The Ballad of Josie

You are invited to rate and comment on the 39 films of Doris Day.

How do you rate "The Ballad of Josie"?

Poor
7
16%
Average
16
36%
Good
16
36%
Excellent
5
11%
 
Total votes: 44

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paul
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Re: The Ballad of Josie

Unread post by paul » 03 Oct 2015, 16:11

Bryan - In her autobiography Miss Day notes that Marty asked her how she'd liked a particular script and she says something to the effect that she's happy she no longer has to do that kind of film. He advises her that she is doing it - "Caprice". Doris had signed to do three films at 20th Century Fox to be co-produced by Aaron Rosenberg. The third was to have been "Fifth Avenue Folly" a very, very funny comedy. However, without advising her, Marty and the studio substituted "Caprice" for "Folly". "Folly" was comparable in quality to "The Thrill of it All" or "Lover Come Back" and would have probably been a huge success. "Caprice" came too late in the spy-cycle which was winding down by 1967. "Folly" dealt with a divorcee who, as part of her divorce settlement, gets a New York City 5th Avenue department store. I've read the script and it is sharp, funny, sexy, and very well written. It played to Miss Day's many strengths as an actress.

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Re: The Ballad of Josie

Unread post by webmaster » 03 Oct 2015, 17:03

Thanks Paul - very interesting - sure I can make use of that. :wink:
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Re: The Ballad of Josie

Unread post by tonysimone » 06 Oct 2015, 10:40

Thanks, Paul. One more example of how many times that guy finked DD's career. That picture is an absolute stinker. My daughter actually liked it until I had her watch "Pillow Talk" and then that Josie DVD went into the circular file.

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Peter Flapper
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Re: The Ballad of Josie

Unread post by Peter Flapper » 26 Dec 2015, 13:11

Hi all,

The Ballad Of Josie
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For me, not a great film, but I love the sets and the outfits from Jean Louis

Enjoy,

P

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Musiclover
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Re: The Ballad of Josie

Unread post by Musiclover » 26 Dec 2015, 23:15

So do I, Peter. It has a strong supporting cast, too, and some very funny bits.

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Re: The Ballad of Josie

Unread post by webmaster » 27 Dec 2015, 09:15

Great photos, Peter! Just what I need for my film page. Thank you. 8)
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Johnny
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Re: The Ballad of Josie

Unread post by Johnny » 28 Dec 2015, 15:57

Thank you Peter for The Ballad of Josie pictures of Doris.

When I look at them, I see how present Doris is as an actress. You just look at Doris' eyes in the picture with the boy and see the depth of her feeling. The pictures elicit good feelings and a fondness for this film.
Johnny

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Johnny
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Re: The Ballad of Josie

Unread post by Johnny » 10 Oct 2016, 14:06

In Considering Doris Day, author Tom Santopietro writes, The Ballad of Josie is "the most overtly feminist film of Day's entire career, it plays like a 1967 non-musical version of 1953's Calamity Jane."

"As happened so often in late Doris Day movies, the film gets off to a bad start , with a horrible title song, courtesy of the usually brilliant Frank Sinatra arranger Don Costa. The tune, which is sung by frequent Barry Manilow collaborator Ron Dante, comes complete with simpering lyrics that extol Josie's spunk. All of this is accompanied by some very strange stop-action title credits, but with this silliness out of the way, The Ballad of Josie settles in and makes an often fascinating feminist statement."

When Josie wants to raise cows on her ranch, Peter Graves, character, Jason Meredith laughs at the idea of a woman raising cows. He tells Josie that such behaviour is not proper. Josie responds instantly, "I don't want TO BE TAKEN CARE OF. I AM STRONG, ABLE TO DO ANYTHING. Don't tut-tut me" This is more of an overtly feminist statement than what is found in many of the supposedly radical films of the late 1960's and Josie in some ways plays like a late-nineteenth century precursor of the independent career women Day essayed on film in the late 1950's and early 1960's.

The Ballad of Josie deserves to be looked at again. Doris Day preceded the feminist revolution that was about to take place in Hollywood films. Doris has always been a feminist and represents women as confident, strong, intelligent and kind.
Johnny

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Re: The Ballad of Josie

Unread post by webmaster » 10 Oct 2016, 16:41

Thanks for that, Johnny.

BTW, did you see that message in the topic Classic Films Reloaded II? (asking if you and some others would consider writing some contributions?)
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Johnny
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Re: The Ballad of Josie

Unread post by Johnny » 17 Oct 2017, 16:01

Checking out the song The Ballad of Josie which was criticized in a review, it seems pleasant enough and sets up the mood for the film.

The second song, Wait Till Tomorrow is rarely mentioned. It is sung by The Sun Set. It is not exceptional but it is charming.

The Ballad Of Josie is set in the beautiful Wyoming countryside. Josie defines her widowed character's independence with the response to her father-in-law, who offers her the job as his housekeeper with the line, "I have two hands, I can take care of myself".

