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  • Of the three Rock Hudson-Doris Day films my absolute favorite is Lover Come Back. It's not only a good sex comedy for Doris and Rock, but it's also a very funny satire on the advertising business of Madison Avenue.

    In Pillow Talk Doris was an interior decorator and Rock a songwriter. They haven't changed their characters at all, but now are both in the advertising business.

    Through an incredible combination of circumstances I couldn't possibly write Rock has created commercials for a product that doesn't exist and the doofus son of the agency he works for, Tony Randall, has ordered them given full blown airing. With Doris nipping at his heels for unethical practices, Rock and Tony hire a nutty scientist played by Jack Kruschen to come up with some kind of product for the commercials.

    In the meantime Doris mistakes Rock for the scientist and now we're back to the plot of Pillow Talk as Rock decides to make some time with Doris. It gets pretty wild and wacky, especially after Kruschen invents something that has some very unforeseen consequences.

    All the cast members do just fine in this very bright comedy that has me splitting a gut with laughter every time I see it. In addition to the cast members mentioned, I should also single out Edie Adams as the southern model who Hudson makes the commercials with.

    Also to be singled out in what turned out to be his farewell screen performance is Jack Oakie who plays the southern client who Rock steals from Doris and gets all the wacky nonsense started.

    Even given the changing mores, Lover Come Back holds up quite well and today's audience will love it as I do.
  • Some may consider the Rock Hudson / Doris Day comedies of the 50's and 60's to be dated, corny, and sexist to boot but I find them still to be clever and sparklingly funny, and, viewed today, wonderfully innocent. The comic chemistry between Doris Day and Rock Hudson was unique and ranks with other classic pairings such as Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. This movie will always have a nostalgic place in my memory, as it was the first 'adult' comedy I saw. I was fifteen and saw it in Radio City Music Hall with my church youth fellowship group on a trip to New York. My, how risque it seemed! Of note is Jack Oakie's delightful bit as the southern colonel in what turned out to be his last feature film ("Just a tay-uch!")
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The second of the three Doris Day - Rock Hudson - Tony Randall romps, LOVER COME BACK actually is a slightly sharper film than it's closer rival PILLOW TALK, with SEND ME NO FLOWERS a bit behind them. The reason for this positioning is that PILLOW TALK did not really spoof anything (Randall is producing a show and needs music composed by Hudson; until the end when Hudson decides to allow Day to decorate his apartment - with horrendous results - Day's interior decorating career really was just a mild peg in the screenplay). SEND ME NO FLOWERS comes closest to satire in the business with Paul Lynde's friendly, helpful cemetery plot salesman. Most of the rest deals with hypochondria and the world of the suburbs. Only in LOVER COME BACK does the center of the script involve itself in the profession of the three leads: Madison Avenue Advertising Agencies.

    Hudson is the right hand man (one might say the central brain) for an ad agency that is owned (by inheritance, not character or brains) by Randall. Hudson has a formula for getting accounts - find the client's weakness, and play to it, pushing booze and girls at the same time. We see him steal the account of Jack Oakie (his final performance on film, but a nice one) as a Virginian who is still a loyal Confederate, and likes his booze ("jest a tetch" is a mantra of his, with Hudson or anyone else filling up the glass), and likes his fair ladies as well. Unfortunately for Hudson, Day had been scheduled to give a presentation to Oakie, and is really angry by the way Hudson stole the account. She starts asking questions, and finds the chief one of the chorus girls that Oakie was set up with (Edie Adams). When Hudson learns Adams plans to talk he tries to talk his way out by saying he was planning to make Adams the new "girl" for a new product. "Well, what is the product?", Adams asks. Hudson looks at a newspaper headline referring to V.I.P.s and says it is called "Vip". Adams does not testify against Hudson because he has a number of specious and vague, but sexy commercials shot with Adams selling "Vip".

    All this might have still remained under wraps, but Randall, in his first attempt to show he can make decisions rather than Hudson, tells his assistant (Joe Flynn) to release the commercials and saturate the television airwaves with them. Only later does a horrified Hudson tell him that there is no product called Vip.

    Day learns of "Vip" from Adams. She starts more of an investigation, and discovers that nobody is quite sure what VIP is. Her boss, Howard St. John, is dubious of any result. Her own job on the line she decides to investigate on her own. Hudson has decided to use an eccentric Nobel Chemistry Laureate (Jack Kruschen - in a fun performance) to concoct a product called Vip. At one point Day shows up at Kruschen's house, and sees Hudson wearing an apron. She jumps to the conclusion he is Kruschen, and starts trying to prevent him from signing with Hudson's agency. Hudson decides to take full advantage of this situation: it preoccupies Day in her snooping, and she is more attractive than he imagined.

