Man, She Sure Looks Great in Clothes

“Man, she sure looks great in clothes

-Steve Burkett, Move Over, Darling (1963)

So Doris Day passed away!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

I love Doris Day, I grew up watching her movies with my mom and listening to her sing.

Noo!

Noo!

She was amazing-sweet, kind, adorable, a fantastic singer. I can’t believe she is gone.

So I couldn’t let her death pass by and not honor her. Yes, I am going to list off ten of my favorite films.

The quote and title, you all are probably wondering about, and it took me quite some time to settle on one. I didn’t want to go the “Que sera, que sera” route and started looking through her films to try and find the perfect quote. I choose this one because whenever my friend and I watch her films, we are always like-she is so beautiful, and we love her clothes.

Seriously, Doris Day is one of the best dressed ladies in film. Gorgeous outfits.

YEEEEES!!!!!!

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10) Beverly Boyer from The Thrill of it All (1963)

Doris Day plays wife of famous gynecologist (James Garner) and is used to long nights by herself and missing her husband. When she calls a company to tell them how much her children enjoyed their “Happy Soap”, she ends up becoming the spokesperson and a HUGE star. Now the roles are reversed as her hubby finds himself missing his wife, nights alone, and getting to hear everyone talk about how great his spouse is.

So I have issues with this movie as I don’t like how her husband is zero supportive of her, from the getgo. Geez, you need to hangout with Jason Seaver from Growing Pains and learn how to be there for your wife. So this would be a meh except that it works because of Day and Garner. Day is fun as she starts off innocent, unsure, and blossoms into a fantastic star. She and Garner sizzle with chemistry and comedy, making this film work. An as a star and face of “Happy Soap” she gets gorgeous gowns.

9) Ruth Etting from Love Me or Leave Me (1955)

So this film is extremely different from her other films and sooo sad. The story is a fictionalized account of Ruth Etting, dance hall girl turned singer-a woman who kicked, clawed, and climbed her way to the top. And she didn’t do it herself, it all started with the gangster Martin “Moe the Gimp” Synder. He intimidates lots of people to move her ahead, although eventually she makes it on her own. Their relationship is extremely abusive…with lots of ups and downs.

Doris Day wasn’t sure about making this film as it was so different from the other films she made, and darker content. But Doris Day shines in singing, dancing, and really becomes the character-astonishing as she is nothing you’d expect. I mean I was just like-huh? Wha? Watching it as it is just beyond the realm of what I thought Doris Day would do. It was amazing, and she has gorgeous Roaring Twenties clothes, just like that dress (which incidentally I have one just like that my sister made for me.

8) Calamity Jane from Calamity Jane (1953)

Doris Day is Calamity Jane-a sharpshooter who wears men’s clothing, fights Native Americans, spends time in the saloon, gambles, saves damsels in distress, etc. In a series of comedic events she is given the task of bringing actress Adelaid Adams from Chicago to Deadwood, but accidentally mistakes Adelaid’s maid, Katie Brown, for the singer. She and Calamity room together, and Katie tries to change Calamity’s ways, attempting to feminize her. Katie has also has attracted the attentions of “Wild Bill” Hickok and Lt. Daniel Martin, the latter being the man Calamity is in love with. Uh, oh! The fight is on!

I have mixed feelings on this film as Calamity does silly things, such as being frightened by a cigar Indian and thinking wigs are scalps; but at the same time Calamity still remains an independent, strong-willed character who refrains from changing herself for anyone. She is strong, tough, and does all the cowboy heroics that men usually were given to do instead of women.

7) Josie Minick from The Ballad of Josie (1967)

So I haven’t seen this movie in a looooong time, but it stuck hard in my mind. Josie is a widow who is taking a different stand with her land. Instead of raising cattle-in the cattle run area-and is raising sheep! Cattle vs. Sheep was a huge battle in the West-blood was spilled! The cowman and the sheepherder are not friends! Josie also takes things further when she starts pushing women’s suffrage, getting the wives and daughters stirred up about their rights, and WEARS PANTS!

