SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( 1964 )

Gather around the soda fountain, folks. Movies Silently is having a Classic Movie Ice Cream Social, where: All you need to do is review a movie that has a sunny plot or has the power to cheer you up when you’re feeling down.”  Well, never has a movie come more immediately to mind than my contribution to this blogathon:

SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( I )

Yeah…it’s /\  THAT  /\  big. When I need to be cheered up from Life’s doldrums, my immediate remedy is SEND ME NO FLOWERS. It is an immediate pick-me-up for whatever ails me, and can be for you as well. I’ve got what the doctor ordered. I first saw this movie back in 1964 when my family went to the Whitestone Drive-In in the Bronx. Ever since, when I was down in the dumps from some pain in the neck supervisor ( I’m retired now ) or pain in the heart relationship ( that I probably engineered! ) “Send Me No Flowers” is my go-to film.

The DORIS DAYThe main ingredient is simply…DORIS DAY. From “Romance On the High Seas” to “Calamity Jane” to “Tea for Two” she is pure sunshine. Her pep and perkiness is not meant to annoy you ( you heartless reader you! ) Her screen persona is warm and friendly and open you’d have to be a hard-hearted Hannah to resist. Now this is not to say Day is not a complex woman or couldn’t play complex parts. I thought she exhibited that well in “Love Me or Leave Me” or “Julie” as women trying to navigate within an abusive relationship. She’s a triple / quadruple threat. She could sing, dance, do comedy or drama. I’m not only in thinking she should have won an Oscar before now, probably punished because she made things look easy. I’m not alone and it’s not too late to award her an honorary Oscar. My friend Aurora of Once Upon A Screen makes a great case for honoring Doris Day if you check it out here

She worked with the likes of David Niven, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Jack Lemmon, Kirk Douglas, James Garner… ( twice! ) James Stewart and undoubtedly her most handsome leading man…Rock Hudson.

The ROCK HUDSONROCK HUDSON shines nicely in “Send Me No Flowers.”  Tall, dark and devastatingly handsome, he was  IT in the 1950’s. His looks probably blinded folks to what a good actor he was while they were enamored with the mumbling, tortured performances of Brando-Clift and Dean. Hudson’s a strong romantic lead. And he doesn’t mind looking a little foolish…being caught being kissed by a new divorcee ( Patricia Barry )…or being slapped and getting dosed with a hot water bottle or a pail full of pills and medication. He doesn’t even mind standing next to the mountainous 6’6” Clint Walker. << Sigh! >> Rock Hudson wears comedy very well.

SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( IV )

The plot? A hypochondriac ( Hudson ) mistakenly believes he’s got just a few months to live. So he tries to find a new husband for his wife ( Day ).  This is a great plot, excellently constructed and executed. If it were set in the 30’s it could star Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. Even looking at it with 21st century eyes the movie doesn’t feel dated. Mistaken circumstances lead everyone down the garden path. Hudson’s best friend and neighbor is played by Tony Randall.

SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( VI )SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( X )

He has to write a eulogy for his “dying” pal, while drinking and doing all of Hudson’s chores. Randall is great comic relief to the situation and the necessary third wheel to keep this trilogy intact. ( Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back are the first two films of Day and Hudson. ) Randall’s a perfect foil to that great team. In “…Flowers” Randall tags along on the hunt for a husband and is moral support for Hudson.

SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( V ) SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( II )SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( XI )

Bright primary colors, the horizontal transition flip between scenes and the Sturm und Drang of those piano chords when Hudson’s illness is mentioned all lend itself to the general fun of things. The subsidiary characters are funny: Ernie ~ the gossiping Milkman, Winston Burr ~ the roaming Casanova Cad, the dry delivery of the Family Doctor ~ Dr. Morrissey, and the inimitable Paul Lynde as the Funeral Director. I’m also loving the switch off at a moment’s notice of Hudson throughout this movie, where he gets to be the straight man to the funny men and the funny man to Doris’ straight man.

Here are some of the moments I simply wait for:

Doris’ sexy raspy laugh when she teases Rock:

SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( VIII )

“Remember when you thought you had bonechips in your shoulder?!”

or…

“When he says he’s gonna die and he doesn’t die! Didn’t he think I’d get suspicious!!

* * * * * * * * *

When Tony says:

SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( IX )

        “It’s not anything that will affect property values?
           ( #CODEWORDS )

or…

        “What woods, George?”

or…

       “Every chance I get I’m going to feel a tree. Oooh, it’s so
smooth.”

or

“COMPLAINTS! COMPLAINTS! Nothing but complaints! I could do some complaining, too, you know. You ever cut your toenails??!!”


