Doris Day and Rock Hudson: Always Good for a Smile
I’m not exactly sure when I first ‘discovered’ the Doris Day/Rock Hudson romantic comedies, but I do remember that it was at some point in my childhood when my parents shared them with me. And, as many classic movie fans will attest, the films that are so lovingly shared with us when we are young always seem to hold a special place in our hearts. And that is the case for me with Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back, and Send Me No Flowers – the three films that Doris Day and Rock Hudson made together.
Now as an adult, these films are the perfect little pick-me-ups for me, especially good for unwinding after a tough day at work, and always good for a laugh and a smile… and, believe it or not, they also make the drudgery of house work seem a little more pleasant (there’s nothing like ‘swiffering’ around the house to the tune of ‘You Are My Inspiration, Alma’).
There’s just something about this Feisty-Girl-Next-Door + Strong-and-Handsome-Hunk Dynamic Duo that works so wonderfully well together. Doris Day is the perfect combination of sweetness, sexiness, sophistication and smarts, while Rock, is well, Rock, a pretty darn sexy guy, whether he’s playing the playboy or the husband. Both play their roles to the hilt – whether romantic rivals, business rivals or married rivals — with a special chemistry that, by all accounts, bound them in a life-long friendship from day one.
These films are chock-full of clever dialog (including a fair share of double entendre), mistaken identities/assumptions, and good clean ‘battle of the sexes’ fun — plus lots of chic Doris Day fashion, and (I would be remiss not to mention this) the fabulous Tony Randall as the best-friend/boss side-kick (and the third, if you will, in this Dynamic Trio)…
So, in celebration of our ‘perfect combination’ Doris and Rock, I’d like to share some fun movie quotes… but first here are some short film descriptions for those of you who may not be familiar with all three movies…
Pillow Talk (1959): Successful Interior Decorator, Jan Morrow, is at her wit’s end with irritating party-line neighbor, playboy-songwriter Brad Allen, who’s constantly phone-courting his revolving-door lady friends with ‘custom’ songs written especially for them (insert your name here). Lots of double-entendre sparring ensues while Jan tries to wrestle some phone control away from Brad. Meanwhile Jan’s faith in men is restored when she meets humble and handsome (not to mention wealthy) Texas hunk Rex Stetson. As Jan continues to battle over her phone (and bedroom) problems with bad boy Brad, she brags about her new beau Rex — so the last laugh’s on Mr. Allen, right? Or is it? Spoiler alert: Rock plays two roles here, kind of 🙂
Lover Come Back (1961): Straight-and-narrow Advertising Exec Carol Templeton is frustrated to no end as slick Ad-Man rival Jerry Webster lands clients with his playboy appeal and party ethics. Carol gets a hot tip that Jerry’s about to close a huge deal with new mystery product VIP, so she makes it her mission to cut Jerry to the chase, wooing VIP inventor Dr. Linus Tyler to land the account. A case of mistaken identity sends Carol down the wrong path, and that works to Jerry’s advantage. Or does it? Spoiler alert: Rock does not play two roles here, but he might as well 🙂
Send Me No Flowers (1964): And now for something completely different… After years of plentiful pill popping (just placebos, thanks to wife Judy), hypochondriac husband George is finally convinced that he’s dying. In an altruistic attempt to provide for Judy after he’s gone, George is determined to find a suitable replacement husband for her. But George lands himself in hot water when Judy misreads his signals and suspects hanky-panky instead, and that’s not good for George… Or is it? Spoiler alert: Unfortunately for George, he’s not really dying and his wife is mad as ‘heck’ 🙂
And now for some quotes…
Jan (Doris Day) shares a party line with playboy bad boy Brad Allen (Rock Hudson) who serenades a different sweetheart every day. (well, sometimes every hour)…
Brad (singing): “You are my inspiration (your name here). A perfect combination (your name here).”
Jan (Doris Day): Will you please get off this phone!
Yvette (Jacqueline Beer): Who is that woman?!?!?
Brad (Rock Hudson): Some little eavesdropper on my party line. She’s always listening in. That’s how she brightens up her drab empty life.
Jan: If I could get a call through once in a while, my life wouldn’t be so drab!
Brad: Look, I don’t know what’s bothering you, but don’t take your bedroom problems out on me.
Jan: I have no bedroom problems. There’s nothing in my bedroom that bothers me.
Brad: Ohhhh. That’s too bad.
Jan: At least my problems can be solved in one bedroom. You couldn’t solve yours in a thousand!
Lover Come Back
Jerry Webster (Rock Hudson) poses as VIP inventor Dr. Linus Tyler, trying to grab all of Carol’s (Doris Day) ad ideas, but that’s not all he’s trying to grab…
Carol (Doris Day): Doctor, there’s so much I can learn from you.
Jerry (posing as Dr. Tyler): As my father, the philosopher, used to say, “Knock at my door and I shall take you in.”
Carol: Dr. Tyler, I’m knocking.
Jerry: Miss Templeton, I’m taking you in.
Carol: Linus, I know a place where Webster wouldn’t find you.
Jerry (Posing as Dr. Tyler): Really? Where?
Carol: Right here. In that guest room.
Jerry: In your apartment? Alone with you? All night?
Carol: Oh, Linus. We’re adults.
Jerry: Yes, but…
Carol: Now, look at it calmly and sensibly. You won’t be disturbed. Right?
Carol: You can concentrate on what you want to do.
Jerry: Well, that’s true.
Carol: Well then, for what you had in mind, isn’t this the best place?
Jerry: Yes, I guess it is.
Send Me No Flowers
Perhaps Judy’s (Doris Day) college sweetheart Bert (Clint Walker) is a suitable replacement for husband George (Rock Hudson)? At least that’s what George’s best friend Arnold (Tony Randall) thinks…
Judy (Doris Day): Oh Bert, I’d like you to meet my husband George and our good friend and neighbor Arnold Nash… Fellows I’d like you to meet Bert Powers, my college…
Bert (Clint Walker): Sweetheart. Hi there Arnold.
George (Rock Hudson): George!
Bert: Oh excuse me George, I thought you were the good friend and neighbor.
George: I am not her good friend. I am her husband!
Judy: When he tells me he’s dying and he doesn’t die… wouldn’t he know that I’d get SUSPICIOUS?
And two more pictures for you…
And that is my entry for the Dynamic Duos in Classic Film blogathon — but there are sooooo many more wonderful Classic Bloggers participating in this event. So, if you want to take a look at the on- and off-screen stories of more Dynamic Duos, please be sure to check out the other entries. I am honored to be co-hosting the event alongside Aurora of Once Upon a Screen.
–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub