Send Me No Flowers


1h 40m 1964
Send Me No Flowers

Brief Synopsis

When he mistakenly thinks he's dying, a hypochondriac tries to choose his wife's next husband.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 14 Oct 1964
Production Company
Martin Melcher Productions
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Send Me No Flowers by Norman Barasch, Carroll Moore (New York, 5 Dec 1960).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Synopsis

Judy and George Kimball have been happily married for 8 years despite George's hopeless hypochondria. One day George visits his doctor about an imaginary chest pain and overhears him discussing another patient. Assuming that the conversation is about him, George concludes that he has but a few weeks to live. After revealing the tragic news to Arnold Nash, his neighbor and best friend, George puts $1,000 down on three cemetery plots for himself, his wife, and her next husband and then sets out to find someone to take his place. He decides upon Bert Power, a college friend of Judy's who is now an oil magnate. But George's attempts to throw his wife and Bert together only serve to convince Judy that George is trying to cover up an affair of his own. Her suspicions double when she finds George in a compromising position with Linda Bullard, a recently-separated friend whom George is trying to protect from Winston Burr, a suburban wolf. To clear himself, George is forced to tell Judy his terrible news. Her initial horror quickly turns to rage when she learns from George's doctor that he is in perfect physical health. Arnold's advice, given while he is drunk, only worsens the situation, and Judy, now certain there is another woman, begins packing. But when she learns of George's purchase of the cemetery plots, she can no longer doubt his sincerity. George promises to forget his hypochondria forever, and as Judy throws away all his medicine bottles, he celebrates their reconciliation by opening a bottle of champagne and planting a punch on the jaw of the meddlesome Winston Burr.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 14 Oct 1964
Production Company
Martin Melcher Productions
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Send Me No Flowers by Norman Barasch, Carroll Moore (New York, 5 Dec 1960).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Articles

Send Me No Flowers


Doris Day, Rock Hudson, and Tony Randall had made two enormously successful sex comedies, Pillow Talk (1959) and Lover Come Back (1961). In both, Hudson plays a sexy charmer who tries to maneuver prim virgin Day into bed, and ends up being maneuvered into matrimony instead, as bemused and befuddled pal Randall looks on. The formula varied only in the details of wardrobe, decor, and occupations.

In the final teaming of the trio, Send Me No Flowers (1964), the formula changed in one important aspect. Randall is still bemused and befuddled, but Day and Hudson are now happily married with Day playing understanding wife to hypochondriac Hudson. Instead of the mistaken-identity plot contrivances of their previous films, the storyline this time turns on other kinds of misunderstandings. Hudson overhears his doctor's conversation about a terminally ill man, and believes he's the one who's dying. Day witnesses an innocent embrace, and believes her husband is lying about having a terminal condition to cover up an adulterous affair.

What hasn't changed is the extraordinary chemistry among the three leads. As Day wrote in her autobiography, "Tony, Rock and I were made for each other and it was hard to tell sometimes where life left off and make believe began." The three loved working together, were attuned to each other, and it shows onscreen. For Send Me No Flowers, the emphasis was on the comedy, not sexual tension since the two leads were playing suburbanites, not hip, urban singles.

Hudson, who had not done comedy prior to Pillow Talk, was becoming increasingly comfortable with it, and he plays his illness-obsessed character adroitly. Both Day and Randall, who were seasoned comedy pros, have delightful slapstick turns in Send Me No Flowers: Day in a scene where she locks herself out of the house when she goes to get the newspaper and milk, and Randall in his ever-escalating drunk scenes. Adding to the comedy is Paul Lynde, as an aggressive cemetery salesman. But predictably, the critics missed the sexual innuendo, even though they had praise for the skillful work of the stars. "Send Me No Flowers doesn't carry the same voltage, either in laughs or originality, as Doris Day and Rock Hudson's two previous entries," Variety lamented. Maybe not, but the film still did very well at the box office.

For the next twenty years, Day and Hudson tried to find another film to do together. At one point, they discussed doing a television movie, but nothing came of it. Hudson remarked, "We couldn't come up with a story that would have the same sexual innuendos that had made those comedies fun - in a way that would be valid in modern terms."

But Rock and Doris did work together one more time. Hudson's last public appearance before the revelation that he had AIDS was as a guest on Day's cable show, and ill as he was, the old chemistry was still strong. Near the end of his life, Hudson mused about what made his partnership with Day work so well. "First of all, the two people have to truly like each other, as Doris and I did, for that shines through. Then, too, both parties have to be strong personalities - very important to comedy -- so that there's a tug-of-war over who's going to put it over on the other, who's going to get the last word, a fencing match between two adroit opponents of the opposite sex who in the end are going to fall into bed together."

