The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)

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The spy who came out of the water! The first of two slapstick spy comedies Day made with live-cartoon auteur Frank Tashlin, this is good lighthearted fun and sports a case of mistaken identity. Doris is PR at NASA where scientist Rod Taylor, reuniting the pair after Do Not Disturb, is developing a gravity simulator and an overzealous employee hears her making a phonecall to her lovely dog Vladimir – and he presumes she’s a Russian spy. Gorgeous scenery around Catalina, where Doris plays a mermaid for her dad Arthur Godfrey’s eponymous tourist business. Terrific slapstick scenes featuring Paul Lynde, Dick Martin and Dom DeLuise amid exquisitely rendered production design and Robert Vaughn’s cameo as Napoleon Solo is heralded with the theme from The Man from UNCLE. With cinematography by Leon Shamroy, music by Frank DeVol (excepting Doris and Dad singing Que Sera…!) and costumes by Ray Aghayan, the same production team would be back together a year later for Caprice, another amusement filled with mistaken identity, cross-dressing and espionage – and Godfrey makes a cameo appearance in a photo as Doris’ dad again. Lively, gag-filled entertainment.

Send Me No Flowers (1964)

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The last of the three Hudson/Day sex/marriage comedies is an extremely funny exercise in black humour and sight gags. He’s a hypochondriac who in the mistaken belief he’s dying tries to fix his wife up with a replacement. Then he doesn’t die and she smells an affair and leaves him. Hilarious one-liners and terrific look at life in the ‘burbs. Paul Lynde is hysterical as an aggressive graveyard salesman. Director Norman Jewison is working from a screenplay by Julius (Casablanca) Epstein who adapted it from a stage play. Jewison had shot the previous Day marriage comedy, The Thrill of it All, with my beloved James Garner. Sigh!