    The plot then follows that of PILLOW TALK with Day not realizing she is dating the man she loathes, not the imagined great man of science with a fragile psyche. Hudson plays it to the hilt (his comic abilities were first brought out by Day in their films, and it possibly enabled his career as a star to last really as long as it did). As for Randall, his desire to show he is worthy of his father "the Commodore" (a forbidding portrait of Randall in yachting costume is above the desk the son sits at) is confronted by his total lack of understanding his business, of making decisions, or taking responsibility. He keeps hoping either Hudson or Flynn will fall on their sword (symbolically will do, but he is open for actual suicide) to save his firm from being wrecked. His only apparent close relationship is with his therapist Dr. Melnick (Richard Deacon - in a sadly wasted single scene with Randall at the end), and even Randall mentions that Deacon has said he finds him boring.

    So what does the great Kruchen concoct out of chemicals and smoke (multi-colored, as Randall finds to his cost)? Put it this way: It is very possible that that great Vice President of the U.S., Thomas Marshall, would have fully appreciated the perfect companion invented by Kruschen for Marshall's really good five cent cigar!
  • In New York, Madison Avenue is the center of advertising world and like in a beehive, divided in workers and drones. Carol Templeton (Doris Day) is a professional that has just arrived from Omaha, Nebraska, to work in the Bracket, McGalpin & Gaines Advertising expecting to be a winner through hard work. The unethical Jerry Webster (Rock Hudson) works in the Ramsey & Son and entertains his clients with sexy women, bribe and booze to ensure contracts for his agency.

    When the Southern J. Paxton Miller (Jack Oakie) comes to New York to close the contract of the Cera Miller account, Carol prepares a presentation to the old man. However, Jerry wins the account bringing Miller to a nightclub with strippers, booze and a party later in his penthouse with the strippers led by Rebel Davis (Edie Adams).

    Carol is upset and goes to the advertising council to throw Jerry out of the advertising business. However, Jerry lures Rebel, who is going to testify against him, offering the position of VIP girl in TV commercials for the new product VIP. Then he asks the team to not broadcast but only file the footages since VIP that does not exist. However, the insecure Peter 'Pete' Ramsey (Tony Randall), who has inherited the Ramsey & Son, orders a massive advertising campaign broadcasting the commercials to show himself off to his employees. In order to save his job and the agency, Jerry hires Doctor Linus Tyler (Jack Kruschen), who is a lonely man, to develop VIP.

    Meanwhile, Carol decides to take the VIP account for her agency and she visits Dr. Tyler. However, she meets Jerry instead and believes that he is the famous scientist awarded with the Nobel Prize. Now Carol wants to convince Dr. Tyler to come to her agency and the cynical Jerry uses the situation to seduce Carol.

    "Lover Come Back" is really a delightful and witty romantic comedy, with a funny story and a great screenplay that was awarded with the 1962 Oscar. Tony Randall is hilarious and his insecure character is among the funniest I have ever seen. Rock Hudson and Doris Day are excellent, showing magnificent chemistry. The two guys that stumble with Jerry Webster everywhere are also very funny. My only remark is to the disappointing rushed ending that gives the sensation that something is missing and makes Carol Templeton a stereotype of the women in the 50's and 60's. My vote is eight.

    Title (Brazil): "Volta Meu Amor" ("Come Back My Love")
  • LOVER, COME BACK is a stylish and sophisticated sex comedy that reunited Doris Day, Rock Hudson, and Tony Randall in this story of rival advertising executives (Day, Hudson) who, though they've never met, can't stand each other and are always competing for the same clients which once again sets up a clever mistaken identity scenario that allows Rock to pretend to be someone else in order to woo an unsuspecting Doris. This is Doris and Rock's best film, IMO...a sparkling romantic comedy with a strong screenplay and once again, Doris again exemplifies the 60's working of the few actresses during this time in Hollywood consistently playing working women competing in a man's world. Doris and Rock get strong support from Randall, Jack Kruschen, Ann B. Davis, and especially Edie Adams. Doris' "virginity" never had more sex appeal than it did here.
  • edwagreen2 March 2007
    Both Rock and Doris are caught up in the VIP madness. Trouble is that no one knows what VIP actually is. You see that Rock made it all up to get Edie Adams off his back. Unfortunately, his "crazy" boss, Tony Randall, doesn't know this and as a result the hilarity begins.

