The Thrill of It All (1963)

108 mins | Comedy | 1 August 1963

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HISTORY

On 19 Aug 1961, the NYT reported that Hollywood film producer Ross Hunter intended to “shift” his activities to New York City. The Thrill of It All would be one of his first East Coast projects, with production slated to begin Jan 1962 in Manhattan, as well as in suburban CT. Although no director had been chosen, the NYT noted that the project would mark television writer Carl Reiner’s first produced feature screenplay. In a 25 Nov 1962 NYT article, Reiner recalled that he developed the idea for the movie with his friend and fellow television writer, Larry Gelbart. On meeting Hunter at a party, Reiner described the story with such flair and humor that the producer agreed to back the film. Since Gelbart could not collaborate on the screenplay due to other obligations, Reiner penned the script on his own.
       A 27 Mar 1962 DV news brief stated that Doris Day would star in the picture. In recent years, the actress had appeared in two films produced by Ross Hunter, Pillow Talk (1959, see entry) and Midnight Lace (1960, see entry), as well as several other pictures produced by Martin Melcher, who, as indicated by a 14 Sep 1962 DV production chart, planned to serve the same role, jointly with Hunter, on The Thrill of It All. Although the production chart listed a start date of 8 Oct 1962, a 28 Sep 1962 DV article indicated that principal photography on the $2.5 million picture was scheduled to begin 2 Oct 1962 in New York City.
       Hunter later recalled, ... More Less

