Composed for the 1931 Broadway show The Bandwagon, Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz’s classic tune Dancing in the Dark has found its way into many films, including a self titled offering in 1949 starring William Powell. Of course, many of these movies feature the song with an emphasis on its classic, moody jazz tones – much like this live version by the irreplaceable Sarah Vaughan.
The gloomier implications of its title, though, have helped this distinguished number find a home in a number of horror projects including 1988’s Twice Dead and 1995’s Lord of Illusions. Nicely, the version in the latter film was dominated, ominously, by avant garde singing sensation Diamanda Galas.
The girl next door. The sweetheart of WWII service men. That seductive minx of 60s romantic comedies. The eternally appealing Doris Day is many things. Even gothic songstress Diamanda Galas is a fan.
But why wouldn’t she be? Day even worked her way, passionately, through a trio of thrillers. The highlight of these might be her collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock, The Man Who Knew Too Much. But in Julie, where Day portrayed a stewardess stalked by her murder happy second husband, a smoothly handsome and totally dangerous Louis Jourdan, she paid full balance to her multiple charms.
Not only does her heroine here save a plane full of passengers by the movie’s end, foreshadowing Karen Black in Airport 75 by decades, but she also sings the film’s lovely theme song. It’s a pretty thing with hints of the turmoil that Julie is about to experience lingering lightly in the song’s lyrics. Day, of course, nails all the moods of the piece with the subtle and true touch of a master at work.
Of course, Day, who now spends much of her time in the pursuit of care and justice for animals, is always, quietly and happily, reachable at www.dorisday.com.
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!