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Romance on the High Seas

4.4 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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(Apr 10, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Elvira is supposed to go on a cruise, but decides to stay home when she suspects her husband is cheating on her. Her husband suspects the same of his wife, and sends an investigator to spy on her on the cruise - but he is really spying on Elvira's husband.

For a crystal-clear lesson in how an unknown vaults into immediate stardom, look no further than Romance on the High Seas, the silly 1948 musical that launched the movie career of Doris Day. A band singer, Day was plucked from the ranks when Warner Bros. and director Michael Curtiz needed to find a replacement for a role intended first for Judy Garland and then for Betty Hutton. She's fourth-billed, but there's no question Doris Day owns the picture; in retrospect, the part seems tailor-made to break a new star. The plot is a howler: society wife Janis Paige is suspicious when husband Don DeFore (hubby to TV's Hazel) claims he must stay in New York on business instead of going on a cruise to South America. So Paige gives the cruise ticket to lounge singer Doris, on the condition that she pretend to be Paige, while wifey hangs back in New York. Make sense? Meanwhile, a suspicious DeFore hires a detective (Jack Carson) to spy on his wife during the cruise, except of course it isn't really his wife, it's... well, you get the picture. Day is somewhat sassier than her later well-scrubbed image would allow; she actually seems like an up-from-the-streets, well-traveled barnstormer. The saucy script has a handsome pedigree; it was penned by Casablanca boys Julius and Philip Epstein and polished by future Billy Wilder partner I.A.L. Diamond. However, it must be stated that Curtiz is nobody's idea of a buoyant comedy director, even if the lounge-singing sequences are sharply made. The cast is stocked with screwball stalwarts such as S.Z. Sakall, Eric Blore, and Franklin Pangborn. As Day's accompanist and suitor, the celebrated musican-wit Oscar Levant has one of his better screen roles--and his experience here was likely the source of his later quip, "I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin." If you see her cheeky performance here, you might agree with him. --Robert Horton

Special Features

  • Vintage musical short: "Let's Sing a Song from the Movies"
  • Classic cartoon: "I Taw a Putty Tat"
  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Carson, Janis Paige, Doris Day, Don DeFore, Oscar Levant
  • Directors: Busby Berkeley, Michael Curtiz
  • Writers: Carlos A. Olivari, I.A.L. Diamond, Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Sixto Pondal Ríos
  • Producers: Alex Gottlieb
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, NTSC, Full Screen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 10, 2007
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,654 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Romance on the High Seas" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Doris Day began her long and phenomenally successfully screen career when she arrived on the Warner Brothers lot in 1947 to begin filming "Romance on the High Seas".
The project had been kicking around the lot for a while and there had been, at various times, talks about borrowing Judy Garland from MGM or Betty Hutton from Paramount to star in it.
At the time Doris Day was a recognized singer with a very successful six year career as a top big band and solo vocalist to her credit, including a couple of Gold Records. She had no interest in pursuing a film career but was heard singing at a Hollywood party, was screen tested, and the rest is cinema history.
"Romance on the High Seas" is a glossy, bon-bon of a film, decked out in lush settings, with a lot of nice-looking people, pleasant tunes, and wrapped up in some breathtaking technicolor. It's irresistable.
The plot involves a married couple who don't trust one another. The husband hires a private eye to follow the wife on a cruise she is taking to find out if she is being faithful. In the meantime, the wife hires someone to take her place on the cruise so she can remain in New York City to check up on the husband. The private eye falls in love with the woman who is purporting to be the wife and by the closing minutes of the film all of the confusion has been settled to everyones' satisfaction, especially the audiences.
Thanks to the skill of Director Michael Curtiz, who keeps the proceedings moving along smoothly and the attractive cast making the improbabilities rather believable, it works much better than it sounds.
The husband and wife are played by Don DeFore and Janis Paige. It's clearly evident why Defore's movie career was never stellar. On television's "Hazel" he was more at home.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Casablanca" has "As Time Goes By," and "Romance on the High Seas" has "It's Magic!"

And it truly is! This Michael Curtiz comedy, starring a young starry-eyed Doris Day playing opposite a delightfully funny Jack Carson has everything that used to make you want to go to the movies: Excellent music, excellent comedy, and excellent dancing (Busby Berkeley numbers, yet!). The story, which is perfectly ridiculous and ridiculously perfect, is too complicated to go into here, and totally irrelevant. It is merely the framework for ninety-nine minutes of sheer entertainment.

Catch the scene at the bar in Trinidad between Jack Carson and Oscar Levant and an anonymous pie-eyed patron! High Farce at its best. And guess what? The movie has extra features that are actually worth seeing: i.e., a Loony Tunes "I Taw a Putty Tat!" cartoon with Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird, and a specially-made trailer with Doris Day and Janis Paige that actually makes you want to watch the film again.

This DVD brings back memories of a gentler time when going to the movies was fun!
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Format: VHS Tape
I own most all of Doris Day's movies, but this is truly my favorite. Doris really shines in this movie with Jack Carson. The pair have that special spark between them that makes the movie work. Jack Carson is a detective who is trying to catch a wife (Elvira Kent) cheating on her husband. Doris is the lounge singer who has always dreamed of traveling ... anywhere. She is approached by Mrs. Elvira Kent to travel under her name on the trip so she can stay home and catch her husband cheating. With all of the twists and turns of this movie your eyes will be glued to the screen. I would never give away the ending, but it sounds interesting doesn't it? So very "hip", "with it", "cool" and "modern". As usual, Doris is beautiful, and she plays the part perfectly. I wish there were more movies like this being made today. This movie proves that you don't need nudity, violence, and bad language to be perfect entertainment!
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Format: DVD
Romance On The High Seas has great musical numbers, a plot to keep your attention--and we see the film debut of Doris Day. The plot moves along at a good pace; and the acting is rather good although I've still seen better.

The action begins when Mrs. Elvira Kent (Janis Paige) suspects her husband Michael Kent (Don DeFore) of cheating on her since he can never celebrate their anniversary together on a vacation. He's always working, Michael tells Elvira. Worse yet, Michael Kent himself suspects that Elvira is cheating on him, too. Things come to a head when Elvira and Uncle Lazlo (S.Z. Sakall) get a small time singer Georgia Garret (Doris Day) to take Elvira's place on the cruise ship and impersonate her. That way, Elvira can actually stay in New York herself to keep an eye on her husband. Michael, also the suspicious type, hires private eye Peter Virgil (Jack Carson) to go on that same cruise and find out if Elvira (who is now Georgia Garrett masquerading as Elvira) is cheating.

Easy plot, right? It took me three tries to understand it. Ouch! The upshot is that Peter Virgil and Georgia Garrett, masquerading as Elvira Kent, are the two people who go on the cruise. Michael and Elvira Kent both remain in New York using their own separate methods to spy on each other.

However, my effort to understand the plot was worth it. The movie has great musical numbers and you can tell why this film made Doris Day a star--she sings beautifully and she looks good, too.

Things heat up when Georgia (still masquerading as Elvira Kent) meets Peter Virgil on the ship--and they fall in love. Of course, Peter thinks she's the real Elvira Kent and it makes for some tough going for Georgia and Peter.
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