Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Doris Day and Rock Hudson Comedy Collection |
Pillow Talk / Lover Come Back / Send Me No Flowers
Actors: Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Paul Lynde, Tony Randall
Genres: Classics, Comedy
Hollywood screen couple Doris Day and Rock Hudson light up the screen with laughter in three delightful comedy gems! Join them as they fall in, out, and back in love again in a series of misadventures including Pillow Talk... more »
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Bargain-Priced DVD Set Showcases Rock and Doris in Their Tri
Ed Uyeshima | San Francisco, CA USA | 10/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Peyton Reed's execrable retro-tribute to the beloved Doris Day-Rock Hudson pairings, 2003's Down with Love with Renée Zellweger and Ewan MacGregor, simply proved that some movies should not be copied out of their time. Presented in a two-disc 2007 DVD package, the trio of films Day and Hudson made for Universal between 1959 and 1964 are hardly pinnacles in cinema history, but they show what deft writing, nimble direction and expert farceurs can do to make these soufflé-light romantic comedies thoroughly enjoyable. Not coincidentally, all three films have storylines that turn on acts of deception initiated by Hudson's character, whether intended or not, and then it becomes a series of humiliations and comeuppances before the inevitable happy ending.
Directed with Eisenhower-era panache by Michael Gordon, 1959's luxuriant-looking Pillow Talk fruitfully began not only the stars' partnership but a phase in both careers that redirected them into sophisticated adult-oriented comedies. Day plays uptight interior decorator Jan Morrow, who shares a party line (apparently a common practice in the 1950's) with lecherous Broadway tunesmith Brad Allen played by Hudson. They have never met in person, so their animosity builds as they eavesdrop on each other's private phone conversations. Brad finally meets Jan in a nightclub, becomes instantly smitten and then pretends to be a gentlemanly Texan named Rex Stetson in order to deflower her. Things come to a head during a Connecticut rendezvous when she figures out that Rex is really Brad, and an act of revenge is in the offing when she accepts an offer to redecorate his apartment. Both Day and Hudson are terrifically game here. Tony Randall (who plays pretty much the same role in all three films) is hilarious as Jan's multi-divorced millionaire suitor Jonathan, and Thelma Ritter is her typically sardonic self as Jan's boozy maid Alma giving romantic pointers to Brad in one of the film's funniest scenes. The period-rich set décor is at a kitschy high here, and still transitioning from her fifties musicals, Day even gets to sing three songs including the bouncy title tune.
The best of the trio, 1961's Lover Come Back directed by Delbert Mann works the exact same plot devices as Pillow Talk, even the split-screen confrontations, but converts the pair into highly competitive advertising account executives at separate agencies. This time, Day is even more priggish as Carol Templeton, who loathes Hudson's Jerry Webster, as he manages to steal accounts under her and everybody else's nose by holding wild parties for the prospective clients. In an effort to pacify an ambitious model who wants to become a TV star, he shoots her in commercials for VIP, a product that doesn't exist. Through the incompetence of his nominal boss Pete Ramsey (again Randall), the commercials hit the airwaves, which force Jerry to recruit reclusive scientist Linus Tyler to invent a product for VIP. In her effort to steal the VIP account from Jerry, Carol mistakes Jerry for Linus, and the rest becomes inevitable. Co-written by Stanley Shapiro who also co-wrote Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back is more far-fetched than the earlier film, but its more frenetic pace, plethora of sexual double-entendres, constant tweaking of Madison Avenue ad agencies and a wildly improbable ending make it a funnier movie. Both Day and Hudson also seem more assured here, and Randall plays Ramsey with his trademark boastful befuddlement.
After directing Day in 1963's hilarious The Thrill of It All!, Norman Jewison shows similar comic sensibilities with 1964's Send Me No Flowers with a sharp screenplay by longtime veteran Julius Epstein. This one represents something of a departure in that Day and Hudson play a married couple from the outset. As George and Judy Kimball, they are a happily married suburban couple hamstrung by his persistent hypochondria. Convinced that he is dying after a regular check-up, George spends the rest of the story preparing for what he thinks will be his imminent death, including setting up Judy with her next husband, a former suitor whom they literally run into at their country club. Unlike the previous two films, Hudson actually dominates this movie, and he is in peak comic form with a dryly funny turn as George. With her glamour minimized in favor of her homespun likeability, Day is relegated to the role of the confused wife here, though she has funny moments along the way. Randall steals all his scenes as devoted neighbor Arnold constantly in a drunken stupor in his premature bereavement over George's departure, and Paul Lynde has a riotous scene as an overly zealous memorial park director. This one may lack the will-she-won't-she dilemma of the first two and is usually dismissed as a domestic comedy, but I think the set-up is genuinely clever and the laughs well-earned.
