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Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Thrill of It All (1963) - love love love!!

The Thrill of It All. I wanted to see this film because Arlene Francis is in it. I love Arlene Francis. You probably already know that already though. I do not, however, love Doris Day. When I was little, I loved her -- no, I ADORED her, especially in Calamity Jane. A few years passed and I grew out of my love for her and hadn't seen any of her films for about 4 years, until the other day when I received a Doris Day double feature in the post. I only bought the double feature because it was cheaper to buy The Thrill of It All + Pillow Talk as opposed to the former by itself. I decided to watch Pillow Talk because I've heard so many good things about it and... I suppose I was feeling adventurous. All I have to say is: WHY HAS DORIS DAY NOT BEEN IN MY LIFE THE PAST FEW YEARS?! I have been depriving myself of her brilliance and I feel so very ashamed. I don't know what happened... maybe my 13 year old self thought it was "uncool" to like Doris. Eh, what did she know!? I HEART YOU DORIS!! I intend to watch as many of her films as possible as soon as I possibly can.

Anyway, I'm not here to discuss my new-found love for Doris Day. Well, I am, but only in connection with the absolutely wonderful film The Thrill of It All. The cast is pretty much perfect now that I've discovered my love for Doris again. JAMES GARNER - excuse me while I drool over his beautiful chin. ARLENE FRANCIS - ;KDFJA;DKFJ;A;SLDF'ALKFG;KAHS;EIFJASD = my emotions whenever I see her in anything! There's also Edward Andrews, Reginald Owens, and GLADYS KRAVITZ-- I mean, Alice Pearce.

The film has on the most hilarious opening scenes ever. You will not be able to keep a straight face, and whenever you think about it you will find yourself laughing. You know how you sometimes dream about a film in which Arlene Francis dances around whilst laughing and squealing in the most adorable and hilarious manner possible? Yeah, well, you don't need to dream anymore.

WHEEE! Arlene is clearly extremely excited and happy about something...

She gets into the lift with a bunch of miserable-looking business men, but unable to contain her joy, bursts into infectious laughter which sets off all the men laughing.

It turns out that Mrs. Fraleigh (Arlene) and her husband have been trying to have a baby for 20 years without success. But then James Garner, or rather, Dr. Gerald Boyer, steps in and recommends that they stop trying and go on a 3 month ocean cruise. Et voilà, RESULTS! As a sort of thank you for helping to get her pregnant (I realise how odd that sounds, and so does Doris), the Fraleighs invite the Boyers (I actually wrote the "Garners" first... WHOOPS!) to a dinner party they are holding in celebration of the happy news. It's at this dinner party that Beverley Boyer (Doris) is offered the opportunity of starring in a tv advert for "Happy Soap" after she unwittingly tells the soap manufacturer (Old Tom Fraleigh - Reginald Owens) about an experience she had with the soap earlier on in the day. At first she is unsure, but when she finds out that she'll earn $300 (or it might have been $400... ) she accepts. It doesn't go well... in fact, it goes terribly. Beverly's nerves get the better of her and she says the first thing that comes into her head, which happens to be the last line of a terrible play that was performed just before the advert...

Beverly Boyer: Hello, I'm... Beverly Boyer and I'm a pig.
Her son: What did Mommy say?
The maid: She said she's a pig.

The whole episode is thoroughly embarrassing and humiliating for poor Beverly. She was in tears... I WAS ALMOST IN TEARS. OH, THE PAIN!! Honestly though, you can't help but feel so sorry for the poor woman.

After that, you'd think she would never want to step in front of a camera again, but a juicy offer of $80,000 to appear on television every Friday for a year to advertise Happy Soap causes her to reconsider. WHAT IS THIS FOLLY?!

She never seems to completely lose her nervousness in front of the camera, but the public loves her and she becomes somewhat of a celebrity. Well, not quite a celebrity... but she gets noticed in restaurants and asked for autographs. This irritates James-- I mean Gerald. He looks so beautiful. His gorgeous eyes with the cheeky twinkle in them... that dazzling smile... the chin dimple. THE CHIN DIMPLE. SAVE ME FROM THE ADORABLENESS OF THE CHIN DIMPLE. I'm sorry, what was I saying? Oh, yes, Gerald doesn't like that his wife's face is plastered all over bill boards, and that they can't go to a restaurant without someone asking for her autograph, that she spends hardly any time with the children (Brian Nash and Gretl-- Kim Karath), and that his work hours and her work hours leave them hardly any time to see each other. JAMES IS HAVING NONE OF IT. So he drives his car into a swimming pool.

