Forty-four years after she quit the film business, Doris Day is the still the top female box-office draw of all time. Yet that sadly doesn’t stop her work often being overlooked or underrated. She is often written off as a ‘light comedy’ star whilst her consummate dramatic performances go ignored.
BFI Southbank are hoping to set the record straight with their Doris Day season that starts on Saturday 1st December. The season includes screenings of Day’s best-loved films like Calamity Jane and Tea for Two, as well as the classic (no-)sex rom com Pillow Talk with Rock Hudson.
Day’s darker dramatic side will be showcased and celebrated with screenings of Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much, Chicago mob musical Love Me or Leave Me and the 1960 thriller, Midnight Lace.
These more intense roles paved the way for Day’s seminal comedy roles. Her appearances with Rock Hudson and the screwball comedy Move Over, Darling established her quirky, tenacious and independent on-screen persona. Alas, her sincerity and independence did not sit very well with the overriding cynicism of the 1960s, prompting Day to walk away from the movie business in 1968.
The season will be introduced on Tuesday 4th December, with Resurrection Day! – a screening of clips and discussion hosted by Variety critic David Benedict. The introduction will aim to shatter the snobbery and misconceptions around Doris Day, revealing a gifted comedienne with rare dramatic skill.
Catch one of her wonderful films this December at BFI Southbank and rediscover the many faces and talents of Hollywood’s golden girl, Doris Day.
Tickets for Resurrection Day! are £5 and can be booked online. The full Doris Day Season programme is available from the BFI website.
Image via BFI Southbank