Romance on the High Seas (1948) Poster

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8/10
Grand Debut for Doris
harry-7623 March 2002
One of the delights of "Romance on the High Seas" is the remarkable debut of Doris Day. Having replaced an indisposed Betty Hutton, Day stepped into this role with all the zest and zip that she brought to her total career.

It's rather amazing to me how accomplished Day was in her initial screen effort: her comedic work, singing, and general enactment was like that of a seasoned professional. All the infectious Day sparkle and spirit was there from the beginning, after only a brief period as a band singer.

Ably assisted by the multi-faceted Jack Carson, pretty other-woman Janis Paige, vulnerable foils Don DeFore and Oscar Levant, and top character actor S. Z. "Cuddles" Sakall, this Warner Bros. musical bounces along merrily. Fetching songs, a witty script, nice settings in Rio and Cuba, and a stylish specialty number by Avon Long keep things moving along right to the kaleidoscopic finale staged by Busby Berkeley.

"Romance on the High Seas" is a pleasurable way to spend an evening. As Doris's song goes, "It's Magic."
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10/10
It's Magic!
tarah-54 September 2005
"You sigh the song begins, You speak and I hear violins---It's Magic."

Doris sure captured us all under her spell in her first role as Miss Georgia Garrett in Romance on the High Seas. Georgia is a singer hired by socialite, Mrs. Kent (Janis Paige). Mrs. Kent has suspicions that her husband is cheating on her when he backs out of a trip. She hires Georgia to go in her place on a cruise to South America. Mrs. Kent then is free to spy on her husband. Mr. Kent (Don DeFore) meanwhile has hired a private detective, Peter Virgil (Jack Carson), to trail his wife on her cruise. Talk about lack of trust! The highlight of the film, for me, is when Georgia, posing as Mrs. Kent, and Peter go ashore. They are seated and Georgia begins to sing "It's Magic." It is just beautiful! Soon, Peter and Georgia begin to fall for each other. As this is his client's "wife", Peter knows that this is a no-no. But, have they fallen too far under the spell? **A great cast-Doris Day, Jack Carson, Janis Paige, Don DeFore, and of course SZ Sakall **Terrific songs-"Put 'Em in a Box", "It's Magic", "It's You Or No One", "I'm in Love", "The Tourist Trade", and "Run, Run, Run" **Great dialogue This movie has it all! A must see! Be captivated-it truly is MAGIC!
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7/10
Breezy, pleasant and loads of fun...Doris Day is a pro in her film debut!
Neil Doyle15 April 2001
It's hard to believe 'Romance on the High Seas' is Doris Day's first flick. She's awesome in a role originally intended for Betty Hutton--and everyone has a great time poking fun at manners and morals in this breezy sea breeze of a farce.

When Day and Jack Carson aren't coming up with one-liners, she takes time to sing some nifty tunes--among them, 'Put 'Em in A Box', 'It's You Or No One' and, of course, 'It's Magic'. Her rendering of the latter song in a Cuban nightclub is one of the highlights of the film--and her career. Never has she expressed the simple emotions of the lyric more beautifully with a honey of a voice that is always directly on pitch, warming the heart with great phrasing and tone. And her comedic skills are already in evidence here.

Especially enjoyable is her first night on board the cruise ship when she and Carson mistakenly dress up. "Nobody dresses on first night shipboard," Carson tells her. Posing as a society lady, she asks in cultivated tones, "Really? Don't they get chilly?" She turns and peers into the dining room. "This I gotta see!" she says in her own voice. She uses the cultivated tones to disguise herself as society lady (Janis Paige) whose identity she has taken.

The slim plot revolves entirely around the mistaken identity theme and it's all played for laughs with lots of punch lines. Doris has an amusing scene with the fabulous Eric Blore as a doctor who comes to check on her "illness" and ends up feeling weak when she checks his pulse.

Janis Paige, Don de Fore, S.Z. Sakall, Oscar Levant and the usual Warner Bros. stock players are all adept at this sort of thing. Highly amusing comedy with some great songs--easy to take and always good for a few laughs. Doris Day at the peak of her form.
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Doris Day's first time to shine on the Silver Screen
Greg Couture13 August 2004
Fortune certainly smiled on the talented Doris Day when she landed her first movie role in this typical late-Forties musical comedy confection. She looks great, sounds terrific and acts with confidence, supported by the best that Warner Brothers could muster (except for the annoying Oscar Levant, an all-time UNfavorite of mine). And, as always, the Warners music department and sound technicians provide a wonderfully lush treat for the ears.