(I should probably tell you about the pool. Old Tom Fraleigh ordered it to be installed in the Boyer's garden as a "surprise". Needless to say, Beverly was not impressed and dreaded having to tell James (I'm sorry but I'm not even going to try and call him Gerald anymore). She was asleep when he came home that night though, and when she woke up they start kissing (because that's what you do with James Garner, ok?) and she didn't tell him. This was a bad move on Beverley's part because the filter in the pool made it sound like it was raining (apparently.. it didn't sound like rain to me) and so James had to go back outside so he could put the convertible in the garage. SPLASH.)

James is the unimpressed with the speed with which the pool has been installed. In fact, he is not only unimpressed, he is furious. He rushes back upstairs, packs his bags in a hurry, and leaves - kicking over a few boxes of Happy Soap's detergent that are by the side of the pool on his way out. Beverly is angry as well because James won't listen to her, but we're not interested in that. We're interested in the fact that James has kicked over several boxes of detergent by the side of the pool. By the side of the pool. Water. Detergent.

Soap suds. Everywhere. It looks like it would be so much fun to play in, but in reality... I don't think so. Beverly gets some waste disposal men to come and take away the suds, because clearly that's the logical thing to do... *cough*

This whole scene is ridiculously and bizarre, but also really hilarious.

After this escapade, a whole lot of other things happen but none of them are important because Arlene-- MRS. FRALEIGH goes into labour at the Cartier Hotel.

Mrs. Fraleigh: Gardiner, I'm going to have a baby.
Mr. Fraleigh: Yes darling, I know... Oh my God! Are you sure?
Mrs. Fraleigh: Quite sure.
Mr. Fraleigh: Beverly! Call your baby, my wife's having a husband! Quickly! Quickly!

They attempt to drive to the hospital, but are held up by heavy traffic in the streets.

Mr. Fraleigh: Sidney, do something!
Sidney [the chauffeur]: Shall I blow my horn, sir?
Mr. Fraleigh: Yes, damn it!
Mrs. Fraleigh: Gardiner, your language-- OH DARN IT!!!
Mr. Fraleigh: She said "darn it"! She has never, ever said that.


James tries to get to them but with all the traffic it's impossible in the car, so he jumps onto a police horse. He's cool like that.

He manages to get the car, and delivers a beautiful, bouncing baby girl before they arrive at the hospital. It's a good job that the "car" was actually a limousine.

Here's a photo of Arlene's beautiful face after just giving birth in the backseat of a car. She still has her earrings on and I don't know why, but that amuses me.

Doris then falls into James' arms, cries a little, and then they go home. Kim Karath then demands she gets a baby sibling.


I LOVE THIS FILM. I WANT TO WATCH IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Especially the opening scene and the soap suds scene. So much love!

Anyway, you should definitely check out this film. It's fantasmagorical. I give it ★★★★★


  1. This film is absolutely amazing . I seriously love Doris day and James Garner together. The scene where the men are shovelling soap. Ha!!!


  2. I love this film! Me and the missus watch it every time we visit my mother's house (she's a big DD fan). We always call soap 'happy soap'.
    I actually prefer Doris and James to Doris and Rock, though for reasons that have nothing whatever to do with his chin.


    Although, the ending always slightly annoys my wanna-be women's liberation loving heart (it's really a half-hearted love as you can see!;-D)

    But, of course James Garner can get away with ANYTHING! Hahaha!

    I'm so excited that you are now Doris Day/ James Garner super-fans! Both are in my utter favorites list!

    You should see Move Over Darling (NOTHING compared to My Favorite Wife, but IT DOES HAVE DORIS + JAMES)!

    I seriously loved this review sooo much! It made me laugh out loud. And I'm currently sitting in college, so that was awkward. ;-DDD

    I've missed you Sophie the Mad English Girl! :-D

  4. Do you remember the name of the Doris Day film (I think DD) where there is a pool and a man is driving a tram around the edge of the pool serving drinks?

  5. @Bette - Hahaha, I'm so glad I discovered! It's really wonderful! :)

    @Matthew - I think I'm going to be introducing it my Mum - I think she'll love it as she likes Doris in other films we've seen.

    Doris/James is so much more adorable than Doris/Rock, I think :D Of course, James' chin probably has a big role in my opinion on the matter ;D

    @Millie - HAHAHAHA, same here... but then, it was 1963 so you just take it all into account and FALL IN LOVE WITH IT XD

    Funny thing, I was actually thinking about you during several parts of it. I was like "Hmm, I bet Millie absolutely loves this film!".


    I have added it to my "to watch" list. I have my eye on a Doris Day box set, and I think it might be in that. If so, YAY!!! :D I'll let you know what I think of it :)

    Ahahahaha, I'm so happy I indirectly put you in an awkward situation ;D And, I MISS YOU TOO! We must have an AIM date soon! :D

    @My NASA Plan - Oh gosh... I'm sorry, no I don't! =/


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