Caprice

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

How do you rate "Caprice"?

Poor
11
16%
Average
21
30%
Good
30
43%
Excellent
7
10%
 
Total votes: 69

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ray
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Re: Caprice

Unread post by ray »

My teeth are like stars!! They come out at night!! Falsies for all of Britin!!!LOL

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Re: Caprice

Unread post by webmaster »

Interesting, Howard.

Do you think Caprice could be a cult film one day? (Apart from on here.)

Keep up the good fight, Ray - remember, they all laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round. :)
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ray
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Re: Caprice

Unread post by ray »

Its already a cult classic in my over 55 building here in Florida. I am giving Caprice lessons. All gals over 60 wear a page boy wig and enourmous sunglasses and learn to ski. I didn't tell them Doris had a double for that!!

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Re: Caprice

Unread post by webmaster »

Yeah, pull the other one.

I have some Caprice pics I can share soon.
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Johnny
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Re: Caprice

Unread post by Johnny »

In A. E. Hotchner's book on Doris, Doris made these comments, in particular about Caprice:

In the mid sixties Marty began bringing her scripts she disliked. The were, Do Not Disturb, Caprice, The Ballad of Josie, and Where Were You When The Lights Went Out.
When she read the script for Caprice she said to Marty, " Thank God I don't have to make movies like that anymore". He said, "What are you talking about"? Doris said, "You can't be serious, it is a terrible script". Marty told her she had to make the picture. "Doris, we made a deal and there is no sense in getting steamed about it".
Doris: "You made a deal, you and Rosenthal, that it? Well you and Rosenthal don't have to get in front of a camera and try to make something out of terrible stuff like this".

The irony of this situation is that Doris' characters on screen are usually strong and independent. If she would have been able to take this confrontation further and refused to do the film, she may have discovered the financial disaster Marty and Rosenthal created using her money. She would have had the opportunity sooner to make decisions regarding her film choices, directors and leading men.

Doris had much more authority and decision making with her television series,

With this being said, I found Caprice an enjoyable film and Doris is always worth watching.
Johnny

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jmichael
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Re: Caprice

Unread post by jmichael »

Caprice is a guilty pleasure. It had potential but the tonal shifts got away from director Frank Tashlin and the storyline doesn't hold-up with one unconvincing plot twist after another. I think Paul made the point recently that Caprice arrived too late in the spy spoof cycle of films to make much of an impression on audiences. On the plus side, however, Tashlin knew how to stage elaborate set pieces with slapstick elements and Doris carried them off beautifully. Those moments are a lot of fun but the lead characters are so thinly drawn that you can't relate to either of them. What I enjoy most about Caprice are the eye popping fashions that Doris wears and her fearless approach to physical comedy in pursuit of that elusive lock of hair.


Michael
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Re: Caprice

Unread post by Jake Iverson »

I liked it by and large. However, what I really liked was the house of Dr. Clancy's with the pool and cantilevered wooden deck with the view of LA in the distance. Any idea of the filming location was for that? IMDB doesn't have anything listed. Nor does Wikipedia ( who gives a great detailed account of film locations for WSYGE)

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Re: Caprice

Unread post by jmichael »

Paul Brogan might know the correct location of that house, but I can only guess that it is somewhere in the Hollywood hills. It is a great house, I agree.

Michael
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Re: Caprice

Unread post by Johnny »

Caprice DVD Front Cover Information:

Doris Day Richard Harris
Caprice
A Zigzag Pattern of Suspense and Excitement

Co-starring: Ray Walston -Jack Kruschen and Edward Mulhare
Directed By Frank Tashlin

Back DVD Cover:
"Doris Day Is Dressed To Kill"

Plunge into a world of high-flying adventure, pulse- pounding excitement and- outright hilarity - in this captivating comedy- thriller starring Doris Day and Richard Harris. Featuring breathtaking stunts, tantalizing romance, and exotic locales from the Swiss Alps to the shores of Southern California, this ingenious spy spoof is a gorgeous "kaleidoscope of international intrigue",( The Hollywood Reporter) Industrial spy, Patricia Foster (Day) is hot on the trail of a secret formula with the power to change the world.... by keeping ladies' hair dry in the water! So important is this miracle hair spray that cosmetic operatives everywhere have mobilized to find it. But when Patricia crosses paths with sexy spy Christopher White (Harris), she discovers something much more sinister behind her quest ....a plot that could cause bad-hair days the world over!

Special Features:
Audio Commentary By Authors Pierre Patrick and John Cork
The Caprice Look: A Conversation With Costume Designer Ray Aghayan Featurette
Featurette: Double-O Doris Featurette
Doris With Marty Featurette
Doris Day Radio Interviews
Richard Harris Radio Interviews
Restoration Comparison
Photo Gallery

The special features enhance the enjoyment of Caprice. There are many scenes that are impressive but most of all the comedic skills and physicality of Doris Day. I was also impressed with the cinematography. It is bright and interesting. The beautiful sophisticated costumes represent the late 1960's perfectly.
Johnny

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Re: Caprice

Unread post by Johnny »

Taking another look at Caprice, I found that I enjoyed the brisk pace, slapstick and the bright, mod fashion looks of 1967. It now can be considered a period piece. I believe Caprice is deserving of a second look. It is rarely seen on television.

