Glass Bottom Boat

Glass Bottom Boat

4.4 9
Director: Frank Tashlin

Cast: Doris Day, Rod Taylor, Arthur Godfrey

     
 

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It may come as a revelation to those who regard The Glass Bottom Boat as a second-rate Frank Tashlin movie that it comes to life when seen in its proper aspect ratio, letterboxed to 2.35:1, as on this DVD. When all else fails -- plot, script, casting, direction -- Tashlin's stylized visuals comprise most of what value there is to this movie. The Glass BottomSee more details below

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Overview

It may come as a revelation to those who regard The Glass Bottom Boat as a second-rate Frank Tashlin movie that it comes to life when seen in its proper aspect ratio, letterboxed to 2.35:1, as on this DVD. When all else fails -- plot, script, casting, direction -- Tashlin's stylized visuals comprise most of what value there is to this movie. The Glass Bottom Boat is filled with bright colors and relevant objects in almost every shot, and there's little point in watching this movie, which has relatively little sustained or inspired humor, without those compositions intact. (There's one shot and scene, at 99 minutes into the movie, that manages to parody the James Bond movies as well as the opening credits of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. -- the star of which, Robert Vaughn, shows up in a cameo appearance at 85 minutes in -- that cannot work without the 2.35:1 aspect ratio.) The plot is incredibly thin, a satire of the Cold War and a comedy of errors mashed together around the premise of Doris Day as a tour-guide at a facility of the American space program who has a dog named Vladimir, whom she "calls" by phone every day from work so that the ringing gets him to run around and exercise -- this fact sets off a chain of misunderstandings that gets her accused of being a Soviet spy. There's not much more to the movie, though it does give some comic performers -- including Paul Lynde, John McGiver, Edward Andrews, and most notably, Dom DeLuise and Dick Martin (who, between them, steal almost every shot they're in) -- a chance to engage in various comedic antics, and has some funny sight gags scattered throughout. There is also an appearance by Alice Pearce and George Tobias, the nosy neighbor couple from Bewitched, playing a nosy neighbor couple here named Mabel and Norman (and could that be a nod to comic actress Mabel Normand, Day's distant comedic screen predecessor?). The 32 chapters are probably too generous for this 110 minutes of comic fluff, but that's better than not having enough chapters. The disc also contains a brace of bonus materials, starting with "Every Girl's Dream," a black-and-white documentary about Nancy Bernard, the newly crowned 1966 "Maid of Cotton," and her visit to the MGM lot in Culver City. The short seems more concerned with what Bernard is wearing than the sets she's walking through; the connection for the DVD is her wearing of a dress designed for The Glass Bottom Boat, and observing the wardrobe test footage of Doris Day and Rod Taylor. "NASA" is a short, this time in color, in which Day plugs the facilities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as represented in the movie. In an unintentionally grim moment, Day talks about the Saturn booster and the Apollo capsule getting only "one" take, and how the astronauts' lives depend upon them, all of this a year before the Apollo 1 fire that killed astronauts Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee. "Catalina Island," narrated by movie co-star Arthur Godfrey, intercuts a travelogue with shots of the island's tourist centers and scenes from the film. The Oscar-winning cartoon The Dot and the Line, subtitled "A Romance in Lower Mathematics," makes up for the blandness of the rest of the supplement; directed and produced by Chuck Jones and narrated by Robert Morley, it's as charming and lively as the rest of the supplement is stupefyingly dull and predictable. The trailer, which is in Panavision, makes The Glass Bottom Boat seem even sillier than it is. And it should be noted that around the time of this movie's release, at a point when she was getting involved in even more dubious film projects, Day turned down a role that could have completely transformed her career, the part of Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Spy spoofs were a fad in the 1960s, so it was probably inevitable that top box-office draw Doris Day would eventually find herself starring in one. Fortunately, The Glass Bottom Boat is less concerned with spy movie conventions than with allowing Day and her co-stars the chance to engage in a great deal of slapstick while coming to terms with the twists and turns of the film's romantic plot. Boat is about as featherweight as a film can get, but as long as viewers are in the mood for something light, silly, and insubstantial, they're probably going to be entertained by this piece of fluff. Certainly Day is appealing and very much in her element; she knows this isn't exactly Hamlet, but she treats it with the right level of seriousness to make it all work. Rod Taylor isn't quite loose enough for the proceedings, but he works well with Day, and the supporting cast is very much in the right spirit, led by an incredibly game Paul Lynde, an amusingly oafish Dom DeLuise, and the always-dependable Alice Pearce. Director Frank Tashlin has filled the screen with his favorite bright colors and gets to give rein to his penchant for machine-oriented gags. Tashlin's cartoony approach gets to be a bit much occasionally, but it's fun to see a director enjoying himself as much as Tashlin. A brainless little bubble, The Glass Bottom Boat floats along quite enjoyably, if aimlessly.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/26/2005
UPC:
0012569519220
Original Release:
1966
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:50:00
Sales rank:
15,588

Special Features

Closed Caption; Three vintage featurettes: "Catalina Island," "Every Girl's Dream," "NASA"; Oscar-winning cartoon The Dot and the Line; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Doris Day Jennifer Nelson
Rod Taylor Bruce Templeton
Arthur Godfrey Axel Nordstrom
John McGiver Ralph Goodwin
Paul Lynde Homer Cripps
Edward Andrews Gen. Wallace Bleecker
Dom DeLuise Julius Pratter
Elisabeth Fraser Nina Bailey
Dick Martin Zack Molly
George Tobias Mr. Fenimore
Alice Pearce Mrs. Fenimore
Ellen Corby Anna Miller
Dee J. Thompson Donna
Eric Fleming Edgar Hill
Robert Vaughn Napoleon Solo

Technical Credits
Frank Tashlin Director
Ray Aghayan Costumes/Costume Designer
Edward C. Carfagno Art Director
George W. Davis Art Director
Frank deVol Score Composer
Everett Freeman Producer,Screenwriter
Henry W. Grace Set Decoration/Design
Hugh Hunt Set Decoration/Design
J. McMillan Johnson Special Effects
Harry Maret Makeup
John McSweeney Editor
Martin Melcher Producer
Leon Shamroy Cinematographer
Carroll L. Shepphird Special Effects
William J. Tuttle Makeup

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Hooking a Mermaid [2:54]
2. Credits [2:19]
3. Special Interests [3:54]
4. Shoeless Kook [4:56]
5. You Ain't No Guppy [4:15]
6. Playing Favorites [4:11]
7. Readying the Rocket [3:24]
8. Stepping Into Things [6:19]
9. Kitchen Gadgets... [5:03]
10. ...Run Amuck [2:32]
11. Bum Steering [4:43]
12. The Glass Bottom Boat [2:54]
13. Invitation [1:30]
14. Soft As the Starlight [2:57]
15. Dossier on a Spy [3:46]
16. Visions of Mata Hari [4:01]
17. Fine Public Relations Job [2:05]
18. Who Is Vladimir? [3:38]
19. Surveillance [3:50]
20. Hors D'Oeuvre in Motion [2:12]
21. Nonmixers [3:04]
22. Phoney/Phony Business [2:02]
23. Her Spy Network [2:22]
24. No Man's Land [4:09]
25. May I Have This Dance? [2:29]
26. Satin Does Slip [3:59]
27. The Real Spy Strikes [2:19]
28. Messes and Mix-Ups [2:32]
29. Double Trouble [4:22]
30. Chasing Jenny [4:03]
31. Full-Throttle Lovers [5:05]
32. Cast List [1:24]

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