Cast & Crew
Andrew L. Stone
One evening while driving to their home in Monterey, California, trusting wife Julie Benton confronts her husband Lyle about his recent public fit of jealousy. Lyle accelerates the car, which swerves precariously on the ocean cliff road while a terrified Julie scrambles to keep control of the steering wheel. After Lyle finally stops the car and asks her forgiveness, Julie is so confused by the near-death experience that she can feel only pity for her husband's emotional condition. Later that night, Julie informs Lyle that family friend Cliff Henderson has told her that her first husband's suicide was not due to financial crisis as they had previously been led to believe. Lyle admits that he was covetous of Julie even while she was still married to Bob and demands she forget about him. The next day at a country club, Julie meets Cliff, who explains that Bob refused a loan just before his death, claiming he had no need of it. Suspecting foul play, Cliff questions Julie about Lyle's recent public outbursts and suggests that Bob's death could have been a murder arranged to look like a suicide. Under Cliff's persistent questioning, Julie finally admits that Lyle was a guest in their home the night Bob died.
That night when Julie, in an attempt to find the truth, passionately tells Lyle if Bob had not committed suicide, she would have considered killing him so that she and Lyle could be together. Lyle then admits to murdering Bob, and warns Julie not to leave him. The next morning, desperate to flee her murderous husband, Julie claims she needs to borrow some breakfast items from the neighbors and attempts to leave. When Lyle insists on accompanying her, Julie suggests he go alone, hoping she can make her escape in his absence. As Julie furiously packs her belongings, a suspicious Lyle secretly returns to the house and tampers with the car. After Julie discovers the car will not start, she hitches a ride into town, where she meets Cliff at the police station. After reporting the murder to detectives Pope and Cole, Julie learns that without concrete evidence to reopen Bob's case, the police cannot help her. Meanwhile, Lyle has told the police that Julie and Cliff are having an affair and denies all charges against him. Seeing Julie in the police hallway, Lyle bitterly warns her that she is making a mistake. Knowing Julie must flee Monterey, Cliff helps her drive to San Francisco and check into a hotel under an assumed name. However, Lyle locates Julie that night with the help of a private detective and calls her in her room. Fearing for her life, Julie, accompanied by Cliff, meets with San Francisco police detective Capt. Pringle and Det. Mace, who caution that this pattern of abuse often ends in the wife's death. After they suggest she change her identity, Julie decides to her former job as an airline hostess and move to New York.
Months later, after Julie has settled into a new life, she wires Cliff to meet her at co-worker Denice Martin's San Francisco apartment during an airline stop-over. When Lyle calls Cliff's office later that day, the secretary unknowingly tells him Cliff is meeting with a "private party" in San Francisco, prompting the murderer to tail Cliff as he leaves town. Noticing that he is being followed, Cliff stops his car to confront Lyle, who holds him at gunpoint and orders Cliff to get in the car and take him to Julie. As they drive off, Cliff jumps from the car, prompting Lyle to shoot him. After Lyle finds Julie's address in the injured Cliff's jacket and takes off in the car, he decides he must return and kill Cliff. Meanwhile, the wounded Cliff drags himself to a house owned by the elderly Ellis, who calls the sheriff. Lyle, overhearing the conversation from outside the house, takes off. In his delirium, Cliff can only mumble Julie's apartment building location but is unable to give the police the apartment number. Meanwhile an airline dispatcher calls Julie to cover for a flight that night. While Pringle and Mace begin knocking on each of the sixty-four apartments in the building, they miss Julie as she runs down the stairs. Although Julie spots Lyle following her as she catches a cab to the airport, she fails to see him on the tarmac as he boards her flight.
Back in the apartment building, the officers find a note Julie has left for Cliff, which explains her abrupt departure. Concerned that Lyle has learned of Julie's flight, Pringle radios the cockpit and after explaining to Julie that Lyle has wounded Cliff, orders the pilots to keep the plane in California airspace. Pringle warns Julie that she must calmly try to find out if Lyle is on board without drawing attention to herself. Checking row by row, Julie spots Lyle, but as she approaches the cockpit to tell the pilot, her eyes meet Lyle's, prompting the murderer to jump from his seat, grab Julie and force his way into the cockpit, where he shoots the pilot. Telling Julie she must fly the plane alone, he then shoots the co-pilot, who fires in return, knocking Lyle unconscious. Hearing the shots, the passengers panic, while a doctor on board pronounces the pilot dead and warns the wounded co-pilot that he is liable to black out at any time. With only twenty-six minutes remaining before the plane reaches the San Francisco airport, Pringle orders a shaken Julie to land the aircraft with help from the radio control tower and the barely conscious co-pilot. Learning that she must keep the nose level, Julie practices balancing the plane for their landing.
Meanwhile, ambulances and fire trucks ready themselves at the runway as hundreds of airport patrons gather at the windows to see the emergency landing. Using radar, the control tower guides Julie to runway, where a ground crew radios her final landing instructions. Julie's first touch-down ends when she bounces back into the air. She then attempts to land again, pulls the throttle back and brings the plane to a complete stop, thus averting any further consequence of Lyle's murderous rage.
Andrew L. Stone
Armand Del Mar
Fred Jackman Jr.
