A classic movie recommendation

Last night when I got home from work I tuned in to see what was playing on Turner Classic Movies, as I usually do. I was delighted to recognize one of my favorites, Alfred Hitchcock's remake of his own film The Man Who Knew Too Much with James Stewart and Doris Day.

I always loved this movie, although I never actually sat down and watched the whole thing from start to finish until just a few years ago. It reminds me of Hitchcock's North By Northwest in that it's sort of a chase movie. But what I truly like about this film is Doris Day's part. Her Jo McKenna wasn't simply another 'Yes, dear' wife role with little to do other than look beautiful, cleaning the house in high heels and pearls and a chiffon apron. Her anguish when her husband tells her their son has been kidnapped is so real that it never fails to bring tears to my eyes (I missed that part last night). But she doesn't proceed to have a nervous breakdown and leave all the work to her husband. Instead, she worked alongside him to locate and retrieve their boy, and she used her own wits when he wasn't around. Considering how women were often portrayed in that era (this film was released in 1956), it's really something special. And although Day was 16 years younger than Stewart, they looked like a real couple to me. (I'd guess Day looked more mature than the 32 she was at the time rather than Stewart looking younger than his 48.)

It's also the film that introduced what became Day's signature song: Que Sera Sera. This little ditty plays a pivotal role in the film's climax.

In case anyone's wondering, Doris Day is still alive at age 85, although she had been a recluse even before the death of her only child a few years back.

The Man Who Knew Too Much, the 1956 remake. It's one of Bettye's favorites. Watch it if you get the chance.