The Tunnel of Love

Gene Kelly directed The Tunnel of Love, a 1958 release that stars Doris Day and Richard Widmark.  This is not one of my favorite Doris Day vehicles, and I adore Day as a singer and an actress.  She really does not do much singing here as this is more of a straight comedy drama.

Perhaps the biggest problem for me with this black and white motion picture is Widmark.  I was never a big fan of his, and while I certainly have seen a number of his movie and TV roles, he failed to ignite anything within me with his portrayals.  He was more likely to bore me.  So, watching him with the terrific and perky Day was disappointing, to say the least.

For one thing, Widmark’s Augie Poole is just so wimpy. He whines and winces his way through the plot, and I really do not like him at all, him being the character.

Day has the crazy name of Isolde Poole.  The Pooles want to have kids, but have had issues, so they decide to adopt, hoping all the while that once they do, they will also have a child the old fashioned way. On the surface, it is a workable story, but it loses me when Augie thinks he has had a tryst with the representative of the adoption agency.  Worse, when the resolution of the story occurs, this whole bit is never really cleared up between the characters.  They know things did not happen as they thought, and yet the truth is not really out there, either.  I just hate that.

In short, the ending is unimpressive, not only because of the aforementioned issue, but the bike and truck accident was rather ridiculous and unconvincing.

Also in The Tunnel of Love are Gig Young, Elisabeth Fraser, and Gia Scala, who is actually quite watchable as Estelle Novick, the adoption agency investigator.  

So, for me I mostly enjoyed Day singing The Tunnel of Love rather than the actual movie itself.  I would have preferred a few changes in the story and a different co-star for Doris in order for this piece to really work.