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# Let's keep smiling
# Let's keep laughing
# Let's be happy
# Ho, ho, ho, ha... #
Doris Day, now in her 80s, is known the world over
for her iconic roles in Calamity Jane and Pillow Talk
and for timeless songs such as Que Sera Sera and Secret Love.
Yet, the credibility of her contemporaries -
Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe - has somehow eluded her.
# I'm in love, I'm in love
# I'm in love, I'm in love
# I'm in love
# With you... #
In her first film, Romance On The High Seas,
Doris Day played a sassy, streetwise club singer...
and Oscar Levant her tiresome boyfriend.
I've got to, I can't help myself....
If you can't help yourself, you can't help yourself.
By the end of her career,
Oscar would quip that he'd known Doris Day before she was a virgin.
Wasn't there a woman in this bed five minutes ago?
But in dismissing her as the perpetual virgin -
too good to be true, too nice to be interesting -
are we missing out on the best of Doris Day?
# ..Heading down to Rio... #
To be able to work with her was quite an honour.
And we just had great fun.
She is a wonderful, down-to-earth human being.
Doris Day, to me, unless I'm greatly mistaken,
presents who she is. I think what you see is what you get with her.
At the height of her fame,
she was the most popular actress in THE WORLD.
Doris was born Doris Mary Anne Von Kappelhoff
into a German Catholic family in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1924.
From the age of eight, Doris and her older brother, Paul,
were brought up by their mother, Alma,
and though money was tight,
Alma always managed to find enough for Doris's dancing lessons.
It was clear from the beginning her talented daughter was born to perform.
She used to have lessons
and obviously had a natural talent for dancing.
And she also had a dancing partner,
a young man,
and they entered various competitions
and they were quite successful.
They won one competition and their mothers both thought they should go to Hollywood.
That was going to be... I think Doris was about 13 at the time.
They were having a going-away party and she and some of her friends
left the party to party themselves, I guess. I don't know.
And, um...they got hit by a train.
TRAIN WHISTLES AND CLANKS
And the train struck and broke her ankle
and now she has to be in convalescence
for a long period of time.
And so she's there in bed, with her legs up,
and she's got the radio on and she begins to sing along with the radio.
And she... For the first time, she begins to sing these songs.
So it's just Doris.
Instead of moping around in bed, feeling sorry for herself.
Boo-hoo I can't dance any more
and, boo-hoo, I can't go to Hollywood.
She's in bed singing lively songs with Ella Fitzgerald,
or whoever she picks up,
and pretty soon begins to sing.
And so that gave her the new career.
# I'll chase the blues away
# I'll dance and sing all day... #
It was something like a year she was going to have her whole leg in plaster.
So her mother's friend, who was a singing teacher,
said that she would give her lessons.
Doris, obviously, had a natural talent for singing as well as dancing.
She would listen to the radio and listen to Ella Fitzgerald
and how she phrased her songs and how she sang them.
And then, obviously, breaks came from that.
Before long, Doris was making professional appearances
and was soon picked up by local band leader Barney Rapp.
Over the next year, she sang with his band, with Bob Crosby,
and then with Les Brown,
performing on radio and making her first recordings.
# What say
# Let's be buddies
# What say
# Let's be pals... #
Years ago, in the twenties and thirties and forties and all,
you really had to have talent.
I'm not going to say it any other way.
You had to have vocal chops to be signed to a record label.
First off, cos people were used to listening
to someone signed as a singer be able to sing - truly sing.
In addition, they were real songs back then.
I mean, honest to God songs.
That was the golden age of singers and, um...songwriters,
especially song writing, in the twenties, thirties and forties.
# You sigh, a song begins
# You speak and I hear violins
# It's magic... #
She fell in love with one of the band members.
And that's when she married him.
When she first got married, she was only 17
but she was in love with Al Jordan.
And, initially, they were apart -
he was in one band, she was in another -
and they were travelling all over the country.
He would write to her and write her these lovely letters
that obviously were winning her over.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder and everything.
And they met up periodically.
So the courtship between them was obviously very drawn out,
with not a lot of meeting, really.
It was all through letters and phone calls
but as soon as they were married,
I think she realised the mistake
because he was immediately very jealous and possessive
and violent towards her.
Well, the first marriage, I guess, was impetuous.
A band player, a guy who really wasn't prepared for marriage.
And certainly, I think, resented the fact
that she was not the kind of obsequious wife that he had pictured.
Certainly not a pregnant wife, which is not what he had in mind.
Doris's parents had divorced when she was just eight
and she'd always dreamed of creating her own happy family.
She'd given up singing to set up home the moment she got married
but, night after night, Al would return to their run-down apartment
with some grievance or other and take it out on his pregnant wife.
He wanted her to have an abortion, which she didn't want, and she wouldn't.
