To celebrate Ms. Doris Day’s 97th birthday, Michaela of Love Letters to Old Hollywood is hosting the Third Doris Day Blogathon and I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to write about the 1966 rom-com The Glass Bottom Boat starring Doris and Rod Taylor (reuniting with Doris after 1965’s Do Not Disturb).
Also starring Paul Lynde, Dom DeLuise, Edward Andrews, Alice Pearce, and George Tobias, The Glass Bottom Boat is a product of its time. It sees Doris playing Jennifer Nelson- who works part time as a mermaid for her Dad’s (Arthur Godfrey) glass-bottom boat tourist operation. One day while swimming on the job, she meets Bruce Templeton (Rod) when he accidentally snags her mermaid tail with his fishing rod! When they meet, Jennifer realizes Bruce also works at the Aero-Space lab where she works as a secretary. Bruce commissions Jennifer to write his life story (and so they can spend more time together!), but when she starts her work of following Bruce around (for the book), the security chief at the lab suspect she’s really a spy! Its then up to Jennifer to convince everyone she is not a spy- in order to catch the real spy!
Just from reading other people’s reviews, this is an entry on Doris Day’s filmography that seems to divide fans. Personally, I enjoy it and do appreciate for what it is. I realize it’s not the most essential film Doris made- but it is funny, there’s the cute scene of Jennifer “walking” her dog while she’s at work, and there’s even a touch of physical comedy. The opening song is so catchy and the main titles are so colorful- which are very much a time capsule of 1960s graphics; anyone else think they are vastly overlooked!? But main thing about this flick I really adore is the chemistry between Doris and Rod- it is so magnetic! In fact, if another actor had been cast alongside her, I don’t think this movie would be enjoyable at all.
With that being said, I do understand why some people don’t like this movie. For starters, despite the fact the film is only 110 minutes, towards the end it does begin to drag. Secondly, the plot is not very convincing and there are some elements that have aged poorly- space age, Russian spies, some of the jokes and comedy gags.
Whatever you may think of this film, I can declare the under-rated thing about it is trying to explain it to someone due to the topics they combined to make it. You’ve got NASA, and the space factors combined with Doris working as a mermaid. Mix that with the handsomeness of Rod Taylor for a good romance and the wonderful comedic timing that Doris has and you’ve got yourself one genuine 60s slapstick comedy!
AND… You can’t forget Doris’ wardrobe! It’s fabulous and just furthermore proves she was one of the best dressed ladies on screen!
PS: CLICK here to see my autographed picture of of Doris I received in July 2018, after I wrote to her that May.