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Posted: 14 Oct 2015, 15:15
Julie was the first property Martin Melcher found to produce on his own since Doris ended her contract with Warner Brothers.
After reading the Julie script, Doris stated that she was reluctant to do the film. There was so much of her brutal past with husband Al Jordan's jealousy reflected in the script. The story was based on an actual murder case that happened in Lyon county, Iowa, in 1900. The story was updated to capture the 1956 period.
When Doris appeared reluctant, Marty said he had a great deal set with MGM with a budget of one million with a fifty-fifty split of the profits. He said everything is set to go. He even had Jerry Rosenthal looking into tax shelters for them.
Doris' response was that Marty should have shown her the script before he went so far.
Doris had to take flying lessons and three days of flight attendant training with Transocean Airlines.
It is interesting to note that Marty's controlling behaviour was evident long before the mid sixties when he signed Doris for unsuccessful films, e,g, Where Were You When The Lights Went Out, Do Not Disturb and The Ballad of Josie - He was involved with Jerry Rosenthal even then.
Julie completed filming on May 15, 1956 and was released in November of that year.
Julie went on to make a profit and was nominated for two Academy Awards - best original screenplay and best song, Julie. It is also interesting to note that in 1956, Doris' theme song, Que Sera Sera from The Man Who Knew Too Much won the award.
I wish Julie had been made in colour to capture the beauty and peace of Carmel that contrasts with the tension and high drama in Julie. Doris would have been even more beautiful. I think of the beauty of the surroundings in Leave Her To Heaven with Gene Tierney and her story of hate and jealously so brilliantly told. The cinematography was a major character in the story.
Posted: 14 Oct 2015, 17:28
I love the title song. I think it's probably the best of her title songs.
Posted: 14 Oct 2015, 17:51
Johnny, interesting background about Julie. I suspect that Marty was involved with Rosenthal much earlier than 1956, when Julie was filmed. Rosenthal handled Doris's divorce from George Weidler, and Marty was already "on the scene," so to speak, at that time.
Posted: 14 Oct 2015, 18:43
Musiclover-Thank you! I am trying to trace the disaterous entrance of Rosenthal into Martin Melcher and Doris' lives.
Posted: 01 Apr 2016, 15:12
On the front cover it says, "In Glorious Black and White"
Information on the back of Julie Video Jacket:
For Thrill Fans,
Julie is Top !
Los Angeles Examiner
The honeymoon is over and the terror is about to begin in this "nerve-quaking suspense thriller". (Los Angeles Examiner), starring Doris Day and Louis Jourdan. Shortly after her husband's suicide, mourning young widow, Julie(Day), marries celebrated concert pianist, Lyle Benton,(Jourdan). Although charming and considerate on the surface, the musician's psychotic love for his new wife makes him savage and violent at the slightest provocation. After enduring a traumatic episode in which his jealousy nearly kills her, Julie begins to see Lyle in a new light and suspects him of murdering her first husband. Summoning all her courage, Julie determines to find the terrifying truth at any cost.....even is that cost is her life.
Nominated for two 1956 Academy Awards, (Best Original Screenplay and Best Song) Julie is a suspenseful and chilling chase melodrama with a nail-biting climax in the best Alfred Hitchcock tradition. (Box-office).
The film also stars Barry Sullivan and Frank Lovejoy.
I was looking at Puck's wonderful coloured photos of Julie especially the one with Doris in blue and Louis in a gray jacket with the sunlight was bouncing off Doris' golden hair. I thought the beauty of the location contrasted with the anger and fear in the story would have made an interesting contrast if it had been filmed in colour.
I liked the strength of Doris' character in Julie. Regardless of her fear she over numerable obstacles and outwits Jourdan's character. It was until the 1970's that a movement began to empower women dealing with abusive men and situations. It is terrific accomplishment for Doris in playing this character so well.
Posted: 03 Jun 2017, 10:35
In Tom Santopietro's book Considering Doris Day the following observations are recorded about the film Julie.
"Julie is notable these reasons: 1) The film marked the solo producing debut of husband Martin Melcher, a role he would assume with increasing frequency on her future films, with very mixed results. Most noteworthy in this regard, it was at this point that Melcher began his business relationship with Jerome Rosenthal in earnest, working closely with Rosenthal on contracts and tax shelters. It was a relationship that would prove disastrous for Melcher, seemingly causing him to lose his health when the extent of Rosenthal's duplicity became clear.
The Melcher-Rosenthal relationship was catastrophic for Doris herself, in both personal and professional terms. On a personal level, Doris lost all her money, millions of dollars, because of Rosenthal's investments. Professionally speaking. in order to fund Rosenthal's business "ventures", Melcher, in his role as husband and agent began signing Doris to second-rate vehicles without gaining her consent. When this practice became rampant in the mid-to late sixties, it completely derailed Day's feature film career.