* * * * * * * * *

Winnie Burr ( Hal March ) doing his oft-repeated pickup line for new divorcees. And later getting socked in the jaw when he makes a move on Day.

* * * * * * * * *

ALL of Paul Lynde’s scenes. I literally recall back in ’64 being astounded when he mentions the year 1980. That seemed a Jetsons-lifetime away for a little kid like me. I chuckle at how he slips and slides when Doris has to throw him out of her house. Don’t be a stranger, he ends with. Oh, Paul.

* * * * * * * * *

Rock and Doris cuddling in bed reminiscing about how they met. Cozy, comfortable, familiar, amorously romantic. Marriage, right? ( Hey, don’t burst my bubble, will ya! )

5 MOVIES ( %22SEND ME NO FLOWERS%22 )

The plot all connects in not just an easy predictable way, but in the way of perfectly woven fabric by director Norman Jewison. Tight, yet loose. These pros have been at the rodeo before. They know what to do and how to shade it. The country club, the suburbia, my twisted nostalgia for a world I probably wouldnt have been allowed to be a part of in 1964, the camaraderie of marriage, its mistaken betrayal and that wrong-headed confession:
DOLORES YELLOWSTONE?!! )…the chemistry between Rock Hudson and Doris Day that makes my heart soar and yearn and makes me smile from ear-to-ea no matter what I’m going through.

Uh-boy, looks like I have to pull out that movie right now.

Alright alright…let me be fair. There are MORE suggestions of happy feel good movies in Movies Silently’s blogathon. Just click this banner below and read till your doldrums go away:

BLOGATHON ( ICE CREAM SOCIAL ) 5 : 20 - 23 : 2016

 

[   H O M E   ]

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37 thoughts on “SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( 1964 )

  1. Haven’t seen this one, but sounds like a very fun flick. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve seen any Rock Hudson movies. Shame on me. Thanks for giving me a good place to start.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Wendell ~ how’s it going? I wholeheartedly recommend this sentimental favorite of mine. But listen, if you’re going to do Rock Hudson and Doris Day, I would start chronologically with their trio of films: “Pillow Talk” “Lover Come Back” and then “Send Me No Flowers.” You’ll see their chemistry build up over time. As for you not seeing any Rock Hudson movies…start makin’ a list, and checkin’ it twice!

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  2. I only saw this the other day and it’s wonderful…I would like to add to your splendid list of its good points: Clint Walker. Woof. I’m not usually interested in those really big guys, but…he’s irresistible. Great piece, T!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clint Walker…man oh man what a mountain man. He’s such a good-looking gentle giant. It takes a lot to make Rock Hudson look a little small. Thanks again, Lesley for checking out my work. I appreciate it.

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    • Hi Melissa…I really just love this film to pieces. Glad you read and enjoyed my review. It was an easy write. The film is close to my heart. Thank you for stopping by.

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  3. I have to offer a dissenting view. I love PILLOW TALK and LOVER COME BACK because in both those films the characters are high-powered individuals–equals–who are at odds with each other until one (Rock) craftily induces the other into his orbit. Watching that happen, when it’s written so deftly as in those two films, is just hilarious every time. I have real problems with SEND ME because the two of them are just an ordinary low-powered suburban couple, victims of a ridiculous misunderstanding. Doris is reactive rather than proactive. I got absolutely no thrills watching them get sucked into this ludicrous plot. It’s like putting Cary Grant and Irene Dunne into a sitcom. Sorry.

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    • No worries, Brian. Your reasons make sense…logically. You make good points about why the movie doesn’t work for you. For me, I’m not comparing this one with their other two films. I’m taking this story by itself…on its own; a suburban couple. The husband has a misunderstanding with his doctor, and trouble ensues because of his misunderstanding. Nothing I found ridiculous ( my least favorite word in the English language ). I thought the plot held together very well. I still smile with this film after all these years. Let me add, on a more positive tract…what film makes YOU smile when you’re feeling blue?

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      • My Japanese pop music concert DVDs. “Ai araba, It’s all right! Taiyo wo subete omitooshi sa/koda wareba it’s all right, mirai wa it’s all right…”

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    • Ahhh…too well. Do you mean he’s over-the-top goofy? I thought he stayed within the bonds of silly-ness. Glad he got more comfortable with the genre. I think he’s still unsung for his performance in “Seconds.” Whooft!

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  4. I have not seen this yet, but fortunately I have it sitting on my DVD shelf now, waiting for me to put it on…which I am definitely going to do after reading your review!