Director: Norman Jewison
Producer: Harry Keller
Screenplay: Julius J. Epstein, based on the play by Norman Barasch & Carroll Moore
Editor: J. Terry Williams
Cinematography: Daniel Fapp
Costume Design: Jean Louis
Art Direction: Alexander Golitzen, Robert Clatworthy
Music: Frank DeVol
Principal Cast: Rock Hudson (George Kimball), Doris Day (Judy Kimball), Tony Randall (Arnold Nash), Paul Lynde (Mr. Akins), Hal March (Winston Burr), Edward Andrews (Dr. Ralph Morrissey), Patricia Barry (Linda Bullard).
C-100m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.

by Margarita Landazuri
Send Me No Flowers

Send Me No Flowers

Doris Day, Rock Hudson, and Tony Randall had made two enormously successful sex comedies, Pillow Talk (1959) and Lover Come Back (1961). In both, Hudson plays a sexy charmer who tries to maneuver prim virgin Day into bed, and ends up being maneuvered into matrimony instead, as bemused and befuddled pal Randall looks on. The formula varied only in the details of wardrobe, decor, and occupations. In the final teaming of the trio, Send Me No Flowers (1964), the formula changed in one important aspect. Randall is still bemused and befuddled, but Day and Hudson are now happily married with Day playing understanding wife to hypochondriac Hudson. Instead of the mistaken-identity plot contrivances of their previous films, the storyline this time turns on other kinds of misunderstandings. Hudson overhears his doctor's conversation about a terminally ill man, and believes he's the one who's dying. Day witnesses an innocent embrace, and believes her husband is lying about having a terminal condition to cover up an adulterous affair. What hasn't changed is the extraordinary chemistry among the three leads. As Day wrote in her autobiography, "Tony, Rock and I were made for each other and it was hard to tell sometimes where life left off and make believe began." The three loved working together, were attuned to each other, and it shows onscreen. For Send Me No Flowers, the emphasis was on the comedy, not sexual tension since the two leads were playing suburbanites, not hip, urban singles. Hudson, who had not done comedy prior to Pillow Talk, was becoming increasingly comfortable with it, and he plays his illness-obsessed character adroitly. Both Day and Randall, who were seasoned comedy pros, have delightful slapstick turns in Send Me No Flowers: Day in a scene where she locks herself out of the house when she goes to get the newspaper and milk, and Randall in his ever-escalating drunk scenes. Adding to the comedy is Paul Lynde, as an aggressive cemetery salesman. But predictably, the critics missed the sexual innuendo, even though they had praise for the skillful work of the stars. "Send Me No Flowers doesn't carry the same voltage, either in laughs or originality, as Doris Day and Rock Hudson's two previous entries," Variety lamented. Maybe not, but the film still did very well at the box office. For the next twenty years, Day and Hudson tried to find another film to do together. At one point, they discussed doing a television movie, but nothing came of it. Hudson remarked, "We couldn't come up with a story that would have the same sexual innuendos that had made those comedies fun - in a way that would be valid in modern terms." But Rock and Doris did work together one more time. Hudson's last public appearance before the revelation that he had AIDS was as a guest on Day's cable show, and ill as he was, the old chemistry was still strong. Near the end of his life, Hudson mused about what made his partnership with Day work so well. "First of all, the two people have to truly like each other, as Doris and I did, for that shines through. Then, too, both parties have to be strong personalities - very important to comedy -- so that there's a tug-of-war over who's going to put it over on the other, who's going to get the last word, a fencing match between two adroit opponents of the opposite sex who in the end are going to fall into bed together." Director: Norman Jewison Producer: Harry Keller Screenplay: Julius J. Epstein, based on the play by Norman Barasch & Carroll Moore Editor: J. Terry Williams Cinematography: Daniel Fapp Costume Design: Jean Louis Art Direction: Alexander Golitzen, Robert Clatworthy Music: Frank DeVol Principal Cast: Rock Hudson (George Kimball), Doris Day (Judy Kimball), Tony Randall (Arnold Nash), Paul Lynde (Mr. Akins), Hal March (Winston Burr), Edward Andrews (Dr. Ralph Morrissey), Patricia Barry (Linda Bullard). C-100m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning. by Margarita Landazuri

Quotes

When a man's wife thinks he's having an affair, how can he convince her he's not?
- George Kimball
He can't.
- Arnold Nash
But I'm not having one!
- George Kimball
Doesn't make any difference.
- Arnold Nash
Isn't a man innocent until proven guilty?
- George Kimball
Look, you're dealing with your wife. You can forget the Constitution.
- Arnold Nash

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1964

Last film that Rock Hudson and Doris Day made together.

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1964