I loved this as I loved Western films and though Josie was awesome! My favorite scene I remember is the pants wearing scene. I couldn’t find any video clips or anything, but it cracked me up! I know this wasn’t one of Day’s favorite, but I loved it.

6) Janet Harper from Do Not Disturb (1965)

Janet and her devastatingly handsome husband, played by Rod Taylor, move to London as he takes over a fashion company. She wants to live in the country (he in the city) and works on restoring an old house and befriending woodland creatures like the Disney Princess she is. Her husband is too preoccupied with work to give her any attention, and him being surrounded by beautiful models makes Day feel queasy. She decides to get his attention by using the attentions of the interior decorator to make him jealous. Things go too far when her husband knocks the decorator out, and storms off to another country. In order to make things up to him, she sneaks into a party as a mistress and things seem to get better, only to fall apart again. Will the Harpers finally be able to get it together, or will the ensuing comedy continue to separate.

So the plot isn’t that original, in fact it is very similar to Please Don’t Eat the Daises, but this movie rocks as it is just plain hilarious. I love Day and Taylor together, they just work so well with the slapstick and the lines. Day does the outward comedy and slapstick, while Tatlor does it with his facial expressions and sarcasm-they are just fantastic. I think if it were anyone else paired up, it wouldn’t be as good. And that dance scene is hilarious! And of course with a husband in the fashion industry, her clothes are amazing.

5) Kate Robinson MacKay from Please Don’t Eat the Daises (1960)

So this film is so high up on my list because of nostalgia-I used to watch this all the time growing up and had the titular song memorized. Professor Laurence MacKay (David Niven) is leaving the academic world to become a drama critic. His wife, Kate (Doris Day), is at first thrilled for him, but as he becomes more sought after and being invited to parties nearly every night; she starts to wonder if the fame will go to his head and that he will change for the worse. When the lease comes up on their apartment, and they find themselves going to homeless, they decide to live their dream of being in the country. However, Laurence finds it hard adjusting to country life and the constant repairs of the house. Kate sends him back to New York to finish his book, while she completes the house. Throw in the mix a Broadway writer angry at his bad review plotting revenge on the MacKays and a starlet setting out to seduce Laurence; and you have one highjink-filled film.

So the Professor acts like a major jerk through most of the film, while Day is awesome as she smart, funny, independent, artistic/crafty. I love how she works on the house, cares for the children, helps out at the school, taking care of the animals-and remains energetic, warm, and a breath of sunshine. Her husband does barely anything, and is all-I’m bushed, wah. I love how they have this awful play they are trying to put it on, and even though you recognize it as bad-she still makes it look good.

For more on Please Don’t Eat the Daises, go to With a Little Luck of the Irish: 17 More Irish Heroes 

4) Elizabeth Wagstaff Arden from Move Over Darling (1963)

Nick and his wife Elizabeth were on a boat that crashed in a storm. Elizabeth (or her body) wasn’t found and five years of constant searching has revealed nothing. Nick has decided to have her declared legally dead and has remarried. The very same day as his second wedding, Elizabeth has finally been discovered on her desert island she washed up on, and returned home. Now Nick finds himself in a tough predicament-married to two wives!

This movie is a remake of a favorite of mine, My Favorite Wife-starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunn. Now you all know I’m not a fan of remakes, but I love this movie. It is fun, hilarious, and once again-Garner and Day do spectacular in the physical comedy. I love when he can’t bring himself to say what happened, and pretends he injured his back. Or when he is calling for Mrs. Arden, and the clerk is all which one? Paging for Mrs. Arden-which one? Hilarious!

For more Move Over, Darling, go to You’re My Wife and the Mother of My Children: Move Over Darling (1963)

3) Jennifer Nelson from The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)

Jennifer Nelson is a widow who works for NASA during the week and on the weekends swims dressed up as a mermaid for her dad’s glass bottom boat business. Bruce Templeton, NASA’s genius working on top secret inventions, spots her and learns all he can to win her-lying about a few things. He tries to pursue her, but the government is leery as they fear she is a spy. When Jennifer finds out about Bruce’s duplicitous behavior, she decides to get back at him and ends up caught in a spy ring!

As stated above, Day and Taylor work amazing together. They have great energy and chemistry. I love them. And this movie is just so funny, like I can’t describe how much-you NEED to watch it. I love when she decides to get back at him, better not be playing her-she’s gonna get you back. I LOVE it!

For more on The Glass Bottom Boat, go to Mata Hari Stops At Nothing. Nothing Comes Between Mata Hari and What She Wants: The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)

2) Cathy Timberlake from That Touch of Mink (1962)

Cary Grant is a handsome billionaire that is trying to romance the everyday girl-Cathy (Doris Day). Grant just wants an affair, while Day’s character wants marriage. He tries to take her on a weekend away-which goes comedically awry, same when Day tries to go after him. A crazed opy machine, a scheming brother trying to marry off Grant, and a plan to reunite the lovers that is probably the worst thought one ever made.

This movie is just so funny. Day plays the comedic part so well, while Grant is the straight man. She is limbs, raised voices, stumbling around-while he is cool, collected, and sarcastic. Just so many funny scenes like her getting drunk to be with Grant and falling out the window, her making too many copies-filing the room, Grant’s brother trying to get them together, etc. I LOVE it!

1) Georgia Garrett from Romance on the High Seas (1948)

This is Day’s first film, and it is amazing! A husband and wife are extremely jealous and suspect each other of cheating. The wife plans a cruise to Rio, and hires Georgia (Day) to go in her place, while she remains in town to spy on her husband. Her husband is suspicious that she might be trying to met up with a man, so he sends a P.I. to watch her, Peter Virgil. The two fall for each other, but finds themselves in a moral quandary as Georgia is “married”, and Peter is working. Will everything work out, or get even more muddled?

OMG this film is so funny and so much fun. I LOVED it, it is probably my favorite as it has everything-romance, comedy, music, and just all around fun. FANTASTIC! And of course this was the film that got her noticed, and signed!

So there we go, 10 fabulous films starring one amazing person. And if you noticed all of her movies-amazing clothes.

No, but on a serious note-we are sorry to see you go, were amazing actress, singer, humanitarian, and person.

Will We Survive the Night?: Rawhide (1951)

So a while back during my 30 Day Challenge one year, I talked about something I had accomplished-my intense thesis paper. The professor had noticed my love of film, and recommended that I choose that for my project and I did. I choose to talk about the Civil Rights era and Western film.

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I know, it sounds weird, but it there were actually a lot of Western films that correlated with the changes occurring due to the Civil Rights Movement. It was different, it was ambitious, it would be a perfect change from anything anyone else had done. And it was-all those things but after a lot of serious work and time, and sleepless nights-I did it and it was good. And I won an award.

Afterwards, for another class I decided to stick with the idea-but this time with women in Post WWII Westerns. WWII allowed women more freedoms, as they had to take on previously masculine roles and duties. Westerns became the perfect avenue for this as historically women played a major part in “settling the West,” for example, thousands of women journeyed West under the Homestead Act. I discussed five influential western films that presented strong cowgirl characters and broke away from previous molds: Ramrod (1947), Red River (1948), Montana (1950), Rawhide (1951), and Calamity Jane (1953).

They were all fantastic films, but only two could work for Horrorfest VII: film-noir Ramrod and suspense-thriller Rawhide.

I was having a hard time trying to decide which one to review as I thought two Westerns during Horrorfest VII was a little much. I finally decided on Rawhide as thus far, I have only reviewed one 1950s film while four 1940s film.

