This and that...

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Rate your favourite Doris Day period

Band Singer
0
No votes
Film period 1: (1950s) Romance on the High Seas (1948) - Pillow Talk (1959)
6
100%
Film period 2: (1960s) Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (1960) - With Six You Get Eggroll (1968)
0
No votes
TV period, The Doris Day Show (1968 - !973)
0
No votes
Post-film period: The Doris Day Animal Foundation
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 6

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howard
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Re: This and that...

Unread post by howard » 20 May 2018, 13:22

From the newly released book "Something Wonderful" Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution: In discussing the casting of Nellie Forbush in "South Pacific":

"Picking a Nellie Forbush was more fraught. (Josh) Logan's first choice, Elizabeth Taylor (What?), was reduced to a nervous croak when she tried to sing for Rodgers, who closed his eyes, winced and pronounced the idea of dubbing Nellie's voice "absolutely impossible." The fallback candidate (what?), Doris Day, whose wholesome blonde good looks and natural on-screen exuberance would have seemed to make her a natural, alienated Logan by refusing to sing for him when they met one night at a party at Rosalind Russel's house. Eventually, Logan turned to Mitzi Gaynor.

The words in parentheses are mine.

What a crime Doris never got to play the part. This could have been the role of a lifetime, and a part that might have even surpassed her wonderful performance as Ruth Etting in "Love Me or Leave Me.''
Like Irene Dunne done.

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jmichael
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Re: This and that...

Unread post by jmichael » 21 May 2018, 07:16

Howard,

Josh Logan was interested in Taylor because she had huge successes with Giant and Raintree County under her belt and she was considered the most beautiful woman in films at the time. She had not filmed Cat On A Hot Tin Roof yet and SP was filmed before Mike Todd perished in that plane crash. At the time, it was common practice to hire non-singing actresses in singing roles (hello, Marni Nixon) and the idea of casting Taylor in her first big musical was probably very enticing to Logan. I've also read that Patti Page tested for the role of Nellie Forbush.

I think the most accurate account is Doris / Marty wanted more money than Logan was willing to pay and Gaynor undercut her salary demands.


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Re: This and that...

Unread post by webmaster » 21 May 2018, 08:52

I think it was Marty who wanted more money, Michael. Doris never worried about the business side of things - until it was too late! It could have been a great part for her but I don't think she would have had much rapport with Rossano Brazzi.

See also, Why was Mitzi Gaynor cast in South Pacific?
Why not Doris Day, or Shirley Jones, or Shirley Maclaine, or Debbie Reynolds, or Jane Powell, or Marilyn Monroe?

https://www.datalounge.com/thread/11444 ... h-pacific-

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jmichael
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Re: This and that...

Unread post by jmichael » 21 May 2018, 11:19

"I think it was Marty who wanted more money, Michael. Doris never worried about the business side of things - until it was too late!"

Bryan,

I included Doris' name only because she was in the running for the role. It was not meant to imply that she actively bargained for a higher salary. I agree that money was among the least of her concerns at the time and Marty handled all of her business dealings. Doris talked about this at the fan gathering in Carmel in 1987. She said Logan wasn't willing to pay her enough and that Gaynor wanted the role badly and accepted it for less money. She went on to say that she really didn't care.

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Re: This and that...

Unread post by Jas1 » 21 May 2018, 13:45

At the 1987 Convention - Doris herself said that she thought Marty asked for too much and Mitzi came at the right price- she said although she would have loved the role- she didn't think much about it after the event- and was sure there were roles of her's Mitzi would have loved.

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Re: This and that...

Unread post by webmaster » 21 May 2018, 14:16

Thanks, Michael, I get it. Do you, or anyone, know of any other toles Doris wanted but didn't get?
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jmichael
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Re: This and that...

Unread post by jmichael » 21 May 2018, 20:34

Here are a few films that Doris was considering or offered at some point.

South Pacific
An Affair To Remember
The Children’s Hour w/ Katharine Hepburn
The Unsinkable Molly Brown
The Sound Of Music
Fifth Avenue Surprise
The Graduate
Mother w / Albert Brooks
Forty Carats
The Panda Affair w / Paul Newman
An untitled drama w/ Richard Farnsworth
The Pillow Talk sequel

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Re: This and that...

Unread post by webmaster » 22 May 2018, 03:20

That's quite a list. Thanks, Michael.
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Re: This and that...

