Do Not Disturb (1965)

Directed by Ralph Levy
Cinematography Leon Shamroy

Do Not Disturb is a DeLuxe Color CinemaScope (1965) romantic comedy film directed by Ralph Levy, starring Doris Day and Rod Taylor as Janet and Mike Harper, a married couple who relocate to England when Mike is transferred by the company for which he works.

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American couple Mike and Janet Harper (Rod Taylor and Doris Day) move to England for Mike’s work, a company that deals in textiles and fashions. Mike wants them to live in a flat in the heart of London, but Janet, who is not a big-city girl, instead finds them a house thirty miles outside London in Kent, which means that Mike has to commute into town by train. For convenience, Mike often stays in one of the company’s flats in town rather than go home. This commuting situation makes Janet feel even more neglected than she already did.

Janet believes Mike may be having an affair with his assistant, Claire Hackett (Maura McGiveney). Janet’s beliefs are fueled by the Harpers’ busybody landlady, Vanessa Courtwright (Hermione Baddeley), who thinks Janet can play Mike’s game by entering into an affair of her own, whether it be real or made-up. It has the potential to be real with the arrival of the Italian man Paul Bellari (Sergio Fantoni), an antiques dealer Janet hires to decorate the house. Although neither Mike nor Janet had any initial thoughts of cheating on the other, Claire and Paul may have thoughts of their own, especially when all four are thrown into one compromising position after another.

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not Doris’s best

6/10
Author: Eph612
31 August 2004

This so-so vehicle for Doris Day was probably the start of the decline of her movie career (of the films that followed, only “The Glass Bottom Boat” was worthwhile). That being said, on second viewing, it’s not really bad at all. True, it suffers from being set in Europe but being obviously shot on Hollywood soundstages. And for a “romantic comedy” there are surprisingly few scenes that put the leading lady together with her leading man (in this case, Rod Taylor). But Doris, looking chic as ever, works wonders with the thin material. Her drunk scene in the middle of the film is very funny, and she has the energy and physical-comedy skills to pull off the farcical finale handily. Catchy title-tune, too.

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Even low expectation can’t quite make it worthy.

5/10
Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
16 December 2009

OK, so it’s not unreasonable to enter into a Doris Day romantic comedy expecting undemanding froth and a little sexiness. With that, Do Not Disturb delivers on that expectation. Day’s line in this type of film caters for like minded people knowing exactly what they want from a Sunday morning time filler. The trouble is, is that where’s the cut off point to say no more please? This film is arguably the one where Day fans {and I count myself among them} finally realised the formula had run its course. Yes the enjoyable fluff that was The Glass Bottom Boat would follow a year later, but that too has a familiarity, that whilst not breeding contempt, certainly felt like being stuck on a carousel.

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The plot here is naturally simple, but sadly so is Richard L. Breen’s screenplay {adapting from William Fairchild’s play}. Thankfully Day at least manages to make the thread bare script work to a degree, and although no Rock Hudson, Rod Taylor does make for an appealing foil to Day’s sexy effervescent efforts. Hermione Baddeley shines brightest out of the supporting cast and the funky opening credits are accompanied by Day’s delightful rendition of the title tune. Enter with caution then, for even the hardiest of Doris Day fans must know this is but a time filler in all but name. 5/10

This dud doesn’t do Doris Day justice

3/10
Author: SimonJack from United States
14 June 2016
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It seems to have been widespread knowledge that Doris Day’s third husband, Marty Melcher, lost most of her sizable estate by bad management. And, that as her manager in the mid-1960s until his death, he got her into some lousy films. “Do Not Disturb” surely supports that contention. Only a couple of her late films were very good, and I think this one is the worst film that the wonderfully talented Day ever made.

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It’s not because of her acting, or even the plot. It was an OK idea for a story. The fault in this turkey lies with the script, the direction and the editing. Who wants to see a film in which Doris Day is on screen for half an hour or more getting tipsy – bar hopping and going from one venue to another? She is supposed to flip out with two drinks, but she goes on and on and on drinking champagne. I kept waiting for her to pass out. There is absolutely no humor here, and it quickly becomes boring and aimless. The story seems pieced together and disconnected. There is very little chemistry between Day and co-star Rod Taylor. Their spats and quick turn-arounds don’t come off as believable.

Day plays Janet Harper in a role that is unusually flighty for her. Taylor is her husband, Mike, who doesn’t quite seem to fit into his role as a hard-nosed business manager hired to rescue an ailing British woolen company. The cast for most of the other roles seem wooden at times, unconvincing at other times.

