I got introduced to Mark Twain’s books about the rambunctious, adventure-seeking Tom Sawyer and his best friend, Huckleberry Finn in my early teens. I read a lot of Twain in those days, and—as tends to happen with me when I’ve read a lot of one author’s works—over a period of time, they started to blur. I forgot which books I’d read, and which I hadn’t.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one such: I couldn’t recall whether this was among the books I’d read. But, while making my very sporadic way through The Daily Telegraph’s list of 100 Great Novels Everyone Should Read, I found this book on it, and decided I may as well read it. And, as often happens when I read a book that’s fairly popular (in this case, an acknowledged classic), I followed that up with seeing if it had been made into a film. Sure enough, it had: a 1960 adaptation starring Tony Randall was what I chanced upon.
Doris Day, Rock Hudson and Tony Randall acted together in three films: Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back, and Send Me No Flowers. Since I’d already reviewed the other two, I decided it was time to complete the trio with a re-view and a review of Pillow Talk, the first of the Day-Hudson-Randall films.
Every now and then, I come across a film that makes me wish there were more like it. This is one of those: full of laughs, very enjoyable and utterly repeatable.
Doris Day and Rock Hudson had already starred in two fabulous romantic comedies—Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back—before they worked together for the last time in Send Me No Flowers. Unlike the two earlier films (which had very similar plots: girl falls for a guy who’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing), this one isn’t a romantic comedy per se; more an out-and-out comedy. But yes, there’s plenty of love and affection, and Hudson and Day look gorgeous together!
Though Pillow Talk’s the best known of the Hudson-Day-Randall films, this is my personal favourite. It’s funny and cute; it has Rock Hudson at his gorgeous best (well, he looked equally awesome in Pillow Talk, but what the heck. Still a reason); and it’s about an industry I’ve worked in, loved and hated: advertising.
I wasn’t on Madison Avenue, but our suave, lady’s man hero—Jerry Webster (Rock Hudson)—and our efficient, good-girl heroine Carol Templeton (Doris Day) are. They’re employed with rival agencies, and their styles of working, um, differ. Prior to a pitch, Carol asks for the rundown on a potential client: “…his packaging setup, distribution setup, sales volume, and strong and weak market areas.”