Lover Come Back (1961 film)
Lover Come Back is a 1961 Eastmancolor romantic comedy released by Universal Pictures and directed by Delbert Mann. The film stars Doris Day and Rock Hudson in their second film together. The supporting cast includes Tony Randall, Edie Adams, Ann B. Davis, and Donna Douglas.
|Lover Come Back|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Delbert Mann|
|Produced by||Robert Arthur|
|Written by||Stanley Shapiro|
|Music by||Frank De Vol|
|Cinematography||Arthur E. Arling|
|Edited by||Marjorie Fowler|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$8,500,000 (US/ Canada)|
The story is similar to Pillow Talk in that it includes mistaken identity as a key plot device. Although not as well known as Pillow Talk, the script by Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning earned an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay.
In a New York advertising agency, Jerry Webster, a Madison Avenue ad executive, has achieved success not through hard work or intelligence but by wining and dining his clients, even setting them up on dates with attractive girls.
Jerry's equal and sworn enemy at a rival agency is Carol Templeton. Although she has never met him, Carol is disgusted by Jerry's unethical tactics and reports him to the Ad Council. Jerry avoids trouble with his usual aplomb, sending a comely chorus girl, Rebel Davis, to seduce the council members.
Jerry then promises Rebel a spot in commercials, so he shoots some featuring her for “VIP”, a nonexistent product. He has no intention that they will be shown, but the perplexed company president, Pete Ramsey, orders them broadcast on TV.
Due to this mistake, Jerry needs to come up with a product quickly. He bribes a chemist, Dr. Linus Tyler, to come up with some sort of product called VIP that could be marketed. When Carol mistakes Jerry for Tyler, the inventor, he pretends to be Tyler, so that in her attempt to steal the account from Jerry, she is actually wining, dining, golfing, and frolicking at the beach with him as Tyler.
Finally Carol learns the truth. Appalled, she once more reports him to the Ad Council, this time for promoting a product that does not exist. Jerry, however, arrives at the hearing with VIP, a mint-flavored candy Dr. Tyler has just created. He provides lots of free samples to everyone there, including Carol.
VIP turns out to be an intoxicating candy, each one having the same effect as a triple martini. Its extreme effects lead to a one-night stand between Carol (who has a low tolerance for alcohol) and her bitter rival, Jerry, complete with a marriage license.
Carol has the marriage annulled, but Jerry convinces the liquor industry to give Carol's firm 25% of its $60 million ($500 million today) annual advertising expenditures in return for pulling VIP off the market and burning the formula. Jerry leaves New York to work in his company's California branch—only to be called back nine months later to remarry Carol in a hospital maternity ward, just before she gives birth to their child.
- Rock Hudson as Jerry Webster
- Doris Day as Carol Templeton
- Tony Randall as Peter 'Pete' Ramsey
- Edie Adams as Rebel Davis
- Jack Oakie as J. Paxton Miller
- Jack Kruschen as Doctor Linus Tyler
- Ann B. Davis as Millie, Carol's Secretary
- Joe Flynn as Hadley
- Howard St. John as Mr. John Brackett
- Karen Norris as Kelly, Jerry's Secretary
- Jack Albertson as Fred
- Charles Watts as Charlie
- Donna Douglas as Deborah, Peter's Secretary
- JoAnne Ludden-Paige as Jerry Webster’s girlfriend in convertible car
- Jack Oakie's final film
- The original ending had Carol and Jerry getting drunk on VIP and checking into a hotel. Doris Day insisted the concluding events be rewritten, having Carol and Jerry get married in their drunken state before going to bed.
The film received positive reviews from critics. Bosley Crowther of The New York Times called the film "one of the brightest, most delightful satiric comedies since 'It Happened One Night.'" Variety declared, "This is a funny, most-of-the-time engaging, smartly produced show." Harrison's Reports gave the film a rating of "GOOD", adding: "It's lots of fun most of the time even though the theme of boy fights girl, boy falls in love with girl and vice versa has been done quite often and in similar detail before." Philip K. Scheuer of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "we can testify to the frequent hilarity with which everybody concerned has infused this familiar farcical mixup, double-entendres and all." Brendan Gill of The New Yorker called the film "extremely funny and therefore not to be missed," and Richard L. Coe of The Washington Post deemed it "funny and worldly from start to finish ... Blond Doris has never been more attractive or spirited and Hudson has become an adept farceur." The Monthly Film Bulletin offered a less enthusiastic review, writing: "Alas, the aquarium scene is the film's high-water mark. After it, the sex comedy is transformed into slushy romance ... Occasionally Tony Randall's satirical zaniness salvages a laugh, but Rock Hudson and a subdued Doris Day, who do well enough with the wisecracks earlier, put little life into the love scenes when these usurp the narrative."
- Best Original Screenplay Academy Award (Stanley Shapiro, Paul Henning) – nominated
- Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe (Tony Randall) – nominated
- Best Comedy Picture, Laurel Awards – winner
- Best Comedy Actress, Laurel Awards (Doris Day) – winner
- Best Comedy Actor, Laurel Awards (Rock Hudson) – nominated
- Best Comedy Actor, Laurel Awards (Tony Randall) – nominated
- Best Comedy Actress, Laurel Awards (Edie Adams) – nominated
- "This Week's Movie Openings". Los Angeles Times: Calendar, p. 6. December 17, 1961.
- "All-time top film grossers", Variety 8 January 1964 p 37. Please note this figure is rentals accruing to film distributors not total money earned at the box office..
- Crowther, Bosley (February 9, 1962). "Screen: 'Lover Come Back' Opens at Music Hall". The New York Times: 21.
- "Lover Come Back". Variety: 6. December 13, 1961.
- "'Lover Come Back' with Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Tony Randall". Harrison's Reports: 191. December 2, 1961.
- Scheuer, Philip K. (December 25, 1961). "Lover Come Back' Brisk, Gay Farce". Los Angeles Times: Part IV, p. 13.
- Gill, Brendan (February 24, 1962). "The Current Cinema". The New Yorker: 110.
- Coe, Richard L. (February 16, 1962). "A Lovely Spoof Of the Ad Man". The Washington Post: D10.
- "Lover Come Back". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 29 (337): 20. February 1962.