Monday, September 08, 2008

Must-See Movie: Teacher's Pet

Teacher's Pet (1958)
I got the chance to watch this movie over the weekend (as Dyno watched football). It's yet another Doris Day comedy where a man pretends to be someone else after he finds out she hates him, although she's never met him.

James Gannon (played by Clark Gable), the gruff city editor of a newspaper, believes that the only way to learn the business is by doing, and so thinks college education is superfluous. Thus he's not pleased when he's invited to lecture at a college journalism class. He turns down the invitation and writes a nasty letter to the instructor. Yet his editor-in-chief orders him to go. When Gannon shows up to confront Professor Erica Stone (played by Doris Day), he finds her attractive. Before he is able to introduce himself and apologize for the letter, Erica reads it aloud and mocks Gannon before the entire class.

Humiliated, he decides to join the class to show her up, posing as a wallpaper salesman named Jim Gallagher. As they circle around their mutual attraction, they both begin to gain respect for each other's approaches to reporting news.

I found myself laughing out loud many times during the movie. Especially whenever the character of Dr. Pine was on-screen. Played by Gig Young, the character is the successful doctor that Gannon sees as his competition for Erica's affections. Young has played these types of characters before (especially in Doris Day movies), and he's always hilarious. His role in this film, however is different in that we don't know what kind of relationship he has with Erica.

Gable is great in this comedic role (much like his gruff It Happened One Night character), and his reactions are priceless. The only thing distracting is the obvious age difference between Gable and Day. Apparently the movie was deliberately filmed in black & white in an attempt to disguise Clark Gable's age and weight. And other actors turned down the role, seeing that there was such a huge age difference (Cary Grant and James Stewart, allegedly -- although it didn't seem to bother Grant in That Touch of Mink). But all in all it was a fun movie to watch and laugh along with.

1 comment:

pixie said...

What's interesting is nowadays the age difference is disregarded as irrelevant, like in the movie Entrapment or in any James Bond film. Ahhh... those were the days...