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Doris Day was one of the most versatile performers of the mid-20th century. She had sung with big bands and had hit tunes on records and the radio. She could dance and act, and was especially good in romantic comedies. She retired from show biz early – at just 51 years of age, when her TV series, “The Doris Day Show” went off the air after six years in 1973. Fans and movie buffs will cherish her best films for decades to come. She deserved much better products than this in her last years of performing.

Bored, neglected, Doris finds a way to bring excitement into her life, in one of her lesser sitcoms.

6/10
Author: weezeralfalfa from United States
17 September 2013
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One of the lesser of Doris Day’s last dozen years of Hollywood film making: mostly non-musical romantic sitcoms, with various mostly high profile men. I mostly prefer her earlier musical romantic comedies, mostly costarring high profile male singers, such as Gordon McRae, Howard Keel, and Frank Sinatra, perhaps peaking with “Calamity Jane”. Of her ’60s films, I most enjoyed “Lover Come Back”, with Rock Hudson, the musical romantic comedy “”Billie Rose’s Jumbo”, with help from veterans Jimmy Durante and Martha Raye, and ‘The Ballad of Jose”, which as I see it, is basically a non-musical, historically relevant remake of “Calamity Jane”, which ends with the same basic take home message about the independent woman trying to make it in a traditional male role, which by then was no longer politically correct.

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In this film, she plays the dumb blond kept trophy wife of a wealthy American wool textiles company executive(Rod Taylor, as Mike Harper), who has been assigned to move to England and figure out why their European market has been doing so poorly , and figure out how to fix it. Thus, Doris is playing the ideal stay-at-home ’50s wife she became at the end in “Calamity Jane” and “The Ballad of Josie”. The problem is that this is the mid-60s world of women’s lib political change. Doris has become bored with her very limited scope life and lack of children, and feels her husband has been neglecting her and possible fatherhood in deference to promoting his career. She seems not too bright in adjusting to her new situation, having much trouble figuring out the UK money system of the time, and proving worthless in finding the way to the commuter train station, to get her husband to work. She spends her time figuring out ways to spend her husband’s money in often needless home improvement and decoration projects for their new rented mansion, in taking in some rather unusual house pets(red fox, goat, and chickens), and ultimately being convinced by her busybody landlady, Vanessa, that her husband is having an affair with his new secretary: Claire Hackett, hence justifying her countering with an affair of her own. Her tongue lashing of the fox hunters and their hounds is hilarious.

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Vanessa arranges for romantic gifts to arrive for Doris, who confesses to her husband what is going on. Vanessa also recommends to Doris a Paul Bellari as a good dealer in exquisite home furnishings. Paul, a married man with several kids, flies Doris to his shop in Paris. He takes her to lunch in a fun café, and she gets drunk on too much champagne. Can’t fly home because of a heavy fog, so they return to his shop, get locked in from the metal store front shutter, she passes out from more champagne, and her husband arrives in the morning to punch Paul and leave.

Her husband is also in Paris for a wool textiles exposition. No wives allowed is the rule of dominant textiles buyer Langsdorf. So, Doris decides to pose as her husband’s assistant: Miss Hackett. In her stunning yellow-orange sparking gown, she is the hit of the evening party, which includes many young female escorts.

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She dances with Langsdorf and other textiles buyers. Langsdorf wants her for his personal assistant and bed partner for the night, but she politely declines. She makes up with her husband over the Bellari affair, then dumps a fruit salad on him when Miss Hackett unexpectedly shows up, presumably as his escort. A little later, she overhears Miss Hackett talking to a handsome French buyer, saying that she wants to become his assistant, as Doris’s husband doesn’t seem much interested in her. Thus, Doris wants to make up with her husband again, but Miss Hackett gives her Langsdorf’s room number instead. She puts on her minimal nightie and gets into bed with a sleeping man, only to realize later it’s Langsdorf. He chases her all over his large room, until his wife shows up(?). Doris runs into an adjacent room and hides under s sheet on the bed. Her husband arrives and they bounce around on the bed, which collapses. The take home message is that husbands should not neglect romancing their wives sufficiently, in deference to their career ambitions and other interests, especially if their wife doesn’t have sufficient other sources of meaningful activities and ego gratification.

