Storm Warning

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

How do you rate "Storm Warning"?

Poor
0
No votes
Average
8
15%
Good
29
56%
Excellent
15
29%
 
Total votes: 52

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Re: Storm Warning

Unread post by webmaster »

I think the reason that Lauren Bacall turned down Storm Warning was because she wanted to go to Africa with Bogie who had signed up for The African Queen. Lauren played 'mother' to the crew, doing lots of cooking and washing!

Great documentary about the making of it on YouTube:

The Making of the African Queen - Embracing the Chaos - Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sv1OLW_8tQ
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Re: Storm Warning

Unread post by Musiclover »

That list is a good start. I would add Driving Miss Daisy, The Help, Schindler's List, and The Hiding Place.

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Re: Storm Warning

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Ginger on Doris and the film - from her book - 1991

"In November of 1949, WB sent...a script...Storm Warning...offered me the kind of challenge I wanted...The casting of this film was very good and offbeat for another actress as well: Doris Day played a non-singing role as my kid sister. I didn't really know Doris, but I liked her. She was very open-faced, honest, and straightforward and I was looking forward to meeting her...When i saw the rough cut of the film...I was impressed....Reviews of this film were quite good. Without exception, the critics found everyone in the film to be dramatically sincere. Since the fourth estate usually has a few unkind words to bestow, this was a wee bit unusual."

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Re: Storm Warning

Unread post by webmaster »

Interesting, Jas - nice of Ginger. I wonder if she knew Doris was a fan and was inspired to be a dancer watching her and Fred Astaire doing their thing? Never dreaming she would make a film with her.

I read that Joan Crawford and Bette Davis were first offered Ginger's role of Doris' sister but neither thought it would be believable! I think they were right! :lol:
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Re: Storm Warning

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Bryan- I would say Ginger knew at the time and she certainly would have known by the time she [Ginger] wrote her book [1991] - Doris documenting all of this in her book in 1976.

Aside from having a similar look - Doris seems to have tried to live her life like her idol [for a time anyway]- certainly practising Christian Science for many years and certainly being a total pro and being positive etc.

Both ladies loved sports and both had terrific figures.

From both their books it is obvious [to me] that Doris was/is easier-going than Ginger and certainly more liberated about sex etc. and later about alcohol partaking [Ginger did not talk about such things as sex at all in her book] - though she may have been a dark horse in private - she certainly had the men after her and married some wonderful looking men - notably Jacques Bergerac - [who was some 17 years Ginger's junior] - He was one sexy man who later married Dorothy Malone and who starred in an episode of Doris' TV show in the second season - as the sexy French film star [Doris falling asleep "Doris Strikes Out" after playing sports with the boys and wearing [at the film show] the Lover Come Back evening dress - shortened for 1968].

In addition and again on a Ginger note- I loved that Doris had Ginger's second husband [Lew Ayers] on her show for 4 episodes between the 2nd and 3rd seasons and really liked him - Doris said in her book when she was playing house as a child with friends - she insisted she was Ginger and was married to Lew Ayers and her friend didn't know who Lew Ayers was and thought Doris was making him up.

Finally - Bryan - I've never heard of Bette Davis being offered the Ginger role in Storm Warning, certainly Joan Crawford was and famously said to Jack Warner "Jack, no one would buy that I was Doris Day's sister" [true]! Also, Lauren Bacall was offered this part - so glad Ginger did it- in every way she was more suited to the part- particularly looks wise.

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Re: Storm Warning

Unread post by webmaster »

Interesting again, Jas, thanks.

