It’s a Great Feeling is a 1949 American musical comedy film starring Doris Day, Jack Carson, and Dennis Morgan in a spoof of what goes on behind the scenes in Hollywood movie making. The screenplay by Jack Rose and Mel Shavelson was based upon a story by I.A.L. Diamond. The film was directed by David Butler, produced by Alex Gottlieb and distributed by Warner Bros.
It’s a Great Feeling was Day’s third film (and her third pairing with Carson) and the first to bring her widespread notice. It’s a Great Feeling is a “Who’s Who?” of Hollywood in its heyday and glorified the studio system at the peak of its golden age.
Clever and witty self-referential spoof about Hollywood
Without a doubt, classic Hollywood made some great musicals. This film is not one of them. And, there have been much better comedies from Tinsel Town also.
The distinguishing and saving features of this bit of frippery are two fold: first, you’ll go a long way before finding another film with so many uncredited cameo appearances by major studio stars of the time (only Mike Todd’s Around the World in 80 days, made in 1956, comes even close); and second, this is a snappy and self-referential send-up of the perils and pleasures of working in Hollywood.
The downside is this: if you were born after 1960, you probably won’t appreciate the cameos by the actors and directors mainly because they’d gone from the scene – duh – by the time you started going to movies. But, on the upside…well, if you liked Robert Altman’s The Player (1992), then this movie may appeal also.
The story, of course, is hackneyed: girl, working as a waitress (Doris Day), wants to get into movies, meets struggling director (Jack Carson) whom nobody likes, but who just happens to have a big-time singing star (Dennis Morgan) ready to help…
Good grief – David Lynch turned that short plot synopsis into a horror movie called Mulholland Drive (2001), minus the cameos – but not the singing. How about that?
Anyhow, back to the dilemmas of Doris…
Okay, the story sucks but the dialog is great and Jack Carson was always the guy to deliver perfect one-liners perfectly. I lost count of the number of times the dialog poked fun at every aspect of Hollywood life. And, the sight gags with the many and varied cameos are spot on, the standout performances coming from Gary Cooper, Edward G. Robinson and – how could anybody miss her? – Joan Crawford. And, look, if like me you don’t like Dennis Morgan’s singing, just turn off the sound for a minute or two and grab your next beer from the cooler.
And, for the record, the cameos I recognized are: Gary Cooper, Joan Crawford, Micheal Curtiz, Errol Flynn, Sydney Greenstreet, Danny Kaye, Patricia Neal, Eleanor Parker, Ronald Reagan, Edward G. Robinson, King Vidor, Raoul Walsh and Jane Wyman.
Now, after you’ve seen this very syrupy and mild expose of Hollywood life – but it’s a lot of fun – take the time to see what it’s really like with Lynch’s little plot of horrors, mentioned above.
Gurkey’s Corners Is the Place for Me
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
19 March 2005
Poor Doris Day, working in the Warner Brothers studio commissary hoping for her big break in films. It might be coming due to the fact that no director wants to work with Jack Carson any more. So Carson gets the idea he’s going to direct the next film he does with Dennis Morgan. And since no leading lady wants to work with him, the team needs a fresh face.
Morgan and Carson did a series of films at Warner Brothers who were trying to create a Crosby-Hope tandem of their own. They were good,but not as good. It really helped Bing and Bob to have two of the top rated radio shows in the country where every week you could guarantee that the two of them would have a jab or two at the other’s expense. And they guested on each other’s show innumerable times. This provided a built in publicity machine that Morgan and Carson couldn’t possibly compete with.
This was the last of their films as a team and Warners did something here that Paramount couldn’t do for Bing and Bob. That was have the boys play themselves and try to get a leading lady. At Paramount that job was sewed up by Dorothy Lamour.
Dennis Morgan had a pleasing Irish tenor voice. Unfortunately Warners also didn’t do as well by him as Paramount did by Crosby in the way of songs. If you can remember any of the songs from any of the Morgan- Carson films, God Bless You. The ones that Bing sang made it to the top of the charts.
That being said, Morgan and Carson were fine performers in their own right and the film is a nice piece of nostalgia seeing all the cameo appearances by various stars working at Warner Brothers at the time. All the Crosby-Hope monkeyshines are done well by them.
Try as they may, Doris Day gets fed up and just wants to go back to Gurkey’s Corners, Wisconsin and marry fiancée Jeffrey Bushdinkel.
But you got to watch the movie to learn about Jeffrey Bushdinkel.