Romance on the High Seas
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Written by Julius J. Epstein and Philip G. Epstein; additional dialogue by I.A.L Diamond
Warner Bros./Michael Curtiz Productions
First viewing/Netflix Rental
Oscar Farrar: I lied about my age.
Given the pedigree of its director and writers, this is surprisingly bland. It is most notable as the screen debut of Doris Day who is characteristically perky but would do better things later.
Michael Kent (Don DeFore) and his jealous wife Elvira (Janis Paige) have been married for several years. The press of his business has prevented them from taking their honeymoon cruise for all that time. Elvira is at the travel agency to get some passport photos taken when she meets Georgia Garrett (Day) who has planned many adventures but never had the money to actually take a trip. Georgia is a nightclub singer. Pianist/MC Oscar Farrar (Oscar Levant) is in love with her in his own quirky way.
Shortly thereafter, Michael says he must postpone yet another trip. Georgia decides to use this as an opportunity to catch him cheating with his new secretary. She offers her ticket to Georgia so she can stay behind in New York and spy. Georgia is to travel under Elvira’s name, send letters home periodically, and keep to herself. But Michael unexpectedly says he will be able to travel later that week. When Elvira insists that she must use the ticket she already has, he becomes suspicious and hires private detective Peter Virgil (Jack Carson) to tail his wife. Once aboard, Peter, of course, believes that Georgia is the wife he is supposed to be following.
Naturally, before too long Peter and Georgia fall in love. Georgia feels she cannot reveal her identity leading to the usual complications. Of course, Oscar joins the cruise as well further complicating matters. A happy ending is guaranteed.
There are zero surprises in the story. I was pleased to see Jack Carson after an absence from my viewing for several “years” and in the lead no less. As usual, Oscar Levant always plays himself and very good he is at it too. But Day carries the picture. Your reaction will inevitably depend on your tolerance for her. Mine is relatively high.
Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn were nominated for the Best Music, Original Song Oscar for “It’s Magic” and Ray Heindorf was nominated for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture.
Clip – Doris Day sings “It’s Magic”