Entertainment

TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection :: Doris Day

by Ed Tapper
Contributor
Saturday Mar 17, 2012
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This week TCM gives the nod to the supremely talented Doris Day, with the release of an entertaining DVD box set featuring films from every phase of her lengthy screen career, and the many genres in which she excelled. Like the other Greatest Classic legends Collections being released, the box contains four previously issued titles, all presented in the original aspect ratio, and accompanied by a few, miscellaneous extras.

Day is radiant in her screen debut, the 1948 musical "Romance on the High Seas." She plays a brassy, blonde band singer who is paid to take a cruise in place of a jealous socialite going incognito to spy on her husband. The mindless spree is abetted by lurid Technicolor, some small-scale Busby Berkeley numbers, and several wonderful songs from Doris. The transfer is sharp in clarity, and rich in color.

Two key 1950’s Day films include the Western musical, "Calamity Jane" in which Doris butches it up as the sharpshooting heroine partial to wearing men’s clothing. Sadly, Calamity never comes out of the closet; but the film is full of humor and catchy tunes. Don’t miss the drag routine at the opening. The grainy DVD transfer shows its age.

Based on the life of Jazz singer Ruth Etting, "Love Me or Leave Me" features Doris as an ambitious crooner who achieves stardom aided by a Chicago gangster eager for more than just a commission. Cagney is characteristically flamboyant, and Doris proves she can act. Shot in Cinemascope, the film is letterboxed, but the picture quality is only fair.

The assortment concludes with one of Day’s "housewife" pics, "Don’t Eat the Daisies," in which a dilapidated country house and a scheming starlet threaten the heroine’s marriage to an effete theater critic. A top-rate supporting cast, and hit title-song, assist this enjoyable, zany comedy.

As Doris Day is one movie star who never disappoints, any DVD collection of her films is worth the investment.

TCM Greatest Classic Legends Collection: Doris Day
DVD
$27.99
www.shop.tcm.com

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