    Rock Hudson excelled in comedy roles when he would be imitating others so as to fool Doris Day. Remember Rex Stetson in another Rock and Doris film? As Jerry Webster, the advertising Casanova in this film, Rock gave a totally memorable performance. Doris plays Carol Templeton, a devoted advertising executive who can no longer stand losing accounts to Jerry, since he knows how to wine, dine and bed prospective clients.

    The dialogue is crisp and riotous at best. Edie Adams as Rebel will make you laugh out loud with a darling southern accent. Jack Kruschen has his moments as the embittered chemist who can be bought. Interesting to note that both Adams and Kruschen appeared together the year before in "The Apartment." As is the case with this film as well, they weren't in any scenes together.

    A romp in every sense of the word.
  • and with a lavender floor joke!... among an avalanche of gay jokes, a marijuana joke, and plenty of virgin cracking gags. ...LOVER COME BACK is - in widescreen - an hilarious all star advertising comedy with a gorgeous Doris Day (in a million spectacular outfits) and a very he-man Hudson poking fun at his image. If you have seen the 1957 sex farce WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER also with Tony Randall and also spoofing the advertising industry, this sparkling 1961 comedy is a worthy chaser.. as well as fleshing out the PILLOW TALK imagery and settings. I found this film to be really funny, and in superb colour art direction and photography that just made it a treat to watch. it does not matter that it is dated by our clever new standards, or that Hudson really did turn out to be gay, because this film is already having fun with itself... and recalls how witty and delightful these pix were designed to be. The recent DOWN WITH LOVE attempt with Ewan Macgregor and Renee Zellweger miscast completely only shows how these 60s pix got it right the first time and should be left alone and not 'spoofed' as they already were satires and ideal as they prove in this DVD. Randall as usual is hilarious.
  • In New York's Fifth Avenue 'hive' of advertising agencies, the executives are either 'workers' or 'drones'. The former are industrious and diligent (and female), and the latter (the men) get by on wining and dining their clients. Carol Templeton is very much a worker, and she resents losing an account to Jerry Webster, the drone of all drones. One of Jerry's schemes (should that be 'scams'?) is the invention of "Vip", a non-existent commodity. He markets the new product so successfully that Vip becomes an overnight sensation. Throw in a severe case of mistaken identity, a nutty professor and a bungled seduction, and you have all the ingredients for a pleasant and well-constructed romantic comedy.

    This was the second of the three Day-Hudson movies, and probably the best. Tony Randall is consistently funny as Peter Ramsey, the ineffectual company boss. Day does the humour very well, even if the main part of her duties is to pull a series of exasperated faces. There's a good split-screen graphic and a funny moose joke. Rock's woollen suit is amusing, and I liked the witty conclusion to the aquarium scene. Just one thought - why is Doris's hair so resiliently bouffant immediately after she steps out of the sea?

    Everybody knows now that Rock Hudson was gay, but it goes without saying that this was far from universally acknowledged back in 1961. Is it my imagination, or does the film contain a vein of subtle "Rock-is-one-of-those" drollery? He makes a tongue in cheek speech to Doris, telling her that he can never be a real man to her. When the effeminate co-worker informs Doris that he has a lilac carpet in his apartment, she does a highly significant double-take. Rock keeps saying things like "I am not undersexed!" He tells Doris that he's taking her in - is he doing the same to the movie audience?

    Finally, given that no lovers part, and indeed there ARE no lovers in the entire film, one wonders about the choice of title ...
  • I love this movie. It's one of the wittiest and funniest comedies I've ever seen, and I can watch it over and over again without getting tired. I like "old" movies, but most comedies of the 50's and 60's contain some scenes where I can't help feeling a bit embarrassed because they are so old fashioned and can't be understood or laughed at 50 years later. But this movie is still perfect, although the mentalities have changed so much. The actors (Day, Hudson and Randall) are wonderful and there are not many pictures that catch the 60's better: the furniture, the clothes... And besides, is there an actor (or man) nowadays who has so much sex-appeal as Rock Hudson without looking as if he was 15 or without having many muscles and no brain? I love the song "Lover Come Back" and the opening credits too. If you like romantic comedies with wit, spirit and great actors, watch this one!
  • jotix10015 February 2005
    This Doris Day/Rock Hudson comedy is a vast improvement over their previous one, "Pillow Talk". At least, both stars seem to be having a relaxed time with one another, under the direction of Delbert Mann. It helps a lot that the tremendously talented writing team of Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning are around to give the movie lots of laughs with what they created.

