Guest Post: Top 5 Doris Day Films by Fiona Harper

Saturday 25 April 2015

Today I am thrilled to be posting a guest post from Fiona Harper to celebrate publication of The Doris Day Vintage Film Club. Fiona and her main character Claire are discussing their favourite Doris Day films. As so many reviewers have admitted to never having watched a Doris Day film, hopefully you might find some inspiration!

Top 5 Doris Day Films
by Fiona Harper

I’ve been trying to come up with my top five Doris Day films, but I’m finding it so hard to choose! Do I go for the rom-coms or the serious stuff? The musicals? If so, early days or golden greats? In the end I decided to enlist the help of an expert, and who better than Claire Bixby, who just happens to be the heroine of my current novel and president of The Doris Day Vintage Film Club?

1. Pillow Talk
Fiona: I think we’ll both agree on this one, won’t we, Claire? I mean, what’s not to love: snappy dialogue, a gorgeous leading man and supporting characters to die for?
Claire: A year ago I would have said ‘yes’ in a heartbeat. It was definitely one of my favourites, but that was before my life started showing a scary similarity to the plot! I mean, I had a mysterious stranger wooing me, but unbeknownst to me he was keeping LOTS of secrets! I’m not sure I’m ready to watch this film again any time soon, to be honest. Ask me in six months.

2. Move Over Darling.
Claire: A much better choice! I haven’t been shipwrecked on a desert island for seven years, only to come home and discover my husband’s about to marry another woman, so I think I’m pretty safe with this one.
Fiona: So why do you love this one so much, Claire?
Claire: It’s just one of those classic, everyone’s-got-a-secret rom-coms that never fails to entertain, and Doris is so warm and charming in it. I cry every time Doris is reunited with her children again for the first time.
Fiona: So do I! What a coincidence!

3. Calamity Jane
Fiona: I don’t think any list of Doris Day films can omit this one!
Claire: You’re totally right! Doris always said this was the role of her career, and that she was probably closer to ‘Calam’ in real life than another other of the characters she portrayed. And aren’t the songs are great? Actually, Fiona, I’ve heard you can sing the whole of ‘The Deadwood Stage’ without getting the lyrics wrong. Why don’t you give us a burst now?
Fiona: (coughs). You know, my throat’s feeling a little bit sore. Maybe later…

4. The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Claire: I think I’m going to have to chip in with this Hitchcock classic about a couple whose son is kidnapped while they’re on holiday in Morocco.
Fiona: Ooh, yes! Great choice! This was such a wonderful tense thriller, and it went to show that Doris was way more than a song and dance girl. She really held her own against Jimmy Stewart in this role.
Claire: And, of course, it gave us one of Doris’s most famous songs: Que Sera, Sera.
Fiona: Right. And talking of singing, maybe it’s your turn?
Claire: Hmm. I seem to have caught your sore throat!

5. Erm…
Fiona: Okay, this is really where I get stuck! Only one space left. What on earth are we going to choose?
Claire: How about The Thrill of It All? It’s such a funny comedy, and Doris plays a housewife who accidentally launches herself into a successful career on TV in the early Sixties. That’s definitely worth voting for.
Fiona: I know…but we’ve already had one with James Garner. Maybe we should mix it up a little. Lover Come Back?
Claire: But if we can’t have two James Garners, we really shouldn’t have two Rock Hudson films, even if this one is just as cute and funny as their first pairing, better maybe… although it does feature yet another conniving man, which I’m not too keen on.
Fiona: It Happened to Jane? I know it didn’t do so well at the box office, but I actually really like it.
Claire: It’s a possibility, but is that really better than Please, Don’t Eat The Daisies? I thought David Niven and Doris had a really realistic married relationship in that one. And I loved the naughty kids! But I suppose, if you want sweet, realistic relationships, there’s always Doris’s last film With Six You Get Eggroll. Argh!
Fiona: I think we could be here all day deciding this one! I know…why don’t we leave it for the rest of you to decide? I suggest having a little mini Doris Day film festival of your own – maybe invite a few friends round and make it into a club – and then you can tell us what you think!
Claire: That is an excellent idea! And, remember, you’re always free to drop in and say hello at The Doris Day Vintage Film Club any time you like!

Thanks to Fiona for this fantastic guest post. The Doris Day Vintage Film Club is out now, and if you need a helping hand in deciding whether to pick it up, check out my review here! 

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