And at one point, they were driving along in a car
and he pulled a gun out of the glove box and held it to her stomach
and said he was gonna kill her and kill the baby.
And she decided that once she had the baby she would leave him, which she did.
She managed to get out of the relationship and go back to her mother.
And, of course, he was remorseful and wanted her back.
And he actually did end up killing himself with the gun in his car.
She went back to Cincinnati and lived with her mother and Terry.
And then she went back on the radio
and Les Brown heard her again on the radio
and got her to come back with the band and start all over again.
# Each night in some cafe
# I'm on display
# Until the dark turns into dawn... #
You're travelling every night, you're packing up
and moving to the next stop, and of course the band singer
stands there and sings while everybody's dancing.
Most people don't even bother to listen sometimes.
If you're well known, or you're singing a pop song of the day that people want to hear,
they might kind of stop dancing and gather round to listen.
That's a tough life.
# Going to take... #
During the war years, Doris toured the United States with the Les Brown Band
and learned her craft.
In 1945, they had a smash hit with Sentimental Journey,
which sold a million copies and spent nine weeks at number one in the US charts.
She was one of the great ballad singers in American history.
And she started Sentimental Journey, that she sang,
she was a big band singer of course.
And that was 1944 and that was one of the most popular songs ever.
And her singing style was...
I mean, she was a kind of girl next door -
chipper, bright, and yet sultry.
There was a sexy quality to her singing.
So already there was something more complicated going on.
# I'm ready
# Willing and able... #
Doris's life was certainly complicated.
Her son, Terry, was growing up in Cincinnati, raised by her mother,
while she was on the road most of the time.
Perhaps inevitably, she fell for another musician.
And in 1946 she married George Weidler
and once again left her promising career with Les Brown.
It was really her only ambition from a teenager.
She wanted to just grow up and have a happy marriage and have children
and have everything that her parents hadn't had.
# It was the last time
# I saw you
# The last time... #
Just eight months into the marriage, George wrote asking for divorce.
With her personal life in tatters, and her career stalled,
she went along to a Hollywood party on her last night in LA.
Before the night was out, she'd secured a screen test with Warner Brothers.
She was so upset by her personal life,
and having a second marriage break up,
that it really affected her singing and she was crying and very upset.
She was ready to go back to Cincinnati again after that screen test.
She really didn't think anything would come from it.
But Doris needn't have worried.
Despite a disastrous sobbing screen test, the camera loved her
and the studio signed Doris up for a seven-year contract.
# For your share of gay times
# Romance in high seas... #
From the first film she was in,
she knew how to move to a mark
and stand there to give the same performance,
at the same measure of tone, again and again,
so different cameras could capture her.
From very early on, she had something - she had a star quality.
# It was just one of those nights
# Just one of those fabulous flights
# A trip to the moon on gossamer wings... #
To capitalise on her reputation as a singer,
Warners cast her in lavish musicals like Lullaby Of Broadway
and steadily developed her acting skills and her value as a star.
Audiences knew instantly that they loved Doris Day.
Though she'd had an accident and broken both her legs
and thought her career as a dancer was finished,
she ended up dancing beautifully in many films after that.
And she always looks so in control,
so completely in command of her body
and as if she knows to the absolute centimetre where she's going to stop and when she's going to turn.
Her hair always looks perfect, she sings so beautifully...
She always looks happy when she's performing.
She was portrayed as the girl next door,
all-American, clean-cut girl.
And I think that was her appeal. That was her appeal initially.
And that, to all intents, has stuck with her.
In case you're interested, this one's betting a thousand.
The Moonlight films - On Moonlight Bay
and By The Light Of The Silvery Moon -
confirmed Doris's natural comic timing.
Despite their nostalgic feel, they revealed something both innocent and independent in Doris
that she'd continue to develop throughout her career.
Push up the jack.
Here, I'll help you.
-There we go.
OK. Push off!
Start the motor, huh?
We're OK now. I got her going.
She plays a tomboyish young woman and she showed her mettle.
She wasn't going to be coy.
The films were coy, the screenplays were coy,
but somehow she was a straight shooter.
Alongside the high gloss musicals,
the studios managed to squeeze in the occasional more dramatic role.
In Storm Warning she plays opposite her heroine, Ginger Rogers,
in a story about the Klu Klux Klan.
She looks hard working and a bit grubby and careworn
and she brings a tremendous kind of spontaneity
and believability to this role,
which is so different from old-fashioned musicals, where she's dancing and stuff.
But Doris was thought of, above all, as a musical star.
And in post-war America and Europe,
the musical had a powerful and pervasive appeal.
The American musical, which is peculiar to America,
came from Jewish sung theatre in New York.
But, in a way,
what it evolved into was a kind of fairytale
and that taps into something very primal.