As with the premium-priced 2004 Rock Hudson & Doris Day Romance Collection, the print transfers of each film are unfortunately variable on this collection with a certain level of graininess evident in each. What is not included here is an extra exclusive to the Romance Collection, an eight-song CD of Day singing songs from the three films. If you can live without that, this collection is well-priced for fans of these well-turned romantic comedies."
Incomparable comedies of their time, now sadly neglected
Allen Smalling | Chicago, IL United States | 06/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"(Of course, not everyone has neglected these movies. So if you're already familiar with PILLOW TALK and LOVER COME BACK, feel free to skip this paragraph.) In 1959 Ross Hunter's production of PILLOW TALK hit the screens, and in what TIME magazine called "the World Series of sex" paired Doris Day and Rock Hudson in a romantic farce in a sophisticated milieu (NYC interior decorating), based on a confusion-of-identity perpetuated by Rock's character. Miss Day was just entering the period where she was America's top movie actress, and once their respective schedules finally clicked, the duo was re-united for LOVER COME BACK in 1962. It too is set in a sophisticated milieu (NYC advertising) and the plot depends on confusion-of-identity, yada yada. But the fans loved it. I do too, because IMHO it's just as irresistible as PILLOW TALK.
Fewer people are familiar with SEND ME NO FLOWERS (1964), the third and final installment of the Day/Hudson coupling. As in the first two flicks, Tony Randall appears as the best friend, but otherwise this is a very different scenario. Set in sunny Southern California, Hudson's character is cast against type as a neurotic hypochondriac who mistakenly believes his death is imminent, whereupon he starts trying to fix up his wife (Day) with a suitably studly companion for after he's gone.
Enter Clint Walker, six foot seven inches of American masculinity, a financial success who drives what's probably the most uncircumsized automobile ever to come out of Great Britain: the original Jaguar XKE. There's a world of comically sexual subtext going during the first time Doris and Rock break bread with Clint: "You mean your company makes those little bitty transistors?" -- nothing to stir the censorship code still in effect but fun to decode nonetheless.
Later in the Sixties, Doris Day's then-husband Marty Melcher put her in a steadily declining series of comedy vehicles, and by the late 1960s Doris Day was no longer at the top of her profession. But SEND ME NO FLOWERS excels, even if it isn't quite in the PILLOW TALK/LOVER COME BACK stratosphere. In my opinion, getting all three movies together is the canny and cheap thing to do!
Reduced version ...
LGH | 06/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I could be wrong here, but I think you are comparing apples and oranges ... in the romance version, there is a music cd added, along with the beefed up packaging and gift box - thus the extra cost. Let's do some additional research here to make sure there aren't two different products and not a repeat of the same item. I think this new release is just the 3 movies - no music cd included."
Great comic music!
Stuart M. Paine | Arlington, VA USA | 05/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From PILLOW TALK: Brad Allen (Rock Hudson) sings to his clueless and entirely-too-willing date "You are my inspiration...(memory lapse followed by relief as he remembers her name)..., Marie."
Brilliant script, great direction, perfect pacing and VERY witty split-screen work. All the acting is inspired, too - lead and supporting both.
But, what I REALLY want to say is that the music in that film and the other two in this collection is just fabulous - and I mean beyond the songs. Maybe the best comedy scoring I've ever heard outside of the outrageously exaggerated stuff that Carl Stalling did for the WB cartoons from the 1930s through the late 50s. Frank DeVol does a running musical commentary on the lunatic activity on the screen and, without fail, heightens the comedic effect. I don't know anyone better at this. The legendary film composers are not legendary because of their work in comedies. Jerry Goldsmith did some memorable comedy scores. One of his best was THE TROUBLE WITH ANGELS (1966) and I see on IMDB that DeVol assisted with that one. How fitting! John Williams has done a few - I think first of HOME ALONE. Andre Previn (GIGI, IRMA LA DOUCE, MY FAIR LADY) was very good. Mancini was known for comedies but not really for comedic writing. I think Devol might be the best ever and he not only did all three films in this collection, but also THE THRILL OF IT ALL and THE GLASS-BOTTOM BOAT, too. There's a real Doris Day connection here.
All three films are presented widescreen (rather than in that disgraceful pan-and-scan butchering). A real value!"