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This film rests entirely on Doris’s intrinsic likability. After the first segment, most of the humor relates to several suspected cases of infidelity, Doris’s doings while drunk, and her impersonation of Miss Hackett: none of which are terribly side-spitting, aside from the flying olive down the back of her dress caper, and the terminal bedroom mix-up farce. Aura McGiveney, as Miss Hackett, is hardly credible competition with Doris for her husband’s romantic attention. We don’t find out whether her husband achieved his goal of increasing European textile sales, nor whether he learned his lesson long term relating to Doris. Doris as a kept woman, and she and her husband being uptight about little infidelities, was out of sync with the then women’s lib and youth counterculture movements. As a young woman, Hollywood actress Hedy Lamar was actually in the situation of being a kept trophy wife, by a much older rich European. She rebelled against her cloistered life and escaped to the US.
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This dud doesn’t do Doris Day justice

3/10
Author: SimonJack from United States
14 June 2016
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It seems to have been widespread knowledge that Doris Day’s third husband, Marty Melcher, lost most of her sizable estate by bad management. And, that as her manager in the mid-1960s until his death, he got her into some lousy films. “Do Not Disturb” surely supports that contention. Only a couple of her late films were very good, and I think this one is the worst film that the wonderfully talented Day ever made.

It’s not because of her acting, or even the plot. It was an OK idea for a story. The fault in this turkey lies with the script, the direction and the editing. Who wants to see a film in which Doris Day is on screen for half an hour or more getting tipsy – bar hopping and going from one venue to another? She is supposed to flip out with two drinks, but she goes on and on and on drinking champagne. I kept waiting for her to pass out.

screenshot_29

There is absolutely no humor here, and it quickly becomes boring and aimless. The story seems pieced together and disconnected. There is very little chemistry between Day and co-star Rod Taylor. Their spats and quick turn-arounds don’t come off as believable.

Day plays Janet Harper in a role that is unusually flighty for her. Taylor is her husband, Mike, who doesn’t quite seem to fit into his role as a hard-nosed business manager hired to rescue an ailing British woolen company. The cast for most of the other roles seem wooden at times, unconvincing at other times.

Doris Day was one of the most versatile performers of the mid-20th century. She had sung with big bands and had hit tunes on records and the radio. She could dance and act, and was especially good in romantic comedies. She retired from show biz early – at just 51 years of age, when her TV series, “The Doris Day Show” went off the air after six years in 1973. Fans and movie buffs will cherish her best films for decades to come. She deserved much better products than this in her last years of performing.

doris-day-drunken-awakening

Disappointing…definitely not vintage Doris!

2/10
Author: deedee71 from United Kingdom
14 November 2012

I have long been a fan of Doris Day. I have always considered her one of the most talented, funny and versatile actresses to ever grace the screen. I was expecting this film to sparkle with the fabulously witty, light touch that she always brought to her film comedies, but I was sadly mistaken. If you are expecting something along the lines of the brilliant ‘Pillow Talk’ or ‘Move over, Darling’, you may end up being as disappointed as I was. For starters, the script is facile, and lacks the clever dialogue, with its’ verbal tennis matches, of the above mentioned movies.

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It is frankly very repetitive, with the main protagonists constant bantering about fidelity. Secondly, there is little to no chemistry between Ms.Day and Rod Taylor, which is so very noticeable when one has already seen ‘Pillow Talk’ and had the pleasure of viewing the real deal between Doris and Rock Hudson. I got halfway through the movie and turned over, as there was nothing to maintain my attention. My advice would be to stick to ‘classic Doris Day’ if you want true entertainment, and to last the course!

Doris let down

5/10
Author: otterman62 from surrey, england
10 February 2011

We think Doris Day’s films are generally excellent and having watched a number from a boxed set recently ( Pillow Talk, The Thrill of it all, etc) this one is comparatively a disappointment BUT it’s not Doris’s fault….the film is about 30 minutes too long, the script isn’t sharp enough and Rod Taylor shouts all the time and comes across as completely obnoxious to the point where you think she would be better off without him – not exactly the point for a Rom-Com? -Oh and as a Brit I have to say that some of the British characters accents are nearly as bad as Dick Van Dyke in Mary Popping.

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However! DD performs valiantly, she looks great, especially when you realise she was 43 when she made this, her comic timing is excellent and in her scenes she either exudes charm naturally or is good enough as an actress to look like she exudes charm, I prefer to believe the former. Watch this if you’re in an undemanding mood, but if you have the choice watch one of her earlier ones instead.

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