The other day I was at a Disc Replay with one of my friends and I found a used Doris Day cd. I’ve heard a few of her songs – not many – but enjoyed her voice and enjoyed some of the movies she’d done with Rock Hudson and James Stewart. I thought I would expand my horizons into her music when I saw the price on the back said $12.99. $12.99 for a used Doris Day cd. I looked around the store, at the long, unwashed hair of the employees, at the other customers wearing flannel and ripped jeans like we were still in the 90s, and knew nobody there even knew who she was. Yet somehow her used cd was more expensive than a new Michael Buble, or anything from Amazon.com.
So instead, I decided to DVR a few of her musicals rather than pay for the album. I was able to catch two movies: On Moonlight Bay and By the Light of the Silvery Moon that were aired on Turner Classic Movies, one of my favorite channels.
These are two films starring Doris Day and Gordon MacKay about a young couple in a small town in early 1900s Indiana, though really it could be Anytown, USA. In the first, young Marjorie (Day) and William (MacKay) meet when she accidentally shoots a door down on top of him. At first, he’s radical, believing marriage as the enslavement of a woman and capitalism is the bane of society. This turns Marjorie’s father, a banker, against the young man and they spend the rest of the movie trying to win him over and fighting between themselves until the first world war breaks out.
In the latter, it shows us what happens after they become engaged and William returns from the war. There is more yo-yo fighting between the young couple, though her father now heartily approves of the match, and nothing of merit happens, really, in either one. They’re both vehicles to showcase the musical talents of Day and MacKay and rely on that rather than a solid script. By the Light of the Silvery Moon doesn’t need to exist at all, and On Moonlight Bay is acceptable only because of it’s a tale of young love disrupted (if you could call it that) by the war.
The first, if nothing else, is somewhat enjoyable, and fills one with a sense of nostalgia for a time none of us were alive to witness, whereas the second was no better than a late Disney Sequel like Aladdin VIII: Jafar Gets Glasses. There was no plot, nothing to overcome, and nobody really changes. Is a pretty song or two enough to warrant an entire movie full of nothing?