MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

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MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

Barbara
MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

When I originally reviewed "Move Over, Darling" in 2000, I rated it 4 stars. Having recently watched the film again, I feel it necessary and appropriate to review it again and raise it to 5 stars! Why? Simple. This fast-paced comedy romp is a delightful mixture of comedy, pathos, slapstick, and heart, delightfully enacted by a talented cast under the skilled direction of Michael Gordon. The end result will have even the most dour soul grinning from ear to ear.
20th Century Fox released this gem at the end of 1963, as their big holiday production. The studio had suffered a number of financial setbacks and "Move Over, Darling" virtually rescued the studio by becoming one of the blockbuster hits of 1964. In addition, Miss Day's recording of the title tune, co-written by her son Terry Melcher, proved to be a popular hit on the charts, especially in England where it stayed on the lists for many weeks.
"Move Over, Darling" had a long and interesting story behind it. It had originally been made in 1940 with the title "My Favorite Wife" starring the classic pairing of Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. It's story, however, had been utilized under various guises for many years - the spouse assumed dead - the remaining member remarrying - the presumed dead mate returning.
Fox thought enough of it to polish it off in 1962, give it to Director George Cukor and a cast including Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, Cyd Charisse, and Wally Cox among others. Tragic circumstances intervened and it never got made. Seeking a hit, they enlisted the aid of Miss Day, the world's most popular box-office star in 1963, signing her to this, the first of three films she would make at that studio (the others being "Do Not Disturb" in 1965 and "Caprice" in 1967), under producer Aaron Rosenberg who co-produced with Day's husband Martin Melcher. While some might carp that the end product was too glossy or improbable, recent glimpses at the footage assembled from the aborted 1962 production would seem to indicate that, after stripping away the veil of nostalgia associated with Monroe's demise, the effort was doomed to failure. Despite Cukor's deserved reputation as a skilled director, he seemed unable to bring the sense of fun, romance, and spiciness to his enterprise that Gordon was able to bring to "Move Over, Darling".

The plot in a nutshell has Day lost at sea and returning home to find hubby Garner newly re-wed to Polly Bergen. Thelma Ritter, as Garner's mother, send Day off to stop the honeymoon. Condensing the plot hardly does justice to the dozens of individuals scenes and moments that establish the characters and their relationships with all the sparkle of a bottle of quality champagne. Doris Day is a delight in every scene, despite the sometimes annoying coiffures conjured up by George Masters and some continuity people who appear to have briefly dozed. One would have liked Sydney Guilaroff to design the hairstyles since he showed a wonderful knack with Day's hair in several films. Nevertheless, her chemistry with Garner is sparkling, and whether breaking your heart in scenes with their two young daughters or showing her ageless artistry as a flawless comic actress in scenes with Don Knotts, Chuck Connors or going through a car wash in a convertible, she proves that her ranking as Hollywood's "Queen of Comedy" was well deserved.
James Garner's best comedic performances were in his two films with Doris Day. They have a natural ability to interact without the slightest affectation. Polly Bergen is fine as Garner's 2nd wife, Bianca, and Thelma Ritter is a scream as Garner's mother. Edgar Buchanan steals the scenes he is in and Chuck Connors make a manly and wrly amusing "Adam" to Day's "Eve". Don Knotts, John Astin and the rest of the cast play their roles to perfection.
The film may seem somewhat tame in today's world of raunchy, sometimes tasteless comedies, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a more lovable, laughable reminder of a time when Hollywood made films to please vast audiences. "Move Over, Darling" fits that bill to perfection.

Paul Brogan, April, 2002





 
"Stay With The Happy People" ♫ ♪♫
Barbara Norton
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Re: MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

Barbara
This is so appropriate like Holly said to be showing these Doris and James Garner movies to honor the home going of such a wonderful actor and a dear friend to Doris.
This is Doris statement  ""I loved Jimmy. He was a wonderful actor and a joy to work with. We made two films together and just clicked from the minute we met. We remained friends over the years and spoke often on the phone. I knew he was quite ill and unable to talk on the phone in recent months. The world has lost an exceptional human being and I lost a dear friend. I will miss him so much."
Also this movie is such a joy to watch, has so many funny scenes. And also you can really catch from the very start, that Doris and James had such a warm chemistry.
James Garner said that Doris Day and Julie Andrews were the two sexiest women he worked with in films and that if he hadn't been married at the time he would have tried to continue off screen with Doris Day.





Trailer for the movie "Move Over Darling

"Stay With The Happy People" ♫ ♪♫
Barbara Norton
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Re: MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

Hollywood
This post was updated on .
Don't u just love James Garner??!  I was just about to post that quote from Jimmy about Doris as my signature on here, BARBARA.  ESP!  I'm still gonna post it.  It's a great quote, and I love that he said something like that about Julie Andrews too, since she is also one of my Favorites.

This is probably the first film of Doris' I saw all the way through.  Of the 6 comedies between Rock, James Garner and Cary Grant, "Pillow Talk" is my favorite and "Move Over Darling" is my 2nd favorite.  I "blame" Michael Gordon (the director of both films) and Thelma Ritter entirely for this.  I agree with Doris that u believe Doris and Jimmy are married.  They do have such great chemistry BARBARA! The scene where Doris sees her children for the 1st time is soooooo touching, and the rest is just a wild, funny ride, esp. her scene with Don Knotts and the scene of what James' imagines what happened on the island.  I just adore this film!!





"I think Doris is a very sexy lady who doesn't know how sexy she is.  That's the integral part of her charm.  Beautiful Doris with that fantastic body, all sweetness and charm up front, and that turns people on, and I don't think she could have had the success she's had if she didn't have this sexy whirlpool frothing around underneath her All-American-girl exterior."
"...she was the Fred Astaire of comedy."
"Making a movie with Doris was a piece of cake---a sexy ride on her coattails all the way.

~James Garner  R.I.P.
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Re: MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

fluffy cloud
Move over darling is such a lovely,fun movie.It has itall,not one second is boring.James Garner R.i.P and Doris are wonderful together.The scene where she plays a Swedish masseuse is hilarious.And when she stumbles on the terrace.


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Re: MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

mikeydv
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I could NEVER have seen this as a comedy for Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin.  One of the strange things that is not often stated is that when Monroe was fired and Doris was offered the film, Dean Martin turned it down. He was willing to work with Marilyn but not Doris. No one has ever said why not.

This film highlights the wonderful comedic timing that Doris has had in all her comedy films and clearly demonstrates why she is considered the Queen of Comedy Films (as was Lucille Ball on tv).

Another fact: The title song was banned by the BBC in London but it still was on their hit charts despite that fact.  It only charted briefly in the US, partly because Doris' husband/agent felt it was too suggestive.  What a jerk.  He is also the one who put the kabosh on what could have been a killer hit for Doris, "Let The Little Girl Limbo" (which was never released.)

No question about the chemistry between Doris and James...a differerent kind than she had with Rock Hudson but equal.  On the big lists of great Romantic Comedy Teams, Doris shows up twice, once with each actor.
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Re: MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

Nick
This post was updated on .
Mike, to answer your question.  I saw a documentary on Marilyn Monroe that explained why Dean Martin didn't do the movie with Doris.  Also, a film about the making of "Cleopatra" which was going on at the same time, at the same studio... 20th Century Fox.

It wasn't that Dean didn't want to work with Doris, it was his loyalty to Marilyn because he felt she was unjustly fired... so he said: "No Marilyn, no Dean."  That's all.

There was much controversy regarding the firing of Marilyn during "Something's Got To Give."   So the movie was shelved for about a year and half... then pulled out again as "More Over Darling."

Important to note that at the time, the other 20th Century Fox films were being shelved too, because the GIGANTIC cost overruns being incurred in the making of "Cleopatra" which nearly bankrupted the studio.  Yes, they were shutting down most of their other films to keep "Cleo" going.  "More Over Darling" was a dire attempt to make a picture that would DEFINITELY make MONEY to help them remain solvent!  Thus Doris Day, the most popular actress at the time, and James Garner.  It worked!   And eventually, "Cleopatra" cashed in and turned a profit... probably with the DVD sales many, many, years later.  