Turner Classic Movies, bless 'em, occasionally hauls this one out of their vaults and it's fun to see it uninterrupted and causing one's TV screen to glow with that particularly cool, yet warm at the same time, three-strip Technicolor that Warners seemed to specialize in before Warnercolor's less vibrant tones decorated the studio's color output. Of course the clothes, the elaborately formal sets, and those hairdos (Could any woman back then achieve those coiffures without the aid of a platoon of hairdressers?) all are quintessentially Hollywood just before the Fifties demanded that everything look very modern and somewhat more sleek. But as a way to enjoy a bit of still very entertaining nostalgia, this one is hard to beat!
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Sailing Down To Rio
Varlaam1 March 1999
This one's a hoot!

This film's male cast is a very good one, and they receive most of the cargo of really funny lines: Don De Fore, Cuddles Sakall, Oscar Levant, and Canada's own Jack Carson. Oscar's misanthropic lines are usually acerbic enough, and self-referential enough, to sound as though he wrote them himself.

I was a little wary since this video is part of the Warner Brothers "Doris Day Collection". But Doris is really quite winning. According to an anonymous and unsung IMDb contributor, Judy Garland was the first choice for Doris's part. That would have been a poor fit; the role certainly calls for someone lighter. The second choice, Betty Hutton, would have been a good one as well, but Lady Day (sorry) won me over. She sings a number of delightful songs -- she just happens to find a jazz combo on shipboard to accompany her -- and there is nothing here as risible as "Que Sera Sera", the sugary kidnapping tune from "The Man Who Knew Too Much". "It's Magic" is the showstopper.

The cruise ship makes several stops as it's travelling south: Cuba, Trinidad, Rio. A song in the Hollywood version of the local style generally erupts spontaneously. Busby Berkeley called the shots on these, and his influence is, shall we say, detectable. Jack Carson sings a calypso number in an unsteady Trini accent, but it's not too bad considering he was attempting it 50 years ago, mahn.

Try booking a passage with this ship of fools the next time you're in need of a vacation.
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When It's Day Time, the Sun Always Shines
dougdoepke27 July 2008
Make no mistake, this is Doris Day's movie, first one or not. And that's no small accomplishment. She is up against not just two, but three veteran scene-stealers in Oscar Levant, "Cuddles" Szakall and Jack Carson. Yet the sheer naturalness of her winning personality is enough to launch one of Hollywood's most successful screen careers.

On the whole, it's an entertaining film, especially the first third where Day's high spirits are allowed to shine. Once the shipboard romance takes over, things slow down and the mood shifts. Whatever his other many talents, the versatile Jack Carson is a character actor, not a leading man. Too bad he gets romantically serious and we lose his light comedic talents. And, of course, there's the professional wit, the very unHollywood-looking Oscar Levant, always livening things up with a mordant quip.

What a gorgeous movie to look at. The Technicolor is outstanding. Note how well the colors are coordinated, especially the scenes in Rio. This is a neglected phase of movie-making, and here the art director and set designer both deserve industry awards. The plot's fairly clever, having to do with a marital mix-up that keeps the audience interested without straining. Nonetheless, it's Day's movie, showing what an engaging screen personality she is-- too bad she became mockingly identified as America's "professional virgin". Here, her rendition of "It's Magic" is just that. Magic!
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7/10
"The Magic Is My Love For You"
bkoganbing11 August 2007
Watching Romance on the High Seas I could have sworn that the Brothers Warner hijacked one of the plots of an RKO Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers film. It's got that kind of silliness in the plot, the usual case of mistaken identities and false suspicions that characterized the Astaire- Rogers films.

Don DeFore and Janis Paige are a couple each of who swears the other is cheating. When a mix-up from a travel agency in passport photos where Paige's is exchanged for Doris Day's she contacts Day and offers to pay Day's way on a South American cruise if she just travels in Paige's name. She wants to catch DeFore cheating.

Of course DeFore goes one better. He hires private detective Jack Carson to go on the trip and catch Paige cheating. Of course he latches on to Day.

If you are a fan of Astaire-Rogers films you know exactly where this one is going. Romance on the High Seas has all the ingredients of one of their films except the dance numbers.

