Film Club: Send Me No Flowers (1964)

Based on a play by Norman Barasch and Carroll Moore, Screenplay by Julius Epstein

Directed by Norman Jewison

Cast

 

Rock Hudson…                  George Pemberton Kimball

Doris Day…                          Judy Kimball

Tony Randall…                   Arnold Nash

Paul Lynde…                       Mr Atkins

Edward Andrews…          Dr Ralph Morrissey

 

Questions

 

  • Which character did you enjoy watching the most and why? To what extent did you ‘like’ George, our main character? Is this important?
  • To what extent are the 1960s negative stereotypes in the film offensive? To what extent are they funny? Consider presentation of: women, homosexuals, hypochondriacs, alcoholics…
  • Compare the gender politics of the film with other movies made in 1964, for example Goldfinger, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady and Straight Jacket. What are the different perceptions of women being represented?
  • Which elements of the film did you find funny and why? How does it compare to 1964’s iconic ‘Dr Strangelove’ in terms of comedic style?
  • This film was originally a play. Is this apparent?
  • Apparent, Rock Hudson did not like this movie, feeling that the film’s morbid subject matter was in bad taste. Do you think it’s important for comedies to deal with taboo subjects? What examples can you think of where questions of taboo and taste have been well and truly pushed in recent times?
  • If you could change the ending, would you? What would be your alternate ending?

 

Trivia

 

Although Rock Hudson and Doris Day are often remembered as a famous double-act who made countless films together, this is actually their third and final movie outing. The actor Tony Randall (who played Arnold in Send me No Flowers) is also in all three. You may wish to compare this film with Pillow Talk (1959) and Lover Come Back (1961). Both of these films also depict Hudson and Day in a fraught love/hate relationship, played for comedy value.

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