You know, good is good, evil is evil.
Good is rewarded, evil is destroyed
and everyone lives happily ever after.
And that's something very primal we all want to hear.
As soon as we hear, "once upon a time", we're hooked.
And then we have to have at the end, "They lived happily ever after."
We've got to have it.
The world had been through some terrible trauma
and was trying to invent itself anew.
And it invented this perfect world,
where everybody was nice and everybody was well dressed,
and everybody was heterosexual,
and everybody had lots of children, but at least two,
and everything was sane.
And there were no deviations.
And that was the legend,
the sort of unspoken expectation.
Of course, nobody lived up to it.
Nobody. Nobody could.
We had nothing then and we wanted to be taken out of ourselves.
We wanted to spend two hours in glorious Technicolor seeing those wonderful costumes and thinking,
oh, wouldn't that be wonderful to have that?
# Well, what do you know
# He smiled at me in my dreams last night
# My dreams are getting better all the time... #
The relationship with Terry was off and on
because, obviously, she couldn't see him regularly.
There was some resentment in him,
as there are on all these kids who are the offspring of movie stars
because you can't be a movie star and get up at six in the morning
and be on locations and take care of your kid.
Doris's agent, Marty Melcher,
had formed a strong relationship with Terry
and she saw in him a prospect for the happy family life she craved.
On her 27th birthday, they were married.
And soon Marty adopted Terry as his son.
With her mother, Alma, at home to keep house and raise Terry,
this was the closest Doris ever came to her dream.
It was a dream that she and many others found impossible to sustain.
It was a terribly unhappy period and the movies did not help.
Most of the movies of the '50s and '60s were about gender roles
and they were insisting that men were this and women were that.
They tried to make the rules we were supposed to live by look like fun.
But they weren't.
The musical was reaching its height in the mid-'50s and then it was declining.
And it was declining because the world was changing.
The world isn't like that any more, where people had a set role.
Men had a set role. Women had a set role.
Once that changes,
then you can't go back to what it was like before that time.
GUNSHOT Are you calling me a liar again?
Don't you ever fix your hair?
They called her Calamity...
In 1953, Doris starred in a musical
that exactly caught the mood of these complicated times.
Calamity Jane - resourceful, independent, but ready for love -
was a part just made for Doris Day.
I think the film I first saw her in was Calamity Jane in 1953,
which I loved, and which I think stands up very well.
And there she was this buckskin-wearing Western tomboy lady,
actually girl, who had to be taught to be a lady and didn't want to
and expressed, I think, a lot of the feelings of girls and young women
who were resisting what it meant to become a lady in the '50s.
Doris Day expressed this fierce sense of independence.
She wasn't awkward in her tomboyishness.
She loved it and resisted being a lady because she knew what it meant.
I never knew a woman could look like that.
Say, how do you hold that dress up there?
Please! I have to change clothes, would you mind?
Helping you? Why sure!
I've slugged men for less than that.
If you don't get out of here this instant,
-Mr Canary, or Mr Calamity, or whatever your name is...
Why, I ain't no Mister.
-You're.... You're a woman?
-Why, of course I'm a woman.
You thought I was a man?
Come to think of it, that ain't so funny.
# Once I had a secret love... #
Calamity Jane was a worldwide success
and retains a powerful appeal.
Doris won an Oscar for Secret Love, a song that would go on
to become a gay anthem and secured Doris a place in the gay pantheon.
# Now I shout it
# From the highest hills
# Even told the golden daffodils
# At last... #
But this image of on-screen vitality had come at a cost.
During filming, she discovered a lump in her breast
and constantly complained of breathlessness.
Doris and Marty were confirmed Christian Scientists -
a faith with strong convictions about ill health.
Her second husband introduced Doris to Christian Science.
Christian Science believes you shouldn't see a doctor
and you should just heal yourself from within.
As her symptoms grew worse, she became convinced she had cancer
and that she was failing in her faith.
The whole business of religion endorses life...
was affected, I guess, by Melcher's embracing of Christian Science.
She had also, um...been exposed to it with her second husband.
But Marty's, um...commitment to it was much more,
Nothing else was permitted, that was it.
Her crisis was over as soon as Doris was allowed to see a doctor.
The lump was benign
and the breathlessness caused by hyperventilation,
a symptom of her arduous and stressful working life.
Her doctor prescribed a routine of daily dead man's floats
and before long Doris was considered well enough to be back at work.
I love you, Laurie. I love you and nobody else gets you, understand?
Her next box-office hit was Young At Heart,
in which she played opposite a young Frank Sinatra.
What good's a hit song?
Here we go again.
Sinatra was a huge star at that point.
He was probably the most major recording star that we had.