Of Melcher's role as both husband and agent, Day has said," I wanted to be with other agencies. They had so many good writers, producers, directors and I wanted to be part of those great projects. I would say I want to be with so-and-so and and Marty would say, "No you're with me and that's it... I really felt I should have had another agent....not my husband. It is not really good for a relationship. The romance goes out the window when you suddenly feel you're married to your father".
Posted: 03 Jun 2017, 17:13
Great reporting, Johny! I really enjoyed reading all of that. Thank you,
Why was Doris, who excelled in playing strong career women on screen, such a pushover for Melcher?
Posted: 24 Jun 2018, 15:04
According to a TCM article by Jeff Stafford, it states, Julie won Oscar nominations in two categories; one for Best Original Screenplay by Andrew L. Stone, and Best Song. Though it's merits as a Academy Award nominee seem more dubious now, the film features Day in her most emotionally overwrought performance, which makes for entertaining - and often unintentional hilarious - viewing. It's quite possible that the improbable climax to Julie inspired the absurd scenario in Airport '75 in which air hostess Karen Black has to steer a plane to safety after the two pilots are killed in a mid-air collision with a small plane.
A fair criticism of Julie in my opinion is with the screenplay not building the suspense in the beginning of the story. Julie is immediately thrown into a run for her life scenario which does not allow Doris and Louis Jourdan to develop their characters. Doris would have been able to have Julie climb the steps of anguish and fear to panic and take the audience with her on the perilous journey.
I wonder how many present day critics-reviewers would review the film if they were watching Julie in the theater with a 1956 audience. Cynicism, satire and mockery has grown as a cinematic tool that the audience has accepted. Think how non-stop action pictures today are accepted with little or no criticism of non-developed characters.
Julie was released on October 17-1956. The budget was $785,000. The box office was$2.6 million according to MGM records.
Posted: 28 Jun 2018, 09:01
Watched Julie with young relatives last night who had not seen the film before. Interestingly they liked the fact that Julie starts with a jolt (referring to the scene in the speeding car along the winding road). Julie has been frequently criticized (and fairly I think) for not building the woman in peril story.
They thought it was a major mistake not to have filmed Julie in colour to capture the magnificent beauty of Monterey, California.
They thought Doris Day as Julie gave a convincing performance, especially when she piloted the plane. They thought it must have been a big surprise for a 1956 audience just as CGI was when it was first introduced in film making.
It was interesting to hear their observation that a 2018 younger audience is accustomed to action and want a film (along with computer games) that holds their attention.
In summary they looked at Julie through the current social lens of empowered women and social supports. I think there is enough evidence that jealousy is still a major mental health issue that has not changed since 1956. It is really an enjoyable learning experience looking at older films with a younger audience. New perspectives certainly challenge established views. One view we all were in agreement about is Doris Day is a very good actress.
I would love to hear from Doris Day Forum members about movie viewing experiences of Doris Day films with younger relatives and friends.
Posted: 28 Jun 2018, 16:16
Haven't had a chance yet to share a DD film with the younger generation, but am looking forward to doing that. I'm guessing that shooting "Julie" in black and white might've been Melcher's idea to save money. He did that with "Tunnel of Love," too.
Posted: 28 Jun 2018, 16:52
Thanks Musiclover! I will be interested in the response.
The younger people's frame of reference is their experience with 21st century films. My younger relatives love to tease me about my admiration for Doris Day. They do love Doris' music. I always have to challenge their thinking on the current performers' skills and talents.
They mentioned Cate Blanchett, Meryl Strerp, Jennifer Lawrence, Alicia Vikander and Emma Stone as the outstanding talents of today. My question to them:
Can they sing, act and dance as well as Doris Day? How many of these performers have been number one at the box office? It is always in the spirit of good natured fun to make a challenge.
Summary: They will do their homework and get back to me. I will have another Doris Day screening ready for them; perhaps Lover Come Back.
Posted: 29 Jun 2018, 05:19
My nieces [now 32 and 30] - when looked after as children by my mum [their grandmother] - used to love to watch Move over darling- my mum said they wanted to watch this more than any "children's" film or cartoon etc. They have good taste!
Posted: 11 Jun 2019, 08:57
In Alan Gelb's book, The Doris Day Scrapbook, he writes the following review on Doris' film Julie:
"Julie was the second film of her five movie contract with M-G-M, and it was an impossibly shrill and pointless melodrama. It was a woman-in-distress movie, perpetrated by Andrew L. Stone, who wrote the script and directed . Stone with his editor-wife Virginia, was known for small-budget action movies, shot on location. His best film was a genuinely gripping piece of work: a sinking ship pellmeller called The Last Voyage, with Dorothy Malone and Robert Stack. Several of his other movies such as The Night Holds Terror, The Steel Trap, and Cry Terror, also have their nominal rewards. Julie was one of less successful efforts. In it, Doris plays an airline stewardess who discovers that her husband (Louis Jordan) killed her first husband because he couldn't stand the idea of another man being near her. She goes to the police, who tell her that since she has no evidence there is nothing for them to do and that she should keep a low profile. She runs off to San Francisco, checks in to a crowded hotel under an assumed name, and lays as low as she can. It's not long, however, before she receives a phone call. She picks up the receiver, and hears her husband's voice. "Julie", he says, "I am going to kill you". From there on, Doris does a lot of screaming and heavy breathing.
The genre of woman-in-distress films was quite popular in the forties and the fifties, with such films as Sorry, Wrong Number and The Two Mrs. Carolls, both with Barbara Stanwyck; Sudden Fear with Joan Crawford; and Cause For Alarm with Loretta Young. Julie was one of two such movies Doris made, the other being Midnight Lace in 1960. Neither of them was successful as far as Doris' performances went. Unlike the real note of hysteria she hit in The Mana Who Knew Too Much, Julie has Doris doing a one-note routine. Because there was little build-up, and little in the way of plot twists and intricacies, there is a feeling of unrelieved noise, with Doris yelling her pretty head off. One could wish for a cold shower for all the participants, among whom were Barry Sullivan and Frank Lovejoy in supporting roles. The whole movie was a traumatic experience for Doris, who was disturbed by the resonances of her own past experiences with insanely jealous men and who had to cope with her fear of flying to enact the film's climax wherein she has to land a plane with instructions from the control tower (you know the scene -- you've seen it in dozens of movies). The best that can be said of Julie was that the locations on the Monterey Coast were attractive, and the title song could be listened to painlessly (Doris' recording of it made Billboard's charts for ten weeks)."
I take exception to Mr. Gelb's unnecessary criticism of the scene of Doris landing the plane "(you know the scene -you've seen it in dozens of movies) remark. The film was made in 1956 and it is difficult to recall another film made before this that has a female lead landing a plane. Maybe Katharine Hepburn? Watching this scene in Julie in the present day, is still suspenseful because the audience wants Doris to survive. In 1956, Julie proved to be
The other observation I would like to make is his comments on woman-in distress films where he references Barbara Stanwyck and Joan Crawford, both of whom are excellent actresses but rarely appear believable as vulnerable characters. (Barbara Stanwyck was amazingly vulnerable in Stella Dallas). Loretta young certainly comes across as truly vulnerable. With Doris, her characters' authenticity and feelings are almost always at the surface making the audience care about her. Both in Julie and Midnight Lace, her characters were genuinely consumed by fear as well as determination. It is interesting to note that Julie was nominated for an Academy Award for best original screenplay. It also received a best song nomination for Julie.
The observation on the lack of build -up to the story is a fair criticism of the scriptwriters and director.
Julie earned $1,415,000 in the US and Canada and $1,185,000 elsewhere resulting in a profit of $604,000.
Posted: 29 Jun 2020, 16:38
I came across this information on Julie today on the Wikipedia site.
Production Notes: The movie’s working title was If I Can’t Have You. Director Andrew L. Stone was signed in January 1956.
The aircraft in Julie were Douglas R5D-1/3 Skymaster four-engined cargo and passenger airliners from Transoceanic Air Lines, a charter company based at Oakland International Airport, (San Francisco).
Aviation film historian Stephen Pendo in Aviation in the Cinema (1985) described Julie as a “minor film”.
Film critic Dennis Schwartz, likewise, gave Julie a mixed review, writing, “improbable crime thriller about a woman -in -peril, that is too uneven to be effective; the banal dialogue is the final killer...Doris Day, to her credit ,
gives it her best shot and tries to take it seriously even when the melodrama moves way past the point of just being ridiculous. Later disaster movies started le some of those airplane landing scenes.
Julie is listed in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson’s book The Official Razzie Movie Guide as one of the 100 Most Enjoyable Bad Mivies Ever Made.
Julie was released October 17- 1956.
Posted: 30 Jun 2020, 05:32
If nothing else, this film introduced Doris to the splendor of Carmel and the Monterey Peninsula. That alone makes it worthwhile.
Julie may be preposterous but it's watchable because Doris commits 100% to the role. It gave her another chance to show what she could do dramatically and it moved her further away from the wholesome girl-next-door image. Director / writer Andrew Stone and his editor wife Virginia Stone knew how to make a low budget gritty thriller but the script needed more work. It was shrill and over the top. The voiceover narration was particularly grating with Doris explaining her every thought and mood when she didn't need to. Her acting said it all. Without her, the plane landing would have been laughable but audiences bought it because Doris was all in. This was Marty's first and last venture as an independent producer as far as I recall. From then on, Doris only worked in films produced by the major studios.
And if anyone can explain why the Academy gave this film a Best Screenplay nominationn, I'd love to hear it.