Need I say, The Making of Cleopatra documentary - "Cleopatra, The Film That Changed Hollywood" is a film in itself, and discloses the most UNBELIEVABLE studio nightmare of all time... involving the firing of director(s), producers, etc... completely rewriting scripts the night before shooting because they were so bad the actors couldn't act them out, changing entire overseas locations (to different countries) after building lavish and monumental sets and scrapping major chunks of the filming, expensive ornate props, paying actors (and 100s of extras) to stand around and do nothing due to various problems, then the scandalous affair between Burton and Taylor who were both married to someone else at the time, now top-it-off with Liz becoming severely ill with pneumonia in the middle of filming... and she nearly DIED!    Now that's a producer's nightmare!  And there's much more!!!   It's in "the special features" of the "Cleopatra" 2 or 3 disc DVD collection... amazing story, but "More Over Darling" was key in saving the studio.   
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Re: MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

cjoyjohnson@bellsouth.net
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In reply to this post by mikeydv
I agree with you Mike...I could never see Marilyn Monroe in this movie.  
How could Dean Martin turn down working with Doris...wow what a mistake he made.
This was such a funny movie.  I loved Doris and James together.  Wish they had made more.
Made me sad to hear he had passed away.  He and Doris were good friends.
They just don't make them like they used to.  
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Re: MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

Barbara
 Just love everyone's input on this wonderful film and all the photos. Mike I didn't know the title song was band in London because of being too suggestive, wow we have come a long way, look what they are singing now.   Also I didn't know about Dean turning down the roll on the remake of this film, thanks for explaining all the details behind that Nick. Good to hear from you, I miss our chats. Also I like the story you shared about how Cleopatra almost bankrupt the studio, and this film help out. Holly I too love this movie so much, has some really funny unforgettable scenes and also very tender scenes.  



RIP James you will be deeply missed.









"Stay With The Happy People" ♫ ♪♫
Barbara Norton
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Re: MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

Nick
This post was updated on .
Hi Barbara. If I remember correctly, Dean never turned down working with Doris. It was never presented to him to work with Doris. Doris was picked at least a year or more later. Dean insisted after Marilyn was fired, that his contract was to make the movie with Marilyn, hoping that they would rehire her (because he thought she was unfairly fired.) I think Dean was offered to finish it with someone else (can't remember who, but before Doris was ever considered for the part,) but he said: "No Marilyn, no movie!" hoping the studio would change their mind. When they said no, Dean considered it a breach of his contract, and stuck to his guns. According IMdB movie info, Marilyn was later rehired, but she was tragically found dead in her apartment. So the picture "Something's Gotta Give" was over, fini, canned, contract void, everybody let go. With the controversy surrounding Marilyn's untimely death, it was too hot to handle!

A year or so later, it was recast completely, new contracts, new title "Move Over Darling;" a new idea with Doris Day and James Garner in mind to save the studio. Dean was already out...gone... no longer considered... moved on. "Cleopatra" was in it's 4th or 5th year and still not finished (possibly the most costly film ever made, adjusted for inflation, at least until recently...)

I think it is a better movie with Doris Day and James Garner. I liked that James Garner's name was Nicholas in the movie... (or NICKY!!! as Doris says in the final scene before jumping in the pool)... priceless!
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Re: MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

Barbara
This post was updated on .
Nick, I like his name also. Now wouldn't you love for Doris to call you "Nicky"?
I always enjoy all your comments, I didn't know that story about Dean Martin until you and Mike mention it. Thanks for clearing up all the details behind it. Don't you know Dean regrets after he saw the success of this movie, not being able to play in it with Doris.
I did see a photo of Doris jumping into the pool, but now I can't find it.
I think she is saying here again in this photo "Oh Nicky"



Also, love this clip of the car wash scene, priceless.

"Stay With The Happy People" ♫ ♪♫
Barbara Norton
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Re: MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

Nick
You got it Barbara! That was the final word in the movie...
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Re: MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

janetmoore
Administrator
This is one of my favorite DD movies!
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Re: MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

Sinem
I watched also other versions (My Favorite Wife and Something's Got to Give) but Move Over Darling is the best version of this story. ;)



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Re: MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

Sinem










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Re: MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

Nick
This post was updated on .
Hi Sinem, Chuck Connors was great in this lighter comedy role. We usually see him as a cowboy in Westerns; your dad probably knows of him.

