Tag Archives: Pillow Talk

RIP Doris Day

There is something special about an old Hollywood movie. A certain quality of film making that today is sometimes pushed aside for the latest and greatest technology.

Today, we lost one of the icons of old Hollywood, Doris Day.

During her heyday, Day was on of the most recognized performers in the world. A triple threat, she could act, sing and dance like nobody’s business. Looking back, her image was emblematic of the period. With her blue eyes and blonde hair, she was the all-American women. Day’s most notable parts were as the sexualized virgin: smart, sassy, romantic and convincing her leading man to fall in love with her, marry her and take her to bed without directly saying so.

My favorite Doris Day film is Pillow Talk. Playing opposite her long time friend and collaborator, Rock Hudson. While there are certain elements of the film that are very dated, the comedy and the double entendres still hold up to this day.

My favorite song of her’s is her most famous: Que Sera Sera from the Hitchcock film, The Man Who Knew Too Much. It’s one of those songs that I think still hold up to this day.

Wherever you are in heaven, Doris Day, RIP. May your memory be a blessing.

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All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson Book Review

Depending on your age, Rock Hudson can be one of several things. If you came of age in the 1950’s and 1960’s, he was your matinee idol. Tall, handsome, with dark hair, a strong jaw and a compassionate nature, he was Hollywood’s version of the All-American boy. If you are a member of the LGBTQ or the medical community, he is the first major celebrity to die from HIV/AIDS, putting a face on a disease and a community that in the early 1980’s was vastly misunderstood.

This year, writer Mark Griffin published a new biography of Rock Hudson entitled, All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson.

Born Roy Harold Scherer, Jr in 1925 in Illinois, the future Rock Hudson knew hardship at an early age. His father abandoned his family, his stepfather abused him and his mother was not the most maternal of women. Having an inkling that he was attracted to men at an early age, he learned to hide his sexuality. As an adult, he became the biggest name in Hollywood, but he was living two lives. In spite of the rumors and the potential scandal that threatened his career multiple times, Rock Hudson became the go to leading man for a generation of movie fans.

Containing interviews with colleagues, romantic partners and family members, this book is a must read for any movie fan. It draws back the curtain on the movie star to reveal a man who was deeply conflicted and living in a time when being who you were meant risking everything.

I absolutely recommend it.

P.S. If you have never seen a Rock Hudson film, I recommend that you start with Pillow Talk (1959). Hudson stars opposite Doris Day in what is one of my favorite romantic comedies. Granted, certain elements of the film are dated, but overall, it is a fantastic film.

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Happy Birthday, Doris Day

Sunday was the 92nd birthday of Doris Day, one of the last living legends of the Golden Age Of Hollywood.

In honor of her birthday and her illustrious career, I’d like to use this post to honor her work and her life.

First, her films.

My favorite Doris Day film is Pillow Talk (1959).

Brad Allen (Rock Hudson) and Jan Morrow (Doris Day) share a telephone line. Interior decorator Jan needs the line open for work but playboy Brad uses the phone for more personal uses. Coincidentally, Jan and Brad are dining at the same restaurant and Brad takes a liking to Jan. The kicker here is that Brad introduces himself to Jan not as himself, but as a Texas native new to the big city.  I will let the trailer take it from here.

Decades later, in the 1980’s, when Rock Hudson not only came out, but revealed that he was dying from AIDS, Ms. Day was one of several performers to stand by their friend and colleague.

She is not only an iconic performer, but what we in the Jewish community call a mensch, a good person.

Happy Birthday.

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Flashback Friday-Down With Love (2003)

Every few years, Hollywood reaches into it’s vault and tries to reintroduce audiences to a story or genre that they may not be familiar with.

Down With Love (2003) is an homage to the early 1960’s sex comedies that starred Doris Day and Rock Hudson, the Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks of their day.

Barbara Novak (Renee Zellweger) is a feminist author whose book has hit the best seller list. Catcher Block (Ewan MacGregor) is playboy journalist who is convinced that underneath the feminist mask, Barbara wants what every woman wants: love and marriage.  But he knows that she would sniff him out in an instant if he was himself. Pretending to be a shy out of towner, Catcher attracts Barbara’s attention, but will he be able to find what he is looking for?

While this movie is not as funny or subversive as Pillow Talk, it’s a nice homage and a reminder of how far women have come.

Do I recommend it? Sure, it’s decent.

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Pillow Talk, A Movie That Deserves A Modern Reboot

Pillow Talk, is a classic. It is a perfect rom-com, with subtle sexual innuendo, wrapped in the blanket of the late 1950’s.

Jan Morrow (Doris Day) and Brad Allen (Rock Hudson) share a telephone line.  She is a single interior designer, he is playboy Broadway composer. Over the phone they don’t get along. Brad sees Jan at a club and attempts to romance her by pretending to be a shy country boy who in the big city for the first time.

This movie is perfect and funny and despite the era it was made in, it is full of sexual innuendo. Doris Day and Rock Hudson have a natural on screen chemistry. Pillow Talk is the first of three films they made together, they were the real life Will and Grace until Hudson passed away from AIDS in the early 1980’s.

I highly recommend this movie, both as a viewer and as a challenge to a screenwriter to remake it for today’s audiences.

 

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