Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Doris Day & Richard Harris in Caprice 1967

Second in our lineup of cold war films is this one from 1967. It was not well received at the time, and there are problems with it - a meandering plot, unbelievable circumstances and cartoonish characterizations, but it has some things going for it as well. The story has to do with industrial espionage in the cosmetics industry with Doris playing Patricia Foster, an industrial designer caught in the act of stealing trade secrets. Partly because of her duplicity, she's hired by Edward Mulhare, the head of a rival company. Working for him is the dashing Christopher White (Harris) and the sparks fly far and wide when they meet. Of course all is not as it seems in the Femina Cosmetics company and Patricia soon finds herself in over her head in intrigue.
Though it's not a cold war film, per se, it does have many elements of the espionage thrillers of the period. There are some wonderfully zany moments in the film. Look for a delightful scene in a cafe where Patricia foils Christopher's attempt to bug their conversation.  Also remarkable is the art direction. The sets and costumes are stunning, as only Hollywood could make them and the title sequence is ultra stylish and very clever. Look for Lilia Skala and Ray Walston in small but pivotal roles.

This film was much maligned  at the time of its release and, consequently hasn't had much of a profile since. It was released on DVD in 2007 and is occasionally aired on television, though usually on off hours. The trailer was uploaded to YouTube by JetSetTelevision and can be seen above.

Obscurity factor: 4 (Available on DVD, though largely forgotten)


  1. Just added it to my netflix queue. I love this blog, full of great classics I would never found on my own.
    Thank you!

  2. Thanks! Glad you're enjoying it... Let me know what you think of Caprice.