Friday, November 27, 2009

Move Over Darling, Doris Day is back

Move Over, Darling
Move Over, Darling Pictures

Just saw Move Over Darling (1963) on DVD last night and it was very enjoyable. It's basically a remake of the 1940 classic My Favorite Wife with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. Viewed on its own Darling is light frothy fun, but I will be the first to admit that Wife is the better film. But Wife is one of my all time favorite films so I may be a little biased. Regardless, Darling gives Doris Day ample room to let her do her thing. She gets all the good lines and handles them perfectly. James Garner as her husband makes an ok partner. I think he was much better when he teamed with Doris for their other collaboration, The Thrill Of It All. Still he gets in a few good zingers himself. Polly Bergen fills out the part of his new wife and she gets several laugh out loud scenes. And veteran Thelma Ritter is on hand as Garner's mother and she is solid gold as usual. The interesting thing about Darling was the behind the scenes facts that happened while filming. That was covered on the DVD. For instance, this was originally intended to be the Marilyn Monroe vehicle Something's Gotta Give, but was changed due to Monroe's erratic behavior and the racy characters. So this movie was re-imagined as a vehicle for Doris and based on My Favorite Wife. But the big fact about this film was that Ms. Day injured herself while filming. She had a few of her ribs cracked when James Garner had to lift her up in one scene. Ms. Day said underneath her clothing she had adhesive tape wrapped around her body, making it difficult to breathe and painful to laugh. But rather than delay production, Day kept on with the show. Following her doctor's orders, she remained immobilized whenever she wasn't required on the set. Day would lie in traction in her dressing room until a setup was ready for her, then she'd be helped onto the set, the scene would be shot and back to traction she'd go. It's to Day's considerable ability that I didn't notice any signs of pain in her performance. Truly extraordinary, a real trooper. It makes me appreciate her performance all the more. Hats off to Ms. Day for going above and beyond for this film. Just wanted to share that with you Dawn. Don't know if you knew the history of this film. Anyway I enjoyed it, laughed quite a bit and was particularly fond of another great performance by Doris Day.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Monty, Move Over Darling. Is a wonderful movie. I think James Garner and Doris Day have great chemistry together. I did not know that Doris had a couple of cracked ribs while filming.I agree what a trooper..Awesome review. :)