On Moonlight Bay

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

How do you rate "On Moonlight Bay"?

Poor
0
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Average
5
11%
Good
16
36%
Excellent
24
53%
 
Total votes: 45

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pillowtalk
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Re: On Moonlight Bay

Unread post by pillowtalk »

Great article!! This is one of my favorite DD films too. There is just something magical about it that can take you away from reality, if only for 2 hours. :wink:
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Re: On Moonlight Bay

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ImageImageImageImageImageImage
I LOVE YOU DORIS♥

“You haven't lived until you've lived with a cat.” Doris Day
Ania YouTube

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Johnny
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Re: On Moonlight Bay

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This past Sunday, October 13, our family and friends watched On Moonlight Bay, on TCM. Some of the younger ones in the group had not seen this film before.

The entire cast is so much fun and very charming. Leon Ames as the father George , Billy Gray as Wesley and Mary Wickes as Stella the cook, steal every scene when they appear. They were hysterically funny.

We laughed often and loudly. This film really made our Sunday special. The kids want to see it again.

One friend remarked that, On Moonlight Bay is a much better film than many of the films that are in our movie houses today. There is an incredible amount of talent in the movie.
Johnny

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Re: On Moonlight Bay

Unread post by webmaster »

I couldn't agree more, Johnnie. This is the first Doris Day film I saw aged 11 (not when it came out!) and I became a fan straight away! But, as you say, the whole cast were excellent and it is a kind of magical film.

Lloyd K Jessen has written a length piece on this and "By the Light of the Silvery Moon", which talks about the author, Booth Tarkington, the books, the music, the films, the actors, etc - it's well worth a read.

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http://www.dorisday.net/moons-special.html

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Re: On Moonlight Bay

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Last Canadian Thanksgiving in October our family watched On Moonlight Bay. It was suggested yesterday that we make it an annual traditon and so we plan to do the same this October 13th.

Since the film is all about family and filled with charm and music of the first world war era ir gives a true appreciation of that time. Although the Moonlight Bay family is idealized, it really shows the importance of family and caring so it is most approprite way to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.

The songs , Cuddle Up A Little Closer is sweet and patriculary funny as Wesley (Billy Gray) is howling under the porch as Doris and Gordon sing. Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag, and Till We Meet Again are timeless in their meaning of the era.

On Moonlight Bay helped Doris become a major star and it was with this film that she entered Hollywood's top ten list.
Johnny

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Re: On Moonlight Bay

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On Moonlight Bay Bay and By the Light of the Silvery Moon were the after Thanksgiving meal treat for a group of eight of us of all ages. The sentiments expressed in the films, love of parents for their children, romantic love, humorous moonstruck love, were engaging without being mushy.

The kids loved the films. One of the adults said, watching a double-header reminded him of going to the movies on a Saturday when he was a kid and seeing a double feature.

This is the second year for the On Moonlight bay viewing and the first for By The Light of the Silvery Moon. Everyone commented on Doris' singing and her winsome appeal. Billy Gray and Mary Wickes were a great hit.

These films and Doris Day are the gift that keeps on giving.
Johnny

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Re: On Moonlight Bay

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Well said!
Like Irene Dunne done.

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Re: On Moonlight Bay

Unread post by webmaster »

You've seen this, haven't you, Johnny? Might be interesting to your family friends. :)

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http://www.dorisday.net/moons-special.html
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Re: On Moonlight Bay

Unread post by Johnny »

Thanks so much!

These pictures just brought to mind that I have 78 records in an album with On Moonlight Bay on the cover. I don't know where it is but I am going to search for it. It was bought by my father when the movie came out.

I will share these great pics. Thanks again!
Johnny

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Re: On Moonlight Bay

Unread post by webmaster »

Would love to see them, Johnny - On Moonlight Bay was the first Doris Day film I saw and it made me a fan for life. :)
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Re: On Moonlight Bay

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An interesting discussion was held with my friends regarding whether On Moonlight Bay and By The Light of The Silvery Moon could be made and marketed to today's audience. Four in the groups said no one would be interested in making the films, and that the films are too old fashioned for today's audience that go to the movies. Two of us including yours truly said it was a possibility with the right talent.

The remake example I gave was Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge, 2001 film. It was an exciting stylized film.

I think a talented screen- writer could create a good film from the material. Another key question that was discussed was, who would play Doris Day' role as Marjorie Winfield who was at the heart of the film.

It is an interesting idea, but I wonder about the music. The score would have to connect with today's audience. At the end of the day we know we have the original films with Doris Day, her beautiful voice and the fantastic cast and we can be thankful for this.

Thanksgiving is coming in October and we will show both these films after dinner as part of our tradition for a third year.
Johnny

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Re: On Moonlight Bay

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Watching On Moonlight Bay was a big hit again this year with family and friends. The scene that was a real showstopper for everyone was the one when Wesley (Billy Gray) is getting dressed as an angel by his mother, Marjorie and Stella. Marjorie (Doris) says "It seems almost sacrilegious to dress Wesley as an angel". When Wesley looks in the mirror and discovers he is dressed in Marjorie's old petticoat, the hissy-fit is a scene of brilliant high comedy. While Wesley is being chased around the room by everyone he yells, "I wouldn't be an angel if you killed me". We repeated showing this scene five times to everyone's delight. When the next scene comes along we see Wesley sitting in his movie seat chomping on a mouthful of candy watching the movie, The Curse of Drink.

Later during a discussion on Billy Gray's career (Wesley) it was commented on that he was the son in the TV series, Father's Knows Best. The question that was raised was why Billy Gray with all his incredible talent did not move from child actor to the top adult roles of stardom. He was so natural and likable in front of the camera and was charismatic.

On Moonlight Bay will always be a great treasure to watch and share.
Johnny

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Re: On Moonlight Bay

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This is the information the Moonlight Bay DVD cover.

Front Jacket Cover:

A happy screenful of sun-kissed melody and kiss-by-moonlight romance from Warner Bros.

The Lovin'est musical in many a moon.

Back Jacket Cover:
Put on your straw-boater and cuddle up a little closer.

Not since Judy and the boy next door in St. Louis has there been a heaping of tuneful romantic Midwestern American life like this. Doris Day and Gordon MacRay team for spoon'in, croonin', and swoonin' on Moonlight Bay based on Booth Tarkington's Penrod stories.

"Try not to walk like a first-base man mama (rosemary DeCamp) tells tomboy Marjorie (Day) as she prepares to date college man Bill (MacRay). The advise takes. The lovebirds hear wedding bells ahead just as soon as Bill gets his sheepskin. But World War 1 wages, "Over there", and papa (Leon Ames) rages at home after a flap with his prospective son-in-law. Will harmony return to thi Hoosier home? Surely Day and MacRay will make musical harmony and On Moonlight Bay will have you sailing along.

Special Features:
Vintage Musical Short

Let's Sing A Song About The Moonlight'

Classic Cartoon
A Hound For Trouble

Theatrical Trailer

I find the descriptive advertising language used for the film interesting in that it is consistent with the early 1900's time period of the film although the film arrived in the theaters in the 1950's. I wonder if a film like this could be made today. It is one of my favourites and Doris looks so vibrant and fresh in a performance without guile (which is true for all her films). The comic character of Wesley stays close to my heart and I often feel I could have ben him during that time. This is a well loved film by my family that we watch every Thanksgiving.
Johnny

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Re: On Moonlight Bay

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Image

Hey Johnny, I think we both love the "Moons" Films - along with everyone else on here!

I think I might make them a banner section soon, Have you seen this:

Doris Day talks about On Moonlight Bay with Gordon MacRae:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xadw2u ... shortfilms
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Re: On Moonlight Bay

Unread post by Johnny »

Thanks so much Bryan! You made my day.

I have the original On Moonlight Bay album that consists of three 78's that was bought by my father. I just bought the double cd of both Moon films. One cannot help but feel happy listening to this music and Doris' voice.

Thanks again.
Johnny

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Re: On Moonlight Bay

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Doris looked so cute in that baseball uniform.
Like Irene Dunne done.

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Re: On Moonlight Bay

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In David Kaufman's book on Doris Day, there is an interesting description on how Doris prepared for her role as Marjorie Winfield in On Moonlight Bay.

It says:"On the verge of turning twenty-nine when she made the film, Day was playing a character nearly half her age, and she did what she could to compensate for the discrepancy. She went on a rigorous diet of yogurt and wheat germ to slim down for the part. The property man even took her new regimen into account when preparing a table for a party scene in the film, using blackstrap molasses and whole wheat flour for the pastry, yogurt for the white layers in the cake and chocolates filled with cottage cheese.
The Time magazine reviewer added, "Actress Day does not quite pass for an 18-year-old, but her freshness keeps her in character".
Doris Day, Gordon MacRae, On Moonlight Bay (1951) _ The Films of Doris ___(1).jpg
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Re: On Moonlight Bay

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Nice story, Johnny - thank you. :)
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Re: On Moonlight Bay

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On Moonlight Bay was released on July 26-1951.

I came across critic reviews on Rotton Tomatoes. On Moonlight Bay scores 100% on the Tomatometer and has an 81% audience score.

I have been researching original reviews on Doris Day films when they were first released but many of them have been difficult to find. Original reviews give insights into the movie culture of the period compared to the contemporary and different lens of today.


The following are comments from critics on Rotton Tomatoes.

Steve Crum -February 4-2008
Rating 3\5

Pleasant enough old fashioned Warner with Day and MacRae singing the true oldies.

Douglas Platt
June 15-2007

There is an undercurrent of gossip, alcoholism, and sexuality that modifies the film's optimism, giving a darker viewpoint than a standard musical comedy.


Dennis Schwartz
April 7-2007

It is the film that established Doris Day as the girl next door.

John J. Duccio
April 5,2007

Fun, frothy, and filled with an abundance of good old fashioned tunes.

In 2001 On Moonlight Bay was nominated by AFI as one of the greatest movie musicals.

