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At one of his many visits to his doctor, hypochondriac George Kimball mistakes a dying man's diagnosis for his own and believes he only has about two more weeks to live. Wanting to take care of his wife Judy, he doesn't tell her and tries to find her a new husband. When he finally does tell her, she quickly finds out he's not dying at all (while he doesn't) and she believes it's just a lame excuse to hide an affair, so she decides to leave him. Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
Another self-opinionated reviewer bites the dust. Having blithely pronounced "Lover Come Back" to be the best of the three Day-Hudson comedies without even having seen this one, I now willingly eat crow and and say I was wrong. "Send Me No Flowers" is the best. "It's a honey!"
This is a wonderful suburban world of lawns and yards, bridge games and country clubs, commuter trains and divorce rumours. George Kimball (Rock) is a malade imaginaire, and Judy (Doris)is ... well, blonde. Tony Randall is at his considerable best as the nerdy neighbour Arnold who gets entangled in the Kimballs' misunderstandings, with delicious comic consequences. Paul Lynde turns in a marvellous cameo as Mister Akins of the funeral parlour, and the annoyingly perfect Bert Power is played with breezy confidence by Clint Walker, TV's Cheyenne (the incidental music gives him a witty little cowboy theme).
"My hypochondria has finally paid off," announces George after hearing (and misconstruing) his doctor's talk of impending mortality. Arnold prepares a eulogy which mentions George's 'unfailing good humour', a phrase which could stand as the movie's subtitle. Hudson is masterly as the doom-laden George, showing how assured he can be when the material is strong. This well-crafted script is derived from a Broadway play, and its quality shines through. Doris wears a very prominent wig and, in true Doris style, keeps her bra on under her negligee.
Made in 1962 when television had clearly won the battle against the cinema, the film uses TV's ascendancy in a very knowing way in the opening gag.
Verdict - Near-faultless domestic comedy with great work by Hudson, Day, Randall and Lynde.
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