Unread post by Jas1 » 22 May 2018, 05:21

The Helen Morgan Story, The Opposite Sex and the Jazz Singer were [potentially] others - as well as Annie Get your Gun of course.

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Re: This and that...

Unread post by Jas1 » 22 May 2018, 05:23

Although glad now she didn't do them - let's not forget Dallas and Dynasty from TV - apparently Nolan Millar sent Doris designs for fashions he had in mind for her - had she played Chrystal's older sister in Dynasty.

Also read in the late 80s they wanted Doris for Falcon Crest and Aaron Spelling wanted Doris for her own soap - playing a retired singer.

Of course, the most famous of the television roles was Murder she Wrote. Doris was def offered this and was taken aback when someone brought it up at the 1987 convention.

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Re: This and that...

Unread post by jmichael » 22 May 2018, 06:54

Jas1 wrote:
22 May 2018, 05:21
The Helen Morgan Story, The Opposite Sex and the Jazz Singer were [potentially] others - as well as Annie Get your Gun of course.
I never knew she was up for Annie Get Your Gun. Very interesting.

Ditto The Opposite Sex. I assume she was offered the role June Allyson played. Just as well on that one because it was a meh remake of the far superior The Women.

I did not venture into television because I thought we were talking about films.

In addition to those Jas mentioned, Doris was promoted as one of three major stars who were going to headline a rotating series of mystery movies for ABC in the late eighties. I recall reading that in the newspaper and being thrilled, but it never came to fruition. And there was another TV movie about two political candidates running against each other and falling in love that never happened.

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Re: This and that...

Unread post by texas gonzalo » 22 May 2018, 21:07

Regarding South Pacific, I recall that the salary was the main factor for Mitzi Gaynor getting the role. In my opinion the studio was short sighted in not casting Doris Day for the role of Nellie Forbush. It would have been a film for the ages. Mitzi appeared to fantasize being Doris Day, and this was evident in her appearance with Kirk Douglas in the 1963 film "For Love Or Money." This was a romantic comedy which tried to upstage "Pillow Talk", to the point that even Thelma Ritter appeared in the film. The obvious similarity to the Day/Hudson pairing did not escape the critics of the time, who quipped that the Douglas/Gaynor pairing was the "poor man"s" version of the Day/Hudson romantic team, or words to that effect. I am sure that did not sit well with either Douglas or Gaynor. By the way, after this movie, Mitzi Gaynor did not make other films stating that "she was too ordinary for films" and wanted to showcase her talents in other entertainment venues. So much for that. Happy Days, Texas Gonzalo

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Re: This and that...

Unread post by webmaster » 23 May 2018, 03:38

Thanks for that interesting information, Texas, I'd never heard of that film before:

Image

I see that Gig Young is also in it! And both films (that and Pillow Talk) were directed by Michael Gordon.
A review on IMDB says:
Rock Hudson and Doris Day must have been otherwise occupied as lead roles which had their names on them go to Kirk Douglas and Mitzi Gaynor in For Love Or Money.... Maybe Kirk and Mitzi are doing Rock and Doris roles, but the rest of the cast slips comfortably into typecasting niches.

Of all the cast I liked Gig Young the best. Both he and Tony Randall took turns as comic foils for the leading men during films of this era and Young is at his goofiest as Douglas's pal whom he tries for about half the film to get together with Gaynor. Something always comes up and Douglas is getting less and less willing to do his assigned part for this Ritter daughter.

For Love Or Money has a nice pace to it and between this and Top Secret Affair are his best in the comedy genre. I lean to Top Secret Affair, but For Love Or Money has a lot of merit. Best scene in the film is poor Gig Young in his all together clinging to a buoy in San Francisco Bay hoping the fog doesn't lift too soon.

The film holds up well after 50 years, fans of Kirk and Mitzi will like it.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057067/
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Re: This and that...

Unread post by Jas1 » 23 May 2018, 05:19

I love hearing about the roles that got away - Yes Michael- it would have been the June Allyson [Norma Shearer] role in Opposite Sex- and I am glad too Doris didn't do it.

I didn't even know about the film above- may be worth a look [Kirk and Mitzi]. I am glad to hear Mitzi always be very complimentary of Doris in interviews - and she too is still going strong and looking fabulous.

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Re: This and that...

