Love Me or Leave Me

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

How do you rate "Love Me or Leave Me"?

Excellent
67
89%
Good
4
5%
Average
0
No votes
Poor
4
5%
 
Total votes: 75

User avatar
jmichael
Honorary Member
Posts: 1912
Joined: 23 Apr 2005, 06:00
Location: Overland Park, KS USA

Re: Love Me or Leave Me

Unread post by jmichael »

Here is a wonderful appreciation of this film by Shelia O’Malley for Film Comment.

https://www.filmcomment.com/blog/tcm-diary-love-leave/

Michael
Michael H

"There's nothing in my bedroom that bothers me."

User avatar
Johnny
Honorary Member
Posts: 2874
Joined: 10 Oct 2007, 16:02
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Love Me or Leave Me

Unread post by Johnny »

Thank you so much Michael for posting Sheila O'Malley's riveting, thoughtful and genuine appreciation for the film Love Me or Love Me.

It is the first time I have seen the words "tour de force" to describe the performances of James Cagney and Doris Day.

The background information on Ruth Etting demonstrates the authenticity of Doris' brilliant performance.

It is a pleasure and a surprise to see an in-depth genuine appreciation of many of the scenes in Love Me Or Leave Me. It is an historical film treasure.

Along with Doris Day, it appears director Charles Vidor was underappreciated. In 1955, Academy award nominations were NOT given to Love Me Or Leave Me for best picture, Charles Vidor for best director and Doris Day for best actress. James Cagney was nominated for best actor.

The omission of these nominations is outrageous considering in 1955 Love Is A Many Splendored Thing was nominated for best picture. Jennifer Jones was nominated for best actress for this picture. No disrespect is intended for the film or actress but looking back with an historical perspective, I would be interested in seeing what Sheila O'Malley would write about Love Is A Many Splendored Thing in comparison with Love Me Or Leave Me.

Interestingly, Charles Vidor's mesmerizing film Gilda is about an emotional love triangle as is Love Me or Leave Me. Rita Hayworth's musical numbers are as captivating as Doris'. Vidor is gifted in staging captivating scenes.

Reading Sheila O' Malley's commentary on Love Me or Leave Me is truly satisfying. The film and Doris deserved this kind of review in 1955.

Thanks again Michael!
Johnny

User avatar
Musiclover
Special Contributer
Posts: 1390
Joined: 05 Jan 2014, 16:42
Spam Prevention: Yes
Contact:

Re: Love Me or Leave Me

Unread post by Musiclover »

Michael, thanks for this link. Doris said in a much later interview that LMOLM might be the best film she ever made, and Cagney rated it in the top 5 of all his movies. I never get tired of watching this film, although some of the parallels in the Etting-Snyder and Day-Melcher stories are almost eerie.

User avatar
jmichael
Honorary Member
Posts: 1912
Joined: 23 Apr 2005, 06:00
Location: Overland Park, KS USA

Re: Love Me or Leave Me

Unread post by jmichael »

I'm pleased you guys enjoyed this review as much as I did.

I loved how the writer referred to LMOLM as an overlooked classic that deserved more love and respect than it got when it was first released. It's mind boggling to think that the film, director, and leading actress were overlooked by the Oscars. After all, Doris did her own singing, unlike Susan Hayward in I'll Cry Tomorrow or Rita Hayworth in Gilda. Charles Vidor, although lacking the signature style of a Howard Hawks, George Stevens or Nicholas Ray, was a total pro who knew how to tell a story and how to showcase true star quality. Given the strict rules of the Hays Code at the time, the seamier aspects of Ruth Etting's live were glossed over, but the heart and soul of her struggle - the turbulent Marty Snyder and Ruth Etting relationship, came through vividly thanks to the first-rate performances and the screenplay. It was refreshing to watch Doris play a morally compromised individual, someone who was street smart, darker in temperament, and relentless in her drive to succeed. It's always difficult to name one favorite performance above all others, but this is my all-time favorite Doris Day performance.

And if anyone has ever sung a better version of Ten Cents A Dance, I'd love to know who it is.

Michael
Michael H

"There's nothing in my bedroom that bothers me."

User avatar
Musiclover
Special Contributer
Posts: 1390
Joined: 05 Jan 2014, 16:42
Spam Prevention: Yes
Contact:

Re: Love Me or Leave Me

Unread post by Musiclover »

My sentiments exactly, Michael.

User avatar
Jas1
Honorary Member
Posts: 3728
Joined: 31 Mar 2005, 05:23
Location: Ireland
Contact:

Re: Love Me or Leave Me

Unread post by Jas1 »

Agree too Michael - and especially about Doris' 10 cents a dance- Chris Conor does a lovely jazz version "Live at the Village Gate" early 1960s- with verse- but Doris' version is the tops for me too.

Verse:
"I work at the palace ballroom, and that palace is cheap, when I get back to my chilly hall-room, I'm much too tired to sleep;
I'm one of those lady teachers, a beautiful hostess, you know...
One that the palace features, at exactly a dime a go...

10 cents a dance...

