Doris Day stars in the best butt show of 1958!

I caught up with Teacher’s Pet last night on TCM, a movie I’d seen before and remembered fondly for Doris Day’s sexy performance as a night school journalism teacher who has a romantic clash-and-clinch with crusty older newspaperman Clark Gable.

Doris looks vexed at Mamie Van Doren's butt, but she needn't be...

Doris looks vexed at Mamie Van Doren's butt, but she needn't be...

I’ve never understood Doris’s image as a “virgin” in the movies, because to me she is one of the great “yummy mummy” types, an indelible combination of maturity and simmering sensuality. In this movie, whether she’s standing in front of a blackboard lecturing about pronouns or sitting on the edge of a desk in a tight skirt getting enthusiastic about the future of journalism, she is HOT! Period.

I actually had a German teacher in high school who kind of looked like this...

I actually had a German teacher in high school who kind of looked like this...

Little known trivia (I got it straight from a fan mag of the era): Bob Hope stated with dead-on accuracy that Day had the best behind in the Hollywood of her time and dubbed her “jut-butt.” Although Mamie Van Doren is alluring and amusing too in Teacher’s Pet, playing a cross between a chanteuse and a stripteaser—and although the posters (as witness this Japanese example) make it seem that Gable’s orbs are being boggled by Mamie’s moons—

We're not saying Clark would have turned up his nose at Mamie's shape, but...

We're not saying Clark would have turned up his nose at Mamie's shape, but...

—the fact is that Doris’s derriere is the real focus of the camera’s awed attention in Teacher’s Pet, especially in a scene in her office where she is trying to get Gable to take on an extra-challenging homework assignment, believing him to be a talented student and not already the seasoned and hardboiled reporter he actually is.

Here is a scene worthy of frame-by-frame anal-ysis! (Sorry for the pun, but what do you expect from a porno pro like your Traveler?)

Here is a scene worthy of frame-by-frame anal-ysis! (Sorry for the pun, but what do you expect from a crusty sex mag pro like your Traveler?)

It was amazing, the way Doris walked around the office, and how the light was so perfectly angled to bring out every exciting contour of her caboose. To top it off, Gable kisses Doris at the end of the scene, and right after he leaves, her legs give way beneath her, literally implying a spontaneous orgasm! Oh, I could go on and on about this sequence, and its scenic qualities like how tautly Doris’s skirt stretches across her womanly hips…ye gods! I bet a study could be made to prove that nine months after this movie hit the bijous of the world in 1958, there was a mini baby boom!

Later in the film, Doris combines her curves with comedy when she does a sly impression of Mamie doing her nightclub act. It shows that Doris could have been a great burlesque dancer, maybe one of the greatest, if that had been her chosen mode of expression.

I can’t say enough good things about Doris Day in Teacher’ Pet…but did you already get that impression?

As columnist Liz Smith has repeatedly said, somebody give Doris an honorary Oscar already!


When I was searching for images for this post, I never expected to find an absolutely perfect screen capture for the scene I wanted to write about—but I did, at a lively blog called Out of the Past, which I’m adding to my blogroll. As soon as I saw it had lengthy reviews of steamy 1960s melodramas like Susan Slade starring Connie Stevens and Troy Donahue (and directed by Delmer Demetrius and the Gladiators Daves), I knew it was my kind of film site.

I found the poster images at the great memorabilia site Posteritati.


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21 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Herr Traveler,

    Kudos on your enlightened views of the Divine Doris! I wholeheartedly agree. As a young man, I too, found her supremely erotic, and never understood the “virgin” designation.

    I also repeatedly beat my bratwurst over the luscious Connie Stevens in “Susan Slade.”

    Perhaps it is my failing vision, but upon first glance, I could have sworn that the source you mentioned was called “Posterior-i-tati”

    Ah, youth is wasted on…oh, you know the rest!

    Count von Pauli

    An interesting side note: Connie Stevens is today, an officer in the Screen Actors Guild, and looks remarkably similar to her appearance in her “young slut” roles of the 1960s. Obviously, the lady has made some sort of pact with Satan…

  2. And I guess Doris is still box office gold, because today I had the most visitors to the blog so far! As for “Posterioritati”–that is a poster shop I would enjoy running!

  3. I always loved Doris Day’s wiggle. And boy did she use that wiggle to her advantage.

    That screen cap was really hard to capture. I needed the right moment when Clark Gable was looking at Day’s derriere. I couldn’t quite get one of him blowing cigarette smoke on her behind. Ha ha!

    That picture has gotten me a lot of Google Image traffic, mostly from Italy oddly enough.

    I like your blog too! I’m looking forward to more posts.

  4. Glad you like the blog, Raquelle! And yep, that’s where I found the photo, on Google Images. You sure did a great job capturing that scene. I never expected to find that, and I didn’t think to record the movie to try to get it myself because I had just plopped down in front of TCM to “take a break” from working. The next thing I knew, I’d watched almost the whole film, basically mesmerized by Doris and caught up in the story. And speaking of Italy, I think Doris’s derriere would have fit right into one of the lusty Italian movies of that era, swaying from side to side in a snug skirt as she ascended some Roman steps in her high heels…

  5. Well, I first was exposed to Doris Day through her late 1960s tv show, where she played a widow with two young kids, a vehicle that definitely did not play up her sexuality, so it’s nice to see her curves be praised!

  6. I never saw her on that show, Miriam, but from what I’ve heard, it doesn’t sound as if it did her justice!

  7. If you lived in Portland, you could go to Earth’s best video store, Movie Madness, and rent yourself a copy.

  8. Yeah, now that they’ve closed the Kim’s Video rental section in New York, Portland could very well have the best video store on earth.

  9. Neil ~ Your reference to Doris recalls Groucho’s remark: “I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin!”


  10. Hey, that’s a good one, Phil! Leave it to Groucho to sum it all up with the brevity of a haiku!

  11. please include a photo from the scene where shes cleaning off the table in here apartment, a side profile in a tight black dress, wow.

  12. wonderful. i am horny.

  13. u must publish more

  14. Enjoyed your blog about Teacher’s Pet

  15. Thanks so much for leaving a comment, glad you liked it! I haven’t written on this blog in awhile but comments like yours, and another one I got the other day on another post, make me feel I should get back to it! BTW, I checked out your blog, and your comments re The Greatest Story Ever Told make me want to check it out. It’s a film that I’ve missed over the years, despite the fact that I’ve seen many Biblical films; but you make it sound intriguing, whereas most everything else I’ve read about it has made it sound just labored and long. So thanks for the tip.

  16. Tease her about some little quirk you noticed or a quirk that you suspect she
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  17. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article! It’s the little changes which will make the greatest changes.
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  18. A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do believe that youu ought to
    publish more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo subject but generaly folks don’t talk about suh
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  19. This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I have
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  20. It wasn’t Groucho that said, I knew her before she was a virgin”. It was Oscar Levant.

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