Monday, September 7, 2020

My Favorite Movies - The Thrill Of It All

Any time someone asks about my favorite movies, there are a few actors from the "golden age of Hollywood" that come to mind, especially Doris Day. 

Popular in the late 50's and into the 60's, Doris Day was an icon in the romantic comedy genre of the period. And while I love some of her earlier work, including Moonlight Bay and the sequel, By The Light of the Silvery Moon, the movies I love her in the most are generally those she filmed in the 60's. Films such as It Happened to Jane with Tony Randall, That Touch of Mink with Cary Grant, With Six You Get Eggroll with Brian Keith, and Move Over Darling (Amazon Prime Rental)with James Garner.

Doris made two movies with Garner, Move Over Darling, which I mentioned previously, but my absolute favorite movie starring Doris was also with James Garner, The Thrill of It All!

In this film Doris portrays Beverly Boyer, the happily married wife of a successful OB-GYN, Dr. Gerald Boyer, portrayed by James Garner. Dr. Boyer gives successful advice for achieving pregnancy to the wife of a soap tycoon, and through that association Beverly inadvertently becomes the face of The Happy Soap Company. With her heartfelt and sincere stories, such as having to wash her daughter in happy soap so she will smell like her piano teacher, Beverly Boyer quickly becomes a household name. But all of this popularity proves to be unpopular with her husband and almost wrecks their marriage. The series of antics that follows is hilarious, but I don't want to give anything away! If you love Doris Day then I highly recommend The Thrill of It All! It is hands down my favorite of the many movies she made!

One of the things I will say is that you have to remember when this movie was made (the 60's), as I suppose is the case with many of the films Doris made during this time, and the gender roles are definitely outdated. A housewife gets a job despite her husband's wishes but eventually gives it all up to return home. The problem is not her decision, but the antics and manipulation employed by her husband to convince her to change her mind. Personally its not an issue for me, as so many movies made during that time portrayed the same message.  That's simply the way life was back then, a woman's place was in the home. So if things like that bother you, you will either have to decide to look past it or not watch it. But if you can, it is hilarious!

It has a has a wonderful supporting cast, including Arlene Francis who portrays Dr. Boyer's pregnant patient, even though she was 55 when the movie filmed! Another favorite of mine, though often overlooked, is Zasu Pitts who portrays Olivia, the maid. Kym Karuth portrays the Boyer's daughter, the same actress who portrayed Gretyl in The Sound of Music, always adorable! And even though I've mentioned Doris Day a lot, James Garner is absolutely wonderful in this film, as well. Doris made a lot of movies with Rock Hudson, but to be honest I much prefer the chemistry between her and Garner. Rock always seemed to be chasing the girl, but James somehow manages to get her! 

Carl Reiner, successful in his own right, was a screen writer for the film and made cameo appearances as characters in the Happy Soap Playhouse as a World War II German Officer, a cad and a cowboy.  I'm including the trailer below to wet your appetite for this uproarious comedy! You will be thrilled, with The Thrill of It All!

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