In Tom Santopietro's book, Considering Doris Day, it describes Josie's response as, "This is not your standard -issue Western woman, and in Day's hands, it's a believable statement that piques the viewer's interest.

As with many other situations in life, looking back often prompts a shift in perspective. Perhaps it is fair to say that The Ballad Of Josie was not given more respect. Doris did not like the film but her performance lifted the film. The supporting cast is effective although their script is not strong. In 1967, Westerns were going out of style. This was a disadvantage for the film.

The Ballad of Josie is rarely seen on television but it is worth a look if only to see Doris Day's performance.
Johnny

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Re: The Ballad of Josie

Unread post by Musiclover » 17 Oct 2017, 23:16

Despite the admittedly weak script, there were several elements of "Josie" that I like in addition to Doris's always dependable performance: Her period costumes, the supporting cast, the humor, and the loving relationship between Josie and her son. Had the film been made a decade earlier, it probably would've gotten much more favorable reviews.

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Johnny
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Re: The Ballad of Josie

Unread post by Johnny » 25 Nov 2018, 16:05

After reading so much criticism about Doris' late films, including The Ballad of Josie, I thought it I important to post some positive comments in the spirit of fairness.

In Tom Santopietro's book, Considering Doris Day, he writes these comments about The Ballad of Josie.

"There are many interesting elements in the film that are surprisingly good in spots. The most overtly feminist film of Day's entire career, it plays like a 1967 nonmusical version of 1953's Calamity Jane. Written by Harold Swanton and directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, the movie, set in the beautiful countryside of the nineteenth century Wyoming Territory centers on the struggle for financial and emotional independence by Josie Minick (Doris Day).

As happened so often in many late Doris Day movies, the film gets off to a bad start, with a horrible title song, courtesy of the usually brilliant Frank Sinatra arranger Don Costa. The song, which is sung by frequent Barry Manilow collaborator Ron Dante, comes with simpering lyrics that extol Josie's spunk.

Josie wants to raise cows on her land and is told by love interest, Jason Meredith (Peter Graves), laughs at Josie's idea and tells her it isn't proper.
She quickly rebukes with the retort, "I don't want to be taken care of. I am strong, able to do anything. Don't tut-tut me". This is more of am overtly feminist statement than what is found in many of the supposedly more radical films of the late 1960's, and Josie plays like a precursor of the independent career woman Day essayed on film in the late 50'sand early 60's.

Jace says to Josie,"No woman can ranch alone". Her fiery reply, " To you a woman is a species of idiot to be kept in a back closet and fed three times a day". This gal brooks no nonsense and is determined to farm her 480 acres..."

In the last thirty minutes of the film, it goes downhill with Josie essentially giving up her independence by marrying Jace and allowing him to speak for her. This negates everything that has happened before and makes no sense.
Johnny

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jmichael
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Re: The Ballad of Josie

Unread post by jmichael » 28 Nov 2018, 09:14

I think Doris summed-up it best: a second rate television movie or words to that effect.

Josie resembled other cheaply made Universal productions in the late sixties when the studio tried to turn popular TV stars like Don Knotts, Mary Tyler Moore and Roy Thinnes into movie stars. It belonged on a Saturday Night At The Movies television broadcast, not in movie theaters.

Marty had to feed the Rosenthal machine and that is the only reason this film exists.

Michael
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Johnny
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Re: The Ballad of Josie

Unread post by Johnny » 01 Dec 2019, 22:33

In David Kaufman's book on Doris, he writes these comments about The Ballad of Josie.
"There's nothing about The Ballad of Josie that couldn't have been taken care of in the 54 minutes allotted weekly to a Western series on TV wrote Leo Sullivan in the Washington Post who accurately saw the film as a harbinger of the end of Doris Day's film career. You might say that this Western outburst is Doris Day's first deliberate step into television, which, we are told, is to be her principal form in the future".

"Indeed, two months before work on Josie commenced, Variety announced: "A project still in negotiations, could prove a major coup for CBS, since it would mean the video debut of Doris Day. The perennial Puritan of the celluloids would emcee a drama anthology like Bob Hope's Chrysler Theater
Show; that would her actively performing in same every fourth week. " The following April, a Variety headline summed up the latest development in the story: "CBS Dickers Doris Day for both Pix and TV series". Then on May 9, 1967, came the announcement that Day would star in up to four pix (two plus two), of CBS theatrical films. And on May 10th, the no less telling headline: " CBS Grooming Doris Day for slot Lucy Ball is Expected to Vacate".

I don't recall reading in Doris' My Own Story or any other book about Doris doing a drama anthology series. Martin Melcher died the following April 1968 and Doris discovered she was committed to comedy series The Doris Day Show which premiered in September 1968.

It makes one wonder if Doris was even aware of proposed anthology series on CBS.

The Ballad of Josie was not a success but it deserved fair criticism. Often the film critics elitist views were condescending. I showed the film to some of the kids (8- 12), in the family and they really enjoyed the film.
Johnny

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