    The idea of warring advertising executives works well. Doris Day plays the uptight Carol Templeton, a girl from the provinces that manages to land a plum job in a Madison Avenue firm and lives in a fantastic Manhattan apartment that was only to be found in the movies. Carol dresses with style, but one wonders whose idea was to have her wear those hideous hats she constantly sports.

    Carol's enemy turns out to be Jerry Webster, the playboy adman who steals everything from Carol's reach. As played by Rock Hudson, this is one of his best roles in comedy. Somehow he made us believe he was that man who has a knack to get what he wants, especially from the adoring women he charms.

    The basic premise of the film is the constant battle between Carol and Jerry. Both stars do some of their best work as they clash over the new product that suddenly appears in ads all over the place. VIP is something nobody knows about, yet Carol wants to get the account. VIP turns out to be a product that gives its user a great feeling for only 10 cents. Sampling the product at the Ad Council, where Carol takes Jerry to be tried for his unprofessional conduct, turns out to be one of the best things that ever happened to Carol and Jerry and all the ones that have a taste of the product.

    Doris Day was a beautiful comedienne. Her wholesome figure and natural charm is one of the best things this film has going for it. Rock Hudson also is excellent with his take of the lecherous Jerry. Tony Randall plays another of his neurotic characters. Edie Adams is only seen shortly, but in her few scenes, she is wonderful. Jack Oakie makes a great appearance as the Virginian with a taste for girls and booze on a business trip in Manhattan.

    This is a comedy for Doris Day and Rock Hudson fans.
  • I saw this movie the for the first time many years ago and definitely did not catch all the innuendos the first time. The aquarium scene, and the Doris Day (Carole Templeton)'s apartment scene are among my favorite scenes, hysterically funny-- The most fun, however, was just because I thought Rock Hudson was having trouble holding himself back from cracking up over the ridiculous lines and con job he was doing on Doris Day. I wish I could have seen the outtakes for this film. He seemed to be having such a ball!

    A great fun film! Great dialog! Rock and Doris -- what a team! I laughed out loud many, many times.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is the second in a trio of Rock Hudson/Doris Day/Tony Randall movies the first being Pillow Talk in 1959 and the last being Send Me No Flowers in 1964. Many argue that this 1961 effort was the best of the three but in my opinion, all three are equally brilliant.

    Hudson plays a seasoned Madison Avenue Ad exec who uses whatever underhanded methods are at his disposal to woo potential big buck clients to his Agency. he prides himself on being able to say whatever the client wants to hear and giving the client exactly what they want, such as the booze they like to drink and what type of girls they like.

    Day works for a rival agency and being new to Madison Avenue has a somewhat rose-tinted outlook to advertising and hates the sexual bribery methods that Hudson utilises.

    Randall plays the boss of Hudson's agency. However, he is actually an unhealthy mass of neurosis which make him incapable of wielding any amount authority or making any command decisions and you are made aware quite early on in the movie that Hudson is the real power behind the throne.

    After Day loses an important account to Hudson, she reports him to the Advertising council for conduct unbecoming. Stripper Rebel Davies Is Day's star witness against him so in order to stop her from testifying against him, on the spur of the moment, he promises her fame and fortune as the VIP girl. A series of commercials for this fictional product are filmed which are to be shelved as soon as the advertising council has cleared Hudson of any wrong doing.

    Randall, unaware why these commercials were filmed orders the broadcast of them. Having advertised an imaginary product and the publics curiosity about VIP aroused, Randall and Hudson have to find someone to invent VIP so they are not bought before the Advertising Council and closed down and Lynas Tyler is the non-conformist chemist they approach to do the job.

    Day, now aware of VIP thanks to the TV commercials, is also determined to win the advertising account more out of revenge against Hudson than interest in the product. This time however, Day refuses to be beaten even if that means compromising her principles by adopting some of Hudson's unconventional method's.

    Day hires a detective who discovers Tyler's involvement in the project and go's to meet him at his laboratory. Hudson is the only person in the room when she arrives and believing him to be the brilliant Nobel prize winning scientist himself, introduces herself. Hudson now knowing who she is, is in no quick hurry to correct her mistake, and carries on the masquerade, just to see if the lengths that she will go to win the VIP account will even stretch to the bedroom.

