, unemployed Doris his mistress, but things don’t work out and they end up getting married.

Gig Young (Katharine Hepburn’s boss in Desk Set) is the CFO whose psychiatrist thinks he’s gay for Grant, Audrey Meadows (Alice in The Honeymooners) is Doris’s protective roommate, and John Astin (Gomez in The Addams Family series) is a horny sap Doris uses to make Cary jealous at the end. Also featuring Darrin from Bewitched, and the New York Yankees. Years before watching this, I used one of its automat scenes in my acclaimed “Light Up Gold” music video.

Lightly charming, stylish-looking comedy with a terrific performance by a neurotic Tony Randall. It’s a mistaken-identity plot with Doris Day as a supposedly high-powered executive and Rock Hudson as a supposedly slack party animal who underhandedly steals her clients, but the movie wastes no time eroding Doris’s power with its regressive sexual politics. Still in her thirties, Doris already seemed out of place in this innuendo-filled movie set in the immoral realm of advertising.

Doris and Rock (reuniting from Pillow Talk) run client accounts for competing NYC ad firms. He’s got trouble with party girl Rebel (Edie Adams of The Apartment) so shoots her in TV ads for a fake product (Vip) to shut her up. Randall is Rock’s boss, a spoiled rich guy who inherited the company but is unable to make decisions. To please his psychiatrist, Randall makes a decision: to air the Vip ads. Now Rebel is a star and everyone wants Vip, which doesn’t exist (the movie is quite cynical about the American public). So Rock hires a nobel-winning scientist to invent anything and call it Vip (he invents cheap candy wafers that get you drunk), while Doris mistakes Rock for the scientist and spends half the movie trying to win the Vip account from him, while Rock uses the opportunity to get her into bed and steal her advertising ideas.

Also featuring Alice from The Brady Bunch as Doris’s secretary, Jack Oakie (fake Mussolini in The Great Dictator) as the Southerner whose ad account Rock wins in an early scene by getting him drunk and throwing him a confederate-themed party, and Jack Kruschen (who acted with Doris in Caprice) as the real scientist, a prickly independent inventor who turns out to be easily bought out (again with the cynicism).

Katy’s take: “Oh Doris Day, why do you hate women?”

These were the waning years of Doris Day (her third to last film before retirement) and Frank Tashlin (his second to last before death). Doesn’t play like anybody’s final film, just a trying-too-hard jumble of ideas. Doris still has cute comic reactions, but she’s got lump-o-nuthin Richard “Dumbledore” Harris (hope he’s better in This Sporting Life) and a young (relatively) Ray Walston to play off – so, not much.

Doris works for a beauty products company, trying to be a corporate spy and steal another company’s formula. She’s fake-caught trading her boss’s secrets and fake-fired so she’ll be hired by the competitor and steal their product for making hair waterproof. This sounds awfully familiar, and someone needs to investigate that this became available on DVD exactly two years before Duplicity opened.

The movie has a meta-theme-song… they’re in a movie theater watching a film with the theme song Caprice. There’s a Tashlinesque bit of trickery for ya. Also featured: a scene where kids are watching cartoons on television and not noticing the real chase scene happening around them.

At the end Richard Harris turns out to be a secret interpol agent, Ray Walston is dressed like a cleaning lady and I’m not sure who is the bad guy anymore. Tried to check out the commentary, but a few minutes in, Kent Jones said that the city of Paris is the third character in the film so I had to turn it off.

What’s up with Donen always having a co-director? Abbott was 70 at the time, and unless this is a misprint he lived to be 107.

A pre-Pillow Talk Doris Day is a workers’ union representative named Babe in a pajama factory, and Broadway actor John Raitt is the new middle manager Sid (but everyone calls him Sorokin – they’re into weird nicknames in this movie) who fires her. Seems like a fine setup for a romantic comedy if you ask me. I liked this, though I got complained at for falling asleep and had to finish it the next day. Katy didn’t like the songs, and a musical lives or dies by its songs, so it died. We both noticed the color was dull and drab, but IMDB people all rave about the bright colors, so maybe there’s a better DVD out there.

So yeah, Sid has to fire Babe, but she’s still on the union committee demanding a seven-and-a-half cent hourly raise, causing slowdowns and sabotage to shake up the owner, Mr. Hasler. This causes the committee (which consists of Babe, a heavy girl named Mae, a glasses guy who likes Mae, and a twitty nasal-voiced Marilyn-wannabe) to break into song and dance.

Sid also likes Babe, but doesn’t get much ground there. So he takes to stalking her friend Gladys (Carol Haney), the boss’s assistant, until he gets the key to the safe where the books are kept. I think he catches the boss embezzling money which had been earmarked for an employee raise six months earlier, and negotiates that they get their raise (non-retroactively) and nobody gets in trouble… which is sort of a copout, but maybe the movie didn’t want to appear too pro-union. Of course this means Sid gets the girl.

I told Katy that Carol Haney reminded me of Shirley MacLaine in Artists & Models. MacLaine was Haney’s understudy for this role on Broadway! I am good. Haney was great in this, and attention-grabbing with her dance to “Steam Heat” and singing on “Hernando’s Hideaway,” but this was her final film and she died of illness not long afterwards. Mae, unsurprisingly, didn’t have much of a Hollywood career, playing roles such as “angry lady”, “housing lady” and “fat lady.” Nasal-lady Barbara Nichols’ short life in film included Sweet Smell of Success and Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.

Sid Sorokin was nothing special, but Doris Day really came to life in this one. I liked Haney’s songs and the weird union plot and the neon signs that label everything in the pajama factory. Wasn’t keen on the playful comic romp of Gladys’s jealous husband Heinz chasing her around with a knife at the end, but overall found it a better-than-average musical.

From the director of… I’m not sure. The writers won an oscar for this, beating their own screenplay for Operation Petticoat as well as beloved classics North By Northwest (admittedly the writing isn’t the best thing about NxNW) and The 400 Blows and Wild Strawberries (disadvantage: foreign).


Kinda surprising, because it’s just your standard gimmicky romantic comedy. I mean, we liked it and all, I’m just saying I wouldn’t have thought “best writing of the year.” Doris Day (in between her Hitchcock film and her Tashlin films) and Rock Hudson (a few years after Written on the Wind and Magnificent Obsession) share a phone line (because the phone company doesn’t have enough!) and hate each other. The problem is that she occasionally needs the phone for business, but he’s always chatting up some woman – always a different woman. Day, a serious businessperson with no need for a man in her life, resents him and makes rules and starts fights.

Katy said Doris Day isn’t pretty. Insanity!

So Rock disguises his voice when he meets her in person and romances her as hard as he can as a practical joke, leading to lots of fun visual innuendo…


And more, even saucier innuendo!


She learns what he’s up to and takes revenge as only a professional interior decorator can – by redecorating his apartment. Ho! But of course they fall truly in love at the end.

I’d assumed Thelma Ritter would be my favorite actor in this movie, but that turned out to be Tony Randall. Maybe after Pickup On South Street I hold her to unrealistically high expectations… all she does here is drink and then act hungover, albeit hilariously. That was still enough to get her a fifth oscar nomination.

Tony “Rock Hunter” Randall is a rich guy who’s always after Doris. He thinks he might end up with her there at the end, but he’s just her fallback guy while she works out her feelings for Rock. Poor Tony.