WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT? is a 1968 American comedy
Doris Day , directed by
Hy Averback . Although it is set in
New York City
New York City during the infamous
Northeast Blackout of 1965 , in
which 25 million people scattered throughout seven states lost
electricity for several hours, the screenplay by Everett Freeman and
Karl Tunberg is based on the earlier 1956 French play Monsieur Masure
by Claude Magnier.
This was the penultimate film of Doris Day's long career, being
released two months before her final screen appearance in 1968's With
Six You Get Eggroll .
* 1 Synopsis
* 2 Production notes
* 3 Principal cast
* 4 Critical reception
* 4.1 Positive
* 4.2 Negative
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 External links
November 9, 1965: Margaret Garrison (
Doris Day ) is a stage actress
who has spent her career starring in virginal roles, although she
would relish the opportunity to play someone less savory, such as an
Italian prostitute, at least once before she retires. When a blackout
shutters her current Broadway play for the night, she returns home
unexpectedly and discovers her architect husband Peter (Patrick
O\'Neal ) being overly attentive to attractive reporter Roberta Lane
Lola Albright ). Infuriated, she heads to the couple's weekend house
Connecticut and takes a concoction to fall asleep.
When corporate embezzler Waldo Zane (
Robert Morse ), fleeing New York
with an attache case full of money, develops car trouble near
Margaret's weekend house, he lets himself in and unwittingly takes
some of the elixir himself, falling into a deep sleep beside her.
Peter shows up, sees the two together and assumes his wife has been
unfaithful. Despite their claims of innocence and ignorance, Peter
believes neither of them and heads back to Manhattan.
Margaret's agent Ladislaus Walichek (
Terry-Thomas ), anxious because
she has announced her plan to retire, keeps her husband's jealousy
burning in the hope their marriage will crumble and she'll be forced
to continue working to support herself.
Margaret and Peter eventually reconcile, but new questions about what
really happened when the lights went out arise when she gives birth
exactly nine months after that fateful night.
The film's title tune was written by
Dave Grusin and Kelly Gordon and
The Lettermen . George W. Davis and Urie McCleary were the
film's art directors, and costumes were designed by Glenn Connelly.
Morgan Freeman is seen briefly as a
Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal commuter
but does not receive on-screen credit.
The film was the fourteenth starring
Doris Day to premiere at Radio
City Music Hall in
Manhattan . The
MGM release earned $7,988,000 at
the box office in the US, making it the 16th highest-grossing film of
Doris Day as Margaret Garrison
* Patrick O\'Neal as Peter Garrison
Robert Morse as Waldo Zane
Terry-Thomas as Ladislaus Walichek
Lola Albright as Roberta Lane
Steve Allen as Radio Announcer
Jim Backus as Tru-Blue Lou
Ben Blue as Man with a Razor
Pat Paulsen as Conductor
* Dale Malone as Otis J. Hendershot, Jr.
Robert Emhardt as Otis J. Hendershot, Sr.
* Harry Hickox as Detective Captain
Parley Baer as Dr. Dudley Caldwell
* Randy Whipple as Marvin Reinholtz
* Earl Wilson as Himself
Morgan Freeman as Grand Central Commuter (uncredited)
In her review in
The New York Times
The New York Times ,
Renata Adler wrote, "a good
part of the movie permits Miss Day to play an actress something like
herself, and this might be fresh and almost poignant."
Time Out New York
Time Out New York calls it "a sprightly comedy" and adds, "the
performances are superb (Morse, O'Neal and Albright, especially), and
Averback's comic timing is spot on."
Variety described it as "an okay
Doris Day comedy, well cast with
Robert Morse and
Terry-Thomas . . . Averback's comedy direction lifts
things a bit out of a well-plowed rut, making for an amusing, while
never hilarious, film."
Roger Ebert of the
Chicago Sun-Times stated, "Here is another movie
Doris Day preserves her virtue. Frankly, I have lost
interest in Doris Day's virtue.
Doris Day without doubt has the most
threatened virtue in history. Compared to her, Helen of Troy was a
registered nurse. Oh, I'll confess there was once a time when I was
concerned. Once there was a time when I was downright worried about
Doris Day's virtue. Not long ago, Rock Hudson and Rod Taylor and
Richard Harris were all hot on the trail of Doris Day's virtue. But
their efforts came to naught, and Doris Day's virtue, as they say,
emerged intact. it is supposed to be very funny that
Doris Day got
into this embarrassing but really innocent situation by accident --
see? I don't find it funny at all. By this time it's taking on the
elements of tragedy. If I were Doris Day, and I had accidentally
gotten in an embarrassing situation with Rock Hudson and Rod Taylor
and Richard Harris and
Robert Morse and everyone else in the phone
book in 27 straight movies, and my virtue were still intact, frankly
I'd start to worry."
TV Guide describes it as "a trifle that starts out funny enough but
sinks into predictability, made somewhat better by the adroit acting
that triumphs over the lackluster script."
* 1960s portal
List of American films of 1968
* ^ A B "Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?, Box Office
Information". The Numbers. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
* ^ Where Were You When the Lights Went Out at Turner Classic
* ^ New York Times review
Time Out New York
Time Out New York review
* ^ Variety review
Chicago Sun-Times review
* ^ TV Guide