"


:P :P :P

User avatar
howard
Special Contributer
Posts: 2124
Joined: 07 Mar 2005, 12:55
Location: north hollywood, California
Contact:

Re: Love Me or Leave Me

Unread post by howard »

"Love Me or Leave Me" is being televised today (2/22/18) on TCM (USA) at 1:00 p.m. (EST) and 4:00 p.m. (PST). I never tire of watching this fabulous film!
Like Irene Dunne done.

User avatar
Musiclover
Special Contributer
Posts: 1390
Joined: 05 Jan 2014, 16:42
Spam Prevention: Yes
Contact:

Re: Love Me or Leave Me

Unread post by Musiclover »

Just came across this observation about LMOLM from theatre and film historian Ken Bloom in his book Hollywood Musicals: "The film is hard hitting [and] as dramatic as any straight film. Lots of credit goes to Doris Day's no-holds-barred performance."

With LMOLM, Bloom also identifies Calamity Jane and Pajama Game in his list of the greatest film musicals of the 1950s. Although the book contains a glaring error about those films (that Doris had made only one film prior to Calamity Jane), there is much to like about it.

User avatar
Johnny
Honorary Member
Posts: 2874
Joined: 10 Oct 2007, 16:02
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Love Me or Leave Me

Unread post by Johnny »

Some interesting background on Love Me or Leave Me is revealed in the chapter, "A Perfect Motion Picture" in David Kaufman 's book, Doris Day, The Untold Story of The Girl Next Door.

Producer Joe Pasternak said he had "to beg" Doris Day to do the film. "There was something in the picture that reminded her of something that she didn't want to be reminded of" said the producer. "We could never figure out what it was. But she did it and gave the finest performance of her career".

Originally the Ruth Etting role was offered to Ava Gardner and Jane Russell who turned it down. Jane Russell wanted to play Lillian Roth in I'll Cry Tomorrow which Susan Hayward eventually played. Jane Powell also auditioned for the role of Etting. George Cukor was to direct.

Doris was paid a $200,000 salary for her first picture with a studio other than Warner Brothers which reveals how big a star she had became by 1954.

During April 1952, plans for Love Me or Leave Me were put on hold while MGM awaited "approval from the principals in the Ruth Etting deal". In order to secure permission for their story, Snyder received $55,000 from MGM and Etting far more.

Cagney had been sent a copy of the script while he was making Mister Roberts on location in the South Pacific. "I took one red-through and said "My God, yes. We go with this one. There was nothing to be added and nothing to be taken away".

James Cagney said this about Doris Day, "That lack of guile" photographs.

The preproduction schedule for Love Me or Leave Me committed Day to forty-one "Work" and thirty-nine "Rehearse and Record" days, a sharp contrast with Cagney and his thirty-six "Work", days and no rehearsals. Rehearsals began on November 19-1954 and continued to December 4th when production began continuing through to February 8th.
Johnny

User avatar
Ania
Honorary Member
Posts: 2358
Joined: 16 Jul 2011, 19:17
Spam Prevention: Yes
Contact:

Re: Love Me or Leave Me

Unread post by Ania »

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
I LOVE YOU DORIS♥

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

User avatar
Musiclover
Special Contributer
Posts: 1390
Joined: 05 Jan 2014, 16:42
Spam Prevention: Yes
Contact:

Re: Love Me or Leave Me

Unread post by Musiclover »

Just came across this brief comment from film critic-turned-director Francois Truffaut about Doris's performance in LMOLM: "She has great erotic presence." He didn't identify any specific scenes that he attached to that observation, however.

User avatar
jmichael
Honorary Member
Posts: 1912
Joined: 23 Apr 2005, 06:00
Location: Overland Park, KS USA

Re: Love Me or Leave Me

Unread post by jmichael »

This film was a game changer and it holds up beautifully. While I will never be able to comprehend why the Academy overlooked her sizzling performance, LMOLM remains one of the best musical biographies ever made. You can watch it over and again and find something new to admire in the richly nuanced performances of Day and Cagney. Nice to learn that Truffaut admired her work too. Another great find by Judy. Thank you.

Michael
Michael H

"There's nothing in my bedroom that bothers me."

User avatar
Johnny
Honorary Member
Posts: 2874
Joined: 10 Oct 2007, 16:02
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Love Me or Leave Me

Unread post by Johnny »

In the book The Doris Day Scrapbook by Alan Gleb, he writes: (partial excerpt of his review on Love Me or Leave Me):

"The part of Snyder was played by James Cagney, and it made all the difference. The part fit Cagney like a glove, and Love Me or Leave Me became one of the half-dozen or so films most closely associated with this great star. The intensity Cagney brings to this part makes Snyder both a believable and a tragic figure. We come to understand his obsession, and the terrifying lengths to which it leads him. By contrast with Cagney, whose force is volcanic, Doris might have faded off into the background. It is a great tribute to her that she can more than hold her own. But then again, she is an altogether new Doris Day. Our first glimpse of her, in a tight, sequined dress, singing "Ten Cents A Dance", is revelatory. There was always something appealing about her, but here she is intensely sexual. Indeed, it is the intense sexuality exuded in the Snyder-Etting relationship that elevates it from just some sort of perverse sado-masochistic pairing-off onto another, altogether persuasive emotional battleground. The two of them are driven people --she by her ambition, he by his consuming passion--but somehow, despite everything, they work together. What gives the story even more resonance is the disturbing fact that the Etting-Snyder relationship might be said to have similarities to the Day-Melcher relationship. Both had their destructive and constructive elements; both were played out to inevitable, unfortunate ends".
………..