    Day and Hudson are brilliant in their roles but as in Pillow Talk, Hudson's character is a bit of a bastard, and is no more deserving of a 'happily ever after' ending than Jack The Ripper. Day is once again the virginal goody-two-shoes, but it's Tony Randall who is the real joy to watch, in fact I'll go as far as saying that he steals this movie from the two stars. Check out the Moose hunting scene for a wonderful example of the comic genius that was Tony Randall.

    This movie, though very tame by today's standards, was really pushing the envelope when it opened in cinema's in 1961 with it's risqué content. However, in today's 21st century DVD players, it's one for all the family to enjoy.
  • The feminist brigade will doubtless take offense, but this send-up of Madison Avenue, careerist women and consumerism is hilarious. Jackie Gleason was once asked why The Honeymooners has stood the test of time. A bit peeved, he replied, "Because it's funny."

    The same with Lover Come Back. Almost every line is a joke, and every single joke works — it was funny in 1961 and is funny today. The script is tight and never insults our intelligence with implausible plot points. And the stars, Rock Hudson, Doris Day and Tony Randall, are at their peak. And the feature roles are filled with great character players (Anne B. Davis, Joe Flynn and the great Jack Oakie). You'd almost think it was the golden age of the Studio System.

    It's difficult to summarize the plot, because it would be like explaining the punch line of a great joke. Trust me on this: Lover Come Back will go down as one of the great comedies in movie history.

    There's a scene at the aquarium, where Jerry Webster seduces Carol Templeton. It takes place in front of a tank with an angler-fish and a minnow. Need I say more?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    My personal preference is for films of all kinds from the '30's to the mid '40's. For me the writing is generally much more sophisticated than later films - especially films from the era of Lover Come Back. That said, I give this film extremely high marks for the script. The writing here is much more sophisticated than Pillow Talk. There is nothing in any of the Day/Hudson movies to compare with the aquarium scene. It is classic.

    Another key scene is when Rock comes up to Doris' apartment for dinner. The dress that she wears in that scene is one of the best ever! It is sophisticated, chic, glamorous and as sexy as they come! It accentuates her knockout figure without revealing anything! Wow is she ever hot in that dress!

    But that scene, paradoxically, is why I do not rate this film more highly. Rock really overdoes the poor, sheltered, inexperienced guy. (I wish he had played that scene with the subtlety he displays when Doris mistakes him for the professor in the lab, and in the subsequent aquarium scene. They are both perfect.) As hammy as it is, it is a real blemish on an otherwise great performance and fabulous comedy. That scene just seems more hammy than the rest of the film.

    One other criticism is the ending. It comes very abruptly. I wish there had been some film footage showing his mailing letters for 8 months before giving up in the 9th, rather than just having his character tell us about that long interval while proposing to Doris on her way to delivery.

    Lastly, I think that this film gets overlooked because of its title. If it had a title that actually reflected the story, it would be more memorable. Every time I hear "Lover Come Back" I just draw a blank. Day and Hudson aren't lovers except for one night very late in the story, and they are reunited a few scenes later at the very end of the film. The bulk of the film deals with their conflict! The title leads you to expect a story built around the efforts of one lover to rekindle a romance with an estranged beloved - not this movie at all! Big mistake.
  • Classic Day/Hudson sex comedy, with the two playing battling ad execs. This one is very funny and well paced, with the usual battles and confusion between Day's gullible virgin and Hudson's charming cad.

    What struck me most about this movie was exactly what an awful, awful person Hudson plays. An interesting aspect of movies of this time is how many of them feature male characters who have no morals or scruples, but even by the standards of the time Jerry Webster seems particularly odious. And for me this is what makes this movie 7-star instead of 8-star. Because the movie insists that you have some sympathy for his character. If he were not played by a charming handsome guy no one would have sympathy for him. He deserves a horse-whipping. He doesn't get one, alas, but the movie is quite funny.
  • Often overlooked these days, because it is largely a remake of the earlier Hudson/Day vehicle Pillow Talk. Still, it manages to improve on the original, largely by giving the excellent support cast a little more room for scene-stealing. Especially Tony Randall is given more to do and he makes excellent use of it. The relationship between Rock and Doris has visibly moved into the 1960s, giving their chemistry an extra edge.
  • I am a big fan of Doris Day, and Lover Come Back is no exception. It is stylish, with the beautiful production values, lovely music and sophisticated direction. It is witty, with a great story and a funny script, I have to admit those anti-advertising jokes are still amusing. And it is beautifully performed. Rock Hudson is immensely likable and charming and Doris Day hasn't lost her warmth. They are well supported by Tony Randall(in another of his better performances), Edie Adams and Jack Kruschen. My only real criticism is the ending really, I know it is all to do with taste but I do find the ending rather tasteless. Overall though, it is a delight of a film. 9/10 Bethany Cox
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is the best of the Day/Hudson collaborations.

    Both are superb, as is Tony Randall as the unstable advertising executive. There are some lovely touches in this film such as those two old topers who make remarks about "superman." The film may belong to a bygone age of innocence, but it is a comedy, and it is as funny now as it was when it first came out. The film is not so innocent as one might think. It does pry into the world of advertising, extreme wealth (Listen to what Tony Randall says about psychoanalysis); although not new, this is the best scenario about hyping a product that doesn't exist. Even the "Harrison, give him a fat lip!" is a kind of social comment.

    A fine film, examining important social issues while still being good family entertainment.
  • fletch527 June 2002
    "Lover Come Back" is another highly amusing Doris Day / Rock Hudson comedy that's just a shade below their earlier teaming, "Pillow Talk". Day is a chaste advertising agency representative; Hudson plays her rival who uses girls and liquor to get clients. Tony Randall gives them solid support as the wimpish inheritor of Hudson's agency.

    As in all movies that used the talents of writer Stanley Shapiro ("Operation Petticoat", "That Touch of Mink"), the dialogue is often delightfully witty. One of the funniest scenes ensues when Randall tests his 'moose horn' with hilarious consequences (although the effect is somewhat marred by an unconvincing, obviously immobile moose). Cute opening credits, too.
  • After the success of the first pairing of Doris Day and Rock Hudson, there was a rush to bring this second pairing to the big screen. Fortunately, it was even better than the first, in part due to the script, which is clever but not emotionally complex, allowing viewers to enjoy the "fluffy" lightheartedness that typifies a Day/Hudson rom-com.

    The two stars play advertising agents who butt heads while pursuing the same account. Carol Templeton (Day) is upset that she spent so much time on a presentation but was not even allowed to present it. Also, she is galled by the tactics used by her rival, Jerry Webster (Hudson), including the overt sexiness of a club dancer, Rebel Davis (Edie Adams). Jerry mixes work and pleasure unscrupulously, with confidence and precision. Carol determines to have Jerry's professional scalp or, failing that, to snatch one of Jerry's top prospects from under his nose.

    Like the other two Day/Hudson collaborations, Tony Randall is onboard, this time playing Pete Ramsey, the earnest but inexperienced owner of the ad agency where Jerry works. Randall is comedy gold, especially in his first scene where he turns on a dime in portraying the duality of Pete, who longs to be commander in chief, but realizes his shortcomings as a boss. His insecurity motivates him to assert himself, resulting in a mistake that drives most of the film's action.

    This film reflects the mainstream values of American life, American cinema, and relations between men and women in the early sixties. The country was on the brink of a sexual revolution, still coping with the female empowerment that began during World War II. By the standards of the day, this film was considered titillating, but it still maintained its wholesomeness by observing written and unwritten standards of decency and decorum.

    For anyone who appreciates visiting the culture of the early sixties, this film is must-see viewing. Later, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan would assume the mantle of sweet rom-com stars in the nineties.
  • Lover Come Back is directed by Delbert Mann and written by Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning. It stars Doris Day, Rock Hudson and Tony Randall. Music is by Frank De Vol and Eastman colour cinematography by Arthur E. Arling. Plot finds Day and Hudson as rival advertisement executives who work for rival companies. Though having never met, both have had enough dealings with each other from afar to have formed less than favourable opinions of each other. When a chance meeting occurs, a case of mistaken identity sees Hudson's Lothario pretend to be a meek and virginal doctor type; which provides interesting results.

    If it isn't broke, don't fix it. After Pillow Talk, the first and hugely popular pairing of Doris Day and Rock Hudson, Lover Come Back follows a similar filmic trajectory. Pillow Talk's formula is a template well worth following, what is arguably surprising is that this is every bit the first film's equal. There's a bit of satire in the Oscar Nominated screenplay, as plot takes in the world of advertising, but mostly this is about great gags, both visually and orally, and the thrill of watching three lead performers expertly making the material work. The chemistry of the performers is set in stone, the colour appealing and director Mann keeps it brisk. Yes it goes exactly where you think it's going, but to be honest if it didn't end the way it did I would have put my foot through the TV! With purple faces, beards, sly sexual eggings, alcoholic candy and a horny moose! What's not to like here? A delightfully fun and engaging comedy. 8/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie is a gem. And there are so many things to like.