Unfortunately the characters in defending the script were thinly written, and Doris deserved better. Caprice failed at the box office.

On the DVD the audio commentary by Pierre Patrick and John Cork discussing The Caprice Look is insightful and well worth hearing

There is A Conversation With Costume Designer Ray Aghayan that is really interesting. Recently there was a post in this forum asking about Ray Aghayan; I think this conversation would answer all the questions.

There is also a Doris and Marty featurette that is worth seeing. There are l small moments that are revealing.

I listened to the song Caprice and thought it beautiful. Not much attention has been given to this song, perhaps due to the criticism of the film and poor box office. I would be interested in hearing forum members comments on the song.
Johnny

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Re: Caprice

Unread post by Musiclover »

Johnny, I think your assessment of why the title song from Caprice didn't get much notice is a good one.
Frank De Vol wrote the music for it, and to me it sounds not unlike many of Henry Mancini's works. I don't know who wrote the lyrics, but they remind me of Johnny Mercer's work. Both music and lyrics convey a fanciful and mysterious mood.

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Re: Caprice

Unread post by Jas1 »

Johnny and Musiclover- agree about Caprice.

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Re: Caprice

Unread post by jmichael »

Agree wholeheartedly re: the song Caprice. It's a little gem of a song with a lush vocal from Doris and an intoxicating accordion to go with the European settings.

Michael
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Re: Caprice

Unread post by Johnny »

The review on Caprice in Alan Gelb book, The Doris Day Scrapbook is rather harsh but hopefully it will stimulate further discussion prompting some positive comments as well.

Caprice is directed and written by Frank Tashlin (with Jay Jayson), who directed The Glass Bottom Boat. Gelb writes," Caprice is a thoroughly unattractive and misguided movie. Doris is playing against Richard Harris, almost a decade her junior, and the fact of the matter is that it's hard to play comedy when you're fighting against Vaselined filters. Beyond that the movie had a ridiculous plot. In Doris Day: My Own Story by A.E. Hotchner, Doris singles out Caprice as the epitome of the kind of lousy movie on which she had no say and which she regretted utterly.

What is most unpleasant about Caprice is the sense that the director Tashlin is doing a job on Doris Day. Tashlin was never very sympathetic to women and Doris is made to seem like a walking Barbie doll. There's a feeling that Tashlin is commenting on Doris' plastic image, and has her outfitted in all kinds of ghastly vinyl outfits, as if she were an aspiring rubber freak or something. Her hair has never been less becomingly platinum, and er eye makeup is artificial and cheap. She is also forced to carry on like a latter-day Pearl White, falling out of balconies, hanging on to precipices, becoming the target of a shooting spree. On top of all this, she is expected to establish some kind of rapport with co-star Harris which, due to their significant age difference and his constant look of nausea and disorientation, is difficult. Altogether, Caprice was a disaster --both commercially and artistically."

Gelb's comments on age difference seem sexist. I don't recall Gelb commenting on the age of Doris' male leads James Stewart, Cary Grant, Ronald Reagan, Ray Bolger or Clark Gable who are much older than Doris and their having difficulty due to being older. Gable was concerned and wanted Teacher's Pet filmed in black and white.

Gelb's comments on Doris' vinyl costumes are unfair and cruel since this was a fashion trend in the late 1960's. The comments on Doris' Caprice makeup is also unkind. Gelb does not acknowledge Doris' impeccable good taste, skills or knowledge. I don't believe she would ever wear cheap makeup in a film unless the character required it.

The most valid and relevant part of the review is in Doris' comments on Caprice in her book, Doris Day: My Own Story.
Johnny

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Re: Caprice

Unread post by Musiclover »

"Caprice" is very far from one of my favorite DD movies, but it sounds like Gelb got up on the wrong side of the bed before he wrote about it. (I like your "rebuttal," Johnny.)

It was the penultimate film Frank Tashlin directed and was immediately preceded by "Glass Bottom Boat." To me, GBB certainly doesn't support Gelb's statement that "Tashlin was never very sympathetic to women."

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Re: Caprice

Unread post by jmichael »

I agree w/ Johnny that Gelb's comments are sexist and I think they are ageist too. Nothing was made of Frank Sinatra romancing Jill St. John or Raquel Welch onscreen and they were 25 years younger than Frank. The age difference between Doris and Richard Harris really had nothing to do with their lack of chemistry. Sometimes the magic just isn't there and working with an inferior script doesn't help matters.

I don't know anything about Tashlin's politics or his feelings about women but he approached his actors as cartoon characters, which meant he exaggerated their physical attributes and screen personas to get a laugh. He wasn't above allowing Jerry Lewis to run wild with his antics or shooting Jayne Mansfield walking down the street in a tight black dress while the men openly drooled at her every movement. Tashlin's background as a cartoon animator made him gravitate toward physical comedy and rely on visual cues to elicit laughter. He wasn't a director who had an affinity for sophisticated dialog or witty repartee.

As I've said many times before, Caprice is a guilty pleasure and I've come to appreciate its quirks and flaws.

Michael
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Re: Caprice

Unread post by Johnny »

In David Kaufman's book on Doris there several interesting notes made about the film Caprice.

It is noted that Doris thought Sean Connery was going to be working opposite her on Caprice. Richard Harris said that Doris had asked for him to be cast in the role but had confused him with Sean Connery.

"Doris had always wanted Sean Connery as her leading man in a film. The other man was Marlon Brando."

"Day may have irredeemable harmed Caprice ...by demanding from the outset that the two leading roles be gender reversed. To make her into a female James Bond , the script's Patrick became Patricia, a secret agent seeking to Ave he her fathers murder. Harris in turn, had to portray Christopher -- originally Christine, a double agent who trails her."

Filming started in the middle of the summer of 1966 but came to a halt when Doris threw her back out during a chase scene on a fire escape. She was in traction for a week with a pinched nerve."

"Harris delayed the shooting twice, each time collapsing in a drunken stupor. Shooting resumed in mid August and was completed on Sept 23rd with post production work continuing throughout the fall."

"While working on the picture, Harris was warming up for Camelot by singing between scenes, and Day could not refrain from joining in. By the end of the production, they were making up songs of their own."

Caprice may have been a much better film with Doris and Sean Connery in the leads. With Connery's dark good looks and dry sense of humour matched with Doris' radiance and comedy skills, there would have been a stronger chemistry. Connery may have insisted on having a better script. Doris and Connery would have generated romantic sparks.

As Michael said in an earlier post, "Caprice is a guilty pleasure". Visually Caprice is a treat to watch.
The cinematography captured all the bright colours from the late 1960's era.
Johnny

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Re: Caprice

Unread post by jmichael »

Doris did a radio interview in which she says she wanted Richard Harris because she liked his work in the 1963 film, This Sporting Life. No doubt she would have loved working with Connery, but she sounded thrilled in this interview to have Richard Harris as her co-star.

Jule Styne once said that Barbra Streisand does it all wrong, but it comes out right. Somehow, I think that applies to Caprice in spades. There's a lot that doesn't make sense, the tonal shifts from slapstick to suspense are wobbly, and the lack of chemistry between Doris and Harris is a buzz killer. And yet Caprice is just goofy and off-kilter enough to win me over in spite of its flaws. And Johnny is spot-on about the cinematography. Visually, the film is a mod-sixties delight.

I've never been sure if the role reversal story was true, but I don't think it hurts the film. Her character has a darker edge with the sub-plot of seeking revenge on those who murdered her father. The backstory gave her a bit more to play.

I find Caprice more enjoyable than Do Not Disturb and Where Were You When The Lights Went Out but perhaps that is faint praise.

Michael
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Re: Caprice

Unread post by On Moonlight Bay »

Doris did a radio interview in which she says she wanted Richard Harris because she liked his work in the 1963 film, This Sporting Life.
That's called spin! I doubt very much if Doris saw This Sporting Life, a sombre b&w low-budget offering that is probably very good but you can't be bothered to watch it as it's quite depressing. I think she was being diplomatic (lying!), She thought she was getting Sean Connery, or someone who looked like him as he was just becoming well known then. I think it would have been good with someone like Bob Hope! :D

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Re: Caprice

Unread post by Jake Iverson »

jmichael wrote:
06 Aug 2016, 15:20
Paul Brogan might know the correct location of that house, but I can only guess that it is somewhere in the Hollywood hills. It is a great house, I agree.

Michael
I am 99% sure its in the Bird Streets in L.A. I pinpointed it as Nightingale Drive based on the view of the houses below, and the hairpin turn in the road in the background seen below the balcony, N. Doheny Drive. Google maps is great. The house, however, seems to have been long since demolished, along with others due to the desirable location.

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Re: Caprice

Unread post by webmaster »

Thanks for that, Jake, I had a hunt around - is this relevant: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061447/lo ... _locations

Image

I also came across a story about Richard Harris, from a book called Hellraisers, during the making of Caprice.

Image

Image

With his then wife, Elizabeth.

From the book Hellraisers

Image
"Burton, Harris, O'Toole and Ollie Reed were the greatest drinkers of all time," (Peter) Sellers tells NPR's Scott Simon. "They're from pretty much the same generation. They all worked together. There's a lot of cross-fertilization going on. They drank together, they whored together, and they worked together. So it made perfect sense to group them together."

Richard Harris, who played Burton's King Arthur role opposite Vanessa Redgrave when Camelot was turned into a film, "probably was the darkest," Sellers says. "He could get extremely violent when he was drunk."

"There are stories of him throwing a wardrobe at his wife one evening," Sellers says. "Another time, he woke up one morning and looked in the mirror, and his whole face was covered in scars and smeared in dried blood. And he went downstairs and asked his wife, 'What happened? What happened last night?' And she says, 'You can't remember? You can't remember smashing up an entire restaurant?' He threw tables and chairs through windows, just wrecked the whole establishment. And he couldn't remember."
https://www.npr.org/templates/story/sto ... 3669696036
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