Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cinema Tuesdays {The Thrill of It All}

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From 1963 comes this brilliant satire about Modern American Life in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century.
See Television in Simultaneous Colour and Black & White!
See Soap Suds Attacking Small Children!
See Doris Day... Not Singing!
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This is Mr. and Mrs. Fraleigh. They're finally going to have a baby after trying for twenty years.
Isn't that nice.
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This is Mrs. Fraleigh's obstetrician Dr. Gerald Boyer (as played by James Garner) and his wife Beverly.
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The Boyers have a lovely house outside of New York, with a backyard, wonderful decorations, a garage, two kids who don't fight with each other and ZaSu Pitts as a housekeeper.
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Bev and Gerry are invited over to a dinner party at the Fraleigh house, but everyone has to wait until old Mr. Fraleigh is finished watching TV.
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He's watching the Happy Soap Play of the Week, which is actually the same play every week but with different costumes and always stars Carl Reiner (who wrote the screenplay) calling the same woman a tramp.
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Old Mr. Fraleigh likes to watch the commercial. This is Spot Checker, starlet and the Happy Soap Girl. Clearly the ad men hadn't gotten the memo that women and not men buy the household goods.
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Bev then tells an amusing story about using Happy soap on her daughter. Old Mr. Fraleigh then offers to pay her over $300 to tell the same story on next week's television show. Turns out that he owns the Happy Soap Company.
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Which leads to Bev practising in front of the mirror while rockin' this housecoat.
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I love little Maggie's dress.
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Since the play of the week is performed live, the commercial is live too and Bev charmingly stumbles through it.
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See Bev bottle her own ketchup!
Turns out the commercial is a success and Mike shows up the next day to offer her Spot's old job. Happy Soap will pay her $80,000 for a one year contract. $80,000 is a fair amount of money now, but in 1963 it was a heckuva lot of money, as you can tell by James Garner's expression.
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Check out the monogram on the back of her robe and her flowered shower cap.
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Bev wants to take the job because she doesn't feel like she has any outside interests apart from being a mother, the wife of a doctor and making ketchup. So she cries and Gerry lets her take the job.
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Nice cape.
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Gerry doesn't like her being in New York late on a Friday night, especially since he can't reach her and then she comes home late.
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Why is it that when a housekeeper leaves in a huff in the middle of a night, she always wears a moth eaten Mr. Fox?
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Bev likes being the new Happy Girl.
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Gerry doesn't. He feels that she is neglecting her wifely duties, and he is on call 24 hours and someone has to look after the children.
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Pyjamas are great, but look at how Bev does At Home Casual.
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Gerry also doesn't like being called Mr. Beverly by his wife's fans.
Although, the great thing about being famous is that you can always get a table in a crowded restaurant.
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He also doesn't like that the kids haven't seen Mommy all day except for on TV.
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Happy then introduces a new detergent that can be used on clothes, dishes and pool tiles and then they get a Tuesday night show so that Bev now has to work two nights a week, plus shooting print ads during the day.
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Bev comes home to find out that Mike is building a pool in what used to be the backyard, courtesy of the Happy Soap Company.
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But she forgot to tell Gerry, who drives into the pool.
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Gerry's had enough. He has to convince Bev that if she doesn't quit her job and return to being a housewife in the suburbs, their marriage will end. So he enlists the help of his secretary.
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And then he pretends to come home drunk.
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And mumbles "Gloria".
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This is my favourite dress in the movie.
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The climax comes when Mrs. Fraleigh goes into labour in the middle of a traffic jam and Bev and Gerry work together. Believe it or not, but Mrs. Fraleigh has just given birth in the back seat of the limo. Clearly she either has super powers or the best darn make up in the world.

Click here for the trailer


Gorilla Bananas said...

What an amusing film that was! And how nice to see Doris Day not playing a virgin.

Lisa said...

I'm obsessed with her clothes and hair. I will watch entire movies I don't enjoy to gawk at her clothes and hair. What a cutie. Thanks for the snaps!