Peter Tewksbury directed Doctor, You’ve Got to Be Kidding!  a trivial romantic comedy (with songs), starring declining star Sandra Dee, George Hamilton, and vet Osar winning actor Celeste Holm.

Grade: C: * 1/2* out of *****

Doctor, You’ve Got to Be Kidding!
Doctor, You've Got to Be Kidding!.jpg

Dee plays Heather Halloran, a young woman pursued by three men who want to marry her, and is about to give birth to a baby.

Before the birth happens, there are flashbacks to the events leading to her pregnancy.

Her mother wants Heather to be a singing star, but she goes to work as a secretary for a rich man, Harlan Wycliff, and falls in love with him.

The film was based on the debut novel by Los Angeles writer Patte Lee Mahan, Three for the Wedding, published in 1965.

Screen rights were bought by Trident Productions, a company established by director Delbert Mann, producer Douglas Laurence and writer Dale Wasserman. Mahan signed to do the screenplay and originally Charles Walters was to direct.

The film was originally entitled Three for the Wedding, then This Way Out, Please before settling on Doctor, You’ve Got to be Kidding.

Sandra Dee decided to do this film instead of one in London with Warren Beatty. Her co-star was George Hamilton, who at the time had a highly publicized romance with Lynda Bird, President Lyndon Johnson’s daughter

It was Celeste Holm’s first film since Bachelor Flat (1961). “It’s kind of an Italian comedy set in Glendale”, said Holm. “Like most Italian comedies, it’s based on a tragic truth. When the film opens, a young girl is unmarried and pregnant.”

It was the first film Sandra Dee made after leaving Universal, where she been under exclusive contract for ten years. She hoped the role would help her transition to more grown-up parts.

The movie was a commercial flop, signaling the end of Sandra Dee as a viable movie star.

After the film was previewed, MGM commissioned Phillip Shuken to write a sequel to star Hamilton and Dee. However, the project never materialized.

Cast
Sandra Dee as Heather Halloran
George Hamilton as Harlan W. Wycliff
Celeste Holm as Louise Halloran
Bill Bixby as Dick Bender
Dwayne Hickman as Hank Judson
Dick Kallman as Pat Murad

Credits:

Directed by Peter Tewksbury
Screenplay by Phillip Shuken, based on Three for a Wedding
1965 novel by Patte Wheat Mahan
Produced by Douglas Laurence
Cinematography Fred J. Koenekamp
Edited by Fredric Steinkamp
Music by Kenyon Hopkins

Production company: Trident Productions

Distributed by MGM

Release date: April 28, 1967

Running time: 94 minutes
Box office $1,387,000