On January 2, 1952, Variety reported that On Moonlight Bay earned $2,500,000 and ranked #20 in the top money earning films of 1951.

On August 1- 2013, the Alternative Film Guide listed Doris Day as the most exuberant performer in Hollywood history.


On Moonlight Bay holds endearing memories for me. Wesley as played brilliantly by Billy Gray left an indelible impression on me as a very bright and funny kid.

Doris Day looked luminous in this film. All the supporting players were extraordinary, especially Mary Wicks as housekeeper Stella, making On Moonlight Bay a lovable film for the ages. It appeals to the humour and tenderness in us all. In summary, this film along with the sequel, By The Light of The Silvery Moon, are among the most charming of all of Doris Day's 39 films.
Johnny

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Re: On Moonlight Bay

Unread post by rbendtzen »

Hi.

This question is reguarding both Moonlight Bay and Silvery Moon. Awhile ago on The Films of Doris Day website, I read a fascinating article written by Lloyd K something, (I forgot his last name.) It talked all about the history of the 2 title songs, the history of the stories and how the films eventually came to be. I was recently on The Films of Doris Day, looking for that article, but I could not find it. Where is it? Is it still available to view online?

Please let me know. Thank you very much.

Rob Bendtzen

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Re: On Moonlight Bay

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Hi Rob,

Great questions! I will check the history of these songs.

On this forum there are some real experts who have often given in-depth, interesting background information on both films and songs. Musiclover has enlightened me many times.

I am sure you will have your answers soon.
Johnny

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Re: On Moonlight Bay

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I found some basic information on the songs On Moonlight Bay and By The Light of The Silvery Moon.

The composer for On Moonlight Bay is Percy Wenrich and the lyricist is Edward Madden. The song was published in 1912.

It was often used in many animated Looney Tunes cartoons.

1942 - Porky Pig -My Favourite Duck
1948- Sylvester The Cat - Back Alley Opera

1978 - Louis Malle -Pretty Baby


By The Light Of The Silvery Moon composer is Gus Edwards. The lyricist is Edward Madden. The song was published in 1909.

Some of films where this song is heard:

1933- Turn Back The Clock
1948 -Heaven Can Wait
1968 - The Producers

As more information is found, I will post it.
Johnny

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Re: On Moonlight Bay

Unread post by Musiclover »

Rob, I don't know if the essays you mention are online any more . . . but I do know that the basis for both of those films was the 3-book Penrod series written by Pulitzer prize winning novelist Booth Tarkington between 1914 and 1929. The song "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" was first performed in the 1909 Ziegfeld Follies. Of course, Doris recorded it -- and so did (among others) Bing Crosby, Julie Andrews, and even Ray Charles.

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Re: On Moonlight Bay

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Their is an interesting commentary by author Alan Gelb in The Doris Day Scrapbook on Doris' film On Moonlight Bay. Some of the criticism I found to be disagreeable.

"On Moonlight Bay was a nostalgic piece of escapism that delighted audiences and went on to make piles of money for the studio.

It was directed by Roy Del Ruth, a Warners Brothers workhorse who had been at the helm of such innocuities as The West Point Story and The Babe Ruth Story. Del Ruth was the directorial equivalent of Gene Nelson and Gordon Mac Rae, and he took the opportunity of creating something enchanting with the Tarkington stories and did precisely nothing with it. As in the case of Tea For Two, there was only the most cursory attempt to create a period flavour. Of course one does not expert the miraculous --it should be put out of one's mind that Wells worked the same era in his version of Tarkington's The Magnificent Ambersons or that Vincente Minnelli, a few years before, had transported audiences into the bygone times of
Meet Me In St. Louis. But certainly something more significant and real than plastic cuteness could have been achieved in On Moonlight Bay. Warners itself had done a lovely depiction of a bygone era in Raoul Walsh's Strawberry Blonde hadn't they? But again Doris, whose considerable talents gleamed in this movie, was saddled with the second rate and the banal.

The script was by Jack Rose and Mel Shavelson, who had written It's A Great Feeling some years back.There is a story to this that is genuinely appealing, but becomes overcute on account of the director.
Johnny

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Re: On Moonlight Bay

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I came across some interesting trivia about Doris' film On Moonlight Bay on IMDb.

It reads: " Years later Carol Burnett recalled having worked at the theatre on Hollywood Boulevard where this film played its' premiere engagement in July 1951. Burnett who earned about 75 cents an hour for the job, took special pleasure in answering the the theatre's telephone in a sing - song voice and declaring: " Pantages Theater - Doris Day and Gordon MacRae On Moonlight Bay".

The goof that is listed in On Moonlight Bay says: "As By The Light of The Silvery Moon" is played on the saloon piano, an old woman's beer glass that is empty mysteirously
instantly fills in the background between shots."

When I watch On Moonlight Bay, I am always captivated by the charm, humour , and love in this period story. Above all, Doris Day's luminosity elevates the good feeling in this film and makes the audience fall in love with her.
Johnny

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