Movie Mom

Movie Mom

The Thrill of it All

posted by Nell Minow

Cinematical has a great tribute to one of my favorites, Doris Day’s “The Thrill of it All.” Day was so wholesome that it is easy to forget how talented she was, but she could do it all — sing, dance, act, and above all, she is one of the best light comediennes in Hollywood history. I love The Thrill of It All!, a hilarious romp that as Cinematical notes makes some very sharp and timely points about our consumer society. Watch the scene they focus on and keep in mind that this film was made during the era now portrayed in the Mad Men television series.


Day plays the wife of a successful obstetrician (James Garner) who becomes an accidental media sensation when she starts doing ads for “Happy Soap.” This creates enormous upheaval at home — it was the pre-feminist era, and the movie’s ending is so unabashedly sexist it will have you howling with either laughter or disbelief. But if that message is outdated, its commentary on the “organization man” and manipulative marketing still feels very apt. And it is always a blast to see two of Hollywood’s most gifted performers doing what they do better than just about anyone. Plus, Garner drives his car into a swimming pool. The witty screenplay was written by Larry Gelbart (“Tootsie,” the “M*A*S*H” television series) and Carl Reiner (“The Dick Van Dyke Show”), who appears in the clever trailer and the film, and the capable co-stars include Arlene Francis (who is adorable in the first scene as a wife with some very good news) and many of the top character actors and comics of the 1960’s.


Many thanks to my wonderful daughter for showing me this fabulous compilation of Day’s “mad” scenes.

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