It doesn't lack for a good musical score though. Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn came up with a good one where Day sings several songs, including the Academy Award nominated, It's Magic. It's Magic lost that year to Buttons and Bows. It's Magic happens to be a favorite one of mine of Doris Day hits.

Doris firmly establishes her image in this one. She's so radiant and sings so well, I can't believe she was a third choice for this film behind Judy Garland and Betty Hutton.

If you hear violins coming from some unknown source it will be the magic when you're watching Romance on the High Seas.
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8/10
Fun, Fun, Fun.
artzau20 March 2002
This was Doris Day's first film and what a fun one it was. I saw it as a kid in the old Monache Theater and then later on TV. I was surprised how well it had worn and was delighted to hear Doris Day, 23 years old at the making of this film, using the slang of the day, such as "Natch...Natch but def." Carson, Paige and DeFore were great as was the ever-insufferable curmudgeon, Oscar Levant alongside "Cuddles" Sakal, the perennial loveable Jewish uncle. Carson is especially good doing a Calypso number and the story is pure 1940's cotton candy.
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10/10
It's More Than Magic; It's A Miracle
joseph95200127 March 2006
Doris Day hails from our city of Cincinnati, Ohio. A Price Hill girl who was born with the last name of Kappelhoff. Orignially, Doris wanted to be a dancer, and if I'm not mistaken, she studied with Pep Goldwyn here in Cincy. She was dancing with a guy named Jerry Doughtery when they became involved in a car accident and she was told by her doctors that she would never walk again, but they didn't know Doris as well as she knew herself, and she ended up walking again, so seeing her career as a dancer was more or less out the window, she studied singing with Grace Rains at Schuster Martin who also trained Tyrone Power, another Cincy talent, to be an actor, but he wanted to be a dancer also, and they told him, "Tyrone; try acting!" So, he did, and the rest is history! So, Doris ended up singing with a band, and later, it was obvious that Kappelhoff was not the right name for a professional singer although later some sexy lady by the name of Lollibrigida would not fare so bad with an unpronounceable name, but anyway, she was asked what her favorite song was, so the story goes, and she said, "Day by Day" and that's how Doris Kapplehoff became Doris Day. Then later she would do some Hollywood Musical Shorts for the movies, but nothing happened until she was spotted for her singing talent because of her hit record "Sentimental Journey" with Les Brown and His Band of Renown, and then Warner Brothers made the call, and she said, "No!" She wanted nothing to do with Hollywood, but eventually with a little coaxing by Jack Carson telling her that they needed her and the picture was set to go, she finally said yes, but to only one picture, and that was to be that! Well, after "Romance On The High Seas" premiered, that was to be that wasn't that anymore, and, once again, history was made! Was Doris lucky! One of the finest Hollywood directors Hollywood would ever see, the very underrated Michael Curtiz guided her through the picture, and the greatest songs composed for a singers debut in the movies, and of course, the hit song, "It's Magic" became another hit for Doris Day on the record charts, although, I've always preferred "It's You Or No One For Me" to be the better of the two, and "Put It In a Box, Tie It With a Ribbon" coming second in my opinion! Later on in her movie career, her dream of being a dancer would come true in movies such as Tea For Two, but she had to wear shin-splints to be able to dance, and after "Lullabye of Broadway" in which she completely showed her dancing talent, it was decided that dancing in the movies would have to stop for fear of damaging her legs again, and by the way, when she danced in the movies, notice that it was either long dresses or slacks that she wore to dance in, therefore, the shin splints could not be seen!

