Most Popular Doris Day Movies

From The Man Who Knew Too Much to Calamity Jane, there are so many popular Doris Day movies. An icon in her own right, Doris Day acted in many films, mainly throughout the 1950s and 1960s. She also had her own television show which was very popular when it first aired and still is today. If you love 50s and 60s films, chances are you love Doris Day. There’s just something about her that is so charming! And even today, her films are so enjoyable to watch. This is why we’ve put together her most popular films in this list below!

The Most Popular Doris Day Movies

Below, you’ll find the seven most popular Doris Day films that have stood the test of time and are still relevant to pop culture (in whatever way) today. There are some great underrated Doris Day gems — I’ve always been a fan of I’ll See You In My Dreams — but in this particular article, we’re only going to focus on her most popular movies. Some of the films listed here aren’t her greatest (by public opinion) either. Again, they’re simply the most popular films she’s ever made, and those who have stood the test of time!

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

  • Starring: James Stewart, Doris Day, Carolyn Jones
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

The most popular Doris Day film by far is The Man Who Knew Too Much, directed by Hitchcock. An amazing thriller, the film tells the story of international spies who kidnap a doctor’s son after he witnesses their assassination plot. Day might be best known for her 60s comedies (which we discuss below), but she really is wonderful in this dramatic role. It’s one of those films where you can’t look away — and Day is one of the reasons for this. Also, Day sings “Que Sera, Sera” in this film!

The movie’s critical reception was mostly positive, though some preferred the equally as phenomenal 1934 The Man Who Knew Too Much, also directed by Hitchcock. The audience, however, absolutely loved it and it was a box-office success. It grossed about $11 million when it was released, after being shot on a $1 million budget. The film was surprisingly only nominated for one Academy Award — Best Music, Original Song for “Que Sera, Sera”, which it won.

Pillow Talk (1959)

  • Starring: Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Tony Randall, Thelma Ritter
  • Directed by: Michael Gordon

Pillow Talk follows a songwriter and an interior decorator who share a telephone line — and then bring their feud into their real lives. This is the first Hudson and Day movie collaboration. After this film, they would become a popular Hollywood movie duo that audiences flocked to see in theaters. Day is a delight here, as she is in all of her films, and the set design and overall aesthetic of the film is so much fun.

Pillow Talk is a popular Doris Day movie today — and it also was when it was first released. It grossed about $18 million that year and was nominated for five Academy Awards. Doris Day was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role, though she lost out to Simone Signoret for Room at the Top. However, the film did win an Oscar for Best Writing – Story and Screenplay!

Calamity Jane (1953)

  • Starring: Doris Day, Howard Keel
  • Directed by: David Butler

One of the most memorable musicals Doris Day made, Calamity Jane tells the story of the Wild West heroine, her saloon, and how she found romance with Wild Bill Hickok. It’s great fun, as all Day musicals are. Interestingly enough, while Day began her career doing musicals (for the most part), her two most popular movies aren’t in this genre. Day has made a lot of films, and Calamity Jane is probably her most well-known one today.

Calamity Jane was nominated for three Academy Awards. It won an Oscar for Best Original Song, “Secret Love”. Today, it’s considered a popular Doris Day movie for many reasons. The film is very popular with lesbian audiences and has been for decades now, as so many believe that Jane and Katie’s characters are in love with each other. It’s been featured in many gay film festivals and events, as well as profiled in this light, for a while now!

That Touch of Mink (1962)

  • Starring: Cary Grant, Doris Day
  • Directed by: Delbert Mann

That Touch of Mink is delightful. The movie follows a suave businessman and a young woman who is attempting to protect her innocence, though there’s a clear attraction between the two. Doris Day really thrives in romantic comedies. So does Cary Grant. Together, they’re wonderful.

That Touch of Mink is one of Doris Day’s most popular movies today. It was also incredibly beloved when it was first released in 1962. It grossed about $17.6 million at the box office and was the fourth highest-grossing film of 1962. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards, though Day wasn’t nominated for her performance. However, she’s still wonderful in it!

Lover Come Back (1961)

  • Starring: Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Tony Randall
  • Directed by: Delbert Mann

Lover Come Back is the second film collaboration between Rock Hudson and Doris Day. While the film isn’t as popular as Pillow Talk, this romantic comedy is still a LOT of fun! The movie follows an ad exec who, disguised, courts his female competitor. It’s a series of misunderstandings and whatnot, all of which make for one delightful screwball comedy. Day and Hudson are wonderful together — and they always will be.

Lover Come Back was favorably received by critics, and audiences again loved to see the Day-Hudson pairing together. The movie was only nominated for one Academy Award (Best Writing), though Doris Day did receive a Golden Laurel for Top Female Comedy Performance!

Send Me No Flowers (1964)

  • Starring: Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Tony Randall
  • Directed by: Norman Jewison

The third and last of Doris Day and Rock Hudson’s film collaborations, Send Me No Flowers follows a hypochondriac who believes he is dying. He decides to make plans for his wife, as he believes he is about to go, including by trying to find her a new husband. His wife finds these plans and misunderstands his intentions, creating a lot of chaos and confusion (delightful confusion for the audience, that is) in the process. Hudson and Day shine yet again in their third pairing, even though it’s definitely not as popular as their other two.

Send Me No Flowers received mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike, though it seems to still have done well nationally. It wasn’t nominated for any Academy Awards. However, Doris Day did win the Golden Laurel for the Best Female Comedy Performance!

Move Over, Darling (1963)

  • Starring: Doris Day, James Garner, Thelma Ritter
  • Directed by: Michael Gordon

A remake of the classic Irene Dunne-Cary Grant 1940 film My Favorite Wife, Move Over, Darling tells the story of a woman who, after being lost at sea for many years, returns home to find out that her husband has declared her legally dead — and he’s just remarried another woman. It’s a lot of fun and really adorable, just like the original film is. My Favorite Wife might still be more popular than Move Over, Darling, but this movie is, today, one of the most popular Doris Day movies.

When Move Over, Darling was first released, it received mixed reviews from critics. However, more recent reviews have kindly looked back on this film (as they should!). Back when the movie was released in 1963, audiences enjoyed it greatly. In fact, it grossed about $12 million at the box office and was one of the biggest hits for the year.

RELATED: The Most Popular Irene Dunne Movies — Including My Favorite Wife!

The Most Popular Doris Day Movies

Comment below what you think about these popular Doris Day movies. What movie is your favorite featuring Doris Day? Hit the comments below with your choice, whether it’s “popular” and on this list or not!

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *