Do Not Disturb offers glorious 60’s Technicolor by director Ralph Levy and is based on the play by William Fairchild. The film follows married couple Doris Day and Rod Taylor as they try and work out their marriage problems while remaining completely in love.
Mike and Janet Harper move to England for Mike’s textile business. While trying to settle in the country Janet rents them a house in Kent, a 30 mile commute for city boy Mike. Creating tension between the couple and with other welcomed distractions in the shape of a new assistant and charismatic antiques dealer, the couple battle it out in a comical tale of misunderstanding and love.
Widely criticised as not being one of Doris Day’s better films, it is the second film where she stars opposite Rod Taylor and their chemistry on screen is an enjoyable watch. This doesn’t have the lasting memory of Calamity Jane but Day does sing the title song to the film and this instantly makes your heart warm to it.
Day lights the screen no matter when she appears with her almost platinum blonde bee hive and her fabulous outfits, outfits where the lining of her coats matches every single dress she wears. Little details like this are somewhat forgotten in more modern films. She is bewitching in her performance as you see Mike’s colleagues and business partner’s fall under her spell. However, she always maintains a cheeky little smile that makes Mike want to kiss her even they’re fighting.
Rod Taylor is charming and suave and, despite starting his career in more supporting roles, he was always lead man material. Mostly known in his career for The Time Machine, Rod puts in a dashing performance as Mike Harper. He also has that old school Hollywood quality where the leading men were everymen in their appearance, as though one minute they would be wearing a tux on set but then another working back home in a factory. He looks like a man who could be your husband and was no doubt a few women’s fantasy back in the 60’s. He is a good partner for Day in the film and their arguing scenes almost feel real, as does the laughter and tenderness they show toward each other.
This film has a sweet innocence, a tenderness that is captured by its two stars combined together with a little tongue in cheek humour so popular within this era of film. The humour makes it even more watchable as the acting may stick out like a sore thumb against more intense performances that cinema goers are used to, but that only makes it more intriguing and a joy to watch. This isn’t a film for the serious, this is a film that allows you to escape to an era where everything was fun and laughing at yourself wasn’t a bad thing.
Best scene: The dancing at the party in Paris.
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