We're proud of our Doris here in Cincinnati, Ohio, which also boasts Tyrone Power, Vera Ellen, George Chakirus, Dean Millerk, who eventually wound up on the T.V. Series "December Bride" with Spring Byington and Frances Rafferty, and also, some say, Roy Rogers! We got a lot to be proud of here in Cincinnati, Ohio! WE LOVE YA DORIS!
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It's (manufactured) magic
marcslope28 October 2003
It's the sort of script that Hollywood would have called a "merry marital mixup" back when, but with a little more stuff on the curveball than usual: A suspects B and B suspects A of infidelity, so A hires C to impersonate A on a cruise, while B hires private detective D to trail A, but D thinks C is A... There are some good lines, and director Curtiz, as was his wont, keeps things moving. Janis Paige is a hoot in a series of increasingly bizarre hats, and the unusual dullness of the Warners leading men (I mean, Don DeFore?) doesn't hurt that much. Doris even manages to look enraptured opposite the slightly snarky Jack Carson, and sings "It's Magic" three times. Even Carson sings, and not badly, though it's a somewhat xenophobic mock-Trinidad specialty number that's embarrassing by today's standards. Doris, in her film debut, is assured and pleasant, and so is the movie, in a studio-manufactured kind of way.
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8/10
Good Movie
k_d_f_l@yahoo.com30 August 2003
It is hard to believe that this is Doris Day's first film. She was terrific. I have been a fan of hers since junior high, but had never seen this movie until today (8-30-2003). It is all as good as her more popular movies (Pillow Talk, That Touch of Mink, Send Me No Flowers, etc.)
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Doris Day's first film
nickandrew13 July 2003
Day's feature film debut is in this Technicolor musical-comedy. She plays a singer posing as a society girl on a South American Cruise, falling in love with the private detective (Carson) who was hired to follow her. Story is certainly out of style now, but is enjoyable thanks to some funny moments with the cast and Day's singing, most memorably `It's Magic!'
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7/10
My favorite gal
willrams26 September 2002
In 1943 at a Homecoming Dance when I attended my senior year at Kentucky Military Institute at Lyndon, Ky. I had the privilege of dancing to Les Brown & His Band of Renown and Doris Day was the singer. What a great moment that was! I can honestly say from that moment on I have seen 90 per cent of all her movies as well as on TV. I also remember one day in 1972 when I worked in LA that I waved at her driving her car on Hill Street, and she waved back at me. Doris is truly my favorite gal.
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What a debut!
ivan-229 June 2000
Light-hearted, fun, nothing but thrills. The song "It's Magic" is rendered in such a fog-horn voice, it's a miracle. Doris is one of the greatest vocalist ever, male or female. All the magic is in the way she uses her small voice. The plot was also very good, despite its conventionality. They really don't make them like that anymore. The other good song was "Run, run when you see a beautiful woman".
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6/10
Sassy magic...and Jack Carson sings Calypso!
moonspinner5515 October 2007
Doris Day makes her screen-debut as a band singer who gets a free cruise to South America and Jack Carson is the private detective who tails her and naturally falls in love with her spunky charm. Day seems an oddly misplaced tomboy here, wearing fancy dresses and hairdos that look as if they've been dropped down on her from the heavens. Encumbered by the dressy satins and pearls, Doris looks as though she might be more comfortable in an old pair of dungarees, but she makes this insipid plot worth wading through (especially when she sings). The settings are fake-exotic, and it all peters out by the end, but Doris, wonderfully street-smart under her thick pancake make-up, still provides a lot of sparkle. **1/2 from ****
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8/10
Slight and silly, but charming and entertaining
TheLittleSongbird18 July 2017
Being a fan of Doris Day, particularly in 'Calamity Jane', her outings with Gordon McRae and her comedies and who considers Michael Curtiz a talented director with 'Casablanca' and 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' masterpieces, 'Romance on the High Seas' was met with high expectations.

High expectations that were mostly met, even though all have done better. The story is slight and silly with a few to many mix ups. The ending itself is a bit rushed and the build up slightly tedious. Most of the songs are great, but two don't work. "Run, Run, Run" leaves a bad taste in the mouth and "Cuban Rhapsody" feels really out of place.

Doris Day however captivates in her first film role, that was initially intended for Betty Hutton. She has a lot of charm and her singing is as gorgeous as ever. The songs more than do her and her songs, especially "It's Magic", and they are beautifully staged.

Jack Carson is a charming and witty leading man, while Janis Page steals every scene she's in. SZ Sakall is amusingly curmudgeon and avoids being irritating, while Oscar Levant is just about tolerable.

Curtiz, while not in his comfort zone, directs more than admirably. The production values truly enchant, while the script has non-stop fun and wit, making one laugh more than once. The mix ups entertain, and the film goes along at a snappy pace, petering out only at the end.

Overall, has a few faults but mostly a winner. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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8/10
Day's first picture was simply terrific.
MartinHafer3 May 2017
Doris Day was a huge radio and recording star when she appeared in "Romance on the High Seas". However, she was not a movie star...as this is her first film. Some of this shows...particularly her makeup as she is very freckly...which I thought was quite cute but which the studios hid in subsequent movies. She went over very well regardless and Warner Brothers soon signed her to a seven year contract...and she soon became a mega-star in pictures.

