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"My hypochondria has finally paid off," confides George Kimball (Rock Hudson) to his friend and neighbor Arnold Nash (Tony Randall).
For years George has believed there is some life-threatening ailment lurking within his body. When he overhears his doctor (Edward Andrews) having a private phone conversation, his worst suspicions are confirmed. Although he shares the news of his imminent demise with Arnold, he is reluctant to tell his wife Judy (Doris Day).
Not only does he fear the blithe blonde will become hysterical, he also doubts she will be able to manage without him. With a gallantry as melodramatic as the piano score that accompanies the film, the overprotective man decides to make all the preparations necessary to ease her impending time of grief -- including prearranging his own funeral and choosing a second husband for his delicate blossom.
Judy, on the other hand, isn't too worried about her husband's health. For just as many years, she has been replacing the contents of his sleeping capsules with sugar, and has personally witnessed the power of a placebo.
Loving the tall dark and handsome man despite his psychological hang-ups, the doting wife is understandably confused when her spouse begins encouraging her to spend time with some of their bachelor acquaintances. However, Judy quickly jumps to her own conclusions after a series of "only-in-the-movies" coincidences places George at the receiving end of a kiss of appreciation from a female neighbor with a troubled marriage.
Send Me No Flowers was the last of three flics to pair Doris Day and Rock Hudson. (The other two were Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back.) The script provides plenty of humor, which is wittily brought to life with an excellent performance from Tony Randall and a brief appearance of Paul Lynde as an enthusiastic funeral director.
For parents, the most likely weeds of concern will be the accusations of infidelity, slight sexual innuendo, portrayals of helpless women, and the depiction of a man who turns to alcohol to cope with distress. Still, what Send Me No Flowers probably does best is proving that even well intentioned lies will only grow into a thicket of trouble.
Send Me No Flowers is rated Not Rated:
Cast: Doris Day, Rock Hudson