Francis J. Scheid
Andrew L. Stone
Set on the picturesque coast of Monterey, the film takes a dark turn immediately after the opening credits and we are plunged into a paranoid universe. Julie Benton (Day) is having serious doubts about her second marriage. To start with, Lyle (Louis Jourdan), her new husband, has an uncontrollable temper; during an argument in their car, he terrorizes Julie by holding her foot down on the gas pedal while they race around a curving coastal road at high speed. He's also insanely jealous and eventually reveals to Julie that he killed her first husband so he could marry her. When she attempts to run away from him, Lyle stalks her relentlessly, finally exploding in homicidal rage aboard an airplane where she is serving as a flight attendant.
Doris Day did not want to make Julie. According to the actress in Doris Day: Her Own Story, "Ever since my release from Warner Brothers, Marty [Day's husband and manager] had been trying to find a property he could produce on his own; Julie was what he turned up with....It wasn't a bad script, but playing the part of a woman victimized by a jealous husband washed back the reality of the insane jealousy of Al Jorden [her first husband]...and [husband number two] George Weidler's jealousy of my career. I had had more than enough real jealousy to contend with in my life. I didn't want to act in a film in which I played a woman whose husband was so jealous of her he was trying to kill her. That kind of sick film never has appealed to me and I told Marty so." Despite her protests, Day finally relented and made the film though she later admitted it "was a terrible ordeal, from start to finish -- not the movie itself as much as the events that surrounded it. To begin with, I had to take flying lessons so that I could realistically handle the controls of a disabled airliner which, at the picture's climax, I had to land in an emergency." Prior to her first flying lesson, however, Day, her husband and son were involved in a car accident. Though unharmed, the experience only added to her already agitated state of mind. Even worse was the abdominal pain and hemorrhaging she experienced during the filming -- it turned out to be an endometriotic tumor -- but because both she and her husband were practicing Christian Scientists she didn't consult a doctor until her condition became extreme. As Day recalled, her emergency surgery "was not only a hysterectomy, but...my intestines had to be surgically rebuilt to repair the damage the giant tumor had done to them."
In spite of all her troubles during the film's production, Day did have a few pleasant memories, writing that "Almost all of Julie was shot on location in Carmel, which is a lovely resort town a little south of San Francisco. My costar was Louis Jourdan, whom I liked very much. An amiable man, very gentle, very much interested in the people around him; we had a good rapport and I found talking to him a joy....We would take long walks on the beautiful Carmel beach, chatting by the hour." Jourdan also enjoyed working with Day and for him, Julie was an opportunity to play a different kind of role. He had grown bored with the stereotyped parts he was being offered in Hollywood. "I didn't want to be perpetually cooing in a lady's ear. There's not much satisfaction in it," he once complained, and his defiant attitude got him suspended at least four times when he was working for producer David O. Selznick. Unfortunately, Julie didn't change Jourdan's luck in terms of future casting coups and he continued to play continental lovers and European sophisticates, though his performance in the 1977 TV thriller Count Dracula is a late career highpoint.
Julie won Oscar nominations in two categories; one for Best Original Screenplay (by Andrew L. Stone) and Best Song. Though its merits as an Academy Award nominee seem more dubious now, the film features Day in her most emotionally overwrought performance, which makes for entertaining -- and often unintentionally hilarious -- viewing. It's quite possible that the improbable climax to Julie inspired the absurd scenario in Airport '75 in which air hostess Karen Black has to steer a plane to safety after the two pilots are killed in a mid-air collision with a small plane.
Producer: Martin Melcher
Director: Andrew L. Stone
Screenplay: Andrew L. Stone
Cinematography: Fred Jackman Jr.
Editing: Virginia L. Stone
Music: Leith Stevens
Cast: Doris Day (Julie Benton), Louis Jourdan (Lyle Benton), Barry Sullivan (Cliff Henderson), Frank Lovejoy (Detective Lt. Pringle), John Gallaudet (Detective Sgt. Cole), Jack Kruschen (Detective Mace), Harlan Warde (Detective Pope), Jack Kelly (Jack, co-pilot).
C-98m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.
by Jeff Stafford
While on location in Carmel, California for this shoot, 'Day, Doris' fell in love with the region. She retired there and has lived there ever since.
Doris Day sings the song "Julie" during the opening credits. Her voice-over narration is heard throughout the film, describing "Julie Benton"'s increasing anxieties over her husband. Andrew L. Stone's onscreen credit reads: "Written and directed by Andrew L. Stone," while his wife Virginia Stone's onscreen credit reads: "Assistant to Producer and Film Editor Virginia Stone." Julie marked the first film of Arwin Productions, Inc., a company owned by Day and her husband, Martin Melcher. Julie was also Melcher's first film as a producer. The New York Times review mistakenly lists John Gallaudet as Frank Gallaudet.
A March 15, 1956 Hollywood Reporter states that Anne Francis was first considered for the lead. Although a March 5, 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that Paul Francis Webster and Jerry Livingston were assigned to write a song for Doris Day to sing in the movie, Leith Stevens and Tom Adair were later assigned to compose the song "Julie" for her. A April 16, 1956 Hollywood Reporter new item adds Eddie Mann and Don Russell to the cast. Modern sources add Frank Marlowe (Second police guard) and Marjorie Stapp (Cliff's secretary) to the cast.
Portions of the film were shot on location in San Francisco, in the Northern California coastal regions of Carmel and Monterey, as well as the Southern California desert locations of Blythe and Indio. Airport sequences were shot at the Oakland, CA airport. Julie received Academy Award nominations for Best Screenplay and Best Song.
Released in United States Fall November 1956
Broadcast in USA over TBS (colorized version) October 11, 1990.
Released in United States Fall November 1956