I’ve loved Doris Day ever since I was a kid. There’s just something about her sunny disposition, her fabulous on-screen wardrobe, her lovely voice, and her fun movies that cheers me up, no matter what troubles I might be going through. She has a [amazon_link id=”B00656C6KK” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]new album, My Heart[/amazon_link], that was just released, and we can’t forget her wonderful animal rights work, the Doris Day Animal League.
But I also know that her off-screen life was far from perfect. On screen, she may have been wooed by the likes of James Garner, Cary Grant and Rock Hudson, but in real life, she was dealing with dysfunctional relationships, health issues, and financial struggles. But you’d never know it by the smiling girl-next-door we saw at the movies and on [amazon_link id=”B001D5C1EY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Doris Day Show[/amazon_link], which ran from 1968 to 1973. I was super-excited when the TV show was released on DVD a few years back and promptly acquired the entire series.
It’s very, very tough to pick a few favorite movies, because they all hold a special place in my heart. So I’ve decided to choose three, each starring one of the three leading men mentioned above.
1. [amazon_link id=”B0076I6242″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Pillow Talk[/amazon_link] (1959). My favorite Doris Day movie finds her and co-star Rock Hudson sharing a telephone line in New York City (yes, I remember the days when we shared a phone line with our neighbors here in Traverse City, Michigan). The two despise each other, but of course, sparks fly and things turn out well in the end. Things always turned out well in Doris Day movies. That’s part of their appeal.
2. [amazon_link id=”B000056BOR” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]That Touch of Mink[/amazon_link] (1963). Who could resist a rich businessman played by Cary Grant? Not I! But this movie has a moral — should a girl sleep with a man before marriage? Oh the emotional pressure! It gave Doris hives during their island getaway. One of my favorite scenes from this movie is the automat, the original fast-food restaurant where foods are served via coin-operated vending machines — but there were real people on the other side putting sandwiches and slices of pie into those little spaces. It’s just so cool.
3. [amazon_link id=”B00007GZR1″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Thrill of It All[/amazon_link]. In this movie, Doris plays a housewife whose sudden rise to fame as a soap spokesperson leads to chaos at home with husband James Garner. This is also one of my now-teenage son’s favorite Doris Day movies from when he was a kid, because a car ends up in a swimming pool filled with bubbles. It also showed that Doris could easily morph from snappy-dressing career woman to mom and housewife in a heartbeat.
If I expanded the list to include more Doris Day movies, my next favorites would be The Glass Bottom Boat, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, and With Six You Get Eggroll. Hop over to A Traveler’s Library and read my post on Alfred Hitchcock movies, where I talk about another Doris Day favorite, The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Got a favorite Doris Day movie? Tell us in the comments below!