Chapter

There <i>must</i> be a boy! Doris Day and Rock Hudson

Kathrina Glitre

in Hollywood Romantic Comedy

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780719070785
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700990 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719070785.003.0029
There must be a boy! Doris Day and Rock Hudson

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This chapter discusses the films of Doris Day and Rock Hudson and their roles' social construction of normative gender and sexuality. The chapter is centrally concerned with the formation of the heterosexual couple in Pillow Talk. Day and Hudson only made three films together—Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers—and in one film they play a married couple. Although they form a heterosexual union in each film, the dynamics of the coupling are complicated by the presence of Tony Randall, who co-stars in all three. The films are very conscious of the cultural discourses around masculinity and sexuality and repeatedly place Hudson and Randall in queer positions. The progressive potential of their films lies in the films' interrogation of the ideology of normative gender and sexuality. Ultimately, this potential is limited because the queer possibilities are focused only on the male body, at the expense of the heterosexual couple's equality.

Keywords: Doris Day; Rock Hudson; Pillow Talk; heterosexual; masculinity; sexuality

Chapter.  10455 words. 

Subjects: Film

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