Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Doris Day, Richard Harris, Ray Walston, Jack Kruschen, Edward Mulhare
Director: Frank Tashlin
Genres: Comedy, Mystery & Suspense
Plunge into a world of high-flying adventure, pulse-pounding excitement ¬? and outright hilarity¬? in this captivating comedy-thriller starring Doris Day and Richard Harris. Featuring breathtaking stunts, tantalizing roman... more »
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"Caprice" Finally Gets It's Due On This Fab DVD Release
Michael McKenna | Centreville, Virginia United States | 02/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Caprice" was one of the films which first introduced me to the truly exceptional and unique magic of Doris Day. When I first saw it, I completely fell under her spell of beauty and talent - a talent for both comedy and drama which was so disarmingly genuine and effective that it simply communicated in a direct line, consistently hitting a bullseye either to my funnybone or to my heartstrings.
Everyone has the perfect right to be critical of a film - indeed, every film you see cannot - and will not - wind up among your favorites. However, in the case of "Caprice" - a film which HAS always been a favorite of mine (entirely because of Doris' sexy, funny and dramatically real performance) - it was particularly disheartening to constantly find so many negative references made to it over the years. The majority of the reviews were not favorable to the film when it was first released in 1967 ("...a long Day's journey into naught.") and in one book written about Doris' films, words and phrases like "abomination", "unattractive", and "a disaster" were used. Perhaps the ultimate blow to the film came from Doris herself, when she singled out "Caprice" (in her book "Doris Day - Her Own Story") as a film she disliked, and was forced to make only because her husband-manager, Marty Melcher, had signed her to do it without her knowledge. In spite of her indifference to the project, Doris -as usual - gave her "all" to the film, providing "Caprice" with a thoroughly professional and effective performance in both the suspenseful and comedic sequences. Ms. Day always knew the true secret of how to play comedy in the most effective way - that is, to play it as seriously and truthfully as possible!
Consequently, the film somehow was never released on home video in the United States (although it was released in Britian), and it didn't seem that it would EVER be released on DVD. In my view, there seemed to be a kind of "prejudice" against the film and against releasing it for so many years, while - in the interim - so many negligible films of lesser quality were readily released and received their moment in the sun. Now, that "Caprice" finally IS available on DVD in a deluxe packaging and a pristine, restored print - with many wonderful "extras" - one hopes that people might view the film again and possibly begin to see the many positive and entertaining elements of the film which actually DID work quite well.
While the age difference between Doris and Richard Harris has sometimes been noted (and, I feel - exaggerated), I could never detect it - Doris looked beautiful, and she and Mr. Harris had an easy chemistry together. Also, Doris' natural athleticism and expert use of props has never been more in evidence, and these skills are consistently placed on effective and entertaining display throughout the film. Doris always wore clothes extremely well, and while the conservative mod fashions she donned for the film were very much a product of their time (1966-67), they were beautifully designed by Ray Aghayan and - considering that the film was, to a great extent, a spy "spoof", they really added so much to the "fun" element in the film. (An interesting conversation with Mr. Aghayan is included concerning his designs for Doris in the film.) In addition, it should be noted that - while the preceding string of Doris' films had fallen into a somewhat familiar pattern of sophisticated "bedroom" farce, "Caprice" presented her in a dramatically different atmosphere of espionage and danger which her previous film "The Glass Bottom Boat" merely hinted at. In "Glass Bottom Boat", her Jennifer Nelson is humorously accused of being a "spy" - while in "Caprice", Patricia Foster actually IS a spy - an indomitable and determined heroine who - amid all the duplicity and artificiality surrounding her - remains independent and true to herself in her quest to avenge her father's murder.
The director, Frank Tashlin, keeps the energy level extremely high throughout the film. His previous, extensive work in cartoons is certainly evident - for instance, the set piece with Doris hanging onto a girder (for dear life) underneath a wooden deck, attempting to cut a lock of Irene Tsu's hair - is presented much like so many schemes that were doomed to certain failure concocted by Wylie Coyote against the Road Runner. The supporting cast is first rate, highlighted by a spirited (almost "psychotic") performance by Ray Walston as the (supposed) scientific genius/inventor of cutting edge cosmetics. On the negative side - perhaps the greatest element which ultimately worked against the film is that the abrupt changes from slapstick to suspense did not work as well as hoped, and the storyline got a bit confusing (although I always suspected that any confusion in the narrative was a deliberate comment on the spy genre and part of the satire).
For me, one of the most interesting revelations I discovered from the DVD (which was made by Day author/expert Pierre Patrick on the optional commentary track) was that - in a conversation he had with Ms. Day in the late 90's, her response to the news that a recent screening of "Caprice" (at UCLA in California) was enthusiastically received by many younger film buffs (in much the same way they have embraced the "Austin Powers" spy-spoof films) - was that she was going to go back to "Caprice" and have a look at the film again, hinting that maybe there were certain positive elements of the film that she had missed.
I would offer a similar recommendation: if you have once seen "Caprice", you should take a look at it again, and afford it some additional consideration. And, if you happen to be a younger film fan who has never seen it, you should definitely do so, especially now that it is (finally) available, and in it's bright, new guise. Like me, you might also fall under the talented spell of one of the most gifted and beautiful performers of the 20th Century: Doris Day."
Awesome MOD Doris Day!
Jeepster01 | Southwest US | 12/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One thing you will notice with this very lush production is just that. IT's LUSH! Alot of money went into producing this film and it shows. Doris' favorite cinematographer, Leon Shamroy (Dr. Zivago, Glass Bottom Boat, etc) really did a great number on this film. Doris Day is one of a handfull of true film stars that did justice to the MOD look. Ray Aguyahan (sp?) did the costumes as he did for Doris' Do Not Disturb and Glass Bottom Boat. They are awesome.
Just as a tidbit of info, Cher, not the singer actess, ownes many of Doris' costumes from Do Not Disturb such as the orange sequence gown, and some from Caprice. Debbie Reynolds owns many too. She owns the mermaid outfit from Glass Bottom Boat and hopefully they will display it in her new museum in Branson, MO when it gets going.
Another bit of info is that Caprice is Doris Day's last commercial recording. It was released in 1967 as a Columbia single and was backed with a nice song by Johnny Mercer called "Sorry". These are avail on different collection CD's. I guess Doris thought that her style of singing was over and she just didn't want to do it anymore. Her son, Terry Melcher said that "When she thought she was just one inch past her prime, she quit." But she wasn't past her prime, that's for sure. He tried to get her into a recording studio many times, finally succeding in 1985-6 for her "Animals Are My Best Friends" series on CBN. WOW, what a voice!
In 1967, my uncle who was an actor, took me to Twentieth Century Fox where I was able to tour the Caprice sets. They were all shut down because Doris had a pinched nerve in her back and was in the hospital in traction. The sets were somewhat dark, but sure was fun to sit on that swinging bed for a moment or two. I remember dust had formed on everything somewhat....also we went down to publicity and I was given a few stills from the film and one that was trashed, but he pulled it out for me to have....never ok'd for release. They were nearly at the point of scrapping the film because it was costing so much money while Doris Recouperated.
I believe this would have been an excellent vehicle for a second reunion with Carry Grant and Doris. This film had all the lush richness that this man would have fit into perfectly and would have given it a much more charismatic coupling than that of Richard Harris with Doris.
Doris Day was signed to do this film by her husbund Marty Melcher without her knowing. He had power of atty and frequently did this to her. She was never madder at him! A terrible verbal fight between them ensued. You will never detect this in seeing this film. That's the ultimate professionalism of this superstar.....DORIS DAY. Instead of rebelling further, she simply did nothing to promote it at all beyond what was required by the studio. One example is she did NOT attending the premire.
Also during the filming of Caprice, Richard Harris consulted Doris about singing because he intended to start a singing career at that time, and he did. She coached him! What a girl!! We will NEVER see the likes of Doris Day again. Very few people, in fact no one has all that talent in one individual...NOT LIKE THAT! And those looks! Shew.......!
Doris Day lives in Carmel, CA on a gorgeous 11 acre estate full of dogs, cats, birds, and who knows what else! She has outlived most all of her family and friends from the movie days, and is a beautiful woman in her early to mid 80's.
I declare that Doris Day is one of America's MOST PRECIOUS TREASURES. If you don't believe me, just watch her; listen to her; you'll see. Watch children discover her for the first time....or anyone. The look in their eyes and the uncontrolled smile on their faces hearing her voice. She literally touches your soul....you'll see.
Caprice, So Whimsical And Strong
Chris | Leeds, Utah United States | 02/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Doris Day plays a swinging, mod-attired agent of espionage (yes, that's Doris Day) in this caper comedy directed by Frank Tashlin. Patricia Fowler (Day) is an industrial spy who is hired to work undercover at a cosmetics company. While posing as a low-level employee, she is to get the goods on a new formual they intend to market. However, it turns out that makeup isn't all this firm has to sell; they're also involved in an international drug smuggling ring, and she finds herself doing battle with other agents willing to kill to insure the flow of narcotics is unabated. Her adventures cause her to cross paths with Christopher White (Richard Harris), a fellow agent with whom Patricia is soon romantically involved, and together the couple locate the secret lab of cosmetics tycoon and evil genius Stuart Clancy (Ray Walston).
This is not one of Doris's best films. But truly a must see for diehard Doris Fans. Full of mystery, intrigue and espionage."
Wonderful Doris Day Performance in A Non-Perfect Thriller
Oliver Penn | New York City | 12/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Since I have no chance to re-edit "Caprice," I have decided to just praise Doris Day for being an excellent actress adept in drama, but especially in musicals and comedy.
I did not like several scenes in "Caprice" and I blame that on the director, Frank Tashlin, whom I feel had a tendency to go "overboard," pushing the envelope to the max. I felt he "misused" Miss Day, who, at the time, had been the top female boxoffice star since 1959. If the potato chip eating scene was omitted or changed, the dusting powder commerical and the silliness of Day's repremand by Sir Jason about stealing an underarm deordorant's formula (with Day dropping her head in shame), were omitted, this would rank among Day's best film comedies.
I loved the work she did with Edward Mulhare aboard the plane and in his "house of art." Her scene with character actress Lilia Skalia in her chemical laboratory was well-played by both actresses. Doris had three important scenes with Ray Walston. I epecially enjoyed his cosmetics demonstration with Day giving incredible reactions to his manical behavior and the scene where he confronted her in drag and attempted to kill her.
Day worked well with Richard Harris, who had just the right amount of English arrogance as the counter spy. He has said that he did not particularly like "Caprice," but had nothing but praise for Doris Day as an actress. He said, "I learned more about comedy from Doris Day than I could have in 10 years at the Royal Academy." Jack Lemmon would agree.
Regardless of the picture's shortcomings, it is still enjoyable because one of the great movie stars (Doris Day) is in this film. She was given excellent support by a group of truely professional actors, had a fun wardrobe and a marvelous cinematographer, Leon Shamroy."