"The picture was an unqualified smash. Cagney was up for an Oscar (Doris should have been), and the picture's grosses were spectacular. Among the money-makers from Love Me or Leave Me was Doris herself, who got $150,000 salary for the film as well as a 10 per cent cut of the gross. The prodigious success of the film persuaded M-G-M to sign Doris to a five film contract for just short of a million dollars, top money for that time. But beyond the financial success, Love Me or Leave Me stands out in the Doris Day filmography as the movie that really established her as a serious film actress".
Johnny

User avatar
Johnny
Honorary Member
Posts: 2874
Joined: 10 Oct 2007, 16:02
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Love Me or Leave Me

Unread post by Johnny »

In Tom Santopietro's book Considering Doris Day, the closing scenes in Love or Leave Me are effectively described:

"The final portion of Love Me or Leave Me finds Marty Snyder buying a nightclub in order to make a success on his own and prove his worth. After Marty tries to get Johnny fired , he hits Ruth', an action which finally brings her to the breaking point--she wants a divorce. At long last , is it happily ever after time? Not in this musical, not by a long shot. Telling Johnny that she loves him, Ruth kisses him, which prompts Marty to shoot him. .Marty is eventually let out of jail on bail, but he can't open the club-- he has run out of money. Ruth agrees to sing at the club's opening in order to give Marty back his pride and self-respect, and in a ruefully self -aware acknowledgement states, "I did't want him to to help me, but I took it". Realizing she owes Marty a great deal, Ruth sings "Love Me or Leave Me" as the film concludes.

...
As the Hollywood Reporter's review of Doris' performance stated so memorably ,"Miss Day comes through as a subtle and sure emotional actress ...she makes every sullen glance , every cautious smile and every commonplace phrase speak volumes . A great popular star has become a great actress ." Indeed.
...

Box Office: According to MGM records the film earned $4,035,000 in the US and Canada and $1,597,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $595,000. Love Me or Leave Me was the eight ranked movie in 1955.

Love Me or Leave Me was released on May 26-1955. It is incredible that Love Me or Leave Me was not given an Academy Award nomination for Best picture. The film Marty won best picture.
Johnny

User avatar
Musiclover
Special Contributer
Posts: 1390
Joined: 05 Jan 2014, 16:42
Spam Prevention: Yes
Contact:

Re: Love Me or Leave Me

Unread post by Musiclover »

In my view, Doris gave the best performance of her entire career in this picture. The film as a whole is just wonderfully put together, including the masterful work of Isobel Lennart (who also wrote the screenplay for "Please Don't Eat the Daisies").

User avatar
jmichael
Honorary Member
Posts: 1912
Joined: 23 Apr 2005, 06:00
Location: Overland Park, KS USA

Re: Love Me or Leave Me

Unread post by jmichael »

Judy - I couldn't agree more. This film hit on all cylinders and should have won multiple Oscar nominations include one for Doris, who was superb.

Here's some tidbits about the soundtrack album which was a smash hit.

From Wikipedia

"Love Me or Leave Me is a Doris Day album based on the soundtrack of the film of the same name. It was released monaurally by Columbia Records as catalog number CL-710 on May 2, 1955, in both LP as well as 45-EP formats and became her best-selling album to date, spending 28 weeks on the Billboard magazine album chart and reaching the #1 position. The best-selling album of Day's career, it ranks #16 of all albums produced between 1955 and 1996."

From AllMusic. com

AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann [-]

"Love Me or Leave Me was one of Doris Day's greatest, and least likely, successes. Coming out of a string of light movie musicals, she turned in a dramatic performance in this film biography of singer Ruth Etting. She looked nothing like Etting and made no attempt to sound like her, either. But since Etting's recordings of the 1920s and '30s were long out of print and she made only a few films, that was less of a problem than it would have been for a performer whose voice and appearance were better preserved and available. The film was a popular and critical success, but the soundtrack, consisting entirely of Day's renditions of Etting signature songs like the title tune and "Ten Cents Dance," plus a couple of newly written songs, was a blockbuster, spending months at the top of the charts and becoming far and away the best selling of the relatively new 12" LPs of 1955. Day was given a chance to sing something different from the novelty-dominated contemporary material and often second-rate screen songs she had been assigned up to this point, and she reveled in the opportunity. The 1993 reissue, the first release in true stereo, added three bonus tracks, two of which were previously unreleased alternate takes marred by buzzes and the third the Percy Faith-backed studio version of one of the film's new songs, Sammy Cahn and Nicholas Brodszky's "I'll Never Stop Loving You," which became a hit single for Day but had not previously appeared on the soundtrack"

Michael
Michael H

"There's nothing in my bedroom that bothers me."

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests