Doris Day and Rock Hudson Comedy Movies…

As this is a Cozy Mystery site, I know that I really should limit the entries on the Television and Movie page to… Cozy Mystery shows, or at least mysteries. But there are some shows and/or actors/actresses that I enjoy so much, I just cannot imagine not “spreading the word.” Judy Holliday is one such actress, and now, I am adding Doris Day, once known as “America’s Sweetheart”. Actually as much as I enjoy this “feel good” actress, I am devoting this entry to the three comedies she made with Rock Hudson: Pillow Talk, Send Me No Flowers, and Lover, Come Back.

The last time I watched these three comedies was with my daughter who was (and still is) in her early twenties. There are some television shows and movies that, although they were produced way before her time (and some were even way before my time!), I think she “should” see. Some of these movies are: The Little Foxes with Bette Davis, Dodsworth with Walter Huston and Ruth Chatterton, and Lady Eve with Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda.

Getting back to the Doris Day and Rock Hudson comedies:

Pillow Talk (1959) Ah yes, party lines! I don’t personally remember them, but have seen enough “old movies” to know that they were a hassle. Imagine sharing access to your telephone with strangers. Next, imagine having a job that requires your clients to call you at home. Now take it one step further… you share your party line with a womanizing jerk who talks incessantly with bimbettes. Oh, and every time you pick up your phone to use it, you hear this womanizing jerk snow-job this bevy of women. Doris Day is the long-suffering interior decorator and Rock Hudson is the selfish “player.” Tony Randall adds even more fun to this very funny comedy. (If you’re only going to watch one of these three highlighted Doris Day/Rock Hudson movies, I recommend this be your choice.)

Lover Come Back (1961) Doris Day and Rock Hudson are back at it – this time as competing advertising executives. Doris Day is again the “live-by-the-rules” good girl, with Rock Hudson playing a no-good-hound dog sort of guy, with no scruples. He makes his own rules as he goes, and hits a dead-end when Doris makes him come clean, so to speak. Tony Randall, again adds a lot of cute moments. (While I recommend all three of these comedies, I definitely rank this one as my least favorite of the three — although I believe it is way better than a lot of today’s box office hit comedies.)

Send Me No Flowers (1964) This third Doris Day/Rock Hudson pairing has them married. Rock plays a hypochondriac who is convinced he is going to die. He enlists his best friend (played by Tony Randall) to find a good husband replacement for himself so that his home-maker wife won’t be alone… without a “good provider.” Enter Clint Walker>>> a tall, suave, rich, handsome, gentleman from cattle country… a little “too good” of a replacement…

If what you are looking for is a fun movie, that doesn’t require a lot of “yadda-yadda” thinking, that is simply funny and clever, then any one of these Doris Day/Rock Hudson/Tony Randall comedies should fit the bill. However, if you’re looking for a “funny movie” with a lot of twists and turns, profanity, “hidden” messages”, bathroom humor, and/or nudity>>> pass on these three.

If you would like to see more TV and Movies suggestions, click here.


  1. Regina says

    I too like the old movies, but I am partial to the musicals. My children gave me “Meet Me in St Louis” and I have almost worn it out. Give me a Bing Crosby flick any day. Songs were singable in those movies, even now we can hum along.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Regina, I’ve seen Meet Me in St. Louis several times, and never tire of watching Judy Garland. Can you believe it was made in the 1940s? I guess good productions are ageless…

  2. says

    I love these movies! And, will admit that I saw them when they were released in the movie theaters, way-back-when. So, when I saw that they were available on DVD in a boxed set, of course, I had to get them! They are still fun to watch!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Trice, you are so right about those two movies being really good. I love Move Over Darling and The Thrill of It All, but they starred James Garner and Doris Day…

  3. Petie says

    And I love James Garner & Doris Day ones!! But Rock Hudson too. Some really fun movies. Also Please Don’t Eat the Daisies with Doris & David Niven – a cute one too!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      I love Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, Petie. Good grief… all this talk about these movies has me “in the mood” to go watch one right now! They sure do come from a “gentler” time, don’t they?

  4. says

    This is really OT, but I know some of you love British Humor–Steve Stack, British Humor Writer is guest blogging on my blog today and is giving away a copy of his latest: 21st Century Dodos. Y’all are welcome to stop by and leave a comment (that’s all that is required to win!)

    It’s kind of a nostalgic wander around things that have gone by the wayside. (Steve Stack is really Scott Pack an editor at HarperCollins. Don’t tell him I told.)

    • linda says

      I knew there was a movie with Doris Day and Howard Keel but I could not remember the name! This was a good movie. So, Danna, I will have to retract what I said about not caring for Doris Day because I did like this movie. Howard Keel was so good looking.

  5. Margaret says

    This Post is too funny. I adore the same three movies but I have to agree with Trice and add “Move Over Darling”. James Garner was one of my childhood crushes. I just recently purchased all four of them. I got sick of trying to find them on TCM or AMC. I will also add Jack Lemmon’ Movies to my list of favorite “oldies”. Especially “Good Neighbor Sam”. I only saw it on T.V. once. I kept checking for it on DVD and it was finally released in a four pack. It is truly one of the funniest movies I have ever seen.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Margaret, I put off watching “Support Your Local Gunfighter” for quite a while. I had taped it off of TCM… I was pretty sure it was going to be a little too much. Boy, am I glad I finally watched it. James Garner and Suzanne Pleshette made it a darling movie.

    • linda says

      Just a side note here; On Jeopardy last night (10-19-11) one of the catagories was TV detectives. None of the contestants knew James Garner as “Rockford” of the “Rockford Files” TV series! My hubby said this was probably “before their time!.” I’ll bet they wouldn’t have known that he was a “Maverick” either!! “Before their time!” Is he suggesting that I am old!!!!!!

      • Danna - cozy mystery list says

        Linda, and remember when Tom Selleck was Thomas Magnum? (Waaaay before he was Jesse Stone…)

        (He’s probably saying you’re getting better… not older!)

  6. Carrie says

    I love old movies too! The Rock Hudson and Doris Day ones never seem to date, they are always funny. I also liked her in “That Touch of Mink” with Cary Grant.

    One of my all time favorite old movies is “The Awful Truth” which has a great cast including Cary Grant, Irene Dunne and Ralph Bellamy. It is hilarious and a great one to watch if you are feeling a bit down in the dumps.

    I also love all the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musicals. I just wish I could dance like that!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Carrie, it looks like a lot of us enjoy those old-fashioned movies. Poor Ralph Bellamy… he was often cast as the second banana in a lot of these movies involving an odd-man-out situation.

      I remember a few years ago when they made an old-fashioned movie (“Down with Love” with Renee Zellweger). I don’t think it had a lot of success at the box office…

  7. Sharon says

    I am a huge Doris Day fan. I love the comedies, but I do believe one of her best was a MYSTERY, “The Man Who Knew Too Much” with Jimmy Stewart. She was a terrific dramatic actress with such movies as “Young Man With a Horn” with Kirk Douglas, “Love Me or Leave Me” with James Cagney, and the thriller “Midnight Lace” with Rex Harrison. Oh, don’t forget one my favorite comedies: “Teacher’s Pet” with Clark Gable.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Sharon, when I first saw Love Me or Leave Me, I was totally flabbergasted by how wonderful Doris Day was. Before that, I thought she was more of a comedy-style actress. She truly could “do it all” in the movies. And, although I think she wasn’t Hitchcock’s “normal pick” of starlets, I’m glad he saw her potential to help carry The Man Who Knew Too Much.

      • Julia says

        I am a Doris Day fan (love ‘Midnight Lace’ and ‘Julie’ of her mystery/dramas, and ‘By the Light of the Silvery Moon’ and ‘On Moonlight Bay’ of her musicals. But as much as I enjoy her work, and Jimmy Stewart’s, I love the orginal version of ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ much more than the remake. The orginal was classic Hitchcock, but to me the remake was more about the stars than the story. I think it was her singing ‘Que sera Sera’ that put it over the edge for me – she had a beautiful voice and I loved the song as a child – but it just didn’t fit with all the rest of Hitchcock’s body of work. It was (to me) like a jangle instead of a pure tone, and that didn’t do justice to her or to him.

        • Danna - cozy mystery list says

          Julia, I just had to look up the original The Man Who Knew Too Much. I don’t believe I have ever seen it. I remember thinking how strange, that the same director, would make a re-make of one of his own movies.

  8. says

    I love the really old movies from the ’30s and ’40s. The humor is sometimes subtle and there is never any overt sex but a lot of innuendo that is quite charming. I subscribe to TCM’s Now Playing so I can schedule my DVR to record the ones that are shown in the wee hours of the morning.
    After the Thin Man was aired last night at 9 p.m. Pacific time and will air again in early December
    On 10/15 at 5 a.m. Pacific time the Hildegarde Wither’s mystery “Murder on a Honeymoon” starring Edna Mae Oliver (1935) will air on TCM.

    Netflix recently added an extensive list of movies, TV movies and shows to its lineup that are available instant play streaming and on DVDs.
    I’ve just finished the Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane trilogy only available on DVDs right now and have the other Lord Peter mysteries starring Ian Carmichael in my queue.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Andie, I have seen Robert Osbourne talk about TCM’s Now Playing, but didn’t know exactly what he was talking about. Is it a magazine that you get – with all of the listings? I am going to go set up my taping device for the Stuart Palmer‘s Hildegarde Wither’s Murder on a Honeymoon. Thank you so much for telling us about its showing!!!

      • says

        Now Playing is a small magazine, about the size of TV Guide, but thinner, that has the entire month schedule of TCM movies and articles, listings of movie festivals and other interesting content. I’ve subscribed for three or four years because I am an avid old movie enthusiast. I have a fairly extensive collection of old movies.
        I especially like the magazine because it notifies me when a movie will be “premiering” after restoration.
        A friend works at the UCLA film library and from time to time gives me a hint that something “new” is due for release but usually I rely on the magazine.

        Robert Osborne has been on an extended “vacation” due to illness, since July. However he is still writing articles for the magazine.

        • Danna - cozy mystery list says

          Andie, I had no idea he has been gone since July! I LOVE his introductions to the movies, but I did notice that I have seen more of Ben Jankowitz (forgive my spelling!) than before.

          (PS>>> I just bought a subscription to the magazine, Andie!)

  9. Marja says

    Ahhh, “The Awful Truth”! What a wonderful, hilarious movie! When Cary Grant sits down at the piano, plays, and the dog howls along …! And Bellamy … priceless rube!

    “My Favorite Wife” [Grant and Dunne again] is also marvelously funny … as is “His Girl Friday” with Grant and Rosalind Russell [wearing an absolutely ridiculous hat]!

    Three of my absolute favourite comedies of all time!

    Goodness, we could almost start a sub-group of movie discussions!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      You are not kidding, Marja, about the sub-group movie discussions!

      It looks like we all watch the very same movies! I have Cary Grant on my recording device’s “favorite” line-up, so am able to get all of his movies that play on television. I have quite a few of actors on that queue… Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis, Melvyn Douglas… the list goes on and on. And, actually, I have recently added actors I wasn’t very familiar with before… like Mary Astor. Good grief, she was making movies almost 100 years ago!

      These movies are truly classics… for everyone to enjoy – regardless of age. Granted, drinking was a lot more acceptable back then, so every once in a while you get a scene which is supposed to be funny, showing a “sloppy drinker,” but all in all, there’s a reason a lot of us are still watching these movies that were made WAY before we were even born…

  10. Marja says

    Ooh! Ooh! And I thought of some hilarious, MYSTERY-themed movies! [It was all Asta’s fault, for the same dog who played “Asta” played the to-be-divorced couple’s dog in “The Awful Truth”!

    The Thin Man
    After the Thin Man
    Another Thin Man
    The Thin Man goes Home
    and I think there’s another, but the title escapes me.

