Believe it or not, we missed one of the biggest on screen couples of all time for our first year of posting about great screen couples last year. Don't know how we missed Doris Day and Rock Hudson but we did. Well better later than never as this year I will talk about a really terrific couple who made three wonderful films together. Pillow Talk (1959), Lover Come Back (1961) and Send me No Flowers (1964). I have seen all three films multiple times and they are all entertaining.
Doris had been churning out bright and cheerful musical comedies since the late 40's while Rock burst on the scene in small roles in films in the late 40's and early 50's. He found his footing in some of the most known melodramas of the 50's in All That Heaven Allows, Magnificent Obsession, Written on the Wind, and of course Giant. But he really had never done comedies. So when the idea of Pillow Talk came around, Doris was all for it while Rock turned it down three times. It took meeting Day and a great screenplay to change his mind. He and Doris had instant chemistry and the rest is history. Pillow Talk was one of the biggest hits of 1959, earning around $7.5 million. Doris would wind up being the top film star for five years straight beginning in 1959 (which is still a record). Rock was number two.
So a follow-up film was green lit called Lover Come Back in 1961. And once again, another hit for the pair. I found Lover Come Back to be particulary sharp and biting and showing how wonderfully easy Day and Hudson could perform together.
They went their separate ways for their next films. Doris would team with James Garner for The Thrill of It All and Move Over Darling both in 1963. And while they had good chemistry, it was nothing like her and Rock. Hudson meanwhile paired with Gina Lollobrigida for the engaging Come September.
Day and Hudson would reunite in 1964 for Send Me No Flowers, which is my favorite of their films. It was the first to show them as a married couple. And they still had some zing. Should also be noted that Tony Randall co-starred with the pair in all three films and he was aces.
Doris and Rock with Tony
Both stars went to TV after their film careers cooled off in the 60's.
Rock nicknamed Doris "Eunice Blotter" and Doris called him "Roy Harold"
Doris on first meeting Rock: "I had never met Rock Hudson before, but the very first day on the set I discovered we had a performing rapport that was remarkable. We played our scenes together as if we had once lived them. Every day on the set was a picnic."