The plot is a bit silly. Elvira Kent (Janis Paige) suspects her husband, Michael (Don Defore), is cheating on her. And, he suspects the same thing of her. So they each come up with a plan...she pays Georgia (Doris Day) to pretend to be her and take a cruise while she stays home and secretly keeps an eye on him. And, he hires a detective (Jack Carson) to take the cruise and follow Elvira and prove she's been cheating! But there's a problem...the detective slowly begins to fall in love with the woman who he THINKS is Elvira!

The plot is quite slight...but the picture excellent for many reasons. Carson and Day are simply terrific and Day sings some very lovely tunes. The picture also is quite romantic...and fun and made more so by the presence of some wonderful character actors (S.Z. Sakall, Franklin Pangborn and Oscar Levant). All in all, this is the sort of fun picture Warner Brothers could make best...and you can't help but enjoy it.

By the way, while Defore and Paige receive higher billing, clearly Doris Day was the star or at least co-star of the film. I guess the studio just didn't have much faith in her drawing power...but that wasn't to last!
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8/10
A Vibrant And Fun Film Experience
atlasmb3 May 2017
This film feels like a cornucopia--a real assemblage of small pleasures that add up to plenty of enjoyment.

Filmed in Technicolor, "Romance on the High Seas", tells the simple story of a dysfunctional married couple--Janis Paige as Elvira and Don DeFore as Michael--who look for reasons to distrust one another. Janis pretends to go on a cruise so she can stay stateside and keep an eye on Michael. Doris Day, in her film debut, plays a gum chewing club singer, the woman Elvira gets to take her place on the cruise. Meanwhile, Michael engages a private detective (Jack Carson) to shadow his wife on the voyage. All of the stars play their parts well, with Ms. Day practically jumping off the screen with enthusiasm and presence.

Most of the songs by Styne and Cahn are enjoyable, if not remarkable.

The supporting cast is rife with recognizable character actors. "Cuddles" Sakall, especially--as the uncle of Elvira-- brightens the production.

A special nod goes to the fashions in this film. Milo Anderson is responsible for the wardrobe. Some of the women in this film are real beauties and their ensembles only compliment their assets.

Put all of these elements together and you have an enjoyable film experience.
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6/10
In Doris Day's film debut, she sings "It's Magic"
jacobs-greenwood6 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Co-produced and directed by Michael Curtiz, with a screenplay by Julius & Philip Epstein and additional dialogue from I.A.L. Diamond, this slightly above average musical comedy was Doris Day's first film. In it she sings the Oscar nominated Song "It's Magic", which would become one of her trademarks; Ray Heindorf's Score was also nominated. However, my favorite song in the film is "It's You or No One".

The plot itself is the kind of fluff one used to see regularly on TV episodes of The Love Boat in the late 70's and early 80's, though this one features a single storyline with multiple characters. A busy executive (Don DeFore) is worried about his wife (Janis Paige) straying on a cruise she's taking by herself such that he hires a private detective (Jack Carson) to keep tabs on her. What he doesn't know is that his wife has hired a singer (Ms. Day) to pretend to be her on the cruise such that she can stay home to see if her husband is cheating on her with his secretary (Leslie Brooks).

A recognizable supporting cast that includes Oscar Levant, S. Z. Sakall, Eric Blore, Fortunio Bonanova, Franklin Pangborn, and even Grady Sutton (uncredited) makes this one fun to watch.

Married three years and having yet to take a trip since their honeymoon, Mrs. Elvira Kent (Paige) is determined that the third time will be a charm. She books an extended cruise vacation for her and husband only to be disappointed yet again. Her husband Michael (DeFore), who is the top executive in her Uncle Lazlo's (Sakall) pharmaceutical company, says he can't make it yet again because of something that just came up, a potential merger. Elvira discovers that Michael had just hired a brand new secretary (Brooks) that morning, and suspects the worst regarding what's just come up. Earlier that day, while having her passport picture taken, she'd met a singer at the travel agency who always plans trips, but can't afford to go. So, she has an idea.

Elvira and her uncle go to Georgia Garrett's (Day) place of work with the aforementioned proposition, which she accepts. She tells her cynical piano player Oscar (Levant), who's infatuated with her, only that she's going away on a cruise ship. When Michael realizes he can go on the cruise if Elvira will only wait 4 days, he's surprised that she's unwilling and then suspects the worst. So, he hires detective Peter Virgil (Carson) to tail his wife and see what she's up to on the ship.

Of course, Peter falls for Georgia, who he thinks is his client's wife Elvira ... and the feeling is mutual. Blore plays the ship's sick doctor; Sutton appears as the ship's nosy telegraph operator. Things get more complicated when lonely, and financially dependent Oscar arrives to join the voyage. But that's only the beginning.

Once the ship finally docks in Rio, Michael and Elvira, both in New York, get worried and/or suspicious enough to fly down there themselves. Lazlo, aware that Elvira is on her way, learns that Michael is about to such that he tags along; the men actually arrive first. Bonanova plays the Rio hotel's show director, Pangborn its clerk (naturally).

The ending, which is predictable, takes a little too long to come about, in my opinion. Ms. Day's songs are excellent, and even Carson sings a local flavor one in Trinidad (as does Avon Long).
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6/10
Dated debut of Doris Day for the first time with Cuddles
Dunham1625 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The name stars are Jack Carson, Janis Paige, Don deFore, Oscar Levant and Cuddles Szakall who acts for the first time with debut star Doris Day. There seems something stilted about the place as Doris shines yet seems unpolished. The movie is far from nonsense comedy which at least makes no sense scene by scene ending with something implausible tacked on yet fun along the way. There are just too many mix ups of Doris not really acting a great scene with Cuddles as she usually does as well as not liking Oscar Levant though people think she is running off with him. Don DeFore and Janis Page each think the other is cheating on them and Jack Carson as the detective who thinks he can unravel the plot can't. On the surface Hollywood gold with an award winning song yet too dated and too stilted to make its mark when viewed through the rose colored gasses of limited 1948 editing and photography.
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9/10
Jealousy in love has never been this funny
SimonJack2 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
My summary heading says what "Romance on the High Seas" is about. Jealousy and humor, but also impersonation, romance, some very good songs, and bonus scenics from cruise travel ports. The supporting cast for this comedy-musical-romance is top drawer in the comedy ranks of Hollywood at the time. S.Z. Sakall, Eric Blore and Franklin Pangborn always spell laughter in a film. The leads are all quite good, and Doris Day is a smash hit in her first ever movie and starring role.

Day was never more vivacious than in this film. She has the bounce, energy and enthusiasm that became her trademark throughout her film career. She sure was a great entertainer. She was only 44 years old when she quit making movies after 1968. She did have a very successful half- hour TV show that ran five years through 1973.

The plot for this film is hilarious in itself, and the writing fleshes it out beautifully. Michael Curtiz directs a very good story for film, and Busby Berkeley directs a couple of nice dance numbers. Day has half a dozen very good songs. It's easy to see why she became popular with several hit songs as well as her acting over the years.

But what drives this film is the comedy. The dialog is complemented by some good scenes with humor in the acting antics. One of the funniest drunk scenes in all filmdom occurs in a bar in Trinidad. Peter Virgil (Jack Carson) and Oscar Farrar (Oscar Levant) have both been stood up by their girlfriends (the same person, Doris Day, playing Georgia Garrett and impersonating Elvira Kent). They order doubles of whiskey. Leaning on the bar next to them is a drunk, played by John Berkes. The two shipmates are looking at each other as they talk, and the drunk picks up Oscar's drink, downs it, and moves to Peter's side and does the same thing. The two men pick up their glasses, notice they are empty and order two more. As they continue to talk, looking at each other, the drunk repeats his moves. The next time the men order triples. After a couple more repeats, Peter and Oscar begin to slur their speech, bob a little and notice that they're getting a little tipsy. In reality, they haven't had more than a few drops of liquor. A couple more rounds, and they walk away holding each other up, looking quite drunk. We then see the real drunk start to walk out and slither to the floor. Whoever heard of a placebo drunk? But it worked so well that the two men got on a plane and woke up several hours later. Peter marveled that the Trinidad whiskey didn't leave the usual hangover effects the next day.

Here are some funny lines to whet one's appetite for this hilarious film.

Uncle Lazlo (S.Z. Sakall): "Oh, well, I'm not saying that Michael hasn't looked at another woman. Who hasn't? I have looked at women and the few that looked back, I married. That cured me of looking."

Oscar (Oscar Levant): "I always wanted to marry a gal who could tune a piano on the side. Once and for all, will you marry me? Answer yes or no." Georgia (Doris Day): "No!" Oscar: "We'll continue this discussion later." Waiter: "Hey, Georgia. A couple of income-tax evaders want you to have a drink with them. Table seven."

