Friday, November 8, 2013


This post is my entry in the What a Character Blogathon, sponsored by Once Upon a Screen, Outspoken & Freckled, and Paula's Cinema Club. Click on the links to these super blogs to read more about all of those marvelous characters that make the movies great!

There are not many 100% true statements in this world (movie-wise and otherwise), but this statement is 100% true: All movies are made better by Tony Randall's participation. But, you already knew that, didn't you?

What I really wanted to write about is how much better off Doris Day would have been had she chosen Tony over Rock Hudson.

Let’s examine:

Pillow Talk:

Doris, you dope, choose Tony!
Millionaire Jonathan Forbes (Tony) has a major crush on Jan Morrow (Doris). He knows what she does (an interior designer) and who she is (an independent working woman) and not only accepts her for it, but is positively gaga over her. Shameless wolf Brad Allen (Rock) spies Doris, likes her caboose, and plays all sorts of head games on her to get her alone and in a prone position.

Okay, Brad/Rock is a hunk, but Jonathan/Tony is no slouch. He is as cute as a puppy and he is a millionaire! He is a good dresser and I am sure he would worship the ground Doris/Jan walks on.

Bad call for Doris. The relationship with Brad will be doomed. In Pillow Talk 2, Jan comes to her senses and marries Jonathan, who rubs her feet every night and gazes dreamily into her eyes.

Lover Come Back

Always a great friend
Tony (Pete Ramsey) doesn't even get a shot at Doris (who never looked lovelier) here. In fact, the only amorous advances made at him come from a moose. But again, Rock’s Jerry is a shady guy who actually knocks up Doris. Tony’s Pete was a gentleman and a gentleman with money. Oh Doris, how successful you could have been as an advertising exec if you only hooked up with Pete!
Send Me No Flowers

Rock - stop standing between Doris and Tony!
Rock Hudson thinks he is dying and thinks he needs to select a successor husband for Doris. Hello! Best Friend Tony is right there – ready, willing and able. Die Rock Die and let Doris be happy at last!

Tony Randall was so much more than the supporting player of the Doris and Rock pictures. He was a capable leading player and, when supporting, could hold up his end mightier than any colossus. As a leading player, he was wonderful as Rocky in "Will Success Spoil Rock Hudson." It's not surprising movie goddess Jayne Mansfield called him "lover doll."

Jayne and her "Lover Doll."

Debbie Reynolds and Tony enjoy a roll in the hay in "The Mating Game"

But Tony really was the guy who made all things better just by being there.
He was joy incarnate and a treasure in both film and TV. I love his Felix Unger because he made an essentially annoying character totally lovable. And how happy was I when, in 2003, he made an appearance in the Doris Day/Rock Hudosn homage/rip-off called "Down With Love"? Very happy. 

A while back I posted a big gushing love letter to Mr. Randall and, much to my surprise a comment was left by his widow, Heather.  Her comment, in part:

Well I actually loved him! I'm his widow and I miss him all the time. Seeing these comments fills me with happiness and I'm so glad our kids will get to see these comments and understand how much he was admired and loved. 
(click HERE for the post and all comments)

He was brilliant and generous of spirit and he loved his profession. And it is all contagious. He is a light, a feather, a chuckle and a wink.

Tony Randall: An Unforgettable Character


ClassicBecky said...

You are so right, Chick -- Doris missed the mark every time. Tony Randall made every movie he was ever in better. How wonderful to receive that accolade from his widow. And how perfectly you described him: "...a light, a feather, a chuckle and a wink." Wonderful piece about a wonderful guy.

Richard Bellush said...

Persuasive analysis. Barbara Eden was more sensible in "The Brass Bottle" (1964). (Barbara herself moved into a bottle the very next year, of course.)

Silver Screenings said...

Awww, how sweet of his widow to contact you. What an honour!

I agree that Doris lost out every time in the Hudson vs. Randall matches.

What a clever and well-written post! (As usual.) Thanks for including Tony Randall in the blogathon. He deserves more credit than he receives.

FlickChick said...

Thank you Becky. I was so happy to read Heather's comments and so glad that all of those loving comments about Tony pleased her.

FlickChick said...

Richard - so right! As for Barbara - I think she was happier as a resident of the bottle!

FlickChick said...

Silver Screenings - how much happier Doris would have been! Just goes to show you how the hunky guy always gets the advantage!

Irish Jayhawk said...

I agree~ I think Tony Randall always added SO much humor and delight to all his film roles as the side-kick. Wonderful post... Thanks again for participating in our WAC blogathon!

Paula said...

Agree completely, I always preferred Randall's characters in the Day-Hudson movies. How lovely that, through your blog, his family knows how loved he is. Thanks for this :)

Caftan Woman said...

Applause. Applause. Applause. Really. I am sitting here applauding your vision of "Pillow Talk 2".

Can't get enough of Tony Randall. We saw he and Jack K. performing in "The Odd Couple" twice and each time was a joy.

Yep. You said it, TR makes everything better.

Rick29 said...

I loves me some Tony Randall and thus thoroughly enjoyed your post! He was a first-rate comedian (my favorite of his performances may be the wacky one in LOVER COME BACK). Indeed, the only role that he seemed to struggle with was as Hercule Poirot in THE ALPHABET MURDERS (though I need to re-evaluate that film, having not seen it in decades.)


I also agree that Tony makes every film better! Maybe Doris always chose Rock not only because they were the main pairing, but it could also be a way of showing society that some rude men werte necessary to dominate too independent women.
And how cool it was to receive a comment from his former wife!
Don't forget to read my contribution to the blogathon!

FlickChick said...

Kellee - thanks so much and thanks for hosting such a fun event!!

FlickChick said...

Hi Paula - I just "met" your blog through this event and really like it - great work.

FlickChick said...

CW - I love Doris, but, man, they made her the dope when it came to her choice in men!

FlickChick said...

Hi Rick. I haven't seen The Alphabet Murders, but I think I'd still fall for Tony, no matter what (hey, when I'm loyal, I get a little blind).

FlickChick said...

Le - oh, I'm sure Tony never had a chance against Rock in the world of Hollywood movies! But, now that we are a little more evolved, it makes sense for DD for choose him over the big, dumb, dishonest (but admittedly handsome) hunk.

Citizen Screen said...

I don't know what everyone else said but I would have chosen Tony over Rock myself. I was sooo looking forward to this post because you were sooo enthusiastic about Tony when you notified me of your "character." You didn't disappoint. Love your take on commenting on his film roles. And his Felix Unger was simply divine!!

Great read!!


FlickChick said...

Aurora - I just couldn't hide my excitement! Thanks for the kind words and for co-hosting this great event. I might have to write about Tony next year, too.