Re Betty Davis being offered the Storm Warning part, I should have said I heard it - on the audio book:

Image

This is the full version (length: 16 hrs and 7 mins!). It's hilarious and tragic at the same time. But it does say that Davis was offered it and turned it down for virtually the same reason as Crawford. My impression of the famous feud is that it was mostly conducted by Davis who saw Crawford as a fake 'movie star' and herself as an 'actress'. Crawford was a big admirer of Davis and it was her idea to have her in 'What Ever Happened to Baby Jane'. Davis froze her out of the follow-up film 'Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte', even after Crawford had been working on it for some time. She was so horrible to her that Crawford increased her intake of vodka, kept in flasks that she drank from through straws on the set apparently and ended up in the hospital and couldn't take any more.
Betty Davis later said, "Screen partnerships don't usually work anyway, look at those Doris Day and Rock Hudson films - they're just getting worse and worse!"

Read more: http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Biographies ... B06XH8WGR2

You can get your first month's book free at Audible and cancel without paying anything if you don't like it. Listen on headphones or phone, pc, etc. You pay less than £8 a month and you can get books that cost more than £20 for that price. Plus special offers of books for £2. I'm hooked I must admit! :lol:
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Re: Storm Warning

Unread post by Musiclover »

My, my, my! Sounds like a bit of envy in Bette Davis's comment about the Day-Hudson films. If so, what a shame.

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Re: Storm Warning

Unread post by webmaster »

Yes, Judy, being (negatively) critical seemed to be part of her personality, and her image to some extent.

From Peter Flapper:

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Re: Storm Warning

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While reading the reviews on Storm Warning in David Kaufman's book on Doris day, I came across this interesting and thoughtful passage;

"In the L.A. Times, Edwin Schallert claimed that the picture (Storm Warning), pulls no punches in being a ruthless expose of the Ku Klux Klan, even as he pointed out, "This might have been a quite a picture in the days when the Klan was at the flood tide as an organization. It comes now when it is much nearer the ebb, localized". In the examiner Dorothy Manners found it "absorbing, biting and violent drama....an extraordinarily engrossing film...Both musical comedy queens (Ginger and Doris), turn in performances that would stack up with Bette Davis and Olivia De Havilland".

The serious tone with which Warners promoted the film clearly paid off with the vast majority of the press. And the uniformly positive response to Day prompted Warners to quickly announce that she was being given three more "straight dramatic roles". In Helen Scott she was to play a doctor in a New England town; in The Fuse, a newspaper reporter and in The Moment I Saw You, a New York housewife. None of these projects was ever realized.

Imagine if these projects had taken place and Doris had three dramatic roles following Storm Warning. It makes me wonder if Marty Melcher steered Doris away from doing more dramatic work or if Doris was reluctant. Perhaps the projects were not developed. I would like to know if any of these films were made and who was cast..

Doris had already completed Lullaby of Broadway which was released in March 1951, a month after Storm Warning was released.

I think It was unfortunate that it was released so quickly after Storm Warning. It was a disservice to the film and to Doris. Storm Warming made such a strong impact that if given enough time, Doris' fans would have have more time to appreciate her as a dramatic actress. Out of Doris' next ten pictures, nine were musically driven.

If Storm Warning was released between October and December 1950, it may have been given Oscar consideration. The film had been completed for some time and the release date had been delayed due to the controversial subject matter.

We know that Doris is equally talented in comedies, musicals and drama. Storm Warning may have opened the door to other films of substance that would have given Doris a reputation as a serious actress earlier in her career.
Johnny

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Re: Storm Warning

Unread post by jmichael »

Wasn’t Storm Warning filmed in 1949 and held for release until 1951?

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Re: Storm Warning

Unread post by Musiclover »

Yes, Michael, I believe "Storm Warning" was filmed in November and December of 1949, as well as part of January of 1950, but not released until the following January -- the first of 5 DD films Warner Bros. released in 1951. The studio was really capitalizing on her increasing popularity!

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Re: Storm Warning

Unread post by jmichael »

Judy, thanks for confirming that.

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Re: Storm Warning

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This is the production timeline on Storm Warning I found in David Kaufman's book.

Production on Storm Warning began on November 15-1949.
Doris started work on the film on December 7-1949.
Production was completed on January 21-1950.

The world premiere was held in Miami Beach on January 17-1951. Doris was unable to attend due to illness. Steve Cochrane arrived with a broken leg.

General release was February 10-1951.
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Re: Storm Warning

Unread post by jmichael »

Johnny, thanks for the additional detail around the filming and release dates.

Interesting that WB decided to cast her in a serious dramatic role within the first two years of her seven year contract. They must have realized early on that she had more range than the light musical comedies required. All of this was positive as it gave her valuable experience and helped noted directors like Alfred Hitchcock view her as a capable dramatic actress. Without Storm Warning, we might never have seen her as Jo McKenna in The Man Who Knew Too Much. Her trajectory is a case study in the power of talent, hard work and professionalism.

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Re: Storm Warning

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In David Kaufman's book on Doris, he writes about Doris and Storm Warning:

"Though Day was technically laid off in the fall of 1948 and free of any responsibilities at Warners, she (Doris), agreed to be available without compensation for interviews and other publicity work. She also appeared on the new Frank Sinatra Radio Show several times in September and in December returned to Bob Hope's radio show.

On October 24 Warners placed Day on salary for the day and she returned to the studio to discuss a film that was about going into production. According to an internal memo, she was called in for an interview with the producer Jerry Wald and the director Stuart Heisler regarding a picture then called Storm Center. In Her Own Story, Day would
Storm Warning
Storm Warning
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claim that, "she didn't hesitate in accepting",the role. In 1957. however she would recall telling Wald that the non singing part was too serious and dramatic for her. "I don't think I can handle it", she said. Wald replied: "Well I think you can". Though Day declared herself eager to work with her idol Ginger Rogers, she must have been ambivalent about not being the star, instead playing Lucy, the kid sister to Roger's Marsha. In fact, Rogers was a last minute replacement for Lauren Bacall, whom Jack Warner placed on suspension for the sixth time for refusing to make the picture. A good year earlier, there was talk of starting the picture with Jane Wyman as the star and Bette Davis was later suggested as the lead.
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Re: Storm Warning

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Wait. Doris was “laid off” by WB in 1948?

First I’ve heard of it. What were the circumstances?

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Re: Storm Warning

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Michael, in Kaufman's book it states, Warner Bros. bought controlling stock of Michael Curtiz Production on December 31-948 meaning they had control of Doris' contract.

According to Curtiz's stepson, John Meredyth Lucas ; "The evil of studio bookkeeping is not a new thing...but with the combination of that and other efforts, Warners was finally able to put Curtiz in a position that was untenable. They offered to buy the company from him, tendering what they called a gorgeous profit to buy out all his rights including Doris Day's contract. Day, they told him was worthless. They were going to let her go. Mike reluctantly signed the agreement. The Warners had Doris Day's contract and had a superstar".
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Re: Storm Warning

Unread post by jmichael »

Thanks Johnny - that is very interesting. I read Kaufman's book but must have forgotten this piece of news.

It's hard to fathom why a WB exec would deem Doris Day "worthless" unless it was a ploy to entice Curtiz to let go of what was probably his greatest asset, Doris Day.

Again, thank you for clarifying this.

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Re: Storm Warning

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A crackling good melodrama :D

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Re: Storm Warning

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In David Kaufman's book on Doris Day, it states about the film Storm Warning: "The cast and crew spent two weeks in December shooting on location in Corona California. A sleepy little town sixty miles north of Hollywood, it was selected for its' central intersection, which featured a courthouse, a library, a gas station, and a church-cum- funeral home. (The story of any man's life is on four corners, such as those in Corona, explained Heisler. There before you - law and order, education, religion, gas and oil").

The production book lists Day's first appearance on the shoot on December 7th, when she drove her own car to the Corona location.
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Re: Storm Warning

Unread post by Jas1 »

Was it Doris in her book who mentioned the tattered town XMas decorations - and the fact they left them up as it added to an eerie feel.

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