Elvira Kent (Janis Paige): "Won't you sit down?" Georgia: "Don't be surprised if I do." Elvira: "That's cute." Elvira, later: "Just remember that while its your lips that are being kissed, it's my reputation that will be suffering." Georgia: "Yeah, I'll make a note of that." Elvira: "Good!"

Peter Virgil (Jack Carson): "Look, don't worry. The slogan of my firm is 'Never kiss a client's wife'…" Michael Kent (Don DeFore): "Well, don't change slogans in mid-ocean."

Georgia: "Oh, by the way, Mrs. Kent. I know it's none of my business, but have you got anything on your husband?" Elvira: "I'm afraid his conduct has been impeccable." Georgia: "Oh, caught him with the goods, huh?" Elvira: "No, that means he's been behaving himself." Georgia: "Oh, too bad. Well, maybe he'll do something unimpeccable before I come back."

Ship's doctor (Eric Blore): "Why do I small herring?" Georgia: "I guess there's a school of herring following the ship." Doctor: "No, no, not marinated herring. Oh, I don't feel well. I suppose I'd better be going." Georgia: "Goodnight, doctor." Doctor: "Goodnight. I hope I sleep well."

Oscar: "Incidentally, I picked up your last two paychecks. It was barely enough to pay for my plane ticket down here. Didn't even have enough to boy you a present. I feel like a cad." Georgia: "You crook. You can go jail for that." Oscar: "Marry me and you won't have to testify against me."

Peter: "Can you explain to me why that man was in your cabin kissing you?" Georgia: "No." Peter: "Well?" Georgia: "Well, can you explain why you were watching my cabin?" Peter: "No." Georgia: "Well?" Peter: "Well, maybe…" Georgia: "Maybe what?" Peter: "Well, maybe I'm narrow minded. But I don't like married women who play around with other men." Georgia: "Would you feel different if the other man was you?" Peter: "That's beside the point." Georgia: "It is, is it?" Peter: "Yes, it is. Everything they've ever said about women like you on boats like this with men like me certainly turns out to be true. Or don't you follow me?" Georgia: "I've wanted to, Peter, anywhere, anytime."
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Doris on the high seas
jarrodmcdonald-125 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
It's certainly one of Doris Day's best, and it's remarkable to realize this was her very first feature film. She was just such a natural. Her chemistry with Jack Carson is off the charts, and I think the chemistry between the co-leads, Janis Paige and Don DeFore is just as good. Throw in some of Hollywood's finest and funniest character actors like S.Z. Sakall, Eric Blore and Franklin Pangborn, plus Oscar Levant, and you have one of the best motion pictures of 1948. It certainly helps that Warners filmed it in Technicolor, because the cinematography is vibrant and full of life, especially during the last act which takes place down in colorful Rio de Janeiro.

Originally, the script was written with Betty Hutton in mind (apparently, they were going to borrow her from Paramount, but pregnancy sidelined her and Doris stepped in). So this is probably why Doris' character Georgia Garrett is daffier than most of her later screen characters. But in a way all the characters are presented as loons-- not just the four leads, but the supporting characters as well; even the last-billed guy who has no dialogue and plays a drink-stealing alcoholic much like Red Skelton would. Warners promoted the picture as a romantic comedy with music-- but it's really more of a screwball musical comedy.

The reason this film works is it knows a good laugh comes from sincerely played mix-ups. When Day assumes the identify of Paige's character and then falls in love with a detective played by Carson, who's been hired by DeFore, it leads to an on-going game of "who's on first" that only builds with rib-tickling intensity. Of course, it all gets sorted out in the end. But before it does, Sakall offers a few cuddly "sheesh" sounds, and Pangborn looks on bemused, speaking for the audience when he says Paris has nothing on Rio.
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8/10
Put this in a box, tie this with a ribbon, and keep it fresh and available forever!
mark.waltz20 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
When you've got a song like "Put Em' in a Box, Tie it With a Ribbon, and Throw Him in the Deep Blue Sea" and have it sung by Doris Day, you know you've got a star in the making. Having taken a "Sentimental Journey" already with the big bands, Day was a natural for movies, and to be billed as "Introducing", you know that Warner Brothers had major plans for this big star. Gone off the box office list at Warners were Davis and Crawford and on was this perky blonde whom the Warner Brothers realized about her screen charisma, "It's Magic!".