He's the rather neurotic, the total self-defeating musician,
and I can't think of anybody better to pair him with,
to be optimistic and hopeful -
which Doris Day always seemed to have been...
the epitome of affirmative thinking - than to put her with him.
They were marvellous together.
It was summer and my sister, Helen, said that she would take me
to the pictures, to town pictures, because it was a Sunday.
That was a very, very big treat and we got the last two seats for Young At Heart.
And as we sat down in the circle, and that was two and six, you know,
that's 13 pence which was a lot of money in those days.
We sat down and as soon as she came on, I was lost.
She didn't speak, she was just carrying some milk and some food.
But there was something about her that was utterly, utterly magical.
And when she began to sing, then I absolutely lost my heart to her.
I'll never, never forget that day.
I fell in love with her immediately
and it's as vivid now as it was then, all those years ago.
# In my uncertain heart... #
Doris was considered to have held her own as an actress and a singer
and it was a knowledgeable audience who passed judgment.
Lots of people, ordinary people, have wonderful voices.
All my family had really good singing voices.
My mother had a wonderful voice.
I'm the only member of the family that sings in the key of Z!
I've got a terrible voice. I remember at a drama school, the teacher said,
"Terence, your voice comes from the same mould as Frank Sinatra.
"He got the voice and you got the mould!" Cow!
But true, alas. But everybody sang.
And everybody knew what was a collective song
and everybody knew what their personal song was and what it did,
which one didn't know at the time.
But it's only afterwards, when one looks back on it,
that it was poetry for ordinary people
and they sang how they felt through those songs.
# Hold me in your arms
# Hold me in your arms
# Was meant to be... #
To me, she had a... There was a pulse in her voice.
Not a throb, it was a pulse.
It just had something very organic about it and very natural.
I never felt that she worked hard to sing.
She just sang.
And I think sometimes when you're that relaxed as a singer,
that relaxes the listener.
It reaches you, it certainly reached me.
Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, you know,
they were great singers of our time and crooners.
And they all have, you know,
top-notch things to say about Doris and her voice.
How, if you want to hear somebody sing a song, listen to Doris.
They can hear those qualities in it.
Marty's management style had so riled Sinatra
that he'd refused to work with Marty on the set.
But Doris had now reached the end of her contract with Warners
and Marty was in sole charge of her working life.
With Doris's track record,
there was no shortage of interesting collaborators
and Doris began one of the most varied
and rewarding stages of her career.
It's no accident that for the next three or four roles, she chose different films.
She was no longer the girl next door and wasn't wearing dirndls
and she wasn't wearing gingham
and all those old-fashioned things we associate with her.
Instead of which, she chose dark roles like the Hitchcock film
and Love Me Or Leave Me.
# Yes, everybody wants my baby
# But my baby don't want nobody but me
# That's plain to see... #
Love Me Or Leave Me is one of her greatest performances.
It's based on Ruth Etting's story of the singer and her thug manager, played by Jimmy Cagney,
sort of at the end for his career but still tough as get out!
And she's really sexy in that.
# ..Love me or leave me... #
She's a taught singer. She has this great way with the song.
I mean, she can be cool and yet seductive and not sentimental.
Audiences loved this gritty version of Doris
and the film's soundtrack spent 17 weeks in the US charts,
a record that only Whitney Houston with the Bodyguard has ever beaten.
And she's tough there.
She's not going to let this guy... I mean, this is one thing you see as she evolves in her career,
and one of the threads through it, is she really is independent-minded at a time when most women weren't.
And she's not going to just bow down before some man.
She's just a riveting and complex and glamorous figure in that.
In fact, it's different from most other films
because later on she was always kind of a girl.
Here, she's a woman.
MUSIC: "Que Sera Sera"
Hitchcock had been keen to work with Doris since her Warner days
and cast her alongside another screen legend, James Stewart,
in The Man Who knew Too Much.
# Will I be pretty?
# Will I be rich...? #
Playing a recently retired singer whose child has been kidnapped,
her character struggles with the genteel constraints of the day.
The whole film she's got white gloves in her hand
and this little cloche popped on her head
and she's exquisite, beautifully dressed, she's perfect.
She's always perfect.
But she's hesitant, she lets her husband do the talking,
she is a little passive, she gets to the opera house and doesn't move.
But she's the one who precipitates the action in every single scene.
There were no films that criticised marriage.
So you thought, this looks like on paper,
this is a great marriage - this handsome doctor and his famous wife.
But she's had to leave the stage, she's given it all up,
she still thinks of herself as this singer.
This was who she was
and now, suddenly, she's Mrs Doctor's Wife.
So the minute the son disappears,
he's almost got to keep her under lock and key
for fear that this resentment is going to explode in some way.
Hold that call a minute, Jo.
-Because I asked you to!