    Others have commented on Doris Day's hats throughout, and they really are something. That shocker on the beach is a highlight.

    There are a couple of lines which have humorous overtones given that we now know that Rock was gay. When Doris abandons him, naked at the late night swim, he gets a lift back in a Fur Delivery van and strides across the lobby wearing a full length mink. The two guys who have seen him throughout the movie in full on playboy mode - always very admiringly - see him and one says to the other - "He is the last guy you would have suspected". Very ironic. The other was when Doris was persuading Rock to stay the night in the guest room, in an apartment, she said "You even have your own back entrance". Made me laugh anyway.

    Great to see TV favourites Capt Binghampton (McHales Navy) and Ellie May Clampett (Beverley Hillbillies) with roles.

    Tony Randall is his usual brilliant self.

    We have been watching a few Rock Hudson movies of late and he is invariably a joy. He really was a fine comedic actor. If you haven't seen it, Man's Favourite Sport (without Doris or Tony) is pure gold.
  • Even though it seems like Doris Day and Rock Hudson made as many films as Tracy and Hepburn, they actually made just three for Universal between 1959 and 1964. The trio of films Day and Hudson made hardly reflects pinnacles in cinema history, but they show what deft writing, nimble direction and expert farceurs can do to make these soufflé-light romantic comedies thoroughly enjoyable. As my favorite of the three, this frenetic 1961 farce evolves from a familiar act of deception initiated by Hudson's character, at which point it becomes a series of humiliations and comeuppances for both principals before the inevitable happy ending.

    Directed by Delbert Mann and written by Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning, the movie works the exact same plot devices as 1959's "Pillow Talk", even the split-screen confrontations, but converts the pair into highly competitive advertising account executives at separate agencies. This time, Day is even more priggish as Carol Templeton, who loathes Hudson's Jerry Webster, as he manages to steal accounts under her and everybody else's nose by holding wild parties for the prospective clients. In an effort to pacify an ambitious model who wants to become a TV star, he shoots her in commercials for VIP, a product that doesn't exist.

    Through the incompetence of his nominal boss Pete Ramsey, the commercials hit the airwaves, which force Jerry to recruit reclusive scientist Linus Tyler to invent a product for VIP. In her effort to steal the VIP account from Jerry, Carol mistakes Jerry for Linus, and the rest becomes inevitable. Since Shapiro also co-wrote "Pillow Talk", this one gets even more far-fetched, but its lightning-quick pace, plethora of sexual double-entendres, constant tweaking of Madison Avenue ad agencies and a wildly improbable ending make it a funnier movie. Both Day and Hudson show themselves to be expert at this type of formulaic romantic comedy, and perennial third-wheel Tony Randall plays Ramsey with his trademark boastful befuddlement. The 2004 DVD contains only the original theatrical trailer as an extra.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This was the second of three huge successes Universal had with Doris Day, Rock Hudson and Tony Randall. All three romantic comedies had fresh scripts. But, besides the romance, "Lover Come Back" has some very good satire. It spoofs the advertising industry in the U.S.; and, the buying public – for its gullibility. It also pokes fun at the rich, the field of psychoanalysis, the single male lifestyle of Madison Avenue, and the naiveté of clean-cut young women who come to New York to compete 'in a man's world.'

    And, this film uses another comedy vehicle. Two sober and well-behaved out-of-towner men are in New York for some sort of professional or business convention. They are on the spot various times when Jerry Webster, played by Rock Hudson, happens to be with or leaving a different woman. Their scenes are thrice funny. They comment as though they are seeing a super ladies' man in action. The sight gag itself is funny, and a deeper humor is in their false assumptions of what led up to that moment.

    The sight gags and lines are evenly and deliciously interspersed throughout the film. Here are some favorites that are sure to bring a laugh to anyone who watches this film. Peter Ramsey (Tony Randall) pulls up to a building entrance in a limo and gets out. A cabbie pulls in behind, honks and yells at him to move out of the cab parking spot. Ramsey says, "How would you like a fat lip?" The cabbie figures he can take on the fancy dressed dandy. He says, "Fine!" and gets out of his cab. Ramsey says to his chauffeur, "Harrison, give him a fat lip." The huge hulk of a chauffeur gets out of the limo, and the cabbie says, "OK, so park there."

