Doris Day is a Hollywood actress who began her career as a band singer before venturing into acting – in 1948, she auditioned, got the lead role, and debuted in a Warner Bros. musical romantic comedy movie, ‘Romance on the High Seas’, having signed the contract with the franchise she collaborated with Warner Bros. in many other musical romantic comedies. Her contract with Warner Bros. ended in 1954. The end of her contract with Warner Bros. wasn’t actually the end of her acting career as she went ahead to campaign for more dramatic roles in romantic comedy films and rose gradually taking Hollywood by storm between 1959 and 1965. These movies gained so much acclaim and awards that she held critics, fans, and viewers spellbound for almost a decade. It, therefore, came as a rude shock to everyone when Doris Day movies fell off the chart in the later parts of 1965 after ranking number one on the Box Office for almost four years and being among the first ten on the list for a couple of years.
In her two decades of fame (1948 – 1968) Doris Day appeared in a total of thirty-nine movies. Let’s take a look at some of Doris Day movies ranked from the best-received movies by critics and the public to the worst received ones.
Doris Day Movies Ranked From Best To Worst
Doris Day- Pillow Talk
Pillow Talk is a 1959 Eastmancolor romantic comedy film. It was written by Russell Rouse, Maurice Richlin, Stanley Shapiro, and Clarence Greene, Produced by Ross Hunter and Martin Melcher, and directed by Michael Gordon. The movie is one Day’s Best if not the Best. Doris played the role of Jan Morrow and was nominated for several awards including an Academy Award for Best Actress.
The movie won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, Best Music, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture and saw Day nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
The movie grossed $18,750,000 for domestic views and $7.6 million for rentals in the box office and on July 14, 1980, it was reported that Pillow Talk was the “biggest hit of 1959”.
Move Over Darling
Move Over Darling is a DeLuxe Color comedy film written by Bella Spewack, Sam Spewack, Leo McCarey, Hal Kanter, and Jack Sher, directed by Michael Gordon and distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation. It is another of Doris Day’s Best ranked movies. She portrayed Ellen Wagstaff Arden and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress – Musical/Comedy.
The movie was released in 1963, it grossed approximately $13 million at the box office and earned $6 million in US theatrical rentals. Move Over Darling was also chosen as the 1964 Royal Film Performance.
Calamity Jane is an American Technicolor western musical film based loosely on the life of the Wild West heroine Calamity Jane played by Doris Day. It tells the story of an alleged romance between Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok in the American Old West.
The movie grossed $2.5 million (U.S.) in the box office and was nominated for Scoring of a Musical Picture and Best Sound, Recording (William A. Mueller). It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song (“Secret Love ” by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster). The musical movie was also recognized by the American Film Institute for been nominated for AFI’s 100 Years…100 Passions (2002), AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes & Villains (2003) (Calamity Jane – Hero), AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs (2004) (Secret Love ), AFI’s Greatest Movie Musicals (2006).
Lover Come Back
Lover Come Back is another Eastmancolor romantic comedy written by Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning, directed by Delbert Mann and distributed by Universal Pictures. Day appeared as Carol Templeton in the movie and won the Laurel Award for Best Female comedy performance.
The 1961 movie got nominated for Best Original Screenplay Academy Award, Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe, Best Comedy Actor, won the Best Comedy Picture Awards, and grossed $8.5 million. It no doubt stands out as one of the best Doris Day movies you must see.
Doris Day – That Touch of Mink
That Touch of Mink is another one of Doris Day’s best movies. Released in 1962 the Eastmancolor comedy romance film grossed $17,648,927 at the box office, earned $8.5 million in US theatrical rentals, got several positive critics, Won several awards including the Golden Globe for Best Comedy Picture, the Golden Laurel for Top Comedy, Top Female Comedy Performance, Top Male Comedy Performance, Top Male Supporting Performance, Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Comedy, etc
In fact, the movie got a critic score of 78% from Rotten Tomatoes and an audience score of 70%
Love Me or Leave Me
Love Me or Leave Me is a biographical romantic musical drama film that tells the life story of Ruth Etting played by Doris. It was written by Daniel Fuchs and Isobel Lennart, directed by Charles Vidor, and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Love Me or Leave Me won the Academy Award for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story, and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture, Best Music, Song, and Best Writing, Screenplay. It grossed $5.6 million at the box office and was the eighth-ranked movie in 1955.