Are we about have our monthly fight?
I hope not.
Well, then, stop acting like that.
I merely said I was going to call Mrs Drayton.
Just a minute.
Wait a minute.
Just a minute. Just a minute.
I want you take these, they'll relax you.
I'm so relaxed, I'm tired.
It's a performance of brittle intensity.
Twice she sings Que Sera Sera,
the song for which she is perhaps best known
and which won her another Best Song Oscar.
Six months ago, you told me I took too many pills.
Six months ago you weren't a witness to a murder.
The first is benign and lovely and almost a lullaby for the child
and the second is when lives are at stake.
And also what's great about that is she rises above
just the simple interest of a mother trying to save her child.
She knows that other lives are at stake too.
# Que sera sera
# Whatever will be, will be
# The future's not ours to see
# Que sera sera... #
I mean, she could, I think, make a song thrilling anyway
and here she really just outdoes herself.
# The Pajama Game
# Is the game we're in... #
As well as developing her range as an actress,
Marty was keen to retain Doris's profile in musicals
and he secured a deal for her to work on the film version of The Pajama Game,
with Stanley Donan, director of Singing In The Rain.
As soon as she comes on, you think, she's a star!
God, it's stunning when she comes on. Absolutely stunning.
And then she sings I'm Not At All In Love. Fabulous.
# I'm not at all in love
# Not at all in love
# Not I
# Not a bit
# Not a mite
# Though I'll admit
# He's quite a hunk... #
There are moments in Pajama Game
when you see this kind of crisis that she reveals.
Here she's a strong union leader but she loves the man who's the boss.
Unfortunately, it is weakened by the fact that the boss
happens to be John Raitt,
who I have to say is really oak from the knees up.
But she is quite wonderful.
# Love never made
# A fool of you
# You used to be too wise... #
What is this? Can't anyone do any work around this joint any more?
The run of quality work continued with Teacher's Pet.
In Teacher's Pet, a lovely little comedy,
there's a sequence in it when she's in a lift with Clark Gable,
who also gives a lovely performance,
when she's teaching journalism and he is a newspaper man
and has gone in there undercover and fooled her.
And she says, you know, these people who come to my class, they work all day,
they have to pay for these lessons and you've betrayed them.
What you did to me is unimportant.
What you did to the other students is inexcusable.
They pay their tuition, which they can ill-afford,
and after working hard at other jobs all day long,
they study and they come to class
because they'll sacrifice anything to gain a little more knowledge.
-I don't expect you to understand, Mr Gannon.
And I think you're proud of it.
And this makes you cruel.
She can go from comedy to something that's very serious
and can alter the tone of an entire scene
and that's not easy. It really isn't.
There's lots of dramatic actors and actresses who can't do that.
# You can't have
# Be satisfied with the
# Little you may get... #
Free of the Warner treadmill,
Doris should have been in a better position to manage her work and home life.
Terry had grown into a rebellious teenager
but with Marty in charge of her career,
she found she had less time than ever to be a parent to him.
I don't think that...
she had any clear idea
of what she wanted to do in terms of a domestic life,
anything beyond just being an actress and a singer.
Because between acting and having to record
and a voice... She had a voice coach.
She took very good care of her voice.
But, you know, making albums,
she recorded a lot of songs,
and she did a lot of radio.
And before that, with the big bands,
that takes a great deal of time.
That, plus movies, and there isn't a hell of a lot of time
to spend for yourself, or to have a relationship,
or to do anything except work at it.
In addition to making films, Marty scheduled a busy recording career
and the promotional work to match.
Doris left all her business and financial affairs in his hands.
On the rare occasion when she resisted his ideas,
complaining she didn't like a script, he ignored her wishes anyway.
She would say, "Oh, Marty, I don't want this. It's dumb."
He would say, "Oh, no, it's fine."
And we're getting x dollars and you'll make it work.
And he would talk her into it.
So he was a Svengali, he was the one who kept control of her
and kept her working...
and made her feel like she was not measuring up,
if she didn't exceed whatever demands he was making.
She was being pushed beyond any limits of herself.
Julie, you're going to die.
Julie brought out a lot from her private life
because she was being harassed by her husband really, like Al Jordan.
It was a repeat of that.
And also, at the time, the actor who played her husband in Julie,
she got on really well with him and she spent a lot of time with him
and I think Marty was really jealous
and causing a lot of trouble for her.
Doris complained of severe abdominal pains.
Marty recommended more Christian Science and stuck to the schedule.
With filming finally over, Doris made an appointment with her doctor
and learned she'd need a hysterectomy.
She was 32.
As in the past, Doris responded to a crisis
by picking herself up and pressing on.
After a brief respite, and with Marty's and encouragement,
she resumed her demanding schedule
but the run of successful films had begun to falter.
