How Many Doris Day and James Garner Movies are there?
In a movie career which lasted 22 years the wonderful Doris Day starred opposite some of Hollywood's greats. There was Clark Gable, David Niven, James Stewart, Kirk Douglas, Richard Harris and James Cagney to name but a few. And quite often Doris Day wouldn't just make one movie with a star but often 2 sometimes more such as those she made with Rod Taylor, Gordon MacRae and of course Rock Hudson whose movies together are some of Doris Day's most popular. But for me it is the 2 movies which she made with the great James Garner which are some of my favourites.
The Thrill of It All (1963)
During a dinner party with her husband's, obstetrician Gerald (James Garner), patients, Beverly Boyer (Doris Day) regales them with how she used 'Happy Soap' to wash her daughter's hair when the little one didn't like the smell of the normal soap. It just happens that the owner of 'Happy Soap' is also at the dinner party and won over by Beverly's warmth and innocent tale asks her to make a television commercial for him telling the public exactly what she told him. Despite a bit hesitant Beverly agrees and soon she becomes the toast of the town and the face of 'Happy Soap' much to Gerald's annoyance as he sees less and less of his wife.
"The Thrill of It All" is a movie which manages to combine two of the stereotypes which Doris Day played later on in her career that of the family woman but also the career minded woman. It's cleverly done as although comical manages to be quite believable as we watch Beverly's head get turned by success and popularity. And being believable extends to the way Gerald finds it hard to deal with, having a wife who makes more money than him, remember this is a 60s comedy. But whilst believable it is also jam packed with comedy and some of including a swimming pool full of foam ending up almost surreal, but funny.
Although released in the same year as their second movie together "The Thrill of It All" is classed as the first of the Doris Day and James Garner movies and it is very evident that there is chemistry between them. Not in the sense of romance but the spark of comedy is excellent with the humorous banter flying naturally between them. In fact whilst many people prefer their second movie together for me "The Thrill of It All" is the better of the two Doris Day and James Garner Movies.
Title: The Thrill of It All
Length: 108 mins
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director: Norman Jewison
Cast: Doris Day, James Garner, Arlene Francis, Edward Andrews, Reginald Owen, Zasu Pitts, Kym Karath, Brian Nash
Move Over, Darling (1963)
Having disappeared at sea in a plane accident some five years earlier, Nicholas Arden (James Garner) has his wife, Ellen (Doris Day), legally declared dead and at the same time marries Bianca Steele (Polly Bergen). But on that very same day Ellen returns to town having been stranded on a small island till the Navy discovered her and learning that her husband has remarried heads off to where they are honeymooning in the hope of stopping things. But it gets messy when Nicholas spots Ellen and doesn't know how to tell Bianca that his real wife has returned.
One of the nicest things about "Move Over, Darling" is that it is quite different to many of the romantic comedies which Doris Day made during the 60s. It does sort of revolve around confusion as did a couple of her other movies but the actual storyline, jokes and romance is vastly different to what she had already done. And as such "Move Over, Darling" is a good fun movie to watch with scene after scene of comedy especially when Nicholas finds himself stuck in the middle of what is effectively a very messy love triangle, all but an innocent one.
Again the chemistry, the spark of comedy is present as Doris Day and James Garner light up the screen with line after line of witty banter. But it is also the visual humour with Day delivering some wonderful face pulling whilst Garner delivers exasperation and panic brilliantly. And it's not just Doris Day and James Garner who shine as with a cast which features Thelma Ritter, Grace Arden and Edgar Buchanan there is a whole host of funny characters and performances.
Title: Move Over Darling
Length: 103 mins
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director: Michael Gordon
Cast: Doris Day, James Garner, Polly Bergen, Thelma Ritter, Edgar Buchanan, Chuck Connors