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Doris Day - Star of the Month
Remind Me
,Do Not Disturb

Do Not Disturb

Mike Harper (Rod Taylor) is a no-nonsense American businessman who moves to London with his zany wife Janet Harper (Doris Day) to try and resuscitate a flagging British wool company in the lighthearted comedy Do Not Disturb (1965). Despite his desire to find an apartment in the city, Janet falls in love with a country estate outside of the city and proceeds to feather their nest with the help of her posh land lady and neighbor Vanessa Courtwright (Hermione Baddeley) who acquaints Janet with the local antique dealers.

The pastoral life includes chickens, a goat named Wellington who wanders through their home and even a terrified fox. Oblivious to local British customs Janet rescues a fox hiding on her property from hunters galloping through the countryside, presaging Day's animal activism in her later years. Meanwhile Mike is contending with some odd local customs of his own, including the industry ritual of traveling to Paris for an annual wool convention without wives in tow. The industry norm is for businessmen to travel to the Paris convention with their mistresses instead.

Frustrated by his late nights and sleepovers at a London company apartment, Janet begins to suspect that Mike is carrying on with his glamorous assistant Claire Hackett (Maura McGiveney) who accompanies him to work functions and cocktail parties and acts as a second wife. In an effort to make her husband jealous, Janet's friend Vanessa invents a phantom lover. Vanessa calls the house and hangs up when Mike answers, sends flowers to Janet and eventually manages to send Mike into fits of jealousy when she hints that Janet is being pursued by handsome French antiques dealer Paul Bellari (Sergio Fantoni).

But Janet's efforts to make her husband jealous backfire when she takes a spontaneous trip to Paris with the debonair Paul who promises Janet he has just the Georgian dining table she is seeking. Janet covets the table for the anniversary dinner she is planning for her husband. After charming a group of little children, a game of street soccer, too much champagne at lunch and a flight delayed until the next morning by fog, Janet and Paul are accidentally locked up inside the antique store for the night, sending the furious Mike to Paris to clock Paul for "seducing his wife."

Do Not Disturb's screwball hilarity thus kicks into overdrive as Mike decamps in a luxurious Paris hotel for the wool convention. Janet meanwhile, in an effort to speak to her husband without the interference of Mike's underling, masquerades as one of the single party girls imported to Paris to make time with the middle aged conventioneers. Janet gyrating on the dance floor when a grape lands in her dress, or being chased in her nightie through the hotel hallways demonstrate Doris Day's delightful comic abilities and the unique sparkle of an actress always game for a little fun.

Born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff in Cincinnati, Ohio, Day dreamed early on of a dance career but an automobile accident that damaged her legs and left her in a wheelchair for most of her teenage years ended that ambition. Yet destiny might have intervened, since Day then began singing lessons and at 15 started touring with the Les Brown Band. Her first marriage to trombonist Al Jorden, who she met while touring with Les Brown, ended in divorce, thus inaugurating a series of marriages and divorces for Day.

A screen test at Warner Bros. led to a contract and Day's first starring role, Romance on the High Seas (1948). Day soon became known in film for her effervescent personality and great singing voice, highlighted most famously in the 1959 romantic comedy that defined her unique appeal Pillow Talk alongside her frequent co-star Rock Hudson. While married to producer and eventually her manager Martin Melcher, Day ramped up her film output in films such as Love Me or Leave Me (1955), Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960) and With Six You Get Eggroll (1968) and launched her own TV series The Doris Day Show in 1968 which ran for five seasons. (Day also famously turned down the role of Mrs. Robinson in Mike Nichol's classic The Graduate, 1967). Day entered a second phase of her career devoted to advocating and caring for animals and the prevention of their abuse through the Doris Day Animal League in Carmel, California.

Producer: Martin Melcher, Aaron Rosenberg
Director: Ralph Levy
Screenplay: Milt Rosen, Richard Breen (screenplay); William Fairchild (play)
Cinematography: Leon Shamroy
Art Direction: Robert Boyle, Jack Martin Smith
Music: Lionel Newman; Alexander Courage (uncredited)
Film Editing: Robert Simpson
Cast: Doris Day (Janet Harper), Rod Taylor (Mike Harper), Hermione Baddeley (Vanessa Courtwright), Sergio Fantoni (Paul Bellari), Reginald Gardiner (George Simmons), Maura McGiveney (Claire Hackett), Aram Katcher (Culkos), Leon Askin (Willie Langsdorf), Lisa Pera (Alicia Petrova), Michael Romanoff (Delegate).

by Felicia Feaster



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