The Thrill of It All (1963) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 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 believes Beverly's place is in the home taking care of the house and their two adolescent children. As Beverly continues to do the commercials, her fame rises and her professional commitments increase which add another level of strain to their marriage. Only a natural act by Mrs. Fraleigh Jr. may be able to save the Boyer's marriage.

  • At a dinner party, Beverly Boyer, wife of an obstetrician and mother of two, tells the manufacturer of Happy soap about her experience with his product. Charmed by her spontaneity, he offers her a chance to tell her story in his commercials. After some hesitation, Beverly accepts and quickly changes from a housewife into a famous television personality, greatly irritating her husband Gerald.

  • A housewife's sudden rise to fame as a soap spokesperson leads to chaos in her home life.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Doris Day insisted on the considerable talents of relatively unknown director Norman Jewison and drama and action movie lead man James Garner for this physical comedy which features relatively late motion picture appearances by star character performers ZaZu Pitts and Arlene Francis. An overworked obstetrician seems out of his wits once his wife ceases being a stay at home to work the time consuming world of commercial advertising. Arlene Francis plays the doctor's late in life pregnant patient who accidentally introduces Doris to her father-in-law, who insists she become the spokeswoman for his line of soaps.The talented James Garner, in a rare comic appearance, seems able to steal the show from Doris at every turn with exquisite timing, extraordinary onscreen chemistry with Doris and hitherto untapped talent for slapstick. comedy . The confusion causes their first maid, ZaZu. Pitts to wrongly assume the doctor has unnatural designs on her when his wife is out working late hours.Their two toddlers, left largely to fend for themselves while mommy and daddy play narcissists, are featured at play in some of the cutest lines throughout the film. ZaZu is replaced by an hilarious second maid who speaks no English, cannot take vital blurted phone messages and ends up escorting the family through acres of soapsuds with daddy's open convertible fallen to the bottom of their swimming pool. Once a psychiatrist convinces Garner to turn the tables on Doris, he gets his secretary at the hospital to pretend to be his mistress to make Doris jealous. Everything is sorted out when Doris ends up at a party given for Arlene Francis. Arlene announces that her baby is due. There seems no way for her to get to the hospital on time. Garner arrives on horseback to deliver the baby with Doris' help. The couple realizes they have plenty of things to keep them together raising their own children , who ask for a little brother or sister at the final credits.

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