Send Me No Flowers

Send Me No Flowers, 1964

A dark but funny comedy about hypochondria

The film has been described as a dark comedy – probably because its subject matter is hypochondria. George Kimball (Rock Hudson) has the condition and constantly visits his doctor, Ralph Morrissey (Edward Andrews) because of it. George’s medicine cabinets are filled with prescription bottles, and he pops pills like they are candy. Judy (Doris Day) is his happy and loving wife, who finds her husband’s preoccupation with his health amusing and takes it with a pinch of salt.

Hypochondriac George Kimball (Hudson) searches his over-stocked medicine cabinet.

Hypochondriac George Kimball (Hudson) searches his over-stocked medicine cabinet.

When George visits Dr. Morrissey for yet another check-up, he overhears the doctor consulting on the phone with a colleague about another patient – one who is about to die. George immediately concludes that Morrissey is taking about him. Distraught, he confides in Arnold (Randall), his best friend and next-door neighbor, who completely falls apart and begins drinking to deal with the tragedy of George’s impending death.

Locked out: Doris Day. She said she thought this was 'Rock's film'.

Locked out: Doris Day. She said she thought this was ‘Rock’s film’.

In the opening scene, one of the film’s funniest moments, Judy accidentally locks herself out of the house while holding a bottle of milk, newspaper, carton of eggs, and yoghurt as her robe is caught in the door. Day once again proves her skill as a comedienne and received the Laurel Award as best actress in a comedy.

Tony Randall falls apart and begins drinking at the news that his friend is dying.

Arnold (Tony Randall) falls apart and starts drinking at the news that his friend is dying.

Randall is as brilliant as ever in his role and Hudson received a Laurel Award nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy. The film has a strong supporting cast: Hal March, as a wolfish lawyer, is fun to watch. Paul Lynde, as always, is hilarious – this time as a funeral director who loves his work. Clint Walker is just right as one of the men George chooses to become Judy’s next husband after his demise. And Edward Andrews gives his usual reliable comedic performance. As he did in Pillow Talk and The Thrill of It All, Jean Louis designed a smart wardrobe for Doris Day. She sings the catchy title song, Send Me No Flowers, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, over the credits.

Ralph McKnight, New York

My ‘Overlooked by The Academy Awards’ Nominations

Tony Randall, Janice Paige and Thelma Ritter: no recognition.

Tony Randall, Janice Paige and Thelma Ritter: no recognition.

Having delivered expert comedy performances in the trio of Doris Day-Rock Hudson pictures, Tony Randall was again ignored at Academy Award time. He was superb in Pillow Talk, did a hilarious turn in Lover Come Back, and was even funnier as the neurotic best friend in Send Me No Flowers, but he didn’t receive a single nomination as co-star of the two box-office champs.

In Send Me No Flowers, he was as good as Stanley Holloway was in My Fair Lady, released the same year, 1964. Similarly, Janis Paige was nominee-worthy for Please Don’t  Eat the Daisies, instead, the Academy gave the award to Goldie Hawn for Cactus Flower, which was certainly not Oscar-worthy material. Even Miss Hawn said she wished she had gotten it for something else. And, after six nominations, the legendary Thelma Ritter, All About Eve,  Pillow Talk, and The Misfits, was still overlooked! Doesn’t this show that comedy acting doesn’t get the full recognition it deserves by the Academy Awards? – Ralph McKnight

 

The Doris Day and Rock Hudson Comedy Collection (Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back, Send Me No Flowers)
The Doris Day and Rock Hudson Comedy Collection
(Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back, Send Me No Flowers)

More Reviews

Hudson, Day and Randall with Clint Walker as the possible new husband when Rock passes away.

Hudson, Day and Randall with Clint Walker as the possible new husband when Rock passes away.

“This is a hilarious story about Rock Hudson, who plays a hypochondriac married to an extremely patient Doris Day… This movie was one of the many wonderful pairings between Day and Hudson. Their chemistry is good and they genuinely enjoy working together. This film is very funny with very funny scenes, like Doris Day getting locked out of the house in her nightgown, George going to the funeral director who helps him chose his final home and the scene in which poor dying George’s precious medicines are being thrown out the window. Definitely a classic!” – allreaders.com

Doris begins to suspect that Rock is having an affair.

Doris begins to suspect that Rock is having an affair.

“Light and laugh-filled, Send Me No Flowers is typical Rock Hudson and Doris Day fare. He plays a hypochondriac who is sure he’s about to die, so he decides he’ll find the next husband for his dear wife. She’s sure he’s guilt-stricken from some affair he’s likely had. Sprinkle in some appearances from smoothy Tony Randall, and this film becomes pretty worthy watching.” – Rotten Tomatoes

Rock Hudson and Doris Day, Send Me No Flowers.“Do you suffer from splitting headaches? Is your stomach upset? Are you run down? Does your husband complain of heart flutters and recurring dizzy spells? If so, before seeing a doctor, go to see Send Me No Flowers, the new Doris Day, Rock Hudson movie. This is a pastime which, if taken in one submissive gulp, with maybe a dash of skepticism in a glass of leniency to wash it down, should do more to free the sluggish system of the poisons of hypochondria and set the old laugh organs humming than a medicine cabinet full of pretty pills.

Rock Hudson, Doris Day, send Me No FlowersThat seems to be the purpose of it – a sort of homeopathic remedy – to cause you so much pain laughing you forget your other ills. And once this has been accomplished, you should find those other ills have gone away, like the imaginary ills of the hero, which are the cause of all his anguish in this film… It is a beautiful farce situation.” – Bosley Crowther, New York Times

Doris Day, send Me No Flowers

“I’m out of here!”

“The best outing of the trilogy. When viewed by itself and with such supporting stars as Paul Lyne, Hal March and Clint Walker, the film it is just as entertaining as the previous two films.” – BoxOffice Magazine

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