BFI Southbank in London (England) to celebrate Hollywood’s golden girl with a selection of her finest work during December 2012November 11, 2012 2 Comments
Doris Day fans are in for a monumentus treat this happy holiday season as throughout December 2012 the BFI Southbank will present a season devoted to the American movie star.
BFI Southbank (formerly known as the National Film Theatre) is the leading repertory cinema in the United Kingdom. It hosts over 2,000 classic and contemporary films every year and is located in the heart of London close to Waterloo South and Charing Cross train stations.
Twelve of Ms. Day’s films have been specially selected by the British Film Institute (BFI) for the season – these include some of the star’s best-loved musical, romantic comedy & dramatic acting roles. The films span from Ms Day’s 1948 big-screen debut in the Warner Bros. musical “Romance on the High Seas” (aka “It’s Magic) to her 1963 rom-com. ‘Move Over, Darling’ with Hollywood hunk James Garner.
The Doris Day film season begins on Saturday, 1 December 2012 with a double serving that day of darling Doris. The official launch then takes place on Tuesday, 4 December when the BFI present an introduction to Ms. Day’s work entitled ‘Resurrection Day!’ – given by the season curator, Variety critic David Benedict.
Tickets for all of the films listed below go on sale from Tuesday, 13 November 2012 @ 11.30AM (GMT).
BFI Southbank programme details
- Romance on the High Seas (aka It’s Magic)
Dec 1, 2012 2:00 PM / Dec 4, 2012 8:30 PM
‘Everything they’ve ever said about women like you on boats like this with men like me certainly turns out to be true!’ So says Jack Carson to Doris Day in this mistaken identity rom-com written by the Epstein twins (Casablanca). Fourth-billed Day dominates the musical, originally planned for Judy Garland and then Betty Hutton who discovered she was pregnant. Composer Jule Styne heard 23-year-old singer Day at a party, persuaded Michael Curtiz to screen-test her and her perky screen debut was a runaway hit.
- Tea for Two
Dec 1, 2012 4:10 PM / Dec 13, 2012 8:40 PM
Unaffected, fresh-looking Doris Day unwittingly blueprinted her perennial virgin image playing wannabe musical star Nanette who, angling for a $25,000 investment in a show, bets her uncle SZ Sakall that she can say ‘no’ to everything for 48 hours. Hollywood’s third stab at filming 1920s Broadway musical No, No Nanette is only loosely based on the original but it’s easily the best version and arguably Day’s finest Warner Bros musical. An old-fashioned charmer thanks to Day, a beefed-up score and LeRoy Prinz’s dance numbers.
- On Moonlight Bay
Dec 3, 2012 8:40 PM /Dec 8, 2012 6:20 PM
‘A happy screenful of sun-kissed melody and kiss-by-moonlight romance,’ yelled the poster, which didn’t lie. In her first tomboy role, Warners’ number-one female box-office star Doris Day was the cheeriest member of a family newly at home in small-town Indiana. Echoing MGM’s Meet Me in St Louis, Doris deals with family (mis)fortunes including a troublesome young brother while falling for boy-next-door MacRae. Its huge success spawned the near-identical sequel By the Light of the Silvery Moon.
- Resurrection Day!
Dec 4, 2012 6:20 PM
Doris Day season introduction Doris Day made her name in musicals (which most cineastes despise) and compounded the felony starring in rom-coms (which they detest). No wonder she’s been critically dismissed. Heralding a season devoted to restoring her reputation, Variety critic David Benedict casts such snobbery aside and rediscovers a gifted comedienne with rare dramatic skill. With clips from the well-loved Calamity Jane to the little-screened Midnight Lace, he shatters her ‘virginal’ image and celebrates the sheer finesse of one of Hollywood’s most underrated actors.
- Young Man with a Horn (aka Young Man of Music)
Dec 5, 2012 6:20 PM
Trademark torrid Kirk Douglas and Ted McCord’s stark black-and-white cinematography pull this disguised biopic of trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke back from the brink of melodrama. In her first seriously dramatic role Doris Day is perfectly cast as a band singer falling for driven Douglas. But he’s in thrall to the siren song of Lauren Bacall as dangerously feline Amy who is revealed – as much as was possible in 1950 – to be lesbian. Hoagy Carmichael’s presence and Harry James dubbing the trumpet solos lend the picture unusual authenticity.