He was very worried that her stock was falling
after a film she made called It Happened To Jane, or Twinkle And Shine.
They stuck it out with lots of different titles,
trying to get people to see it again and make the money go up.
And, so, in a bid to do something different,
he suggested she read the script for a slightly racy sex comedy.
To begin with she said, "No, no." And then she read it and thought, actually, it could be quite nice.
It could be sophisticated.
And she also liked that it was modern -
no more wigs and no more buckskins
and no more flouncing around in crinolines.
She had to be urban and urbane and have fabulous clothes.
So she said, "I'll do it." And she went into Pillow Talk.
This career girl had everything but love.
This bachelor had nothing else but.
They had absolutely nothing in common except a party line.
Would you please get off this line?!
I must have watched Pillow Talk about 300 times
and I could watch it this afternoon and watch it again tomorrow
and I would still laugh at all the right places.
And I just love it. I absolutely love it.
She's got a fabulous wardrobe, a fabulous apartment, and she loves the way she looks
and the camera starts with her naked leg as she pulls on her stocking
and she's singing these risque lyrics.
You can just tell she's having a really great time.
And it was an amazing box office for her.
It was a huge star. She was the world number-one box office star because of that picture
and everybody wanted a piece of her.
It changed her career, it gave her career a second lease of life.
# Pillow talk
# Pillow talk
# Another night... #
Pillow Talk won the 1959 Academy Award for Best Screenplay
and Doris won a nomination for Best Actress.
Marty had found a winning formula and in Send Me No Flowers
and Lover Come Back,
Hudson and Day delighted the public again
with their unique on-screen chemistry.
A woman instinctively senses when a man can be trusted.
And you, Doctor, can be trusted.
My first movie to really see was Lover Come Back.
So that's how I got interested in her.
My friend and I both really liked Doris Day
and so when a new movie would come in town,
one of our mothers would take us downtown to the theatre
and we'd pack a lunch and then they'd give us some money,
so that we could buy a drink and popcorn later.
We'd go in at noon and we'd stay there until six o'clock.
So we'd get see the movie about three or four times.
And then the next Saturday, we'd go and do the same thing again.
And, so, depending on how long the show was in town,
we could have seen it 15-20 times before it left.
Mr Ramsey, here, tells me that you spoke to him
and I'd like to ask you a favour.
Will you kindly keep your big nose out of my business?
-If the competition's too tough,
get out of the advertising profession.
You aren't even IN the advertising profession.
If I weren't a lady, I'd tell you what profession you're in.
It's like chick lit ahead of its time.
Thelma Ritter is the daily that comes in
and Doris Day says, defiantly, "I love being a single woman."
And Thelma Ritter says, "The only thing worse than a single woman
"is one who claims to enjoy being a single woman."
But the fact is, she does kind of enjoy it.
In the '50s and '60s, there weren't a lot of women working
but my mother did work
and so that kind of correlated with Doris Day working.
Also, her characters that she was doing at that time were working.
And, so...there wasn't any doubt in my mind
that's what I was going to end up doing -
that I was going to go off and have a career and do things.
As a woman in the late '50s,
she was already a good 10 years ahead of her time, saying,
"A woman has a right to it all."
She has a right to a fabulous career in a fabulous city, to be the best at what she's doing,
but also to have a man and not to necessarily marry him, look after him and wash his socks.
Marty varied the format with a number of Hollywood's leading men,
and with James Garner, Doris created another winning partnership.
# Move over, darling... #
Oh, honey, are you all right?
Doris was always upbeat.
That made everybody else upbeat.
And, you know, we had a wonderful, wonderful time.
I learned a lot about how to act on a set from her.
I was still pretty young then.
She was such a professional.
She was there, every day, right on time.
If she said she would be ready in front of camera at eight,
at eight she was ready in front of the camera.
Now, I know people that say, "I'll be there at eight."
and at 9.15, they finally get in there.
Well, that's very costly and it gets everybody else grumbling.
Let's get on, everybody else was there, they want to work.
But she was always on time, ready to work, knew what she was doing,
which made it a pleasure for me and everyone else.
# Our lips shouldn't touch
# Move over, darling
# I like it too much
# Move over, darling
# That gleam in your eyes... #
Doris's second Garner movie, Move Over, Darling,
was another colossal hit.
The title song, written by the 21-year-old Terry,
spent 16 weeks in the UK chart,
despite attempts by the BBC to ban it.
Public taste was shifting and for a while Doris rode the changing times.
Those things were well done. She has a marvellous way about her.
She's a terrific actress and very likeable
and pulled those things off beautifully.
They all did, they were terrific films.
Yes, there's really something wild afoot!
But as Marty continued to cast Doris in the same romantic comedy roles, their charm began to wane.
Screwball comedies were sex comedies without the sex.
So sex was all around and there were undertones, but it couldn't be spelled out.
There's always a little bit of artifice in the screwball comedy, or Shakespearean comedy.
You have to have obstacles and sometimes it's a job
to make the obstacles so that they're not just completely tedious and grating.
As the world succumbed to flower power,
the screwball comedy obstacles began to look ludicrous,
rather than entertaining.
And in 1967, Oscar Levant made his infamous quip about Doris the virgin.
Once independent, capable and choosey,
Doris had become the girl who likes to say no.
I think the real trouble came when...
she kept on trying to seem younger than she was
and the filters didn't help and all of that.
So I think people were sort of embarrassed by this.
The reviews come out and they're not kind anymore.
One review says she's got "creeping pucker."
Which kind of gives you all kinds of ideas about chicken neck.
And the rumours about firing cameramen, or wanting them fired,
because she's not got enough gauze on the lens, or Vaseline,
or whatever it is, to hide the creeping pucker.
It's just not very nice and these stories start to get out.
If the answer was to play roles more appropriate to her age, Doris had few choices.
And those that came her way didn't always suit.
She was offered the role of Mrs Robinson in The Graduate,
for which Anne Bancroft subsequently won an Oscar,
but she didn't like its overt sexuality.
She knew what she was doing with The Graduate.
By the end of her career, as with so many actresses,
an element of self-parody comes in.
It's bound to.
So if she played the role in The Graduate,
the old Doris Day is just too strong an image
not to be peeping through that
and I think it would have set up all sorts of weird vibrations.
# Ten cents a dance
# That's what they pay me... #
Yet, turning down The Graduate was a rare victory for Doris.
The independence of spirit that characterised her on-screen persona
seemed completely absent in her dealings with Marty.
In her relationship with men, from the very beginning,
they were all totally unsuccessful
and it started with the trauma with her father
and it was just one trauma after another.
Her father was having an affair with her mother's friend.
She heard her father and this woman together
and that was very traumatic for her.
And eventually he left
and, obviously, that was an awful void for her.
MUSIC: "Mr Tambourine Man" by The Byrds
Another void was created when Terry withdrew from family life.
Now a successful record producer,
responsible for The Byrds' Mr Tambourine Man,
and other major hits,
he joined the ranks of people who had little time for her husband.
Well, he had a bad reputation.
You know, if you knew her, you knew that he was not good for her.
But that was her choice and her husband.
Whatever happened between them, I don't know, but it was not...
He was not looked on...
as too nice a guy.
Eventually, Doris asked for a separation
and was shocked when Marty announced divorce would mean financial ruin.
All Doris's earnings had been invested in both of their names.
Doris moved out of Marty's bed but they continued to live together
and he remained in control of her career.
I think that...
a kind of a conglomeration of several other men.
Her father, somewhat...
somewhat Al Jordan...
I guess Marty must have had some charm to him
but the people whom I interviewed about Marty
all said they didn't understand why she didn't pick up on him sooner.
Everybody out there knew about him. They knew what he was doing.
But Doris always wants to believe so deeply in the good of people...
She wants to believe everybody is honest
and everybody is going to be part of the human race,
as she'd like it to be, rather than as it is.
Of all places that that doesn't work it's in Hollywood, California,
which is full of, um...
the worst kind of... double dealers and...
..miscreants that you can find anywhere.
# You ain't been blue... #
With Six You Get Eggroll was another formulaic Marty picture
and was to be Doris's final film.
During the shoot, Marty had become ill,
and by the time he was persuaded to seek medical treatment,
his condition was beyond help.
In April 1968, after 17 years together,
Marty died of heart disease.
Despite their estrangement, Doris was grief-stricken by his death
but Terry uncovered a further catastrophe
as he wound up Marty's affairs.
Marty had invested and lost every single cent of Doris's earnings over her entire career.
In addition, he'd left her 500,000 in debt.
To discover everything that you've done -
having made these vast numbers of movies,
and then vast numbers of records, later CDs,
that earned a lot of money -
to find that you owe 500,000, or whatever the sum was...
But Doris again decided...
that when you're down,
there's no way out but up and so...
as cliched as that is,
Doris decided she would invent her own television show,
which she did against all odds,
because she had never been involved with the production of a show.
# Que sera sera
# Whatever will be, will be
# The future's not ours to see
# Que sera sera
I think Doris loved being the producer.
There were very few women who had that much control of their own show.
It was very freeing for her
and also she was very intelligent about what she was able to do.
I mean, she knew herself just about well as anybody
and she felt if it made her happy,
it would make people who liked her happy.
And she was, you know, in the top shows
all the time she was on the air.
# To everything
# Turn, turn, turn... #
A silver lining to Marty's death
was that mother and son became closer.