    I love Doris Day (“quadruple threat” indeed!), but oddly enough I haven’t seen Rock Hudson in anything except Pillow Talk (and a few pre-star western roles). It is interesting, as you say, how actors who make it look too easy are so often overlooked as good actors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think Hudson’s looks blinded people against what a good job he did in many movies. He’s not over the top, doesn’t ACT with a capital “A.” I hope you’ll write back your thoughts on the movie once you see it. I tried not to hype it up or over-sell it.. I only spoke about how happy it makes me feel after watching it and why. Lemme know what you think Christina.

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    • SECONDS must have blown people’s minds as to what they usually expected from Rock Hudson. In fact, I think the movie is a bit ahead of its time. He did a fine job in it, and probably never took another risk for the rest of his career.

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  5. YEP! Terrific ode to this “happy movie”! My favorite of the Day/Hudson pairings. Their chemistry was palpable. I went the Elvis route for this blogathon, but I would have gone with CALAMITY JANE if I hadn’t already written on it.

    Aurora

    Liked by 1 person

    • I ain’t gonna lie…ELVIS, {{ SIGH! }} I HAVE seen him in the movies when I was little so he’s left an imprint on me. And “Calamity Jane”…WOWEEEEE!! I truly saw the power and the glory of Doris Day when a bunch of us saw Calam at the 2015 TCMFF. She owned and drove that movie. “SEND ME NO FLOWERS” is also my favorite of their trilogy. Their sense of belonging to each other and to a community ( country club ) just brings some kind of yearning to my heart that I’d need a psychiatrist’s couch to explain…to others. Thanks for enjoying my public yearning, Aurora. 🙂

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  6. I love all the Day/Hudson pairing! I have to admit I adore the first two (Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back) most because Doris is unbelievably stylish, and I like her as an executive rather than a suburban housewife. But all three are hilarious!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear ya Romare. Doris as an Interior Decorator or Advertising Exec is more glamorous than being a suburban housewife. The party-line, the competition between ad execs are good plots. And the chase of boy gets girl is fun. “Send Me No Flowers” just gets my heart. Thanks for reading and commenting. Stop by anytime.

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  7. Ughhhhhh, love this movie! First saw it this year and reading your post was like watching it all over again (which I seriously need to do).

    This line: my twisted nostalgia for a world I probably wouldn’t have been allowed to be a part of in 1964. I relate to this as well.

    Didn’t want to end things on a sad note, but ack, thanks for such a wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know Simoa…I know. Guess that’s where my yearning lies with this movie, besides it being funny and besides literally remembering being in the Drive-In with my family watching this. Ack! Movies messed me up…but I love ’em. This is my favorite pairing of Rock and Doris. Yes…do see it again. Thanks for reading and commenting. Stop by again, won’t you?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Doris Day is like the best cure when you have the blues. So, of course to choose one of her films for the blogathon was nothing but a perfect idea. I have not seen this one yet, but your awesome review certainly makes it quite appealing! When I think of a movie to cheer me up, one that immediately comes to my mind is Doris Day’s Romances on the High Seas. 🙂

    Don’t forget to read my entry as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so mad that I missed this on TCM a few days ago- I caught maybe like 5 minutes of it and I was so mad I didnt hit the record button- gahh!!!! This is on my watch list for sure- along with the other Rock and Doris flicks!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do you get WATCH TCM, Flapper Dame? If so, if you ever miss something on TCM, the app will show the movie for a week before taking it down. I really like “Send Me No Flowers” ( as you can probably tell. ) I hope you get a chance to see it. It won’t set the world on fire. IT’s not Shakespeare. But if you want a good time and a smile and laugh, I’d recommend it. ThanX!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Totally with you on the sunshine powers of Doris Day. It’s funny how she often doesn’t get the respect she totally deserves – perhaps because all her roles were infused with her natural warmth it didn’t seem like she was trying too hard. And we all know that it’s only art if you’re struggling for it 😉

    And as much as I love Doris, I’m glad you flagged the subsidiary characters too as I think they’re what make this movie so special. Perfect choice for the blogathon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, the struggle of an artist’s life in a garrett on the Left Bank. L0L! She burst on the scene with her honeyed voice and made it in the movies. I’m in total agreement with you on Doris Day! Folks LIKE seeing the effort and I don’t mind performances sneaking up on me. This is a fun movie and the cast makes it so. Thanx for reading. And I look forward to your upcoming contributions ( WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD and THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD ) to our blogathons. Thanx for commenting.

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