On 19 Aug 1961, the NYT reported that Hollywood film producer Ross Hunter intended to “shift” his activities to New York City. The Thrill of It All would be one of his first East Coast projects, with production slated to begin Jan 1962 in Manhattan, as well as in suburban CT. Although no director had been chosen, the NYT noted that the project would mark television writer Carl Reiner’s first produced feature screenplay. In a 25 Nov 1962 NYT article, Reiner recalled that he developed the idea for the movie with his friend and fellow television writer, Larry Gelbart. On meeting Hunter at a party, Reiner described the story with such flair and humor that the producer agreed to back the film. Since Gelbart could not collaborate on the screenplay due to other obligations, Reiner penned the script on his own.
       A 27 Mar 1962 DV news brief stated that Doris Day would star in the picture. In recent years, the actress had appeared in two films produced by Ross Hunter, Pillow Talk (1959, see entry) and Midnight Lace (1960, see entry), as well as several other pictures produced by Martin Melcher, who, as indicated by a 14 Sep 1962 DV production chart, planned to serve the same role, jointly with Hunter, on The Thrill of It All. Although the production chart listed a start date of 8 Oct 1962, a 28 Sep 1962 DV article indicated that principal photography on the $2.5 million picture was scheduled to begin 2 Oct 1962 in New York City.
       Hunter later recalled, in a 15 Feb 1963 DV article, that the role of “Gardiner Fraleigh” was initially offered to Walter Matthau. However, when the actor asked for $100,000, filmmakers rescinded the offer and cast Edward Andrews, instead.
       Regardless of Hunter’s original plan to keep production on the East Coast, production moved west sometime in Nov 1962, with a majority of filming taking place at Revue Studios, the television production facility located on the Universal Pictures back lot in Universal City, CA. On 6 Dec 1962, DV reported that one particular “night shoot” took place on the nearby Warner Bros. studio lot. According to the 25 Nov 1962 NYT, cast and crew reveled in a lighthearted onset atmosphere. Chief prop man Salvator Martino quipped that one of the biggest challenges for the design team was in creating “Happy,” the soap product for which “Beverly Boyer” becomes a television spokesperson. Because soap companies held copyrights on various soap shapes, colors, and thicknesses, all designs for the prop soap had to pass inspection with the Universal legal team. While filming in a local supermarket, the specially designed prop soap piqued the interest of shoppers, and Martino had to insist that it was not for sale.
       A 19 Jul 1963 NYT news item announced that the film would open 1 Aug 1963 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Critics praised the high production values and noted that Reiner’s witty observations and sharp dialogue elevated what was otherwise a fairly “sudsy” comedy. Following the film’s 6 Aug 1963 premiere at the Westwood Village Theater in Los Angeles, CA, the 7 Aug 1963 LAT review identified Reiner’s three brief cameo appearances.
       Although the 14 Sep 1962 DV production chart indicated that the picture would be shot in Technicolor, the 10 Jun 1963 DV review noted that the improved Eastman Color system had been used instead. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
27 Mar 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
14 Sep 1962
p. 6.
Daily Variety
28 Sep 1962
p. 1.
Daily Variety
6 Dec 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
7 Jan 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
15 Feb 1963
p. 14.
Daily Variety
10 Jun 1963
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
7 Aug 1963
Section D, p. 11.
New York Times
19 Aug 1961
p. 10.
New York Times
25 Nov 1962
p. 165.
New York Times
19 Jul 1963
p. 12.
New York Times
2 Aug 1963
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Ross Hunter-Martin Melcher Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns des
MUSIC
Mus
VISUAL EFFECTS
Main titles
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
In charge of prod
Unit prod mgr
Rolls Royce limousine
Dial coach
Casting
SOURCES
SONGS
"The Thrill of It All," words by Frederick Herbert, music by Arnold Schwarzwald.
DETAILS
Release Date:
1 August 1963
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 1 August 1963
Los Angeles premiere: 6 August 1963
Production Date:
began 2 October 1962
Copyright Claimant:
Ross Hunter Productions
Copyright Date:
10 August 1963
Copyright Number:
LP32700
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Color
Eastman Color
Duration(in mins):
108
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Beverly Boyer is a thrifty housewife living contentedly with her gynecologist husband, Gerald, and their two small children. One evening while dining at the home of Mrs. Evelyn Fraleigh, one of Gerald's patients, Beverly comments on the fine qualities of "Happy Soap," a product manufactured by Evelyn's father-in-law, Tom Fraleigh. The old man is so impressed by Beverly's enthusiasm that he hires her to do soap commercials on his television show. After an unfortunate start, Beverly's honesty and sincerity wins praise from both viewers and critics. Elated, old Fraleigh signs her to an $80,000 contract. Now a public celebrity, Beverly is forced to spend more and more time away from home; and trouble erupts at the Boyer household. The final blowup comes when Gerald accidentally drives his car into a swimming pool that had been installed in his backyard that afternoon. Outraged, he kicks cartons of "Happy Soap" into the pool and by morning the house is surrounded by soapsuds. After consulting a psychiatrist, he decides to get even with Beverly by pretending also to be too busy to spend time at home. His scheme works, and Beverly becomes so frantic that she forgets the name of the soap she advertises. The couple are reunited in the back seat of the Fraleighs' Rolls-Royce, and there Gerald delivers Evelyn's baby during a traffic jam. Beverly decides to quit her job and return to her role as wife and ... +


Beverly Boyer is a thrifty housewife living contentedly with her gynecologist husband, Gerald, and their two small children. One evening while dining at the home of Mrs. Evelyn Fraleigh, one of Gerald's patients, Beverly comments on the fine qualities of "Happy Soap," a product manufactured by Evelyn's father-in-law, Tom Fraleigh. The old man is so impressed by Beverly's enthusiasm that he hires her to do soap commercials on his television show. After an unfortunate start, Beverly's honesty and sincerity wins praise from both viewers and critics. Elated, old Fraleigh signs her to an $80,000 contract. Now a public celebrity, Beverly is forced to spend more and more time away from home; and trouble erupts at the Boyer household. The final blowup comes when Gerald accidentally drives his car into a swimming pool that had been installed in his backyard that afternoon. Outraged, he kicks cartons of "Happy Soap" into the pool and by morning the house is surrounded by soapsuds. After consulting a psychiatrist, he decides to get even with Beverly by pretending also to be too busy to spend time at home. His scheme works, and Beverly becomes so frantic that she forgets the name of the soap she advertises. The couple are reunited in the back seat of the Fraleighs' Rolls-Royce, and there Gerald delivers Evelyn's baby during a traffic jam. Beverly decides to quit her job and return to her role as wife and mother. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.