Hmm…

Well enough background-let’s move forward. So this film is a remake of a 1930s film Show Them No Mercy. This black and white film stars Tyrone Power as Tom Owens, the son of a stagecoach tycoon, having been not living up to his father’s expectations he sent Tom out West at a stopover station, Rawhide Pass.

A coach comes through with a group of passengers, one being Vinnie Holt (Susan Hayward) and her niece Callie. Vinnie is a singer turned cowgirl, who is taking her niece to be raised by her maternal grandparents as her sister and brother-in-law died in a brawl.

They are going to head out but the calvary arrives with the news that there are escaped convicts after a gold shipment. They are there to escort the stagecoach, but they cannot take Callie as children are not allowed in such dangerous situations. Vinnie stays behind with her niece and upsets Tom’s life.

“Tom Owens: What are you doing?

Vinnie Holt: I’m taking this room.

Tom Owens: I’m sorry, this is mine.

Vinnie Holt: [Authoritatively] Not tonight, it’s not!”

That night Vinnie wants a bath for her and Callie. He’s angry and points out the trough, but Vinnie is harsh and won’t be cowed-getting him to admit where the hot springs are in the area. She doesn’t trust anyone-she’s a woman living in the West, and takes Tom’s gun with her just in case.

Meanwhile, a man comes over on a horse. Tom waits behind, while the other Rawhide worker Sam Todd (Edgar Buchanan) goes to check it out. The man shows a Sheriff badge, but it turns out he is the convict, Rafe Zimmerman (Hugh Marlowe) who was supposed to hang for the murder of his girlfriend and lover. He and his crew of three, all being guys from cells around him, take over the place. They kill Todd, and imprison Tom in his room.

Vinnie and Callie come back, and Vinnie quickly grapples the situation. She tries to hide, but is discovered when Callie cries out, but does manage to hide Tom’s gun before they imprison her too.

They think Vinnie and Callie are Tom’s wife and daughter. They keep them alive to use as collateral in order to ensure that Tom does what they ask. This soon turns into a game of cat and mouse as Tom and Vinnie try to figure a way out of the situation without revealing their plans to the outlaws.

Another coach comes by and Zimmerman pretends to be a sheriff assisting Tom with those convicts on the loose. Tom tries to find a way to slip a note, steal their gun, or get the one hidden under the trough. He and Vinnie also try digging out a hole in the wall of their room in hopes that they can all escape these madmen. But will they be able to make it through the night?

This is a great film you should see for yourself. Susan Hayward is a powerful character.  While Hayward’s role of Vinnie is similar to the 1930s Western films as she provides a love interest, and creates a way in which to distinguish which of the outlaws is the true villain; however, she doesn’t allow her gender or temporary motherly duties keep her from her true character; a strong, brave, cowgirl–equal to any man. Throughout the film, Vinnie is also shown to be equal to her male counterpart. Not only does she instruct and command Tom, but will not tolerate anyone trying to take advantage of her as she knows how to survive the West and does not allow anyone to push her around because of her sex.

The film also reverses the damsel in distress cliché that one would expect in a love triangle-themed film. Throughout the movie, Vinnie is constantly harassed and attacked by the convicts, but never saved by anyone. Instead, Vinnie uses her strength, cunning, and resoluteness she needed to survive living in the West to disarm and dress down her opponents, even going as far as physically harming one in order to stop him.

Digging a way out

***Spoiler Alert***

And the end of the film is great. Instead of Vinnie being the damsel in distress in need of a savior, she saves Tom. One of the convicts, Tevis, had disarmed Tom and forced him to lay down on the ground, but before Tevis has a chance to shoot him, Vinnie steps in.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Once, There Was Even a Man Who Had Scissors for Hands: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

For more Susan Hayward, go to The Misery That Walks Around On This Pretty, Quiet Night: Deadline at Dawn (1946)

For more Westerns, go to Book Club Picks: Until the Day Breaks