Release year: 1958
Director: George Seaton
Screenwriters: Fay Kanin, Michael Kanin
Starring: Doris Day, Clark Gable, Gig Young, Mamie Van Doren, Nick Adams, Peter Baldwin, Marion Ross, Charles Lane
Ratings: 2 Oscar nominations: best Supporting Actor (Gig Young), Best Original Screenplay. 2 Golden Globes nominations: Best Actor Comedy/Musical (Clark Gable), Best Supporting Actor (Gig Young).
After a hard-nosed self-taught newspaper editor (Gable) goes to confront a journalist teacher (Day), who has had the nerve to ask him help in her journalist class, he falls head over heels. To woe her, he joins her class under a false name.
Teacher’s Pet is the only time sunny Day (Pillow Talk, 1959) starred together with Hollywood heartthrob Gable (Gone With the Wind, 1939) here in one of the last movies he made. The king of Hollywood, as he was called, was mostly known for his dramatic roles, but manage the comedy in this charming rom-com to great success with expressiveness and a keen sense of timing. Each star perfectly matches the stereotypes they play: Day as the independent but sweet woman and Gable as the tough business man melted by the charm of his leading lady. It is wonderfully predictable in the way that leaves you relaxed with a sense that everything always ends out well and the chemistry and charm of the stars ensures you are in good company the entire time. There are some surprises. The rather unknown Vivian Nathan (The Young Savages, 1961) delivers a power performance in a small part and, to be honest, watching Gable in comic surprise is a fresh and wonderful experience. The story is straight forward with the typical comic side kick in the shape of a Young (That Touch of Mink, 1962) in great form and with stars to fall instantly in love with. Classic comfort movie.
Fay and Michael Kanin first wrote the script as a drama but rewrote it as a comedy when it got turned down everywhere.
Doris Day won the Golden Flame Award from the California Association of Press Women while the movie was being filmed. The award was for being cooperative with the press, and in honor of her role as a journalism professor.
Striving for authenticity in the newspaper city room scenes, producer William Perlberg and director George Seaton cast 67 members of the nation’s press in the movie, 53 of whom were flown to Hollywood from 31 states and Canada; the rest were from the Hollywood press corps.
Picture copyrights: Paramount
Want to watch Teacher’s Pet? Click image below to purchase: