Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1959. Arwin Productions. Story by Russell Rouse, Clarence Greene, Screenplay by Stanley Shapiro, Maurice Richlin. Cinematography by Arthur E. Arling. Produced by Ross Hunter, Martin Melcher. Music by Frank De Vol. Production Design by Richard H. Riedel. Costume Design by Bill Thomas. Film Editing by Milton Carruth. Academy Awards 1959. Golden Globe Awards 1959.
The first of three hugely successful romantic comedies starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson is still the most popular, and despite the fact that much of its content is hopelessly dated, the enjoyment of it is not. Day plays a successful, single interior decorator who is frustrated with a songwriter (Hudson) with whom she shares a ‘party’ line across town (boy those days seem centuries ago). Her attempts to use her own telephone with him constantly on the wire wooing countless women have them at each other’s throats without ever having seen each other face to face, until he espies her physique thanks to their mutual friend (Tony Randall) and decides to romance her. Passing himself off as an awshucks Texan in New York City on vacation, Hudson sweeps Day off her feet and has his fun until he realizes he’s genuinely in love with her. Smacking with the era’s hallmarks of film ‘sophistication’, martinis, jazz bars, coy references to sex and even some retro gay humour that audiences will now find even more absurdly funny, it’s a classy outing that doesn’t seem to have lost any of its charm. Partly responsible is the wonderful chemistry between the two leads, and partly responsible is the fact that its stale content has now become an integral part of its everlasting appeal. Co-stars an adorable Thelma Ritter as Day’s booze-guzzling maid, and features a delightful musical number where Day sings a song with Perry Blackwell in a bar.