But as he struggled to resolve her financial affairs
and work with her on a fresh sound for her new show,
Terry became entangled in one of the most bizarre incidents in American history.
In 1969, the murder of actress Sharon Tate
by Charles Manson's followers shook Hollywood.
Terry had auditioned Manson at his ranch and,
until a few months before Sharon Tate's gruesome murder,
had lived in the house in which it took place.
The possibility that Terry had been the intended victim seemed credible
and police advised Terry and Doris to hire private bodyguards.
With this added to the financial strains,
Terry lost himself in drink and drugs.
But worse was to follow.
Terry loved motorcycles and he, I guess,
lived up in the canyon
and he was on his bike
and he told me that it was just an error on his part in how you ride a bike.
If you're going to go round a kerb, you just lean with it
and don't turn the handle bars.
Well, I guess he did the wrong thing.
At any rate, he either hit...
I can't remember now whether he hit a rock or another car,
but he was thrown straight up off the bike and landed on his feet.
But it shattered both of his legs.
It was a long convalescence.
Terry never regained full use of his legs.
He could never play tennis the way he once did
because he didn't have the mobility but nevertheless could walk.
And during that time, I think Terry and his mother became very close.
From then on they were very close
and Terry managed a lot of what she did
during the time of her television programme and afterwards.
# I never went in for afterglow
# Or candlelight... #
In 1973, after five years of The Doris Day Show,
she was free of Marty's influence.
She paid off his debts, fulfilled her television contract
and won substantial damages against his lawyer.
She was 49.
Stepping out of the limelight, Doris turned her attention
to issues of animal welfare,
setting up the Doris Day Pet Foundation,
and entered a brief fourth marriage.
But her desire for privacy prompted a backlash from the press.
In the '80s, people remembered she'd been a star
and they went out and they tried to get her to do that come back thing.
She said, "I won't do it."
I think that produced a slightly catty come back from the press
and they said, "She's an old hag anyway.
"She doesn't want us to see she's put on weight, lost weight,
"lives out of trash cans, drives a Dumpster."
It's so far from the truth.
I mean, she goes out practically every day
but last time I went up to Carmel...
There's a country club. It sounds so fancy but it's a place to eat.
It's just down the hill from where she lives
and she's buddies with the busboys
and knows their name, how's their kids...
She doesn't hide from anybody. She's extremely social.
She's very busy though because she's hands on taking care of her animals
and her fan mail and her friends that come to visit her.
From the mid-'70s onwards,
Doris focused on family and her animal welfare work.
On a number of occasions, Terry almost persuaded her
to return to the recording studio
but it was a wish she would never see fulfilled.
In a further twist of fate,
Terry Melcher died in 2004 -
the year of his mother's 80th birthday.
# When autumn leaves
# Begin to fall... #
The only time that...
that she probably was so beyond being sunny was,
I think, when Terry died.
When she couldn't come to the phone at all.
You know, she just had...
hadn't come to the place where you can talk.
That had to be the most stunning blow.
And he really was extremely important.
And, um...and they were so close.
And he did a lot for her
and she did a lot for him
in the last part of their life together.
But that's probably, you know,
the biggest...the biggest tragedy
and, um... now she's just carrying on.
# Make someone happy... #
Doris recorded her last original album in 1967...
made her final film, aged just 44, in 1968.
40 years have passed since she was a number-one box office star.
Her reputation, so long clouded by cliches, is finally ready to be reappraised.
I was surprised in going back and looking at these movies
at how much respect I had for her.
As I say, just for her competence.
How well she did everything she did
because that never occurred to me at the time she was doing it.
All that occurred to me was that I hated the role.
The problem is, we don't like goodness.
We find goodness repellent now.
We dismiss it as sentimental, or uninteresting.
She makes goodness truthful because she's truthful.
I think there's an immense amount of truth in her
and it comes across the screen with such power.
It really, really does.
But because our culture...
despises that, she is dismissed as something trivial when she's not.
# ..One smile
# That cheers you... #
The Stanley Shapiro comedies -
the Rock Hudson, James Garner, Cary Grant - they were SO popular.
So she was almost a victim of her popularity.
So this became... They were just so huge.
I think if they had passed a little bit under the radar,
nobody would have made such fuss for or against them
but they were kind of engraved in the American conscience of that time.
All the rebel Hollywood film-makers, they're always quoted as saying,
"We're not going to make those Doris Day movies anymore."
So, very unfairly, she became emblematic
of everything that was exhausted and conventional about Hollywood.
I think, eventually, people will come to realise
just what a great talent she was -
as well as a great star - and that's very rare.
And people will realise what they've missed.
# ..Someone to love
# Is the answer
# Once you've found him
# Build your world around him
# And you
# Will be happy too. #