Unread post by jmichael » 23 May 2018, 05:49

Forgive me if this comes across as snarky, but For Love Or Money is one of the most forgettable comedies from the sixties era. It is forced and painfully unfunny. It also offers irrefutable proof that Kirk Douglas had no feel whatsoever for light comedy and that Mitzi Gaynor was no Doris Day. Even Thelma Ritter and Gig Young couldn’t make that film come momentarily to life.

I think TexasGonzalo is spot on about Mitzi. She tried to emulate and perhaps eclipse Doris but she was not in the same league.

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Re: This and that...

Unread post by webmaster » 23 May 2018, 06:18



If the YouTube clip above is anything to go by, I think I'll give it a miss!
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Re: This and that...

Unread post by texas gonzalo » 23 May 2018, 20:24

Another role that was rumored as a vehicle for Doris Day was "Hello Dolly." As I recall Marty Melcher did not approve of Miss Day doing the role because Dolly was an older lady. At the time of the rumors I thought about the great advertisements which could have developed if Doris Day had made the film. For example, "Hello Doris, well Hello Doris, it's so great to have you back where you belong." etc. But it was not be. Happy Days, Texas Gonzalo

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Re: This and that...

Unread post by jmichael » 24 May 2018, 08:02

texas gonzalo wrote:
23 May 2018, 20:24
Another role that was rumored as a vehicle for Doris Day was "Hello Dolly." As I recall Marty Melcher did not approve of Miss Day doing the role because Dolly was an older lady. At the time of the rumors I thought about the great advertisements which could have developed if Doris Day had made the film. For example, "Hello Doris, well Hello Doris, it's so great to have you back where you belong." etc. But it was not be. Happy Days, Texas Gonzalo
Yes, I had completely forgotten about Hello Dolly.

I don't see Doris in this role at all. Doris is not the meddling match maker type IMO. However, i will venture to say that she and Walter Matthau would have had far better chemistry than Matthau had with Streisand, who was too young to play Dolly. I still get a kick out of Barbra in this role though. She was smart enough to know that she was wrong for the part, but she injected a playful sass and enough Mae West schtick to make it work. And her vocals were absolutely gorgeous.

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Re: This and that...

Unread post by webmaster » 04 Jul 2018, 17:08

Playing Devil's Advocate, I could really see Doris play "Dolly". What fun. The role calls for a matriarch and as Rock Hudson said: "God knows, Doris is a strong woman!" Like many women stars in Hollywood at that time, she wasn't always free to move outside of her image', although she did more than most. Think about it, would you prefer to see Doris in any one of her last six films or in a big musical spectacular like "Hello Dolly" ? Entertainment-wise it would have to be better than "Where Were You When The Lights Went Out"? at the very least. I think she would have enjoyed doing it, as she showed in "Jumbo" she still liked musicals.

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Re: This and that...

Unread post by jmichael » 05 Jul 2018, 11:24

Contradicting myself here but - on second thought, Doris could have been a convincing Dolly with her natural warmth and sparkling screen presence. The meddlesome yenta aspect wasn’t necessarily in her wheelhouse, but she would have probably relied on the forceful traits that Babe Williams possessed to make her Dolly believable. Certainly, the Jerry Herman score was meant to be sung by someone of Doris’ caliber and I know she would have knocked the songs out of the park.

I’m in New York now and just saw Bernadette Peters in the role, so a number of musically gifted actresses can play the role and bring their own special gifts to it.

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Re: This and that...

Unread post by webmaster » 05 Jul 2018, 13:33

Well done, Michael. It's good to 'contradict' yourself sometimes - it shows you are open minded.

Pity that ole penny-pinching Marty Melcher wasn't - I don't think that his concern about the age of the character was valid, surely it's more to do with the interpretation of the part that matters?

As for suitability, on paper, a union representative in a pajama factory doesn't sound like a great role for Doris but look what she did with it.

But, like Jumbo, it was getting a bit late for the big Hollywood musical by then - but it would have been fun for us fans to look back on, as we do with her other musicals.
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Re: This and that...

Unread post by webmaster » 07 Jul 2018, 16:23

The Black Hills of Dakota

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“I hear the voice of the mystic mountains callin’ me back home, so take me back to the Black Hills...” - Doris Day

"Doris Day is one of a multitude of artists who have crooned about the storied South Dakota mountain range. Songs of lush beauty, colorful characters and a rich, often infamous history fill the lyrical canon the hills have inspired. For those of us who grip handlebars rather than microphones, the Black Hills can be equally inspirational..."
https://ridermagazine.com/2018/07/06/ch ... th-dakota/
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