- Calamity Jane
Dec 6, 2012 6:30 PM /Dec 8, 2012 4:00 PM /Dec 29, 2012 8:45 PM
Dressed head-to-toe in fringed buckskin, Doris Day is tomboy in excelsis as sharp-shootin’ ‘Calam’ in this riposte to MGM’s Annie Get Your Gun. Having trained as a dancer, Day leaps about with infectious abandon in this boisterous musical boasting a terrific score including ‘The Deadwood Stage’ and the Oscar-winning ‘Secret Love’. It remains a touchstone lesbian and gay movie, not least for ‘A Woman’s Touch’ in which Doris gets lessons in homemaking and goes from butch to femme in exactly three minutes and 47 seconds.
- Young at Heart
Dec 8, 2012 8:40 PM /Dec 13, 2012 6:20 PM
Top-billed Day’s Laurie is the wholesome, down-home type, Sinatra’s Barney is a recalcitrant drifter. Opposites attract but will their differences tear them apart? Almost 50 years on, this now feels like a fascinatingly transitional picture. Day represents early 50s certainty while young punk Sinatra embodies the rebellion about to surface in East of Eden. Music unites them and Sinatra’s ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ is worth the price of admission. Sinatra used his clout, possibly unwisely, to insist on a rewritten ending.
- The Man Who Knew Too Much
Dec 9, 2012 8:30 PM /Dec 22, 2012 6:00 PM
Having admired Doris Day’s non-singing performance in the dramatic Storm Warning, Hitchcock happily agreed to cast her in the remake of his 1934 thriller. Her only outing with a bona-fide A- list director is a triumph. Despite playing opposite the more experienced James Stewart, she walks away with the picture, not least because of her rare ability to express high emotion with control and clarity. The climax in which she brings mounting desperation to the usually blithe ‘Que sera sera’ is a superb fusion of acting and direction.
- Love Me or Leave Me
Dec 11, 2012 8:30 PM /Dec 15, 2012 6:15 PM /Dec 28, 2012 6:00 PM
Having quit Warners, Doris Day signed to play the lead in this MGM biopic of 20s star Ruth Etting, who rose from ten-cents-a-dance girl to singing sensation. But this pain-filled picture is no fluffy backstager. Day’s exquisite vocals – including a heart-stopping ‘It All Depends on You’ to hushed piano accompaniment – are her finest on screen, but they’re matched by the startlingly calm intensity of her highly emotional performance. James Cagney holds back nothing as gangster Marty Snyder, her abusive partner. The tension between them is electrifying.
- The Pajama Game
Dec 15, 2012 8:45 PM /Dec 20, 2012 6:20 PM
The only musical comedy about a strike over a seven-and-a-half cents wage raise, The Pajama Game is ‘Marxism – the Musical’. Stanley Donen’s exuberant movie about love among the workers at the Sleep-Tite pyjama factory took most of its original Broadway leads but added Day as Babe, leader of the Union Grievance Committee. The picture boasts an ebullient score that explodes across the screen, doing justice to Bob Fosse’s gutsy choreography. Fosse almost steals the film dancing ‘Steam Heat’ opposite Carol Haney.
- Pillow Talk
Dec 16, 2012 4:15 PM /Dec 20, 2012 8:45 PM /Dec 27, 2012 6:30 PM
Accept no substitutes: the first of the three Doris Day-Rock Hudson (no-)sex comedies is easily the best and one of the most delicious rom-coms ever made. Day received her only Oscar nomination for her role as a sharply dressed interior decorator infuriated by the antics of philandering composer Hudson with whom she shares a phone-line. Split-screen bubble-bath scenes, mistaken identities, real-life closeted Hudson playing a straight man pretending to be gay, and Thelma Ritter as a permanently hungover maid only add to the fun.
- Midnight Lace
Dec 18, 2012 8:40 PM /Dec 21, 2012 6:10 PM
Doris Day’s underrated performance, lifts this archetypal woman-in-peril suspenser into a different league. She plays Rex Harrison’s glamorous American wife living in London and her eerie, minutely calibrated descent from doubt through distress to tear-stained crack-up is mesmerising. Ross Hunter’s production is elegant, as is the acting of the supporting cast with British character actors papering over any cracks in the plot. After seeing Day terrorised in a lift, you may in future insist on taking the stairs.
- Move Over, Darling
Dec 22, 2012 4:15 PM /Dec 27, 2012 8:45 PM
Doris Day and James Garner headline a comedy about a missing-presumed dead wife who unexpectedly reappears after five years as her husband is about to remarry. If this melee of marital mistrust rings bells, that’s because it’s a remake of the Cary Grant-Irene Dunne screwball comedy My Favourite Wife. Planned as the comeback for Marilyn Monroe who died before the picture was completed, it was re-worked and re-shot with an entirely new team and is the best of Day’s final run of 60s comedies.