    Ramsey is in Webster's apartment, and is telling him about his psychoanalyst. Ramsey says, "That man has worked miracles for me. Miracles! You know, everyone should go through analysis." Webster replies, "Not everyone can afford it." Looking out the window, Ramsey says, "Mmmm. That's the tragedy of it. Look at those poor people. They go through life contented, happy, laughing … never knowing how sick they are."

    Randall and Hudson are in their ad agency office. Ramsey says, "Dad will kill me." Webster replies, "Your dad's dead and gone." Ramsey says, "No he's not. He's around some place. He wouldn't go away and leave this business with someone like me."

    Doctor Linus Tyler, played by Jack Krukschen, says to Webster, "Here in the comfort and security of my laboratory, I'm very happy and content. And I have the companionship of the one person worthy of my company – myself." Later, Webster is mistaken by Carol Templeton, played by Doris Day, to be Linus Tyler. He continues the ruse, and the two are at dinner. Webster says, "Miss Templeton, as my uncle the missionary used to say, 'If though canst not speak well of a man, speak not at all." Templeton says, "You make me feel ashamed of myself." Then later, Webster says, "As my father, the philosopher, used to say, 'Knock at my door, and I shall let you in.'" Templeton replies, "Doctor Tyler, I'm knocking." Webster says, "Miss Templeton, I'm taking you in."

    Still later, Hudson and Day are walking outside and talking. Webster says, "But then, one night I remembered the words of my grandfather, the philanthropist, 'The joy of living is the joy of giving.'" Templeton says, "Oh, my, what a magnificent family. Missionary, philanthropist …" Webster interrupts, "Yes!" Templeton continues, "…philosopher, doctor." Webster asks, "Doctor?" Templeton replies, "You!" Webster says, "Oh yes, me. When you said doctor, I could only think of my brother, the jungle surgeon. He was the real doctor." Templeton asks, "Was?" Webster says, "Yes! He went into the interior to treat this tribe of sick natives, got them back on their feet, restored their health and appetites, discovered too late they were cannibals." The look of disbelief on Day's face will give the grumpiest movie buff a side-splitting laugh. "Oh, how awful," she says. Webster replies, "Yes. His last words were, 'Better me than Schweitzer.'"

    Many more great lines are peppered throughout the film. The ending is a real hoot. And, there's one subtle scene that is one of the most clever visual analogies ever caught on film. It is in the backdrop for a scene with the two leads. They are visiting an aquarium, and as they talk, they move from one viewing window to another. We see a fish being attracted by something fluttering in the water. Templeton says to Webster; "A woman instinctively senses when a man can be trusted. And you, doctor, can be trusted." In the background, a camouflage fish in a split second chomps the fish that had been attracted by its fluttering tassel. The camouflage fish gulps a couple times to swallow its prey; and Webster chokes a little and touches his throat. "Excuse me," he says, as they walk away.

    There is considerable adult innuendo in this film, but no visual raciness. It's clean enough for families, but kids aren't likely to understand or appreciate much of the dialog. "Lover Come Back" is a very funny, entertaining, mature and adult spoof and romantic comedy. It's still as funny today as it was in the mid-twentieth century.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Carol (Doris Day) is a young advertising executive in 1961 New York City. Originally from Nebraska, she has those midwestern values of truth, integrity, and purity. Jerry (Rock Hudson), an ad man for a rival agency, is a man-about-town who not only includes a sexual angle to all of his commercials, but who also lands accounts by treating clients to nights of wine, women, and song. When Carol loses a big account to Jerry, she is miffed, especially since it appears Jerry used his unethical approach to reel in the company's big man. Suddenly, there is a new product on the market called Vip and Carol wants to grab this account of out Jerry's hands. However, when she goes to meet the chemist who is the creative force behind Vip, she is stunned to find he is a great looking man. Oh, beware, Carol. That's not really the nobel prize winner, that's Jerry posing as the doctor. Not only is he after the Vip account, he may be out to add you to his arsenal of women. When will Carol find out the truth? This is a classic romantic comedy that will be beloved for centuries. Day and Hudson are perfection as the comic couple who, despite their many differences, can not really take their eyes off each other. The rest of the cast, including Tony Randall, Joe Flynn, and Ann B. Davis, are also great fun. The script is just wonderful, such as the moment when Carol tells Jerry that he has sewn so many wild oats that "he could qualify for a farm loan". The costumes and New York setting are also very nice, even as the fashions have changed considerably. Do you want to free yourself from a case of the doldrums and put the troubles of the world aside for a day? Get yourself a copy of this film and laugh, laugh, sigh, and laugh some more.
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