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BALDWIN: Keepin’ it clean with Doris Day

Greetings my sanitizing cinephiles of Winchester!

The last month has been an emotional roller coaster for some as we deal with the daily updates and social changes because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The changes can be a lot to absorb. Self-quarantines, social distancing, unemployment and temporary restrictions on our movements can even make the healthy feel a bit sick.

The brick and mortar movie theaters are closed until further notice, and many institutions have a limited workforce on hand. All of us now live in world of constant sanitization and housekeeping. Adopting a disciplined deep cleaning mindset is new for some, while our neighbors who were birthed as clean freaks go about their days living in environmental hygiene normalcy.

In honor of keeping it clean, today, we will focus on the Queen of Clean, Cincinnati’s own Doris Day, as we look at some of singer/actress’ films for you to enjoy commemorating her birthday.

“Calamity Jane” (1953) is a comedic musical romance tale of the female western legend, her Deadwood City saloon and her love with Wild Bill Hickok, played by Howard “Annie Get Your Gun” Keel.

“Young at Heart” (1954) is the romance drama of three sisters of a New England musical family. The youngest, Laurie, played by Day, falls into a love triangle with a charming composer portrayed by Gig “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They” Young and a cynical musical arranger portrayed by Frank “Ocean’s 11” Sinatra.

Sticking with musicals, “The Pajama Game” (1957) is the romantic comedy about a Midwest pajama factory worker who falls in love with her new superintendent and the tensions stirred after her termination because of her bold stance at helping coworkers in their fight for a pay raise.

Day was lucky enough to have natural talent and blonde hair as she was cast in Alfred Hitchcock’s drama thriller “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (1956), co-starring James “Rear Window” Stewart in this yarn about an American couple that takes matters into their own hands against international assassins who are planning to execute a Prime Minister after they kidnap their son.

One of my favorites, “Teacher’s Pet (1958), is the romance comedy about a hard-nosed newspaper reporter portrayed by Clark “Gone with the Wind” Gable who poses as a night school student who falls for a smart journalism teacher, played by Day, who cannot stand him or what he stands for.

Touching on the notions of opposites attract or love growing on you, “Pillow Talk” (1959) is the romcom about Brad, portrayed by Rock “The Undefeated” Hudson, who is despised by Jan, portrayed by Day, and his attempts at wooing her by disguising his voice over their shared party line.

If you love musicals or old films and are new to Doris Day’s body of work, the mentioned titles are just a few for you to get started.

In our current time of doom and gloom media, ultra-sex-themed film and TV, Day’s approachability with her ultimate girl-next-door persona is a refreshing step back in time.

Many of us have some free time now because of limited movement, and you should take this time to rediscover some classic films and talents of yesteryear.

There are a plethora of films for the true cinephile to enjoy during these confusing times.

Take solace in your faith, family and film.

Have a positive, clean film-tastic Doris day! 

Rick Baldwin is a writer, filmmaker and film/music historian. He is president of the Winchester-Clark County Film Society. Find more from Rick on Facebook. He is on Twitter @rickbaldwin79  and can be reached by email at rickbaldwiniii@hotmail.com.