The story is a silly one; Society queen Janis Paige is so sure that her husband is cheating on her, she hires Doris to take her place on a cruise, not realizing that her own husband has hired a private investigator (Jack Carson) to follow her, believing she too is foolin' around. Everybody ends up on the ship together later on to create more confusion, and Day worms her way into everybody's hearts not only with her plucky personality but by singing those two songs as well as the energetic "I'm in Love, I'm in Love..." Not only does Carson fall for her, so does Paige's cuddly uncle (S.Z. Sakall, in one of three movies he appeared with Doris in). "It's Magic" is also performed in Portugese as part of America's love affair with all things Latin.

The irony of Paige and Day appearing together would follow them over the next decade or so when Day took on Paige's role in the movie version of "The Pajama Game", then got to work with her once again in the amusing "Please Don't Eat the Daisies". The ironic choice for director here is Michael Curtiz, best known for Errol Flynn swashbucklers and serious dramas, not fluffy musicals. It was a success for everybody concerned and lead to a lengthy film career for Ms. Day who dominated the box office for almost 20 years.
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8/10
It's Magic!
nycritic11 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Despite getting third (or fourth, depending on which source you look into) billing, ROMANCE ON THE HIGH SEAS is Doris Day's show from the moment we get the first image of her -- or her back, as she stands pensively in front of the travel agency she is about to enter. Featuring a story that wouldn't have a need to exist had there been a little communication between its catalysts -- Janis Pauge and Don DeFore --, a married couple who even before their marriage is consummated see infidelity in all the wrong places; she from insinuations coming from the none-too-subtle secretary/blond bombshell her husband has hired (Leslie Brooks, in a nice but pat performance), he from the looks Paige gives the other men around her. Paige, from a random situation that stems from the moment she overhears Day's antics in the travel agency where they've crossed paths (Day plays Georgia, a lounge singer who has a thing for imagining elaborate trips to exotic locales she can't afford or as she states, "hasn't been to/didn't go to"), is amused at this, and decided to concoct a plan to send Day into the cruise she is slated to go on, to stay home and see if her husband will in fact, cheat on her. Paige's husband, also suspicious of his wife, sends a detective (Jack Carson) to do surveillance on her, unsuspecting that Day is impersonating Paige (rather badly, but what would he know? We do, and it's a great, breezy delight to see Day and Carson, who from here on remain on screen, play against each other, neither aware of the other's identity. An extremely silly comedy of errors, with cracking lines basically handed on a silver platter to Paige (who churns them out with real verve), also marking Doris Day's first appearance, and she basically saves this kind-of unmemorable feature from an otherwise different fate (of course, keeping in mind that director Michael Curtiz had brought Bette Davis and Joan Crawford into delivering fantastic performances in THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX and MILDRED PIERCE).
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5/10
It's NOT magic
Alex da Silva13 March 2011
Mr (Don Defore) and Mrs Kent (Janis Paige) suspect each other of having affairs so they set traps to catch each other out. The main part of the film is set aboard a cruise ship where Georgia (Doris Day) is pretending to be Mrs Kent (on Mrs Kent's instruction while the real Mrs Kent stays behind to spy on her husband) and detective Peter Virgil (Jack Carson) is hired to watch who he believes to be the real Mrs Kent by Mr Kent, who thinks that his wife is going on the cruise with someone else. Things get confusing for all those involved but everything works out in the end.

There are 9 song breaks with the song "Its Magic" (identical chorus to "That's Amore") repeated 3 times - too much. The 2 songs not sung by Doris Day are terrible, while the other songs span the musical spectrum from bad to sentimental codswallop.

As for the cast, they are fine with the acting honours going to Janis Paige. I thought that she was more interesting to watch than Doris Day. S Z Sakall who plays "Uncle Lazlo" is irritating and just precisely who's uncle is he? Oscar Levant who plays "Oscar" seems to be one of those permanently dislikeable people - a bit like Frank Sinatra - arrogant beyond reason - but I kind of like him in this film!

The story gets a bit frustrating as every mix up that you can imagine gets thrown in which makes it tedious at times, especially at the end. The film is nothing great - it's a colourful time-filler with some interesting fashion to watch, some amusing dialogue, way too many complications and some rubbish songs. It's lightweight fluff.
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