The Man Who Knew Too Much
The Man Who Knew Too Much is an American suspense thriller film written by Charles Bennett and D. B. Wyndham-Lew, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film is popular for producing the original song Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)”, sung by Doris Day for which it won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The movie made $11.3 million at the box office far above its budget of $1.2 million.
Send Me No Flowers
Send Me No Flowers is an American Technicolor comedy film based on a 1960 play of the same name by Norman Barasch and Carroll Moore, directed by Norman Jewison and distributed by Universal Studios It garnered $9,129,247 at the box office but the critical review was a mixed one; while Variety felt it didn’t carry the same voltage, either in comedy or originality, like previous Doris Day movies with Rock Hudson, Channel 4 thought it was fairly predictable and had an unsurprising happy ending.
Doris Day – Tea for Two
Tea for two is an American Musical film written by Harry Clork, directed by David Butler, and distributed by Warner Bros. Released September 2, 1950, the movie tells the story of Nanette Carter played by Doris Day, who had show business aspirations ad was willing to invest a huge amount of money in a Broadway show should her producer boyfriend agree to casts her in the starring role.
The movie won the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year–Actor (Gene Nelson) aad garnered $3,652,000 (domestic) and $2.4 million (rentals) in the box office exceeding its budget of $1,103,000.
The West Point Story
The West Point Story (a.k.a Fine and Dandy) is a 1950 musical comedy film written by Irving Wallace, Charles Hoffman, and John Monks Jr., directed by Roy Del Ruth, and distributed by Warner Bros with Day starring as Jan Wilson. The movie received two award nominations – an Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture, and a Writers Guild of America award for Best Written American Musical. It grossed $2,890,000 (domestically) and $1.8 million (rentals) in the box office.
Please Don’t Eat the Daisies
Please Don’t Eat the Daisies is a 1960 Metrocolor comedy film released on March 31, 1960. It is based on the 1957 essays ‘Please Don’t Eat The Daisies’ by Jean Kerr. The film was directed by Charles Walters and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It tells the story of Professor Lawrence Mackay played by David Niven and his wife Kate played by Doris Day who struggles with their four young sons in a tiny two-bedroom apartment in New York City.
The movie was well-received, it had a budget of $1,775,00 and made $7,050,000 at the box office.
Lucky Me is an American musical comedy film directed by Jack Donohue, produced by Henry Blanke and distributed by Warner Bros. It was released in 1954 with Doris portraying Candy Williams – a member of a struggling Vaudeville troupe which gets stranded in Miami after creditors took all their money after the troupe’s leader tries scamming a restaurant out of dinner.
The movie was not well-received by critics and the public upon its release and Day in her autobiography, ‘Her Own Story’, wrote “…I knew by now that no amount of talent can overcome an inferior script, especially if it is a comedy.” referring to the script for the film. Thus, in any list of the worst Doris Day Movies, Lucky Me is a popular mention.
Doris Day – Do Not Disturb
Do Not Disturb is a DeLuxe Color CinemaScope romantic comedy film based on the play released in 965, directed by Ralph Levy, and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The movie was not one of Doris’ best shots, in fact, it was after the failure of this movie that her career began to go down. Fox records reported that the film had to earn $7,300,000 in rentals to break even.
The DeLuxe Color comedy-thriller which was released in 1967, was written by Jay Jayson and Frank Tashlin, directed by Frank Tashlin, and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The movie is yet another of the few poorly raked Doris Day movies. It came under heavy criticism for several reasons which include flimsy construction and poor presentation. It did not get nominated for any award and accrued $4,075,000 at the box office.