Doris Day's Best Movies: The Screen Legend's 10 Best, Ranked


Doris Day (born Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff) was one of the biggest American film stars in Hollywood in the 1950s and '60s and she continues to be remembered for her memorable roles today. The Cincinnati, Ohio native began her career as a big band singer in the '40s and earned two No. 1 songs. Once she went into acting, she made her mark starring in films alongside the likes of Rock Hudson, James Stewart, Cary Grant, James Garner, James Cagney, David Niven, Frank Sinatra, Rod Taylor, and more. Day starred in 39 motion pictures between 1948 and 1968 and ranked number one at the box office four times. She won four Golden Globe awards, many Laurel Awards, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and three Grammy Hall of Fame Awards for "Sentimental Journey," "Secret Love," and "Que Sera, Sera."

When her movie career ended, she launched her own sitcom, The Doris Day Showwhich ran from 1968 to 1973. Day appeared in two TV specials, The Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff Special and Doris Day Today, and hosted a talk show, Doris Day's Best Friends. She settled down in Carmel Valley Village, California after retiring. The world lost Doris Day when she passed away in 2019 at age 97, but her film roles will live on forever. Here are 10 of best Doris Day movies.

10. The Pajama Game (1957)

In this late '50s film, Doris Day plays the part of Babe, a factory worker and union leader in a pajama factory who falls in love with the superintendent named Sid (John Raitt). However, when a conflict about a pay raise arises between Babe and Sid, their relationship hangs in the balance.


9. That Touch of Mink (1962) 

Doris Day acts alongside Carey Grant in this funny love story from 1962. Grant plays Philip Shayne, a rich bachelor looking to swoon Day's character, Cathy Timberlake, who is saving herself for marriage. The movie follows the pair as Cathy questions Philip's true intentions and Philip has a change of heart.

8. Send Me No Flowers (1964)

Doris Day and Rock Hudson shone onscreen together in multiple movies, and one of their later films was 1964's Send Me No Flowers. In this comedy about a misunderstanding, Day plays a woman named Judy Kimball, whose husband, George (Hudson), is a hypochondriac. After seeing the doctor, George becomes mistakenly convinced that he's going to die and sets out to find a new husband for his wife, Judy. However, Judy is convinced that George is really having an affair. This film also stars frequent co-star Tony Randall.


7. Move Over, Darling (1963)

Day acts alongside James Garner in 1963's Move over, Darling. In this flick, a woman named Ellen (Day) and her husband Nick (Garner) are in a plane crash, and Ellen is presumed dead. However, just when Nick moves on with his life by marrying another woman, Ellen returns from the "dead" to confront him. This comedy also stars Polly Bergen as Bianca, Nick's new wife.

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6. The Thrill of it All (1963)


Day and Garner teamed up yet again in 1963 for a romantic comedy called The Thrill of it All. Day plays a housewife named Beverly who is married to her obstetrician husband named Gerald. The movie follows Beverly as she finds unexpected fame as an actress in soap commercials. Gerald soon becomes jealous of his wife's newfound fame, and conflict arises.

5. Love Me or Leave Me (1955) 

 The 1955 film, Love Me or Leave Me, is a biographical movie telling the story of '20s and '30s singer Ruth Etting, who became a movie star. Day, of course, plays the part of Etting and sings many of Etting's hit songs as well as two original songs in the movie. A 17-song soundtrack for the movie was also released featuring Day's recordings. This movie won an Academy Award for Best Motion Picture Story.

4. Lover Come Back (1961)


The winning team of Day, Rock Hudson and Tony Randall come together yet again in 1961's Lover Come Back. This movie tells the story of two rival advertising executives (Day and Hudson) fighting for dominance in New York City. The movie features a classic case of mistaken identity, a product called "VIP" that "turns people into lovers" and plenty of laughs.

 3. Calamity Jane (1953) 

True to its title, the 1953 film Calamity Jane is a musical which loosely tells the story of Wild West frontierswoman Calamity Jane. The film follows Jane and her relationship with "Wild Bill" Hickok, played by Howard Keel. The film was produced by Warner Bros. pictures after the success of Annie Get Your Gun. An eight-song soundtrack of the movie's music was also released in '53.

2. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)


When Doris Day, Jimmy Stewart and legendary director Alfred Hitchcock get together, The Man Who Knew Too Much is the result. In this 1956 thriller, characters Dr. Benjamin "Ben" McKenna, his wife Josephine "Jo" Conway McKenna, and their son Hank are vacationing in French Morocco when they meet at mysterious man named Bernard. After a few suspicious encounters, the McKennas are thrust into a sequence of events involving kidnapping and murder. It is in this movie that Day sings the famous song, "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be).

1. Pillow Talk (1959) 

Day and Rock Hudson display their undeniable chemistry for the first time in 1959's Pillow Talk, Day's breakout film. This movie tells the story of an interior designer (Day) and bachelor composer (Hudson) who use the same telephone line. Day's character, Jan, is initially put off by the bachelor, Brad Allen, as he uses the phone line to constantly talk to women. However, thanks to another case of mistaken identity, Jan's feelings soften towards him. This movie earned Day an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

Honorable mentions: Please Don't Eat The Daisies, Storm Warning, Midnight Lace, Romance on the High Seas, Teacher's Pet, Young At Heart, By The Light of the Silvery Moon, With Six You Get Eggroll, and I'll See You In my Dreams.


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