Please Don't Eat the Daisies

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Re: Please Don't Eat the Daisies

Unread post by webmaster »

Thanks for that, JayWint. "How Niven could even think of cheating on her!" is a good point!

I have thought of it as one of my favourites but it's been a long time since I last saw it so when I watch it again I'll have to look out for "the blatant sexism" (but I guess those were the times). Yes, I think it's easy to 'park' all of that as from another time but sometimes it can jar.

Image

“She wants me to tell her what to do with her third act.”
“Yes, tell her what to do with her third act!”

"In Niven’s case, there was a reason for his aloof behavior; during filming, he had separated from his wife, Hjordis, an event that caused the actor considerable anguish. Richard Haydn, who played a supporting role in Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, recalled, in The Other Side of the Moon: The Life of David Niven by Sheridan Morley. “A rather distraught David on the set. It so happened that we were both called for the first day of shooting but he was terribly nervous and that whole day’s work had to be done again later”.

Producer Joe Pasternak, who had worked with Niven twice before, was now observing a markedly insecure man, and devised a way to deal with his growing self-doubt. In Morley’s aforementioned biography, Pasternak recalled that “David used to keep asking me why I’d hired him when there were so many better actors around so I said, ‘Look, I’ll tell you what I’ll do. Every day I have to look at the rushes, and if you’re any good I’ll give you a quarter.’ So every morning he used to hang around like a schoolboy waiting for his 25 cents and some days I wouldn’t give it to him and then he’d act a bit better the next day. But I don’t think he was very happy…and David seemed much more turned in on himself than he had been before”.

This image of Niven is so vastly different from the dashing figure he cut in such films as Raffles (1940) – as an elegant jewel thief – and Around the World in Eighty Days (1956), where he played sophisticated world traveler Phileas Fogg. David reconciled with his wife before filming wrapped on Daisies, but the strain the incident had placed on Niven was glaringly evident to both cast and crew.” – Eleanor Quin, TCM.

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jmichael
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Re: Please Don't Eat the Daisies

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Johnny wrote:
28 Aug 2019, 17:47
While reading David Kaufman's book, Doris Day The Untold Story of The Girl Next Door, I came across this information about Doris' film Please Don't Eat The Daisies.

Doris received $200.000 for fifteen weeks of work on Daisies. As associate producer, Melcher received $45,000 and the Daywin music company, a branch of Arwin took in an additional $12,500 for the use of "Que Sera Sera", " Any Way The Wind Blows", and Joe Lubin's title song.

David Niven was paid $125,000. He had recently won the Academy Award for best actor in Separate Tables.

Doris was given $5000,00 to buy her own wardrobe which would remain her property.

The total budget for the picture was $ 1,979,071 and came in slightly over at $2,021,406.
From Wikipedia:

"According to MGM records the film earned $5,150,000 in the US and Canada and $1.9 million elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $1,842,000."

So basically, it grossed just over $7M worldwide and the net profit was nearly $2M.

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Re: Please Don't Eat the Daisies

Unread post by jmichael »

I think Doris and Niven worked well together in these roles. Her no-nonsense earthiness and lack of pretension was the perfect counterpoint to his character's snobbery. I believed them as a married couple and I believed she was the only person who could take him down a peg when he needed it.

Was Niven her "type" as a romantic leading man? Probably not, because her chemistry was more potent with rugged men like Garner, Taylor, and Keith.

Michael
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Jas1
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Re: Please Don't Eat the Daisies

Unread post by Jas1 »

Agree Michael.

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Re: Please Don't Eat the Daisies

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In director Charles Walters’s memoir, he writes that he was not a Doris Day fan before the film started, but he quickly grew to love her. According to Walters, Doris wrote him a note after the first day’s shooting that read:

“If all the days on Daisies are as nice as the first one, I hope it never ends. Love, Doris.”

The part of Deborah Vaughn was written for Betty Grable but the shooting schedule conflicted with the Santa Anita horse race and she passed. At that point, horse racing mattered more to her than acting, according to Walters.

Another Daisies footnote: recently, a fan asked Janis Paige on her Facebook page about what it was like working with Doris and David Niven. She has a memoir titled Reading Between The Lines that just came out. Paige replied that both were wonderful and she regretted that she did not have any scenes with Doris in this film. She has an entire chapter about Niven in her book.

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Johnny
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Re: Please Don't Eat the Daisies

Unread post by Johnny »

Thank you Michael!

Doris' beautiful note to Charles Walters speaks to her valuing a happy work environment and her kind and thoughtful nature.

Charles Walters did brilliant work in directing Please Don't Eat The Daisies and Billy Rose's Jumbo. There is a deep sense of grace and kindness in these films.

I would have loved to see Doris play the title role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown directed by Charles Walters. If Jumbo would have made more money at the box office, perhaps Doris would have been cast. The role of Molly echoes
many of the audacious personality characteristics of Calamity Jane that Doris so effectively captured.
Johnny

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Re: Please Don't Eat the Daisies

Unread post by howard »

Originally, MGM bought the property with Doris Day in mind to star. However, after "Billy Rose's Jumbo" didn't fare well at the box office, they decided to look elsewhere for a star. Debbie was a good choice - she did well - even got an Academy Award nomination.
Like Irene Dunne done.

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