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Summer Under the Stars with Doris Day

August 02, 2013
With that sunny blond hair, hypnotizing blue eyes, and effervescent personality, Doris Day to me is one of those rare Classic Hollywood personalities that are a dime a dozen.

Her kitschy filmography simply wouldn't work in today's world. The stories were a bit flimsy, not really aiming for anything in particular except a simple joy ride of song, dance, and a handsome beau. She was a triple-threat comedienne who knew how to pout her lips, give a gleaning eye, and deliver lines with a cheeky undertone that removed some of the melodramatic cheese. No matter her co-partner, most popularly Rock Hudson or Cary Grant, Day had a way of teaming up with actors, and not just being a love interest; but serve full dishes of A+ plus charm.

Though she's been missing from the screen since 1968, but never officially retired, it was a treat that TCM dedicated one of the Summer Under The Stars days to her. Day's silky smooth yet smoky singing voice is no doubt a delight to anyone's ears, but she always somehow mixed lady with a bit of boyish charm. From the showstopping 1940s to the chic 1960s, Day can fail never turn to a frown upside down.

It's A Great Feeling
starring, Dennis Morgan, Doris Day, Jack Carson 
Starring Doris Day plays as a young country girl Jane Adams who teams up with actor Jack Carson and Irish tenor Dennis Morgan, who try to help her become a big Hollywood star.

Try is the most operative word. Carson and Morgan convince Adams to gain a screen test almost every possible way. Tracking down one of the Hollywood studio heads, Carson and Morgan dress her up for everywhere where she could be potentially spotted - Schwabb's Pharmacy as a soda fountain waitress, elevator operator, even taxi cab driver. There she is, batting her eyes and pursing her lips every time.

When they finally secure a screen test, it's a French number where everything absolutely goes awry. Eventually, Adams succumbs to return home and to her wed her childhood lover, Jeffrey Bushfinkle. On the train trip that big Hollywood producer she so tried so hard to impress overhears her singing and offers her a contract. Too bad she's fed up and hellbent on getting to her beau. To keep the mystery, he who plays this part - you really have to see!

In only her third motion picture, this film was used as a tool to make Day more popular with movie goers. It's A Great Feeling is a delightful movie that not only pokes fun at itself but also gave Day an opportunity to share the screen with some of the biggest stars of the day.

Some of the really marvelous ones include: a random encounter with Danny Kaye at the train station, Edward G Robinson living up to his tough guy role, and Jane Wyman, who appears with her real-life daughter Maureen. Two of the most memorable appearances may be with Joan Crawford, who in a wardrobe shop breaks into one of her dramatic scenes from "Mildred Pierce" slapping both Carson and Morgan. She comments before dashing off, "I do that in all my pictures." And that second one is that cameo of Jeffrey Bushfinkle.

It's a Great Feeling is an example of how Day's charm can be the linking ingredient in an otherwise stringy-scripted comedy. Many one-liners may go over some's head since Carson and Morgan aren't necessarily Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, but the chemistry between the three keeps the film nostalgic and sweet.

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