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Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? (1968)

PG | | Comedy | 19 June 1968 (USA)
During a blackout, a New York executive crosses paths with a Broadway actress and her husband.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Margaret Garrison
Waldo Zane
Ladislaus Walichek
Peter Garrison
Roberta Lane
Morgan Klein
Tru-Blue Lou
Man with a Razor
Dale Malone ...
Otis J. Hendershot, Jr.
Otis J. Hendershot, Sr.
Harry Hickox ...
Detective Captain Percy Watson
Dr. Dudley Caldwell
Marvin Reinholtz


When the Great Northeast Blackout of 1965 hit, millions of people were left in the dark, including Waldo Zane, a New York executive in the process of stealing a fortune from his company, and two people whose paths he's destined to cross, Broadway actress Margaret Garrison and her husband, Peter. Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The story of 8 million New Yorkers who were lost in the dark... until they found each other. See more »




PG | See all certifications »





Release Date:

19 June 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wo warst Du als das Licht ausging  »

Box Office


$7,988,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Doris Day's character in this film, Maggie Garrison, is an actress constantly being typecast as a virginal heroine (the title of her current Broadway show is The Constant Virgin), and was meant to be a parody of Day's own squeaky-clean screen image. See more »


At the beginning, when the man walks past the subway station, there is a noticeable jump in the film, before the lion emerges from the subway. See more »


Margaret Garrison: [repeated line]
Margaret Garrison: Hello Peter, so you're here!
See more »


Referenced in The Thirst of Christ (2019) See more »


Where Were You When The Lights Went Out?
Words by Kelly Gordon
Music by Dave Grusin
Performed by The Lettermen
[Title song played over the opening titles and credits, with a reprise played over the end credits]
See more »

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User Reviews

Where were Doris Day's senses when she agreed to be in this film?
30 July 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Okay, 'Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?' is not as awful as the review summary implies but it is not a good representation of Doris Day's (nor the rest of the talented cast's) talents. Seriously the amount of talent here is enormous but sadly it is not used well.

Saw 'Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?' as somebody who loves Day and as part of my completest quest seeing the rest of her not yet seen. While there are a couple more to go, 'Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?' to me is definitely one of Day's worst films (apparently even Day herself thought so) in a career that did see some wonderful films and near-classics, 'Calamity Jane' and 'Pillow Talk' are my two favourites of hers. It is really a film only to be seen if like me you like Day and want to see all her films.

While she has given better performances Day is the best thing about the film, even though she spent most of its production in traction following a back injury (what the film is most notable for). There is the sense that she knew that the script was not good and that the film, writing and character she plays were beneath her (also think that she did this against her will, then again that's probably just me), but Day was always an effervescent and conscientious performer who always gave her all regardless of the quality of the material or the genre, and she does show charm and decent comic timing here.

The film is hardly cheap-looking, not lavish but there is a simple elegance. 'Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?' does boast a few very funny moments, though these moments are too far and between.

However, Hy Averback directs unimaginatively and, despite being talented performers, the supporting cast are not worthy of Day and struggle with very poorly written characters and an insipid script with a bad mix of overplaying and blandness. Patrick O'Neal is a vacuous and wooden leading man, sharing very little genuine chemistry with Day. Robert Morse goes through the motions and looks truly uninterested, on the other side of the spectrum Terry-Thomas tries to play it for laughs but this is one painfully hammy performance from him.

Despite a few moments, the script as said is insipid and borderline dumb. Nothing is hilarious here and hardly any of it is sophisticated or insightful. The story is horribly contrived and muddled and also suffers from a turgid pace and a staginess. The ending feels tacked on and doesn't feel right with the rest of the film.

Overall, a disappointment as a Doris Day vehicle and as an overall film. 4/10 Bethany Cox

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