American couple Janet (Doris Day) and Mike (Rod Taylor) move to England for his business. She soon becomes paranoid that he is having an affair with his attractive secretary, and decides to get back at him by pretending she has been unfaithful.
Jane Osgood runs a lobster business, which supports her two young children. Railroad staff inattention ruins her shipment, so with her lawyer George, Jane sues Harry Foster Malone, director of the line and the "meanest man in the world".
The Happy Soap Company is owned and managed by the Fraleigh family. Although he is more of a company figurehead than an active participant in the company's day-to-day business, anything that family patriarch Tom Fraleigh wants for the company he usually gets. What he wants is Beverly Boyer - the wife of his daughter-in-law's obstetrician, Dr. Gerald Boyer - to appear as the company spokesperson when Beverly, who he meets at a small dinner party, mentions a personal and true story about how Happy Soap saved her life. She is to appear in a live commercial spot during a Happy Soap sponsored television show telling her story just as she told Tom. Despite Beverly's performance going poorly in her own mind, Tom loved it and how refreshing and honest Beverly came across to the viewer. So Tom signs her to a one year, $80,000 contract to continue doing the same. This move is questioned by Happy Soap's own managers and its advertising company. But it is questioned even more by Gerald, who ...Written by
Brian Nash, seen here as Day and Garner's head-nodding, mudball lobbing six-year-old son Andy, later played the child of another character originally played by Day: In 1965, Nash was cast as the middle child in NBC's sitcom adaptation of the 1960 Doris Day box officd hit Please Don't Eat the Daisies. Day's role of the fast-thinking mom was played on the series by Pat Crowley. See more »
When Gerald enters the bedroom of the sleeping housekeeper Olivia, he leaves her door wide open when he approaches her bed yet moments later once she awakens her door is closed shut. See more »
The credit for David Webb's Jewels is followed with Cameos by Carl Reiner (a cameo being a form of jewelry, but in this case substituting as Reiner's credit for his series of appearances within the film) See more »
Overture of the light cavalry
written by Franz von Suppé
(briefly played at the end when Dr. Boyer is riding on the horse through the traffic) See more »
Start Grinning Ear to Ear. Start Right Now! Sheer Joy!
If you've seen TTOIA before, even once, even long ago on its first release in 1963, you may not remember ALL the treats you're in for under the tree, but you know it's one of Santa's most memorable Romantic Comedy deliveries in motion picture history.
If you've NEVER seen it, you still can't help grinning, from the opening frames until the brilliant payoff.
"Santa" being, in this case, one of Hollywood's finest collaborative teams at the top of their game. It's a huge team! Carl Reiner (Dick Van Dyke show), Larry Gelbart (M*A*S*H) conceived it. Reiner wrote the screenplay.
Ross Hunter produced it, along with Day's then-husband, Marty Melcher, who got titular co-producer credit and a nice paycheck, but whose actual contributions are questionable at best. It's a Ross Hunter Production all the way. "Hire the best and keep them happy."
Reiner's script is tight as a drum. The continual builds and arcs he and Gelbart constructed are emotionally riveting, revealing of character, increasingly funny and broad (just pushing the edge of believability without ever violating it), with a foolproof "ticking clock" and jaw-dropping tender-yet-hysterical climax sequence unlike any before or since.
Amazing! The production visuals are as brilliantly developed as the script. This is a lavishly complex and technically challenging piece of film-making.
Ross Hunter nailed down the script, brought in Norman Jewison to direct. He cast Doris Day and James Garner as the irresistibly appealing leads. He also cast second leads to perfection: Arlene Francis and Edward Andrews. The supporting players, from Zasu Pitts to the two children – Jewison got stunning work from them too! Jewison's coordination of camera and technical work, color, set design, physical comedy touches, tweaks of his actors' close-ups – flawless.
He hired Jean-Louis to design the most beautiful costumes (LOTS of them!) Miss Day ever graced. The man was a genius and Day never looked lovelier.
But it's the grins that start from the first frames, with Miss Francis' deliriously happy laughter – soon explained – that grow and balloon into remarkable comedy set-pieces (punctuated with razor-sharp satirical on-screen bits featuring Carl Reiner himself) – and gradually explode into eye-popping visual comedy sequences that hark back to silent-film pioneers like Chaplin and Keaton – ending in the must-be-seen-to-be-believed, brilliantly staged and directed and played and edited, final sequence in stalled traffic – that lands TTOIA in the top ten Romantic Comedies of the last 100 years.
As good as all Doris Day's romantic comedies were – and they WERE – TTOIA is as good as this incredibly difficult, deceptively "easy," genre gets.
Watching it is a privilege.
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