James Stewart, of course, was very well-known and much loved. Doris Day was popular herself, though that at point her persona wasn't as high with a college crowd, more known for her cheeriness and singing, in particular her huge hit, "Que Sera Sera," written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, which she seems to sing everywhere. It even was used as the theme song for when she had a TV sitcom. Like Bob Hope with "Thanks for the Memories" and Jack Benny with "Love in Bloom" -- and any president with "Hail to the Chief -- wherever Doris Day went, it seemed there was someone there to play her song, "Que Sera Sera."
So, anyway, back to movie night on campus. The Man Who Knew Too Much was going along, very well done, interesting, and then, somewhat early on...there it was -- "Que Sera Sera" started playing, and there was Doris Day, of course, singing it and dancing around the room. And most of the 1,000 college students began laughing in ridicule. Even in an Alfred Hitchcock movie, she had to sing "Que Sera Sera." Ha ha ha.
And the laughter got even more scathing later in the movie, deep in the third act, when the plot was coming to a tense head, she and her husband Jimmy go to a party because it's where they know their little son has been kidnapped and is being held, and -- because she plays an entertainer in the film -- she's asked to sing for the gathering. And their plan is that if she sing Really Loud Enough, her voice will carry through the mansion, and they child will hear it and also recognize the song and know that his parents are there. And so, she sings -- yes, you guessed it, "Que Sera Sera," at the most tense point of the movie. Of course. And not only did she sing it, but she virtually shouts it as loud as she can, so that her voice will carry to her son, but it's so loud that even party guests give each other glances, like "Hey, this is pretty weird." Which is what those 1,000 college students were doing, hooting it up. That even in the climax of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller, Doris Day insists on singing, "Que Sera Sera."
What I wanted to do from the audience was stand up and shout as loudly as I could, "YOU IDIOTS!!! Doris Day isn't singing this song because it was so famous and her signature song and it had to be in everything she did. No, THIS WAS THE MOVIE THAT INTRODUCED THE SONG!!!! It had never been heard before! She'd never sung it before! This is the first time it was ever sung!!! All those other times you've heard the song -- it came from this movie, this moment!! And the reason she's singing it a second time and Really Loudly is because it's part of the plot!"
And by the way, do you remember that Academy Award that I said The Man Who Knew Too Much won? It was for Best Song! For "Que Sera Sera"!
That's what I wanted to yell, but I didn't. I just sat and watched and enjoyed the movie.
I mention this all because TCM is running it's annual "31 Days of Oscar," when every movie they show during these 31 days days either won or got nominated for an Oscar. And The Man Who Knew Too Much was on last night. Because of its one Oscar -- for...oh, you know.
(As a footnote, I should add that Livingston and Evans won three Oscars for Best Song, the other two being "Buttons and Bows" and "Tammy." The also wrote the song "Silver Bells" for the Bob Hope movie, The Lemon Drop Kid.)
This is the scene that introduced The Song.
And this is the climatic scene at the party, where Doris Day is invited to sing at the piano, and as the guests watch her with rapt -- and bemused -- attention (from her intentionally singing Really Loud), James Stewart waits for his chance to sneak away. If you haven't seen the movie and think you may want to, then don't want the full clip. It isn't the whole final sequence, but it's a lot of it. However, you'd be fine watching the first two minutes.