Remembering Doris Day: My Top 10 DD Films

May 16, 2019

By Tab Byrum

Today we are going to continue our look at the actress/singer Doris Day who died this past Monday at the age of 97. Doris started out as a singer in the 1940s and eventually gained fame which led to her being screen-tested and winning her first role in “Romance On The High Seas” in 1948. Eventually, Doris Day would make 39 feature films between 1948 and 1968 before trying her hand at television from 1968 to 1973 and eventually retiring from acting altogether. Doris Day had quite a range as an actress making musicals, comedies and acting in a few dramas. She worked with Alfred Hitchcock among directors and her leading men ranged from Gordon MacRae and Ronald Reagan to Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, and Rock Hudson. Today I’m going to share my thoughts on 10 of my favorite Doris Day films. Let me know what you think and what your favorites are. Enjoy!!! (via)

Calamity Jane


In 1953 Doris Day stepped into the role of Calamity Jane, the film looked at a supposed romantic relationship between the sharpshooting Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickock. The film is a musical and featured “Just Blew In From The Windy City” and my favorite, “Secret Love”. (via)

The Man Who Knew Too Much


In 1956 Doris Day took on the role of Jo McKenna in “The Man Who Knew Too Much” opposite Jimmy Stewart and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. In the film, DD plays a former Broadway star who’s on vacation with her son and husband in Morroco. This was one of Day’s first dramatic roles and it’s also the first time we hear her sing the Oscar-nominated song ‘Que Sera Sera’. This is a great mystery film filled with intrigued and spies as DD fights to get her son back. (via)

The Pajama Game


I have to admit that I’m partial to the “Pajama Game” from 1957, this was the first musical I was in where I stepped out of the chorus and got to play a leading role, Vernon Heinz. Doris Day teamed with John Raitt in this tale of a pajama factory and the people who worked in it. It’s a story of romance, comedy and the local pajama makers union fighting for a 7 1/2 cent raise. This musical brought us amazing songs like ‘Once A Year Day’, ‘Hey There’, and ‘Steam Heat’ as well as groundbreaking choreography from Bob Fosse.  If you haven’t seen it, check it out and enjoy some 1950’s fun. (via)

Pillow Talk


Doris Day and Rock Hudson were first paired up in 1959’s Pillow Talk and the rest is history. In the film, DD is an interior designer, with a fab apartment, and Hudson plays a philandering playboy in the apartment above hers. The two of them share a party line phone line and she gets tired of him tying up the phone line talking to women. Hudson’s character decides to pursue DD’s character and of course, they fall in love, but not before Tony Randall gets involved and comedy ensues. (via)

Please Don’t Eat The Daisies


In 1960 Doris Day teamed up with David Niven for “Please Don’t Eat The Daisies”, based on a book by the same name. Day plays a mother of 4 rambunctious boys who move from the hustle and bustle of NYC to the country with her husband, kids, and dog. Day’s character is in charge of transforming the old house into something livable while her husband hobnobs with the rich and famous back in NYC. (via)

Midnight Lace


Midnight Lace is one of my favorite Doris Day films for several reasons. First, it’s a creepy film starring the usually calm Day, it’s set in London in 1960, the clothes are amazing and it’s a real thriller. Doris Day plays Kit Preston, an American socialite living in London with her new husband played by Rex Harrison. Preston has a stalker who keeps calling her and sending her little gifts. John Gavin is a construction foreman doing work in Kit’s apartment building and tries to help her. The fabulous Myrna Loy is also in the film as Kit’s Aunt Bea. If you’ve never seen Midnight Lace check it out. I ordered the BluRay today. (via)

Lover Come Back


Day and Hudson paired up again in 1961 for Lover Come Back, a precursor to Mad Men, Day and Hudson play two advertising executives in 1960’s NYC. Needless to say, the movie is full of mistaken identities, alcohol filled candies and questions of did we or didn’t we. But, as always it’s a fun film with wonderful apartments and clothes. (via)

That Touch of Mink


That Touch of Mink sees Doris Day paired up with perhaps the greatest leading man, Cary Grant. This is a classic boy splashes girl, boy wants girl, girl refuses boy, girl dates boy and breaks out in a rash, well you get the idea. Another cute movie with great scenery, apartments and clothes…and Cary Grant. (via)

Move Over Darling


What’s a girl to do when she’s been stranded on an island for five years is rescued and comes home to find her husband has remarried to Polly Bergen. Move Over Darling has Doris Day playing that exact role and James Garner (from Oklahoma) as her husband. Thelma Ritter is the comedic mother-in-law we all long for in this remake of the 1940 comedy, My Favorite Wife. (via)

The Glass Bottom Boat


Aah, The Glass Bottom Boat, a comedy set on Catalina Island with Doris Day in a mermaid costume and Paul Lynde in drag. (see photo below) The film stars day as a PR executive at NASA and Rod Taylor as a NASA exec. There are spys and not spys and again Paul Lynde in drag. For a good time and Doris Day singing to a ukelele check it out. (via)

There you have it, 10 of my favorite films starring Doris Day. Whether it was a musical or a stalker drama Day always gave a great performance and looked beautiful doing it. Check out any of her films, a lot of them are available on streaming services. Have a great day and Enjoy!!!

Words are my own.

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