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Rock Hudson and Comedy


Gary16
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There seems to be a misconception (reiterated again tonight by Robert Osborne in his introduction to "Lover Come Back") that Rock Hudson had no experience playing comedy prior to "I Love Lucy" in 1955.

May I please direct everyone to the 1952 Universal release "Here Comes the Nelsons" starring Ozzie, Harriet, David, and Ricky Nelson which served as the pilot for their long-running TV series? Rock Hudson is featured in that movie and, yes, he's doing comedy -- and very well in my opinion. Unfortunately Universal has not yet seen fit to issue the movie on DVD or in their MOD series but it was released on VHS in the pre-DVD days. Perhaps TCM has it among their Universal titles.

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I like Hudson in every movie I ever saw him in, but tell me... are these Doris Day films of the '50s supposed to be "comedies"? I mean, are they supposed to be "funny"? I don't see or hear anything to laugh at. Her '40s movies were fine, with drama, comedy, and music. But these '50s movies just don't seem to be "funny" to me. Maybe someone can tell me how they are funny. Maybe I'm missing something.

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Hudson only made one film with Day in the 50s. PILLOW TALK was released at the very end of the decade, in October 1959. The other two comedies they made with Tony Randall were released in the 60s. He did a few comedies with Gina Lollobrigida in the 60s, and there was one with Paula Prentiss that was directed by Howard Hawks. In the 50s, Hudson was used more by Universal in action flicks, westerns and melodramas directed by Douglas Sirk.

 

As for Day, her 50s output was largely a continuation of her earlier film work in the late 40s at Warners. After she left Warners and signed with Universal, she underwent an image makeover and started making more risque sex farces.

 

I think her best film of the 50s, aside from PILLOW TALK which is her most known classic, is IT HAPPENED TO JANE, costarring Jack Lemmon. It perfectly captures the Day persona, the bright and bubbly and wholesome American girl determined to share her joy with the world.

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I enjoy Day's 50s musicals, her 60s comedies not as much. My favorite films of hers from the 50s include two dramas at WB at the beginning of the decade: YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN and STORM WARNING, although she is not the main focus in either. Her best drama ever, and my favorite Day movie is LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME, what a great perrmance of a great role. My next favorite of all is the musical PAJAMA GAME, one of the best adaptations of a 50s Broadway musical IMHO.

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm just discovering this thread and have to laugh because last night I was in the mood for some Rock Hudson/Doris Day movies and watched "Lover Come Back"/"Pillow Talk" back to back (to clarify, I had no idea they played Day films on TCM last night - I watched them on DVD).

 

There are so many similarities between the scripts, even down to Tony Randall making jokes about seeing his analyst (in That Touch of Mink, another Day comedy, Gig Young also makes jokes about seeing his analyst. Must have been a common joke device back then). Anyway, I think Lover Come Back is a superior film. I love the scene where Randall keeps poking a sleeping Hudson in the back with his walking stick, to which Hudson whips around, grabs the stick and breaks it in half over his leg, handing it back to Randall.

 

Edited by: EugeniaH on Apr 4, 2012 7:45 AM

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I was thinking of the opening scene in Pillow Talk where Brad Allen was on the party line with one woman and then the next, and to each one he was saying that he wrote a song "just for her", with Jan Morrow being really uptight not only because he monopolized the phone, but because he was a "wolf". He would make a lot of snide remarks to her about her uptightness. He would pick on her "uptightness" in Lover Come Back as well.

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It was complete coincidence that I watched Hudson/Day DVDs last night as TCM ran Day movies. I don't have TCM right now (outrageous cable bills; we've discussed this song and dance on the boards before) so I don't check the schedule. I've "pulled the plug", so to speak...

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I know "That Touch of Mink" gets lackluster reviews but I don't watch it to be especially enlightened in any way. ;) That's a film I watch when I shut out the world and don't want to think. Though I don't know - I find Day's resisting Cary Grant's advances a bit hard to believe, lol.

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LOL. And why does he keep trying? You'd think after the first Bermuda trip he'd call it a day. But he goes back for a 2nd fiasco, and then finally winds up marrying her. Only in 60s sex comedies! :D

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