TV roles that come to mind: "The Rifleman," "Branded," Movie: the bad boy in "The Big Country." Perfect fit for this part! A man's man, solid, compassionate, a little cheeky, gentleman and hero. One of the good guys... I can see why Nicholas Arden would be upset with his wife being stranded on the island with him for 5-years. Doris looks happy!

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Re: MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

Sinem
Frankly, I don't know him but probably my father knows. :)
Yes, Nicholas was very jealous. Already this scene is his imaginary. :D
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Re: MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

Nick
This post was updated on .
Correction to my previous posts above regarding Dean Martin, Marilyn and "Something's Gotta Give."  I did a little research.  According to the documentary "Marilyn Monroe - The Final Days" (it's on YouTube)

In a moment of frustration and anger, after much patience, Dean Martin walked off the set after Marilyn failed to show up after repeated absences due to illness.  The picture was 2-weeks behind schedule, and the studio was becoming very impatient with her absences, suspecting she was mixing champagne and sleeping pills.  However, the doctors (including the studio doctor) had verified that she had the flu, and sinus infections, and problems with insomnia.  Her personnel psychiatrist was also involved in helping her with personal problems (ie. mood swings from being manic depressive.)  But the problems that Marilyn brought to the picture were consistent with problems she had brought to previous films, so this was not new or unexpected behavior.  

There were also conflicts between the screen writers, directors, and producers.  The director George Cukor didn't want to do this film, but he owed the studio a favor.  The pressure on the studio from huge cost overruns on the filming of "Cleopatra," only added to the studio's impatience with Marilyn, since so much had been expended on Liz Taylor and the gang who were overseas creating bigger headaches.  Now 20th Century Fox's 2-biggest female stars, Monroe and Taylor, had the big bosses between a rock and a hard place. 

When Marilyn refused to shoot in order to attend and perform at President Kennedy's birthday bash (by Presidential invitation) the studio took it personally.  They felt snubbed by Marilyn since the picture was increasingly falling behind schedule.  But when she returned, they had a successful week of filming and everybody felt better.  However, her illnesses and insecurities quickly returned, and she could not work again.  

When Dean walked off, the studio decided to replace Marilyn.  They went to her and fired her; and told her she would never work on another picture, and her film career was over!    This of course devastated her as she had been taking dramatic acting classes in NY in hopes of bigger dreams.  That was considered very humbling for a "multi-million $ superstar" to join an acting class for aspiring actors.  This provides evidence that Marilyn was sincere about her desire to become a serious actress.  However, she was plagued with insecurities from her tragic past (ie. her father left her, her mother was put away in a mental hospital, she bounced from multiple foster homes where she was sexual abused, etc..)  They said that all she wanted to do was to become a good actress, because she thought people didn't take her acting seriously.  Very sad!  

The part was offered to Shirley McLaine, but she turned it down.  Then it was offered to Lee Remick, but Dean Martin said: NO!  He reminded them that his contract stated that the studio had to obtain Dean's approval if Marilyn was to be replaced.  Dean did not want to do the picture with Lee Remick, so he said:  "No Marilyn, no picture."  For whatever reason?  

Marilyn went on a publicity campaign, telling her story to "Life" magazine, making the cover photo, in a desperate hope of reviving her career.  She did hundreds of photographs which showed her fit and healthy.  In an unusual change of heart, the studio hired her back again to finish the picture, but shortly afterward, Marilyn was found dead in her apartment by her housekeeper.  The movie "Something's Gotta Give" was canned, and 100+ employees let go.  It is considered the most famous picture ever NOT completed.  Good grief!  

After a year or so, the picture was given a new title and a fresh breath of air with Doris Day and James Garner, and a new director, and completely different cast and crew.  It was a hit and we loved it!  The End.  
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Re: MOVE OVER DARLING 1963

Hollywood
In reply to this post by Barbara
RIP Polly Bergen:  

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/polly-bergen-versatile-actress-singer-dies-84-25647353
"I think Doris is a very sexy lady who doesn't know how sexy she is.  That's the integral part of her charm.  Beautiful Doris with that fantastic body, all sweetness and charm up front, and that turns people on, and I don't think she could have had the success she's had if she didn't have this sexy whirlpool frothing around underneath her All-American-girl exterior."
"...she was the Fred Astaire of comedy."
"Making a movie with Doris was a piece of cake---a sexy ride on her coattails all the way.

~James Garner  R.I.P.