Doris Mary Ann von Kappelhoff (b. 3rd April 1922). Of German & Dutch extraction, Doris Day bagan her film career in normal cute blonde mode, but latched onto a screen persona that achieved a perfect balance between the wholesome and the glamourous. During her most prolific period in films, the 1940’s & 50’s, Day shone brightly in what on the surface are often written off as light, fluffy comedies, but which at their best (‘Pillow Talk’ & ‘Send me no Flowers’) are the best examples of the Romantic-Comedy genre, with performances and scripts that the likes of Reece Witherspoon & Lindsay Lohan can but dream of. As the 1960’s cast off the Housewife as heroine, Day sought to adapt to the cultural changes by embracing her inner sex-kitten with films like Caprice & Midnight Lace, but ultimately she settled into TV with ‘The Doris Day Show’ which ran until 1972. Her career spanned 40 films, some seventy odd albums & four marriages.. suffering near bankruptsy when one of her husbands in cahoots with his business partner embezzled vast sums of money from her accounts, Day sued and was rumoured to have received twenty million dollars in damages. In recent years Hollywood attempted to recapture the Doris Day/Rock Hudson chemistry with a film homage starring Rene’ Zellweger & Ewan McGregor, which sank without trace at the box office – testimony to the unique qualities that those seemingly simple comedies possessed.
My Dream is Yours (1949) / It’s a Great Feeling (1949) / Young man with a Horn (1950) / Lullaby over Broadway (1951) / On Moonlight Bay (1951) / April in Paris (1952) / By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953) / Calamity Jane (1953) / Young at Heart (1964) / Love me or Leave me (1955) / The Man who knew too much (1956) / The Pajama Game (1958 / Teacher’s Pet (1958 / The Tunnel of Love (1958 / Pillow Talk (1959) / Please don’t eat the Daisies (1960) / Midnight Lace (1960) / Lover Come Back (1961) / That touch of Mink (1962) / Move over Darling (1963) / Send me no Flowers (1964) / Caprice (1967)
By no means a great film, ‘Midnight Lace is an interesting piece.. at least in as far as we get to see a very different Doris Day. In actual fact the whole affair is very tawdry, as we see Day’s normal ice-cool composure crack and shatter before our eyes. I see why she wanted to give it a try, but it really does stand out as a truly odd film, far better suited to perhaps a Shirley Maclaine or an Ingrid Bergman even. Some striking shots here and there, the elevator scene stands out as the best moment of suspense..she’s actually rather good in the part, but the whole thing is too uncomfortable to watch.