    Myrna Loy and William Powell were a priceless, darling, hilarious movie “couple”! Their movie characters did “drink” a heckuva lot tho’!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Maria, I have an entry already written for these wonderful MYSTERY-themed movies. I loved this series with William Powell. (Actually, I enjoy watching him in everything he did!) Although I think the movies are great, I do agree that the drinking was excessive.

      PS… The fourth was Shadow of the Thin Man and the sixth (and final) was Song of the thin Man.

      (Since you mentioned these movies, I’ll go ahead and post that entry next….)

    • Julia says

      There were a few more William Powell mysteries I loved, co-starring Ginger Rogers (Star of Midnight) and Jean Arthur (The Ex-Mrs Bradford). They were fairly similar in style to the Thin Man movies, but hey, when you’ve got a good thing going…

  11. linda says

    I loved Rock Hudson but just didn’t care for Doris Day. I did see all her movies though. My parents could only afford to allow my sister & I to go to either the football games or to a movie once a week. My sister hated football so we went to the movies. This posting brings back a lot of fond old memories.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Oh my goodness, Linda! I think you’re the first person I have “met” who doesn’t care for Doris Day!!! (Good thing your sister hated football!)

  12. Trice says

    I love Jack Lemmon. How to Murder Your Wife, The Great Race, The Wackiest Ship in the Navy…

    They just don’t make movies like they used to. I raised my kids watching the old movies, never had to worry about language or nudity. Now at 17 and 21 they still watch classics. Every Halloween we watch Arsenic and Old Lace. Some of their favorites are from the Thin Man series and You’ll Find Out starring Kaye Kyser the professor of swing.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Trice, I hear you – about not having to worry about language and/or nudity. Plus, these movies are actually better than a whole lot of the garbage that is shown at theaters today.

      I just looked up You’ll Find Out and see it has Boris Karloff AND Bela Lugosi. Sounds like an October must!

      • Trice says

        It’s a good classic movie, just right for Halloween along with Arsenic and Old Lace.

        Someone wrote: what’s wrong with nudity. Nothing but when your kids are small it is best to watch movies without. That way you stay away from conversations best left for their teen years!

        On a side note, I just read somewhere that Johnny Depp is having a screen play done for a new Thin Man. As much as I love him, why can’t they leave well enough alone?

        • Danna - cozy mystery list says

          There was something inherently Nick-ish about William Powell. I enjoy Johnny Depp a lot, also>>> but I’m with you about leaving well enough alone, Trice.

  13. Ricky says

    I don’t and didn’t back when, like Doris Day, but I am not fond of most comedies…except maybe When Harry Met Sally. I do like old of All Casablanca.
    Also what is wrong with a little sex and nudity? It is violence I can do without.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Ricky, as soon as I mentioned (in a comment above) I had never “met” someone who didn’t like Doris Day >>> knock on wood!

      As for sex and nudity: For the most part, the movies we are “talking about” are movies that could be watched by the whole family. Granted, some of them, dealt with adult themes. But, would we really have needed a sex scene or a nudity scene to get across the fact that, say, Nora and Nick slept together? Would the movies have been better had they allowed king size beds, instead of twin sized? I mean, when Nick and Nora had Nick, Jr.>>> wasn’t something sort of implied?

  14. Julia says

    I forgot one of her comedic mysteries when I posted before, but I think it’s one of her best: “Caprice”, with Richard Harris (they are corporate spies for rival cosmetic firms). The scenery is beautiful, the script is clever and just a bit racy (for a Doris Day movie, anyway) and, well, Richard Harris has dialogue. He had such a beautiful speaking voice he could have read the script off a cocktail napkin and I would have enjoyed every syllable.

