Tea for two is is romantic, funny movie, set in the roaring twenties. It's very important to take into consideration is that it had been a while that Doris actually danced, after her unfortunate car accident when her right leg was crushed. She wanted to be a dancer, but her dreams were shattered. She had won several prizes with her dancing partner at the time, Jerry Dougerty. And during her convalescence she took singing lessons from Grace Raine to whom we owe a big thank you. She was the one that brought out the best of Doris’ voice. The titlesong of the movie got a wide airplay. Gordon Mac Rae, her co-star was to be the first of several films together. Gene Nelson appears in a second lead as Doris’ dancing chum. They dance wonderfully together.
Thanks to Donald Saddler, the choreographer and the many rehearsals Doris puts down a magnificent performance. As for the musical bits I will leave it up to you Mike to inform us about the lovely songs,under the direction of Ray Heindorf. There were Top Box Office Hits for sure. The story centers on Nanette Carter a socialite with show business aspirations. She offers to invest $25,000 in a Broadway show if her “boyfriend,producer Larry Blair casts her in the starring role. What she does not realize is Larry is two-timing her with ingénue Beatrice Darcy, who he envisions as the lead. When he accepts Nanette’s offer, she imposes upon her wealthy, penny-pinching uncle J.Maxwell Bloomhaus,to lend her the money. He is willing to do so,on one condition, that his niece must answer “no” to every question she is asked. Pauline Hastings, played by Eve Arden sets out to charm the only solvent person, attorney William Early to charm him into backing the show, after Nanette discovers Uncle Max has lost all his money in the stock market crash. The pianist and composer Jimmy Smith, (Gordon Mac Rae) who has romantic feelings for the girl, falls victim to the bet she has made with her uncle. S.Z.Szakall who plays uncle Max is to appear in other movies with Doris and plays funny characters. As for Billy DeWolfe, who plays producer Larry Blair, became a lifelong friend of Doris. He is the one who claimed “You don’t look like a Doris, more like a Clara”. In the New York Times at the time it said that Doris and Gordon complement each other like peanut butter and jelly. The movie is loosely based on the Broadway show “NoNo Nanette”
Doris quotes (from Her Own Story) “It was my first movie with Gordon Mac Rae and Gene Nelson, two cheerful amusing men, and with a funny warmhearted man who was destined to become a close friend, the marvellous Billy De Wolfe”
I absolutely adore "Tea For Two" Was a film version of the 1924 Broadway hit "No No Nanette.
Love all the great singing and dancing from the movie, and don't you just love Uncle Max? He played with Doris also in "Lullaby On Broadway". Which is another wonderful musical.
Love this video from the movie Doris singing "Tea For Two"
Yes Janet you are right he was the one that owned the radio station that Jack Carson(Doug) kept
trying to get Doris (Martha Gibson) to audition for and she finally got the job after Jerry Mitchell was fired.
PS. I am trying to find the video where Doris is dancing with Gene Nelson in this movie to the song
""I Know That You Know" they used to have it, but now I can't find
Janet, I have always liked (Cuddles) also. That is his nick name. And when we were talking about
how people's personality seem to come out on screen as to how they are in real life, maybe that is why he got the nick name (Cuddles) because he is just so lovable, and it just makes you want to pinch those big jowls of his. So he was in 4 films with Doris. "Romance" "My Dream is Yours", "Tea For Two". and "Lullaby" I bet Doris loved him, and he probably
seem like her real uncle, her family was German background on her dad's side. Even though this first photo of Doris and (Cuddles) is from "Lullaby" I though it was a good picture of them.
This film teamed Doris with some folks who would have a big part of her early movie life, and one that lasted for many years.
CUDDLES SAKHALL was in her very first movie, and that relationship would go on both on and off the screen (as good friends) for many years. The same is true of BILLY DEWOLFE, who, in later years, became Doris' closest male friend. He also appeared on her last big venture, The Doris Day Show. (He is the one who gave her the nickname of Clara Bixby, which some people still call her today.)
GENE NELSON and GORDON MACRAE ended up being the next important leads for Doris in her next few pictures both together and singly. Personally, I liked her with Gordon as much as I liked her with Rock and Jimmy later on...in all 3 cases there was great screen chemistry. Besides...Gordon had the same great smile as DD...together, they were sunshine personified. I have to say flat out that one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE costars for Doris was GENE NELSON, and in LULLABY OF BROADWAY, they were a perfect combination of song, dance and acting. I LOVED THEM TOGETHER and wish they had starred in many more musicals as costars. Alas, such was not the case, even though the movie and soundtrack album cleaned up at the box office and album charts. And no one can convince me that any other male dancers (Astaire, Kelly, O'Connor, Bolger, etc.) were any better or more skilled than Nelson, and with Doris at his side, Nelson and Day were every bit as good as any team, including Astaire and Rogers. But...more on LULLABY later.
As for EVE ARDEN, she began with Doris in MY DREAM and was a perfect foil for Dodo in more than one movie. Eventually, there were Thelma Ritter and others, but I always loved Ms. Arden.
AS FOR THE MUSIC, If you are not aware of the fact, we have actual pages on our website devoted to various aspects of Doris Day's career, including films and music. The soundtrack album from this movie (on a 10'' lp or 45 singles set package of 4) was a TOP TEN ALBUM for this year. (PLEASE REFER TO THE DORIS DAY PAGES, UNDER "MUSIC" and "HIT ALBUMS".) There, you can also click on to each of the songs and actually hear them on our site. As for the films, you can also go to our Doris pages, surf down to her MOVIES page, and see the trailer. This is also true for EACH of her movies. Janet and I have done a lot of work to create those pages, and we just want to make sure you are aware that they are here. FOOTNOTE: It was in this film that the song "I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU" was associated with Doris. I am not really sure why because, to my knowledge, she did not sing it in the film. That is often the case when making a soundtrack album. If the film stars worked for different record labels, they could not record the soundtrack album together, and each artist did his own soundtrack lp (such was the case with Doris with Frank Sinatra in YOUNG AT HEART). So, when reproducing the show on an album, as in this case, Doris sang ALL the songs, whether or not she actually sang them in the movie. And despite the fact that there was a resurgence of this song in the late 50's when there was a top hit by The Flamingos and once again in the 60's when Art Garfunkel took it to the charts, most music critics agree that it has never been sung any better by anyone other than by Doris Day. It was so popular, in fact, that it was later included on the 12" soundtrack album from LULLABY OF BROADWAY (one of several songs that had no business on that release...they were not in the film nor was Harry James associated with them). At any rate, there is no video of Doris singing that song ever. However, here it is from that album discussed above:
Actually, It was Gordon MacRae who played the composer in the film, and here he is, from the film, with his version of the tune: