Thursday, July 09, 2015

Tonight's Movie: Doctor, You've Got to Be Kidding! (1967) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

Sandra Dee is cute as the proverbial button in DOCTOR, YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING! (1967), a comedy just released by the Warner Archive.

Sandra plays Heather Halloran, secretary to wealthy genius Harlan Wycliff (George Hamilton). Heather has three would-be boyfriends (Bill Bixby, Dwayne Hickman, and Dick Kallman), but while she's fond of all of them, she's not interested in romance with any one of them.

Heather's stage mother (Celeste Holm) has long pushed Heather toward a music career, and Heather is on the verge of finally attaining success as a singer when she suddenly discovers love with her boss, Harlan. They plan to marry, but quickly break up over his dismissive attitude toward her singing career.

A few weeks later Heather faints on the opening night of her singing act and is shocked to discover that she and her erstwhile fiance are going to be parents.

Although the plot was fairly racy in its day, with America's Sweetheart, Sandra Dee, playing an unwed mother-to-be, this film is really rather sweet and a whole lot of fun. The movie has a colorful, upbeat BEACH PARTY kind of vibe, as Heather juggles the four men in her life -- while wearing a fabulous wardrobe! I quite enjoyed it.

Heather's three protective swains all want to marry her, even bringing a judge (Robert Gibbons) to her mother's house and insisting she pick one of them, but she's still mooning over the impossible Harlan, the only man who sets off fireworks for her. Her attempt to tell him of her condition ends with another spectacular fight, though each of them secretly longs for the other.

It's impossible not to like Dee in this; she's never been more adorable, whether she's taking dictation or wearing the world's cutest maternity dress. Small wonder everyone in the movie wants to marry her!

Hamilton plays a rather unique and interesting character, a tightly scheduled genius with no social skills; in this day and age he might even be diagnosed with something like Asperger's Syndrome. One hopes that after the end credits his love for Heather will help his uptight persona continue to unbend.

Bixby, Hickman, and Kallman do a nice job as the gang who regularly hang out at the home Heather shares with her mother; Bixby, as the next-door neighbor, has a particularly nice scene when Heather breaks down after her breakup with Harlan.

It's a particular treat to see Allen Jenkins in this as Heather's agent; his final film would be THE FRONT PAGE in 1974, the year he passed on.

Miss Reynolds is played by Charlotte Considine, who later (under the name Charlotte Stewart) played prim Miss Beadle on the TV series LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE. Nichelle Nichols of STAR TREK is one of Heather's fellow secretaries. Look for actor-musician Med Flory as a policeman.

DOCTOR, YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING! was directed by Peter Tewksbury and filmed by Fred Koenekamp in Metrocolor. It runs 94 minutes.

The Warner Archive DVD is a lovely widescreen print. The disc includes the trailer.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop.


Blogger KC said...

I think I would have enjoyed this movie without Sandra Dee, but with her, it's really something special. Whatever that "it" is that makes a star, she possessed it to an extraordinary degree!

9:23 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Agreed! I was very pleasantly surprised by this film, it could easily have been crass but instead was quite fun, thanks in large part to Miss Dee.

Best wishes,

11:33 PM  

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