  15. Sheila says

    Add me to the list of loving old movies! I have seen almost all of the ones mentioned by everyone so far! And love almost all of them – I could watch Doris Day in anything, Cary Grant, the thin man movies and so on. I love watching the comedies, musicals and mysteries from the 30’s – 50’s. Don’t get to see them on TV these days as much as used to, unfortunately.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Sheila, I think I started watching these old movies before I got married. Until then, I relied solely on what was showing on the major networks. My husband brought me into “the real world” when we started getting cable…

      My husband and I just watched Cary Grant in The Philadelphia Story. Even though he really didn’t have that much to do in that movie, he brought a sense of “real-ness” to his part. There’s a reason no one has come close to filling his acting shoes…

      • Sheila says

        I still rely on the free to air networks – somehow I just can’t bring myself to pay for TV! As I’m in the UK, I pay a licence fee for the BBC but I still rely on the free to air networks (and watch the commercials) as somehow I just can’t bring myself to pay for TV! But then, I have only recently gone onto the digital network, because they turned off the signal for analogue and I wouldn’t have been able to receive any tv. If the tv programming on the free ones gets really poor maybe I’ll change! I am not a technophobe but I do seem to be the last to embrace new technology!

        As for Cary Grant – he was just gorgeous! I love his movies and could listen to him all day, his voice was perfect. My favourite is North by Northwest, I think.

        • Danna - cozy mystery list says

          Sheila, I couldn’t bring myself to pay for TV, either. My husband, however, doesn’t mind paying for TV, even though he watches very little. This has worked out well for me!

          I watch very few ads, thanks to all of the taping devices my husband has set up. Every once in a while, I will see something that catches my eye while I am fast forwarding, and might stop to see the ad. Some of them are really quite clever…

      • Judith says

        The Philadelphia Story is probably my all-time favorite movie. I saw the original play in London a few years ago, and while it was a wonderful production, it made me realize just how perfect the movie is – and how you can’t imagine anyone else in those parts! Katherine Hepburn was a wise woman to acquire the movie rights so she could play the part that was written for her and to assemble such a terrific cast.

        • Danna - cozy mystery list says

          Judith, I didn’t know Katherine Hepburn was responsible for the purchase and subsequent production of The Philadelphia Story. That’s another really clever movie… What a conundrum: Jimmy Stewart VS Cary Grant!

  16. linda says

    Danna, Someone asked what is wrong with a little bit of sex and nudity in movies, without getting into a big dicussion here. I would like to comment. I would think by reading some of the remarks in this blog that most of us who post here are adults. If I were say maybe 20, 30 or even 40 years younger I wouldn’t be so opposed to these things in movies. But hey, now that we are adults what more do we need to see? By this time, haven’t we just about seen it all.
    I don’t like censorship. I think we should all be able to watch and to read whatever we want. Enough said!
    By the way! Evidently September must have been “Banned Books Month” . One of my area libraries had a display of books that had been banned at one time or another for what ever reason. “Gone With the Wind”,(one of my all time favorites) was the first on this display!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Linda, my daughter is an adult in her young 20s, and… well, I probably shouldn’t speak for her…

      I will say, I am not sure that age matters… I sort of remember going to the movies on dates when I was an adult in my 20s, and feeling uncomfortable with nudity/explicit sex in the movies. Of course, “back then” I think nudity was full frontal of the woman and maybe a man’s tush. Double standards if ever I saw doubles!

  17. marion says

    I love old movies of all sorts too. Doris Day was very talented. I have the Pajama Game and the box set of the three movies you mentioned. I haven’t seen all of her movies but I also enjoyed The Thrill of It All, Calamity Jane, On Moonlight Bay, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, Please Don’t Pick the Daisies, and Midnight Lace.

  18. Penny says

    Another really fun Rock Hudson movie in the same vein with these is “Man’s Favorite Sport?” with Paula Prentiss. Too bad she didn’t do more movies. One of my favorites along with almost any Doris Day film.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Penny, aren’t all of these “old movies” wonderful to watch. Here I go again: They just don’t make them like the used to!

  19. Anne says

    I love old films! I love silent films, black and white films, old (pre-war) Holywood films, British films from the 50s and 6os, European films, Indian and Japanese films, even gloomy Scandinavian films. And they do sometimes make them like they used to – Skyfall and Les Miserables – breathtaking!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *